40 Days to the Cross: Reflections from Great Thinkers (Week Three: Wednesday)

Wednesday

Confession: Psalm 38:16–20

For I said, “Help, lest they rejoice over me,

lest they boast against me when my foot slips.”

For I am ready to stumble,

and my pain is before me continually.

For my iniquity I confess;

I am anxious because of my sin.

And my enemies without cause are numerous,

and those who hate me wrongfully are many.

And those who repay evil in return for good

accuse me in return for my pursuing good.

Reading: Mark 12:18–27

And Sadducees—who say there is no resurrection—came up to him and began to ask him, saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if someone’s brother dies and he leaves behind a wife and does not leave a child, that his brother should take the wife and father descendants for his brother. There were seven brothers, and the first took a wife. And when he died, he did not leave descendants. And the second took her, and he died without leaving descendants. And the third likewise. And the seven did not leave descendants. Last of all the woman also died. In the resurrection, when they rise, whose wife will she be? For the seven had her as wife.” Jesus said to them, “Are you not deceived because of this, because you do not know the scriptures or the power of God? For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. Now concerning the dead, that they are raised, have you not read in the book of Moses in the passage about the bush how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead, but of the living. You are very much mistaken!”

Reflection

Christ’s loved ones are despised and hated, “of whom the world was not worthy, wandering about on deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground” (Heb 11:38). They have to put up with all kinds of contempt; that’s what Christ’s people have to endure here. And we’ll have to bless God for it all. It keeps us from linking ourselves with this world, from settling all our hopes and desires upon it.

If we are to serve Christ and to reach heaven, we must sail right against the world and its way. It’s an old saying that a dead fish always swims with the current, and we can always tell the living fish when we see it swimming against the current. In like manner, if you are dead, you will very likely be sailing smoothly enough with this world and very well satisfied with yourself. If you are alive in Jesus Christ, you will be struggling against the world, its sins, and its temptations. And you will be seeking to win souls for Christ, regardless of the world’s scoffs, sneers, and frowns.

—Dwight L. Moody

Life Words from Gospel Addresses

Response

It is tempting and often convenient to create a framework within the gospel that is not supported by Scripture, as the Sadduccees did in Mark 12:18–27. Have you taken the focus off what is truly important in any areas of doctrine? How can you center your focus back on Christ?[1]

 

[1] Van Noord, R., & Strong, J. (Eds.). (2014). 40 Days to the Cross: Reflections from Great Thinkers. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

March 21, 2017 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

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Mar. 21, 2017 |

BLOOMBERG

Republican leaders trying to gain party support for their bill to replace Obamacare made changes to limit Medicaid enrollment and phase out some taxes earlier, as President Donald Trump visits Capitol Hill to try to woo reluctant Republicans.

Travelers flying to the U.S. from 10 airports in the Middle East and North Africa will have to store most larger electronic devices in checked baggage under a new rule issued by the Trump administration.

President Tsai Ing-wen said Taiwan had no choice but to build its own submarine fleet as she promoted a deal to deploy the first vessel in less than a decade.

Global elites gathered at a three-day forum in Beijing pushed back against the protectionist rhetoric of U.S. President Donald Trump, while warning China it must curb what some see as its own mercantilism if globalization is to retain legitimacy.

Exxon Mobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Chevron Corp., are jumping into American shale with gusto, planning to spend a combined $10 billion this year, up from next to nothing only a few years ago.

Only 41 percent of workers have even tried to figure out how much they need in savings to retire comfortably. And those who have? When asked to guess how much they needed, 37 percent of workers say $1 million or more, according to the latest (and 27th) Retirement Confidence Survey.

AP Top Stories

Fox News Channel has pulled legal analyst Andrew Napolitano from the air after disavowing his on-air claim that British intelligence officials had helped former President Barack Obama spy on Donald Trump.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will skip a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in April and later in the month travel to Russia for meetings and to a G7 summit in Italy, the U.S. State Dept. has confirmed.

All passengers and crew survived a plane crash in South Sudan on Monday in which the jet hit a fire truck on the runway before bursting into flames. 37 people had been treated for injuries in hospital but, miraculously, no one was killed

The tomb of Jesus has been resurrected to its former glory. Just in time for Easter, a Greek restoration team has completed a historic renovation of the Edicule, the shrine that tradition says houses the cave where Jesus was buried and rose to heaven.

Russia and the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia have signed a bilateral agreement establishing a Russian military base in northwestern Syria, a YPG spokesman said Monday. The Russian Defense Ministry issued a statement, saying it had no plans for additional bases in Syria but that it had set up a “reconciliation center” in the area.

Pope Francis asked for forgiveness on Monday for the “sins and failings of the Church” during Rwanda’s 1994 genocide, saying he hoped his apology would help heal the African state’s wounds.

An Army veteran who served two tours of duty in Afghanistan has been ordered to be deported to Mexico by an immigration judge. Miguel Perez was a permanent legal resident of the United States, where’s he’s lived since his family moved to Chicago when he was 8. Despite his longstanding residence and service in the armed forces, he is being deported because of a non-violent drug offense, for which he served seven years in prison, authorities said.

The fallout from Brazil’s rotten meat scandal accelerated on Monday when China, a huge client, suspended imports and the European Union demanded a partial ban. Another ban on Brazilian meat imposed by Chile sparked fears of a trade spat between the two South American partners.

Typically finding a prom date can be stressful. At tan Illinois High School, students are randomly assigned to another prom date so no one is left out.

Syrian government forces clashed with rebels and hammered opposition-held areas of east Damascus on Monday, before calm returned to the capital after a surprise assault.

China’s economy may be 35 times larger than Israel’s, but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is hoping to use that to advantage during a three-day visit to Beijing as he looks to reorient Israel’s economy towards Asia over Europe and the United States.

A SpaceX reusable cargo ship splashed down in the Pacific Ocean safely on Sunday, ending a mission to supply astronauts on the International Space Station, the company said. The Dragon capsule — the only such vessel capable of returning research samples and other material to Earth — remained docked with the ISS for nearly a month after delivering more than two tons of food, water and scientific equipment for NASA on February 23.

BBC

President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump is to have an office in the White House. But she will not have an official title or salary when she works in the West Wing – the hub of US executive power. Her lawyer said the 35-year-old would have security clearance and access to classified information.

WND

Over the weekend, we reviewed the state of the solar data for March 2017. Now, there’s a two week straight lack of sunspots, the longest stretch since 2010.

North Carolina may have lost out on the NCAA championships, the NBA All-Star Game and Bruce Springsteen thanks to its hotly contested transgender bathroom law, but the state’s economy didn’t miss a beat. Economic indicators released for 2016 show that the boycott has failed to derail North Carolina as a regional and national powerhouse.

Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr restored a California man’s faith in humanity when he pulled over on the side of the road last week to pray with the distressed motorist after his car had run out of gas in an Oakland suburb.


The Briefing 03-21-17

In ongoing confirmation hearing of Neil Gorsuch, opening statements illustrate just what’s at stake

Money, budgets, and morality: Trump budget faces hurdles on both sides of the political aisle

Is it government’s job to make us happy? International Day of Happiness had some asking the question


Top News – 3/21/2017

Song Of Solomon Contains An Amazing Reference To The Pretribulation Rapture As Being In Springtime
Song of Solomon chapter 2 contains an amazing Springtime picture of the Pretribulation Rapture of the Church of Jesus Christ “My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land; The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.”

The Media’s Cheery Ignorance about Islam’s Hostile Ideology
It is not the president who is spreading the idea that “Islam is an inherently hostile ideology,” that “Muslims are enemies of Christians and Jews” and that “Muslims have always had a comprehensive, actionable, and jihadist plan to take over” — but rather the Quran itself. US President Donald Trump repeatedly rebukes the media for “dishonest” coverage and “fake news.” Despite its fury over the accusations, however, the press continues to prove him right — albeit inadvertently.

North Korea to Tillerson: We Are Ready for ‘Any War the U.S. Would Like’
The DPRK has the will and capability to fully respond to any war the U.S. would like to ignite,” the state-run Korean Central News Agency quoted a foreign ministry spokesman as saying, according to the South Korean newswire service Yonhap.

New ‘Safe Space’ Guidelines at University of Arizona Treat Students Like Preschoolers
The University of Arizona is encouraging college students to cry “ouch!” when they hear something offensive, make artwork about race relations, have story time, play four corners, and take a “time out” if they feel uncomfortable.

Michael Savage was target of NSA spying
Talk-radio host Michael Savage is among the public figures who were under surveillance by the National Security Agency as part of its “Project Dragnet,” according to a database revealed by an agency whistleblower. It shows Donald J. Trump and Infowars founder Alex Jones also were under illegal, unauthorized government monitoring during those years.

‘A third of secular Israeli Jews want to move abroad
“The fact that so many people say they would leave the country if they could indicates that many Israeli citizens do not feel a sense of belonging to the state.”

Amid border tensions, IDF chief alludes to strikes on Hezbollah convoys
Amid rising tensions on the Syrian border, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot said Tuesday that the army would continue to work to prevent advanced weaponry from getting into the hands of the wrong people. Eisenkot, speaking at a security and strategy conference named in honor of the late former Mossad chief Meir Dagan in Netanya, made the comments days after Syrian government forces fired an anti-aircraft missile at Israel Air Force jets during an air-strike last Friday to halt the flow of advanced weapons to Hezbollah near Palmyra.

Mexico violence: Skulls found in new Veracruz mass grave
Dozens of skulls have been found at a site in the eastern Mexican state of Veracruz. The find comes just days after Veracruz state Attorney General Jorge Winckler announced that more than 250 skulls had been discovered at another mass grave. On Sunday, Mr Winckler said 47 skulls had been unearthed at the new site near the town of Alvarado.

Syria war: Russia denies aiding Kurds to set up a military base
Russia is helping Syrian Kurdish YPG forces to establish a military base in northern Syria that will be used to train its fighters, the militia says. But Russian officials have insisted there are no plans to open new bases in Syria and the one near Afrin serves as a “reconciliation centre”. Russia says the role of the base is to negotiate local truces between the various warring sides in Syria.

LHC: Five new particles hold clues to sub-atomic glue
The Large Hadron Collider has discovered new sub-atomic particles that could help to explain how the centres of atoms are held together. The particles are all different forms of the so-called Omega-c baryon, whose existence was confirmed in 1994. Physicists had always believed the various types existed but had not been able to detect them – until now.

GOP leadership sets up ‘spin room’ ahead of health care vote
House Republicans announced they’ll have a space set up on Capitol Hill for lawmakers to spin their Affordable Care Act repeal and replacement bill to the media before it comes up for a vote on the House floor Thursday…Such a space, often nicknamed a “spin room,” is normal for big events like presidential debates…But it is highly unusual to do so for a piece of legislation ahead of a congressional vote.

David’s Sling officially enters service
The Israeli Air Force (IAF) officially inaugurated the David’s Sling missile defense system on Monday….It is officially operational and functions as a part of Israel’s multi-layered missile defense program. In this capacity, David’s Sling operates in the layer above the Iron Dome and below the Arrow system. Meaning, it is designed to intercept tactical ballistic missiles and medium- to long-range rockets and cruise missiles fired from distances of 40-300km.

Syrian rebels launch offensive on Damascus gateway, retake ground
Syrian rebels stormed a major road junction leading into the heart of Damascus on Tuesday as they launched an offensive to regain ground lost to the army over the weekend…State media said rebels had re-entered parts of the city’s northeastern Jobar district and the army was bombing their positions. “At 5.00 a.m. (0300 GMT) we launched the new offensive and we restored all the points we withdrew from on Monday.

Assad to Israel: We have a right to defend our borders
Syrian President Bashar Assad warned Israel on Monday that his country has a right to defend its borders. “Defending our borders is our right, and it’s our duty, not only our right,” he told Russian reporters in Damascus according Russian news site Sputnik. Assad also told Russian parliament members, who paid an official visit to the capital on Monday, that he was counting on Moscow to prevent Israel from attacking his country in the future.

Assad sees key Russia role after Syria-Israel strikes
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Monday said Russia can play an important role in the crisis following Syria’s firing missiles at Israeli warplanes carrying out strikes in the conflict-torn country.

Car bomb kills at least 23 in Baghdad
A car bomb exploded in the Iraqi capital on Monday, killing at least 23 people and wounding 45 others in a mainly Shia district in southwestern Baghdad.

NY Attorney General Hires Public-Corruption Prosecutor To Target Trump Administration; WSJ Reports
“Mr. Master ‘will be working on a wide range of civil and criminal investigations and enforcement matters, including public corruption, complex civil litigation’ and potentially litigation against the Trump administration.”

The Global Famine Begins: UN Announces That The Worst Food Crisis Since World War 11 Is Happening Right Now
We always knew that this would start happening.  Earlier this month, I wrote about the severe economic problems that are plaguing South America, but up to this point I have neglected to discuss the horrific famines that are breaking out all over Africa.  Right now there is a desperate need for food in South Sudan, Somalia, northeast Nigeria, Eritrea and Kenya.  And Yemen, even though it is not technically part of Africa, is being affected by many of the same factors that are crippling nations all over eastern Africa.  The United Nations says that more than 20 million people could die from starvation and disease if nothing is done.

Top General Just Exposed Exactly What Obama Has Done To Our Military Over the Past 8 Years
Obama did everything humanly possible to destroy our country while in office. He weakened us on every front imaginable, as he made enemies out of our allies, and emboldened our enemies. One of his tactics destroy America as the world’s number 1 superpower was to completely gut our military, as Obama successfully took us back to pre-World War II capabilities. While most of us were aware of Obama’s antics while he was in office, now we’re learning something even more horrifying that’s taking place, as Obama’s leftover officials at the White House are doing everything they can to destroy our military, with an alarming report coming out of Washington from one of President Trump’s top military Generals.

BRIBES: King of Saudi Arabia Gave Obamas MILLIONS in GIFTS
It’s good America now has a president who can’t be bribed. Because Trump won’t be bought. We’ve learned through WikiLeaks and common sense that Obama was for sale to the highest Muslim bidder. And boy did the King of Saudi Arabia know it.

Trump’s Job Approval Rating Drops To Record Low, Breaking Key Correlation
In a new poll from Gallup, President Trump’s job approval rating dropped to 37%, while 58% of Americans disapprove of his performance so far as president. The slide is notable because one month ago Credit Suisse noted that Trump favorability was the only variable across the entire risk spectrum.


March 20, 2017
ALAN KEYES — The spiritual “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” has reportedly become an anthem popular among British rugby fans. Recently I read an article about this noting the “solemn origins” of the song as a “slave spiritual.” The article mentions that “Josephine Wright, a professor of music and black studies at the College of Wooster in Ohio” says that the spiritual’s lyrics “allude to feelings of despair and a desire for release from suffering.”… (more)

March 20, 2017
LARRY KLAYMAN — Thanks to yet another runaway hack federal judge, now all of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims have a constitutional right to enter the United States – – unrestricted at any time. That is the shocking but preposterous ruling of Judge Derrick Watson in Hawaii v. Trump, issuing a temporary restraining order (TRO) against President Trump’s rewritten executive order temporarily suspending travel from the world’s most dangerous terrorist countries, to allow time to devise a strict means to vet potential terrorists… (more)

March 20, 2017
NEWSMAX — The Air Force is quietly shrinking its deployed force of land-based nuclear missiles as part of a holdover Obama administration plan to comply with an arms control treaty with Russia. The reductions are nearing completion despite President Donald Trump’s argument that the treaty gives Moscow an unfair advantage in nuclear firepower…. (more)

March 20, 2017
WASHINGTON TIMES — Sen. Ted Cruz on Sunday said a House plan to repeal and replace Obamacare is fatally flawed because it relies on a three-pronged plan for totally gutting the 2010 law instead of killing it outright. GOP leaders have urged their troops to rally around a bill that repeals Obamacare’s mandate requiring people to hold insurance or pay a tax, replaces its subsidies with refundable age-based tax credits and reels in and caps funding for Medicaid, the government insurance program for the poor…. (more)


March 20, 2017
NEWSMAX — Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., vowed to keep up the fight against the Republican healthcare bill – – which he said Sunday will not pass Congress because conservatives are “not for a gift for the insurance companies.”… (more)

March 20, 2017
NEWSMAX — The Democratic opposition to President Donald Trump is not sitting well with voters, as a majority believe Democrats in Congress are “stubborn” (64 percent), “weak” (58 percent), and neither cooperative (74 percent) nor effective (72 percent), according to the latest CBS News NationTracker poll…. (more)

March 20, 2017
WORLDNETDAILY — President Trump is right to use his first federal budget to gut the Environmental Protection Agency and eradicate the cornerstones of Obama’s climate change strategy, says U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., because the EPA is being used as a tool by the left to kill free enterprise and destroy capitalism…. (more)

March 20, 2017
PAUL BEDARD — With the coverage of President Trump putting media bias on display as never before, an influential House chairman and longtime press critic has opened a campaign to call out the “mainstream media” for what he thinks it is…. (more)

March 20, 2017
ROBERT KNIGHT — On Feb. 2, at the National Prayer Breakfast, President Trump said, “My administration will do everything in its power to defend and protect religious liberty.” Right now, he has a golden opportunity. He can sign an executive order that has been on his desk since early February that would halt some of the ongoing attacks on religious conscience all over the country…. (more)


March 19, 2017
A special report from the Accuracy in Media Center for Investigative Journalism
CLIFF KINCAID — Senate Intelligence Committee leaders from both parties – – Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Mark Warner (D-VA) – – have issued a disingenuous statement that “no element of the United States government” surveilled “Trump Tower.” They dishonestly evade the fact that media reporting two days earlier had said that British intelligence operating at U.S. behest had likely been implicated in wiretapping Trump and Trump associates, all at the instigation of the U.S. government…. (more)

March 19, 2017
DAILY WIRE — During a 2012 interview with Passport Magazine, Beauty and the Beast director Bill Condon said that he wishes he could “rip pages out of the Bible” as soon as he arrives in a hotel room, though, to Condon’s disappointment, there are usually none available. “What is first thing you do when you get into a hotel room?” asked Passport Magazine, in a now-archived interview…. (more)

March 19, 2017
WASHINGTON TIMES — A California man arrested on the White House grounds last week was on the property for a quarter-hour before being caught, the Secret Service acknowledged Friday. Jonathan Tuan Tran, 26, spent more than 16 minutes on the grounds of the executive mansion prior to being apprehended outside the White House on the evening of March 10, the Secret Service said in a statement, all the while President Trump was inside…. (more)


March 19, 2017
GREG COROMBOS — A leading critic of the Environmental Protection Agency who served on President Trump’s transition team is very encouraged by the administration approach to the agency in policy and budget, but he says Trump must make good on his promise to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate change agreement…. (more)

March 18, 2017
WASHINGTON TIMES — President Trump’s new border wall is supposed to be 30 feet high and should look imposing to potential illegal immigrants, Homeland Security officials said in documents Friday that officially requested the first bids to begin building the barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border…. (more)


March 18, 2017
ANDREW C. MCCARTHY — It is not about the executive orders. When it comes to protecting the United States from the threats posed by radical Islam, it has never been about President Donald Trump’s executive orders: the first one that was torpedoed by the radical judiciary in January, and the new and improved version that was suspended this week – – the Lawyer Left having conveniently managed to shop its challenge to Barack Obama’s fellow Hawaiian and Harvard Law School classmate Judge Derrick Watson…. (more)

March 18, 2017
WORLDNETDAILY — The chief of America’s Coast Guard says his force is invaluable to the United States, and its personnel, equipment and funding should be rebuilt and restored, just like the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines, according to a report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin…. (more)

March 18, 2017
BYRON YORK — A key talking point in the theory that Donald Trump and the Russians conspired in the 2016 election is the allegation that last summer, during the Republican convention, the Trump campaign changed the GOP platform to weaken its stance on Russia’s aggression in Ukraine…. (more)

March 17, 2017
CONSERVATIVE TRIBUNE — Ever since a federal judge in Hawaii issued a sweeping freeze of President Donald Trump’s new immigration moratorium Wednesday, conspiracy theories have abounded across social media. The leading theory suggested that former President Barack Obama played a role in the ruling. As noted by Hawaii News Now, the former president arrived in the islands Monday for an unexpected visit…. (more)


March 17, 2017
LEO HOHMANN — The main plaintiff in the Hawaii case blocking President Trump’s revised temporary travel ban is an imam with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. The irony is hard to miss: Trump has talked about declaring the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization, and now it is a Brotherhood-backed imam who is playing a key role in blocking his executive order on immigration…. (more)

March 17, 2017
WASHINGTON TIMES — This week’s rulings against President Trump’s revised executive order on travel and refugees have sparked heated pushback from Republicans on Capitol Hill, who say judges have crossed the line to become adversaries of this White House – – and suggested retribution could be coming…. (more)

March 17, 2017
BREITBART — Documents obtained by Judicial Watch show the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) fast-tracked tax-exempt status for an “After School Satan Club” in Tacoma, Washington, while the federal agency was discovered to be either denying conservative and Christian groups the same status or making them wait for years…. (more)

March 17, 2017
GREG COROMBOS — The House Republican health-care bill cleared another hurdle Thursday, but one of the most fiscally conservative GOP lawmakers says the bill will never pass unless it acts to immediately reduce the cost of coverage and includes repeal of Obamacare’s burdensome regulations…. (more)

March 17, 2017
WASHINGTON TIMES — Republicans cleared a path Thursday for their Obamacare replacement to reach the House floor, pushing a bill through the Budget Committee on a tight vote that saw the first GOP defections. The committee was stitching together plans from two other panels, and now has produced a unified bill – – though Republican leaders say they’re still pondering changes designed to win over conservatives who fear the replacement bill is too expensive and too much like Obamacare…. (more)

March 16, 2017
CLIFF KINCAID — With massive leaks of classified information, some of them stemming from undiscovered moles in the intelligence community, the media continue treating former officials of the CIA and NSA who have presided over this debacle with honor and respect…. (more)

March 16, 2017
WORLDNETDAILY — Whereas, generations of children have been raised on wholesome Disney movies that, whether animated or live-action, were stories of character and virtue, from “Old Yeller” to “Cinderella” – – even including explicitly Christian allegories like Pinocchio (“Prove yourself brave, truthful, and unselfish, and someday, you will be a real boy”);… (more)

Why Does The Beast In ‘Beauty And The Beast’ Look Eerily Similar To Baphomet?

Beauty And The Beast Baphomet - FacebookDoes it upset anyone else that the “beast” in Disney’s new remake of “Beauty and the Beast” is a goat-man with very long horns that bears quite a resemblance to Baphomet? In Disney’s 1991 animated version of “Beauty and the Beast”, the “beast” looked very much like a gentle lion. There were a couple of small horns poking out of his head, but those could have easily been mistaken as tufts of hair. But this time around, the “beast” has been depicted as a hybrid goat-man that has enormous goat horns sticking out of his head. And of course anyone that is familiar with the occult knows that the most famous goat-man in the entire world is Baphomet – the official symbol of the Church of Satan. Could it be possible that the similarity between this “beast” and Baphomet is more than just a coincidence? (Read More…)


The Upcoming Trade War Between The U.S. And China Will Be The Biggest In The History Of The Planet

Globe At Night - Public DomainThe United States and China are the two largest economies in the world by far, and the upcoming trade war that is about to erupt will be cataclysmic for both sides.  The Trump administration and the Chinese government are both gearing up for a prolonged trade war, and this is going to have very severe implications for the entire global economy.  During the campaign, Donald Trump repeatedly stated that we “can’t continue to allow China to rape our country”, and he was quite correct about that.  Over the past ten years, the U.S. has run a trade deficit of over $2 trillion with China, and as a result of imbalanced trade we have lost tens of thousands of manufacturing businesses, millions of good paying jobs, and hundreds of billions of dollars of tax revenue. (Read More…)


Top Headlines – 3/21/2017

  • Gorsuch Strives to Present Himself as Above Political Fray (Read More)
  • Investigation Could Hurt Trump’s Clout in Congress (Read More)
  • U.S. to Ban Laptops and Tablets in Cabins of Some Mideast Flights (Read More)
  • Tillerson no-show at NATO renews European disquiet about Trump (Read More)
  • Don’t Blame Your Social Media Feed for the Growing Political Divide (Read More)
  • High-Frequency Traders Fall on Hard Times (Read More)
  • Senate GOP Holdouts Split Into Rival Camps on Health Revamp  (Read More)
  • California’s Wet Winter Points to Some Sorry-Looking Salads (Read More)
  • Exclusive: Trump administration weighing broad sanctions on North Korea (Read More)
  • U.K. Inflation Gains More Than Forecast, Breaching BOE Goal (Read More)
  • French presidential debate lifts euro to six-week highs (Read More)
  • Shell’s Titanic Bet: Can Deep-Water Drilling Be Done on the Cheap? (Read More)
  • Meet the 13 Million Nerds That Apple’s Counting On  (Read More)
  • Macron on Top After First Debate of French Presidential Election  (Read More)
  • Rookie Currency Traders Are Causing Trouble at Crucial Moments (Read More)
  • Two in Five Americans Say They’ll Need $1 Million to Retire (Read More)
  • Porsche SE has no information about Piech’s stake sale talksa (Read More)
  • What the Biggest Banks Are Planning Once Brexit Starts (Read More)
  • Merkel ally says Turkey’s Erdogan ‘not welcome’ in Germany (Read More)

Trump support for two states is ‘encouraging’ – Palestinian official

Trump administration boycotts UN council session over anti-Israel ‘bias’

Egyptian, Palestinian leaders meet for reconciliation talks

Israel facilitates transfer of NIS 300 million cash to Gaza

Shin Bet chief: Terrorists planning attacks ahead of Passover

IDF Chief of Staff warns Shiite Hezbollah is violating UN resolutions and is arming itself in preparation for war against Israel

Israel’s multi-layer defense system nearing completion

Israel to deploy David’s Sling, final piece of missile defense shield

Air Force defends use of Arrow system against Syrian missile

Israel threatens to ‘destroy’ Syrian air defence systems

Israeli drone shot down by Syria forces

Assad to Israel: We have a right to defend our borders

Assad: Russia has ‘important role’ in preventing Israel-Syria clash

Syrian UN Envoy: Putin Sent Message to Israel That Its Freedom to Act in Syria Is Over

Putin Is the Middle East’s New Boss

Syria war: Russia denies aiding Kurds to set up a military base

Russian ambassador to Syria says Damascus clashes damaged embassy building

Turkey won’t accept ‘region of terror’ in northern Syria, deputy PM says

Clashes in Damascus after rebels tunnel into government-held areas

Saving Syria’s heritage: Archaeologists discover invisible solution

ISIS recruit may have used welfare cash to fund family’s terror journey

Iraqi prime minister joins Trump for meeting focusing on ISIS

Mosul battle: 180,000 civilians flee as Iraqi troops advance

Iraq car bomb kills 20 in south-west Baghdad

Europe’s attitude toward Turkey anti-democratic, deputy PM says

Al-Qaida calls on members to ‘kill Americans’

Iran accused of planning attack on head of French-Israel business group

Shock tactics: how the arms industry trades on our fear of terrorism

Iowa mosque gets note calling Muslims ‘vile,’ threatening genocide

US Muslims and Jews strengthen bonds amid acts of bigotry

US forbids any device larger than cellphone on airlines from 13 countries

Hawaii judge declines to narrow travel ban injunction

Fox News pulls Judge Napolitano over his Trump wiretap claims

Comey says leaks could constitute ‘espionage’

White House: ‘No evidence’ of Trump-Russia collusion

FBI’s Russian-influence probe includes a look at far-right news sites

Anti-Trump media: 91% coverage negative, 96% of donations to Hillary

David Rockefeller, World’s Oldest Billionaire, Dies At 101

NYSE Arca Suffers Glitch During Closing Auction

U.K. to Trigger Brexit March 29, Starting Two Years of Talks

Trump pressures ‘sanctuary cities’ that won’t hold undocumented immigrants

Almost half of Canadians want illegal border crossers deported

Tattoo Removal Business Booming As Fears Of Deportation Mount

30 Countries Are Refusing To Take Back Illegal Immigrants Convicted Of Serious Crimes

Real-life Robocops will soon replace human police

North Korean propaganda video threatens destruction of US aircraft carriers, bombers

U.N. Nuclear Inspector: North Korea’s Capability Has Entered A ‘New Phase’

Chernobyl-scale chemical disaster looms in Eastern Ukraine war, experts warn

Oil Drops as U.S. Drilling Growth Threatens to Counter OPEC Cuts

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Wabag, Papua New Guinea

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Kimbe, Papua New Guinea

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Kepulauan Barat Daya, Indonesia

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 23,000ft

Ruiz volcano in Colombia erupts to 20,000ft

Turrialba volcano in Costa Rica erupts to 12,000ft

Sinabung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 11,000ft

Republican green groups seek to temper Trump on climate change

Winter 2016-17 goes down as 6th warmest on record in US; Storm parade nearly erases California drought

Record-breaking climate change pushes world into ‘uncharted territory’

‘She has every right to compete with women’: Transgender weightlifter sparks criticism after competition win

YouTube reverses some restrictions on LGBT-themed content following uproar

‘Beauty And The Beast’ Director: ‘I Wish I Could…Rip Pages Out Of The Bible’

IRS granted Satanic cult tax-exempt status in 10 days, report says

Matt Walsh: Pro-lifers aren’t the ones being hypocrites, Tomi

T.D. Jakes and Joyce Meyer Teaching Word of Faith “Little Gods” Doctrine

Hillsong submits to NAR Apostle Cindy Jacob’s Prophetic Word

Rachel Held Evans Twists Scripture to Advance Social Justice

Bethel Attempts to Make “Same Old” Teachings Sound More “Mainstream”

Creflo Dollar’s ‘Uncharted’ Film Promises to Show How Donations to His Church Fulfill ‘Mandate From God’

BREAKING NEWS: Paul Washer Suffers Heart Attack, Is In ‘Critical’ Condition

Posted: 21 Mar 2017 07:36 AM PDT

We are receiving reports that Preacher, Author and Missionary Paul Washer has reportedly suffered a heart attack and is currently in the hospital in critical…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

What are you doing with your talent?

Posted: 21 Mar 2017 06:46 AM PDT

(By Ricky Scaparo) In the parable of Matthew Chapter 25 many were given talents and some invested and one squandered it. How are you using your…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

We Won’t See Signs and Wonders in the Church Until We Cultivate This Daily Habit

Posted: 21 Mar 2017 06:33 AM PDT

(By Adam Wittenberg) Do you want more spiritual power? Do you desire to walk in signs and wonders? To see revival? To advance the gospel…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Crucifixion Nails And Other Evidence of Jesus’ Life Discovered by Israeli Archaeologists

Posted: 21 Mar 2017 06:27 AM PDT

For many who walk by faith and not by sight, physical evidence isn’t necessary to affirm their faith in Jesus. However, for those who enjoy…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

When Kindergarten Begins Assigning Your Child’s “Gender Identity”

Posted: 21 Mar 2017 06:15 AM PDT

(By Dan Delzell) What will be the next step in the evolution of the gender revolution? Well, try to imagine a day when parents wait…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Apple CEO Says “Globalization is Great for the World”

Posted: 21 Mar 2017 05:58 AM PDT

Would you be shocked to discover that the CEO of Apple, Tim Cook is declaring that globalization is “great for the world,”? Well according to…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Secret Gay Club Created By Idaho School Hidden From Parents

Posted: 21 Mar 2017 05:47 AM PDT

Would you be upset if you discovered your child was a member of a hidden “Gay Club” that was created by your child’s high school?…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Why Does The Beast In ‘Beauty And The Beast’ Look Eerily Similar To Baphomet?

Posted: 21 Mar 2017 05:37 AM PDT

(By Michael Snyder) Does it upset anyone else that the “beast” in Disney’s new remake of “Beauty and the Beast” is a goat-man with very…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Police to Use Drones to Pursue Criminals and Missing Persons

Posted: 20 Mar 2017 08:37 PM PDT

(by Kelly McDonald, Jr) In the United Kingdom, a revolutionary approach to law enforcement is being tested. Instead of using helicopters and more expensive equipment…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Myanmar Christians Flee Persecution By Thousands

Posted: 20 Mar 2017 08:34 PM PDT

(by Kelly McDonald, Jr) Myanmar (once called Burma) has been a country marred in turmoil and civil war since 1948. Rebel groups are battling government…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Katy Perry Says She Sought God To Overcome Homosexuality

Posted: 20 Mar 2017 08:32 PM PDT

(by Kelly McDonald, Jr) Katy Perry grew up in a Bible-believing home. Her parents were actually pastors. She was taught the Biblical stance about marriage:…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

New Video Simulates North Korea Blowing up US Aircraft Carrier and Shooting Down Bomber

Posted: 20 Mar 2017 07:07 PM PDT

A new video being released from Kim Jong-un reveals a US aircraft carrier being blown up and a bomber being shot down. Along with this…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Sun Experiences Longest Period of Inactivity in 7 Years

Posted: 20 Mar 2017 06:54 PM PDT

According to reports, the Sun has gone on a two-week drought of sunspots which is the longest stretch since 2010.  The report reveals that the…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Upcoming Trade War Between U.S. And China Will Be Largest In History Of The Planet

Posted: 20 Mar 2017 06:39 PM PDT

(Reported By Michael Snyder) The United States and China are the two largest economies in the world by far, and the upcoming trade war that…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

“Far-Right News” Sites Under the Microscope From FBI

Posted: 20 Mar 2017 06:33 PM PDT

It appears that “Far-Right” News Outlets will be placed even further under the microscope as reports indicate that Federal investigators are examining whether these type of news…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

PROPHECY WATCH: Syria Looking For Alliance With Russia Against Future Conflict With Israel

Posted: 20 Mar 2017 06:22 PM PDT

An interesting report is coming out of the Mideast regarding two Nations that will play a future role in Bibe Prophecy. According to sources, Syrian…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Don’t Put Your Light Under a Basket!

Posted: 20 Mar 2017 01:27 PM PDT

(By Dr. Micahel Brown) Whenever I hear Christian leaders talk about the inevitable collapse of the church of America (or elsewhere) I ask myself, “But hasn’t…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

WAR DRUMS: China Positions 1,500 Missiles Aimed at US military Bases

Posted: 20 Mar 2017 01:22 PM PDT

Tensions are increasing and War Drums are pounding louder as now reports are indicating that China has positioned an arsenal of missiles within strike range…

Read more at End Time Headlines.


What is The Gospel?


Who Do You Think That I Am?

Selected Scriptures

Code: A335

With that brief question Jesus Christ confronted His followers with the most important issue they would ever face. He had spent much time with them and made some bold claims about His identity and authority. Now the time had come for them either to believe or deny His teachings.

Who do you say Jesus is? Your response to Him will determine not only your values and lifestyle, but your eternal destiny as well.

Consider what the Bible says about Him:

JESUS IS GOD

While Jesus was on earth there was much confusion about who He was. Some thought He was a wise man or a great prophet. Others thought He was a madman. Still others couldn’t decide or didn’t care. But Jesus said, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). That means He claimed to be nothing less than God in human flesh.

Many people today don’t understand that Jesus claimed to be God. They’re content to think of Him as little more than a great moral teacher. But even His enemies understood His claims to deity. That’s why they tried to stone Him to death (John 5:18; 10:33) and eventually had Him crucified (John 19:7).

C.S. Lewis observed, “You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to” (Mere Christianity [Macmillan, 1952], pp. 40-41).

If the biblical claims of Jesus are true, He is God!

JESUS IS HOLY

God is absolutely and perfectly holy (Isaiah 6:3), therefore He cannot commit or approve of evil (James 1:13).

As God, Jesus embodied every element of God’s character. Colossians 2:9 says, “In Him all the fulness of Deity dwells in bodily form.” He was perfectly holy (Hebrews 4:15). Even His enemies couldn’t prove any accusation against Him (John 8:46)

God requires holiness of us as well. First Peter 1:16 says, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

JESUS IS THE SAVIOR

Our failure to obey God—to be holy—places us in danger of eternal punishment (2 Thessalonians 1:9). The truth is, we cannot obey Him because we have neither the desire nor the ability to do so. We are by nature rebellious toward God (Ephesians 2:1-3). The Bible calls our rebellion “sin.” According to Scripture, everyone is guilty of sin: “There is no man who does not sin” (1 Kings 8:46). “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). And we are incapable of changing our sinful condition. Jeremiah 13:23 says, “Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil.”

That doesn’t mean we’re incapable of performing acts of human kindness. We might even be involved in various religious or humanitarian activities. But we’re utterly incapable of understanding, loving, or pleasing God on our own. The Bible says, “There is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; all have turned aside, together they have become useless; there is none who does good, there is not even one” (Romans 3:10-12).

God’s holiness and justice demand that all sin be punished by death: “The soul who sins will die” (Ezekiel 18:4). That’s hard for us to understand because we tend to evaluate sin on a relative scale, assuming some sins are less serious than others. However, the Bible teaches that all acts of sin are the result of sinful thinking and evil desires. That’s why simply changing our patterns of behavior can’t solve our sin problem or eliminate its consequences. We need to be changed inwardly so our thinking and desires are holy

Jesus is the only one who can forgive and transform us, thereby delivering us from the power and penalty of sin: “There is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

Even though God’s justice demands death for sin, His love has provided a Savior, who paid the penalty and died for sinners: “Christ … died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, in order that He might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18). Christ’s death satisfied the demands of God’s justice, thereby enabling Him to forgive and save those who place their faith in Him (Romans 3:26). John 3:16 says, “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” He alone is “our great God and Savior” (Titus 2:13).

JESUS IS THE ONLY ACCEPTABLE OBJECT OF SAVING FAITH

Some people think it doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you’re sincere. But without a valid object your faith is useless

If you take poison—thinking it’s medicine—all the faith in the world won’t restore your life. Similarly, if Jesus is the only source of salvation, and you’re trusting in anyone or anything else for your salvation, your faith is useless.

Many people assume there are many paths to God and that each religion represents an aspect of truth. But Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6). He didn’t claim to be one of many equally legitimate paths to God, or the way to God for His day only. He claimed to be the only way to God—then and forever.

JESUS IS LORD

Contemporary thinking says man is the product of evolution. But the Bible says we were created by a personal God to love, serve, and enjoy endless fellowship with Him

The New Testament reveals it was Jesus Himself who created everything (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16). Therefore He also owns and rules everything (Psalm 103:19). That means He has authority over our lives and we owe Him absolute allegiance, obedience, and worship.

Romans 10:9 says, “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.” Confessing Jesus as Lord means humbly submitting to His authority (Philippians 2:10-11). Believing that God has raised Him from the dead involves trusting in the historical fact of His resurrection—the pinnacle of Christian faith and the way the Father affirmed the deity and authority of the Son (Romans 1:4; Acts 17:30-31).

True faith is always accompanied by repentance from sin. Repentance is more than simply being sorry for sin. It is agreeing with God that you are sinful, confessing your sins to Him, and making a conscious choice to turn from sin and pursue holiness (Isaiah 55:7). Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14:15); and “If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine” (John 8:31).

It isn’t enough to believe certain facts about Christ. Even Satan and his demons believe in the true God (James 2:19), but they don’t love and obey Him. Their faith is not genuine. True saving faith always responds in obedience (Ephesians 2:10).

Jesus is the sovereign Lord. When you obey Him you are acknowledging His lordship and submitting to His authority. That doesn’t mean your obedience will always be perfect, but that is your goal. There is no area of your life that you withhold from Him.

JESUS IS THE JUDGE

All who reject Jesus as their Lord and Savior will one day face Him as their Judge: “God is now declaring to men that all everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:30-31).

Second Thessalonians 1:7-9 says, “The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.”

HOW WILL YOU RESPOND?

Who does the Bible say Jesus is? The living God, the Holy One, the Savior, the only valid object of saving faith, the sovereign Lord, and the righteous Judge.

Who do you say Jesus is? That is the inescapable question. He alone can redeem you—free you from the power and penalty of sin. He alone can transform you, restore you to fellowship with God, and give your life eternal purpose. Will you repent and believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?


Available online at: https://www.gty.org/library/articles/A335
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Disney’s Rainbow Activism

About the only thing worse than rabid anti-Christian bigotry is all the clueless Christians who do not know or care about it. There are so many believers who have their heads in the sand – they are totally oblivious to the very real war that has been declared against us and our children.

The homosexual militants have especially been targeting faith and family, including our children. As I wrote in my book Strained Relations:

A well-known saying states that the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. Homosexual activists know this all too well. As one lesbian put it, “Whoever captures the kids owns the future”. Thus the constant attempts by homosexual activists to influence children….
Another article in the homosexual press on the same issue reported that there are “probably around a hundred gay characters out there” in comics right now. Given that children are usually the main readers of comics, one has to ask if recruitment is not part of the strategy….
And we also have homosexual cartoon characters in both TV series and in the movies….
One quite well known homosexual blog site openly admits to just how intent the activists are in targeting young children in our schools. He says in an article entitled, “Can We Please Just Start Admitting That We Do Actually Want To Indoctrinate Kids?”: “‘NOOO! We’re not gonna make kids learn about homosexuality, we swear! It’s not like we’re trying to recruit your children or anything.’ But let’s face it – that’s a lie. We want educators to teach future generations of children to accept queer sexuality. In fact, our very future depends on it.”

I mention all this again because another tool of homosexual propaganda is coming to Australia on March 23, yet most believers seem utterly clueless about it all. I refer to the new Disney film Beauty and the Beast. Every parent should be aware of what is happening with the film, and keep their children away from this homosexual propaganda stunt.

For those who are still not aware of what is happening, a petition is circulating about this, and it offers this background:

The director of the much-anticipated Disney live action version of Beauty and the Beast has proudly revealed that the movie will feature Disney’s first-ever “exclusively gay moment.” The “gay” moment involves character Lefou, the sidekick of villain Gaston, played by actor Josh Gad.
“LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston,” director Bill Condon said this week. “He’s confused about what he wants. It’s somebody who’s just realizing that he has these feelings. And Josh makes something really subtle and delicious out of it. And that’s what has its payoff at the end, which I don’t want to give away. But it is a nice, exclusively gay moment in a Disney movie.”
Gad has confirmed the “gay moment” in the movie involving his character, tweeting today that he is “beyond proud of this.” This comes days after The Disney Channel aired a same-sex kiss on one of its shows. In recent years Disney has come under increasing pressure from LGBT activists to promote their agenda in their kids films, including a campaign to make Elsa from “Frozen” a lesbian.
lifepetitions.com/petition/disney-includes-exclusively-gay-moment-in-beauty-and-the-beast-sign-the-boycott

Yet far too many believers seem to think the film is just hunky dory. One “Christian” review of the film I read said it was no big deal and that kids would not know or be impacted by the homosexualisation found in the film. Thankfully not everyone was so clueless.

beautyAs one Christian mum said on the social media: “I was incredibly disheartened this morning, (actually disheartened is understating it – shocked and angry is closer to the mark), to hear the supposed ‘Christian’ Sydney radio station Hope 103.2 giving away free tickets to families, to go see Disney’s sodomy promoting version of Beauty and the Beast.”

Incredibly the station replied saying, “The admiration of one male character for another is shown as nothing more than that, and we easily saw this as friendship, as would any child.” Good grief. And another fellow weighed into the discussion by cavalierly saying, “It’s a movie not real life.”

But as another much more cluey Christian replied, “Advertising isn’t real life either. Ditto for porn.” What the ‘it’s no big deal’ folks just do not fathom is that the activists are deliberately targeting our children, and they know that the piecemeal approach is quite successful.

Thus you do not throw all your agenda items out in the first film, or TV show, or cartoon, or comic. You slowly, incrementally keep adding more and more, so that it is almost undetectable. It is the old frog in the pot of water routine: the frog will jump out of real hot water, but if you slowly turn up the heat while the frog is in the pot, it will stay there and die.

That is exactly what is happening here, yet most Christians just don’t get it. But all we need to do is listen to what the homosexual activists are saying about all this. I already mentioned above how proud those involved in the film are about the homosexual activity.

More can be said. Consider this from a secular site:

In an interview with People (via Variety), Gad talks of the moment in question, saying the “gay moment” is “subtle but incredibly effective” and “everything that needed to be said on this issue has definitely been said”. He added, “There is so much fear out there of that which we don’t understand, that which we don’t know. The “film is one of inclusiveness” and noted that the core theme is “never to judge a book by its cover.”
comicbook.com/2017/03/13/alan-menken-beauty-and-the-best-lefou-gay/

“Incredibly effective” he says. Yet most Christians are sleeping through this entire assault on biblical and family values. Another actor in the film, Ian McKellen, is also very proud of the homosexual content:

“I love the fact that there’s a little gay moment in this movie, you know, here we are in the 21st Century. There’s a lot of gay people around, why shouldn’t they be in the film. Just briefly, it’s lovely – lovely, lovely color,” McKellen said. McKellen was making reference to those who have raised concern or spoken out like the recent Alabama theater that refuses to show it – as “stupid” and “prejudiced.” McKellen even went on to joke that “Beauty and the Beast” has become “a gay extravaganza.”
endtimeheadlines.org/2017/03/beauty-beast-actors-mock-christians/

And then we have the director of the film Bill Condon spilling the beans about his real agenda. In an interview a few years ago the openly gay director was asked: “What is first thing you do when you get into a hotel room?” He replied, “I wish I could say I’m like Ian McKellen and immediately go rip pages out of the Bible, but there don’t seem to be bibles in the hotel rooms I stay in these days.”
http://www.dailywire.com/news/14505/beauty-and-beast-director-i-wish-i-could-rip-pages-amanda-prestigiacomo#exit-modal

One homosexual has even warned about this film:

As a proud member of the LGBT community, I smile when shows I watch — such as “NCIS New Orleans” and “How to Get Away With Murder” — include LGBT characters. But I am an adult… Somewhere along the line, Disney went off course. No longer did it see itself as a defender of children’s innocence. Instead, it saw itself as a conduit to social change. Walt Disney became Harvey Milk.
For those of us watching Disney over the past two decades, such a transformation was evident. Disney has worked to infuse its brand with political activism, and the LGBT left lobby has always been a primary benefactor….
Why do we have to expose our kids to such mature themes? Do they not have plenty of time to grow up? Or maybe the point is to make them grow up too soon and that is where I part ways with my community.
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/opinion/os-ed-disney-gay-themes-not-for-kids-20170306-story.html

Thankfully some countries are aware of what is going on here and taking action. In Russia the film has been given a 16+ rating.
http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/russia-gives-beauty-and-the-beast-remake-16-rating-over-gay-moment

In Malaysia the homosexual content was edited out of the film, so Disney threw a hissy fit and pulled the movie from the country.
http://www.bizpacreview.com/2017/03/14/brief-gay-scene-nixed-disney-pulls-release-beauty-beast-mostly-muslim-malaysia-458993

And in Singapore Christian leaders have warned parents to stay clear of the film.
http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/singapore-anglican-bishop-parents-should-be-strongly-advised-about-beauty-a

In Australia Kevin Donnelly said this: “Ignored is that the original story and earlier adaptations celebrated love between a woman and a prince without any reference to a gay relationship. And rewriting Beauty and the Beast is just the most recent example of the cultural left’s campaign against classic fairy tales and stories.”
http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/twisting-the-tale-to-suit-cultural-lefts-agenda/news-story/d9699f4a92c264756147e47338291dbf

Some voices have been heard in the US as well, warning about this film. Franklin Graham said this:

They’re trying to push the LGBT agenda into the hearts of your children—watch out! Disney has the right to make their cartoons, it’s a free country. But as Christians, we also have the right not to support their company. I hope Christians everywhere will say no to Disney. I met Walt Disney when I was a young boy—he was very gracious to me, my father Billy Graham and my younger brother when we visited. He would be shocked at what has happened to the company that he started.
http://www.faithfamilyamerica.com/franklin_graham_says_watch_out_disney_is_pushing_the_lgbt_agenda_into_the_hearts_of_your_children

At John Piper’s website we read this warning:

Disney’s agenda may or may not come as a shock to us, but it should come as a timely reminder that we cannot relegate the work of teaching our children to Disney or Pixar, to Dora or Sesame Street. We can no more blindly take our kids to Disney movies than we can blindly sit them in front of the television to watch cartoons. This world is not our home, and this culture is not our ally, and our level of vigilance should reflect that.
http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/do-you-trust-disney-with-your-kids

We should all follow the lead of one concerned mother:

We’ve officially come to the conclusion that we won’t be seeing the live action version of “Beauty and the Beast” and we’ve cancelled our $6000 Disney World Vacation…. There comes a point where you have to take a stand for the things you believe in, this is my stand…. I’m not paying for simple entertainment that doesn’t accurately align with my personal beliefs.
http://www.thismodestmom.com/boycott-disney/

By way of conclusion, I offer these words from the family friendly MovieGuide:

Introducing modern leftist, homosexual politics into a timeless fairy tale for children is the height of self-righteous smugness. It not only offends viewers who don’t agree with such controversial politics, or who don’t agree with inserting controversial politics into a movie for children. It also takes the viewer’s attention away from the main story behind the movie to stroke the selfish egos of the leftist filmmakers behind such a narcissistic movie. Ironically, the kind of homosexual references included in this version of Beauty and the Beast contradicts the story’s main message that sacrificial love, not lust or bizarre fetishes, is what lifts people up and ennobles them.
http://www.movieguide.org/reviews/beauty-and-the-beast-2017.html

[1841 words]

The post Disney’s Rainbow Activism appeared first on CultureWatch.

March 21, 2017: Verse of the day

img_1259

19–20 In response to Moses’ request to see God’s “glory,” God says he will “cause all [of his] goodness to pass” before Moses (v. 19). By his “goodness” is meant his whole character and nature. In a later theophany the Lord passed by what may have been the same cleft of the rock (cave) for the discouraged prophet Elijah (1 Ki 19:11).

A further aspect of the revelation of God’s glory is the proclamation of his name. The name of God includes his nature, character, person (Ps 20:1; Lk 24:47; Jn 1:12), doctrine (Ps 22:22; Jn 17:6, 26), and standards of ethical and moral living (Mic 4:5). In this context his name includes his “mercy” (i.e., his “grace”) and his “compassion” (rehem, lit., “womb, bowels,” i.e., deep-seated feelings; GK 8167). Romans 9:15 quotes this verse and applies it to the sovereignty of God. The one restriction of the Lord is that Moses will not be permitted to see the Lord’s face (v. 20). In fact, “no one may see me and live” (v. 20; see Jn 1:18; 6:46; 1 Ti 1:17; 1 Jn 4:12).

Expositor’s Bible Commentary

33:19 The Lord’s words appear to be a response to Moses’ requests—that the Lord would show him his ways (v. 13) and his glory (v. 18). The description points forward to the event of the Lord’s self-declaration that is to come: “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The Lord’ (see 34:5–6) … I will be gracious … and will show mercy” (see 34:6). Paul cites this in Rom. 9:15 to show that, when God shows mercy, it is because he has chosen to do so.

33:19 God as sovereign works his will in election (Rom. 9:15).

ESV Study Bible

33:19 my goodness … my name. Though the visible magnificence of this theophany is apparent from the text, the emphasis falls on a revelation to Moses of God’s sovereign, gracious, and compassionate nature (cf. 34:5–7). In Jesus Christ, the glory of the gracious and compassionate God that was withheld even from Moses is displayed to believers through the Spirit (John 1:14; 2 Cor. 3:18).

to whom … on whom. The Lord is sovereign in His purposes of mercy (Rom. 9:14–16). See “The Purpose of God: Predestination and Foreknowledge” at Mal. 1:2.

Reformation Study Bible

March 21, 2017: Daily Devotional Guide Collection

March 21

Grieving Over Lost Souls

How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!

Matthew 23:37

 

Jesus deeply cared for individuals. Our Lord brought Philip (John 1:43), Matthew (Matt. 9:9), and Peter and Andrew (Matt. 4:18–19) to faith with the call, “Follow Me.” In John 4, He met a woman at a well and brought her to salvation. In Luke 19, He found Zaccheus, a tax collector, whom He led to a confession of sin, repentance, and faith. In John 3, He taught Nicodemus about the new birth. In Mark 10, He led blind Bartimaeus to believe in Him. In Mark 5, Jesus healed a demon–possessed man in the country of the Gerasenes. And Luke 23 tells of His brief yet poignant encounter with the thief on the cross (vv. 40–43); before committing Himself to God, Christ rescued him from eternal hell.

Jesus’ heart grieved over the souls of lost men and women. In John 5:40, we see a glimpse of Christ’s passion when He said, “You are unwilling to come to Me that you may have life.” There’s a pensive quality to those words. Does your heart echo the affection of his speech?[1]


March 21 The Humility of Jesus’ Self–Emptying

“But emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond–servant, and being made in the likeness of men.”

Philippians 2:7

✧✧✧

As part of His humble descent from Heaven to earth, Jesus set aside the exercise of His divine privileges.

The next step in Jesus’ pattern of humility as He came to earth and lived among mankind was His emptying of Himself. But Scripture is clear that while on earth our Lord claimed to be God: “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). At no time did He stop being God.

The Greek word for “emptied” gives us the theological term kenosis, the doctrine of Christ’s self–emptying. The kenosis basically reminds us of what we saw in yesterday’s lesson: Jesus’ humble refusal to cling to His advantages and privileges in Heaven. The Son of God, who has a right to everything and is fully satisfied within Himself, voluntarily emptied Himself.

We have already noted that Jesus did not empty Himself of His deity, but He did lay aside certain prerogatives. For one thing, He gave up His heavenly glory. That’s why, in anticipation of His return to the Father, Christ prayed, “Glorify Thou Me together with Thyself, Father, with the glory which I ever had with Thee before the world was” (John 17:5).

Jesus also relinquished His independent authority and completely submitted Himself to the Father’s will: “Not as I will, but as Thou wilt” (Matt. 26:39).

During His time on earth, Christ also voluntarily limited the use and display of His divine attributes. One good illustration of this concerned His omniscience, His knowledge of all things. In teaching about the end–times and His second coming, Jesus said, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone” (Matt. 24:36).

Jesus’ self–emptying demonstrates a wonderful aspect of the gospel. Unlike man–centered, works–oriented religions, the biblical gospel has God’s Son willingly yielding His privileges to sacrifice Himself for sinners like us.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer: Pray that you would become more appreciative of the sacrificial humility Jesus Christ exercised on your behalf.

For Further Study: Scripture does not record a lot about Jesus’ boyhood. But the account we do have verifies His emptying. Read Luke 2:39–52. What does verse 47 imply about Jesus’ nature? ✧ How do verses 51–52 exemplify His emptying?[2]


MARCH 21

THE MYSTERY OF THE TRINITY

O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain.

—Psalm 104:1-2

God of our fathers, enthroned in light, how rich, how musical is the tongue of England! Yet when we attempt to speak forth Thy wonders, our words how poor they seem and our speech how unmelodious. When we consider the fearful mystery of Thy Triune Godhead we lay our hand upon our mouth. Before that burning bush we ask not to understand, but only that we may fitly adore Thee, One God in Persons Three. Amen.

To meditate on the three Persons of the Godhead is to walk in thought through the garden eastward in Eden and to tread on holy ground. Our sincerest effort to grasp the incomprehensible mystery of the Trinity must remain forever futile, and only by deepest reverence can it be saved from actual presumption….

“We think more loftily of God,” says Michael de Molinos, “by knowing that He is incomprehensible, and above our understanding, than by conceiving Him under any image, and creature beauty, according to our rude understanding.” KOH027, 030

My words, how poor they seem, yet I worship Your great mystery. Lord, accept the meditation of my heart as my expression of worship. Amen. [3]


March 21

Promise for the Persecuted

Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.… Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.—Matt. 5:10, 12

Jesus pronounces a double blessing on those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, which is for His own sake. The specific blessing promised is that “theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life” (Mark 10:29–30).

First, Jesus promises us blessings here and now. Not every believer is rewarded in this life with the things of this life. But every believer is rewarded in this life with the comfort, strength, and joy of His indwelling Lord. He is also blessed with the assurance that no service or sacrifice for the Lord will be in vain.

Next, there is also a millennial aspect to the kingdom blessing. When Christ establishes His thousand-year reign on earth, we will be co-regents with Him over that wonderful, renewed earth (Rev. 20:4).

Finally, there is the reward of the eternal kingdom, the blessing of all blessings of living forever in our Lord’s presence and enjoying it to the utmost. The ultimate fruit of kingdom life is eternal life.

ASK YOURSELF
How do we keep these blessings and promises before us when the fire of persecution really heats up? How have you experienced the favor and reward of God even in the midst of situations in which you felt unjustly abused and ridiculed?[4]

MARCH 21

POUR YOURSELF OUT

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth.

John 16:13

 

Science declares that nature abhors a vacuum. It should be happy knowledge to us, then, that the same principle is true in the kingdom of God—when you empty yourself, God Almighty rushes in!

The Creator God who fills the universe and overflows into immensity can never be surrounded by that little thing we call our brain, our mind, our intellect. Never can we rise to face God by what we are and by what we know!

Only by love and faith are we lifted thus to know Him and adore Him!

What a happy hour it becomes when we are drawn out of ourselves, and into that vacuum rushes the blessed Presence.

How wonderful in our humanity to sense the reality of the Holy Spirit’s invitation: “Pour yourself out! Give yourself to Me! Empty yourself! Bring your empty earthen vessels! Come in meekness like a child!”

Drawn out of ourselves by the Holy Spirit of God—for who knows the things of God but the Holy Spirit?

We are delivered from ourselves when we finally seek God for Himself alone!

 

Yes, Lord, deliver me from myself today! Help me to live for You and for others.[5]


March 21 Responding to Christ’s Invitation

“Thy kingdom come” (Matt. 6:10).

✧✧✧

The only acceptable response to Christ’s offer of the Kingdom is to receive it, value it, and pursue it!

Many people who think they’re Kingdom citizens will someday be shocked to discover they aren’t. In Matthew 7:21 Jesus says, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven.” Some people think highly of the Kingdom but never receive the King. They call Jesus “Lord” but don’t do His will. Lip service won’t do. You must receive the King and His Kingdom (John 1:12).

You must also value the Kingdom. In Matthew 13:44 Jesus says, “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure.” In verses 45–46 He compares it to a pearl that was so valuable, a merchant sold all he had to purchase it. That’s the value of the Kingdom. It’s worth any sacrifice you have to make.

Finally, you must continually pursue the Kingdom. In Matthew 6:33 Jesus says, “Seek first His kingdom, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.” In context He was discussing the basic necessities of life such as food and clothing, reminding His disciples that their Heavenly Father knew their needs and would supply them if they simply maintained the proper priorities. Unbelievers characteristically worry about meeting their own needs (v. 32), but believers are to be characterized by trusting in God and pursuing His Kingdom.

Christ offers His Kingdom to everyone (Matt. 28:19). The only acceptable response is to receive it, value it, and pursue it. Is that your response? Have you received the Kingdom? Is it precious to you? I trust it is. If so, rejoice and serve your King well today. Make His Kingdom your top priority. If not, turn from your sin and submit your life to Christ, who loves you and longs to receive you into His eternal Kingdom.

✧✧✧

Suggestions for Prayer:  Thank God for the heavenly citizenship you hold (Phil. 3:20–21). ✧ Ask Him to help you keep His priorities uppermost in your life.

For Further Study: Read Revelation 21–22. As you do, think of what eternity with Christ will be like. What aspects of eternity do you especially look forward to?[6]


MARCH 21

GOD BLESSES HIS CHILDREN FOR HOLY INTENTIONS

Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me….

JOHN 8:54

“Them that honour me I will honour,” said God once to a priest of Israel, and that ancient law of the kingdom stands today unchanged by the passing of time or the changes of dispensation. The whole Bible and every page of history proclaim the perpetuation of that law. “If any man serve me, him will my Father honour,” said our Lord Jesus, tying in the old with the new and revealing the essential unity of His ways with men.

It seems plain that almost any Bible character who honestly tried to glorify God in his earthly walk was so honored. See how God overlooked weaknesses and failures as He poured upon His servants grace and blessing untold. Let it be Abraham, Jacob, David, Daniel, Elijah or whom you will; honor followed honor as harvest the seed. The man of God set his heart to exalt God above all; God accepted his intention as fact and acted accordingly. Not perfection, but holy intention made the difference!

In our Lord Jesus Christ this law was seen in simple perfection. He sought not His own honor, but the honor of the God who sent Him.

“If I honour myself,” He said on one occasion, “my honour is nothing; it is my Father that honoureth me.” So far had the proud Pharisees departed from this law that they could not understand one who honored God at His own expense.[7]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 93). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

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

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

[4] MacArthur, J. (2008). Daily readings from the life of Christ (p. 89). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

[5] Tozer, A. W. (2015). Mornings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[6] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 93). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

[7] Tozer, A. W., & Smith, G. B. (2015). Evenings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

40 Days to the Cross: Reflections from Great Thinkers (Week Three: Tuesday)

Tuesday

Confession: Psalm 38:10–15

My heart throbs violently, my strength leaves me;

and the light of my eyes, that also is not with me.

My friends and companions stand aloof from my affliction,

and my relatives stand afar off.

Those who seek my life lay snares as well,

and those intent on my harm speak threats.

They also plot deceit all day.

But as for me, like the deaf I cannot hear,

and I am like the mute who cannot open his mouth.

And so I am like a man who hears not,

and in whose mouth there are no retorts.

Rather for you I wait, O Yahweh.

You will answer, O Lord my God.

Reading: Mark 12:13–17

And they sent some of the Pharisees and the Herodians to him so that they could catch him unawares in a statement. And when they came, they said to him, “Teacher, we know that you are truthful and you do not care what anyone thinks, because you do not regard the opinion of people but teach the way of God in truth. Is it permitted to pay taxes to Caesar or not? Should we pay or should we not pay?” But because he knew their hypocrisy, he said to them, “Why are you testing me? Bring me a denarius so that I can look at it!” So they brought one. And he said to them, “Whose image and inscription is this?” And they said to him, “Caesar’s.” And Jesus said to them, “Give to Caesar the things of Caesar, and to God the things of God!” And they were utterly amazed at him.

Reflection

See their craftiness. They do not say, “Tell us what is good, what is expedient, what is lawful?” but, “What do you think?” They looked to this one object: to betray Him and to set Him at enmity with the rulers. And Mark declaring this—and more plainly discovering their self-will and their murderous disposition—affirms them to have said, “Should we pay [Caesar], or should we not?” (Mark 12:15 nrsv) They were breathing anger and travailing with a plot against Him, yet they feigned respect.

What did He say? “Why are you putting me to the test?” (Matt 22:18 nrsv). He talks with them with more than usual severity. Because their wickedness was now complete and manifest, He cuts deeper. He confounds and silences them by publishing their secret thoughts and making their intent clear to all.

He did these things to repulse their wickedness so that they might not suffer hurt in attempting the same things again. And yet their words were full of respect, for they both called Him Master, and bore witness to His truth and said He was no respecter of persons. Jesus, being God, was not deceived by these things. They also ought to have realized that the rebuke was not the result of conjecture, but a sign of His knowing their secret thoughts.

—John Chrysostom

Homilies of St. John Chrysostom

Response

God knows all of your secret thoughts. What areas of your life do you need to give over to Him? How can you turn your worship back to Him in these areas?[1]

 

[1] Van Noord, R., & Strong, J. (Eds.). (2014). 40 Days to the Cross: Reflections from Great Thinkers. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

No Condemnation (Hodge)

The Reformed Reader

Select Sermons of Charles Hodge Here’s a nice excerpt from a sermon Charles Hodge gave on Romans 8:1 (Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. NASB):

Behold, O Christian the deed of thy inheritance.  …Jesus Christ came down from heaven to seek and save his people, to accomplish the condition on which their salvation was suspended and [say] “It is finished.” For these he has suffered and obeyed. The demands of the holiness and justice of God are completely satisfied. And since Christ has died and God has justified, who is that condemneth? Can Satan their accuser before God effect it? We answer no, because he that died, has risen and standeth at the right hand of God where he maketh intercession for us and he it is whom the Father heareth always. Can our own corruptions condemn us? We answer no because the salvation of Jesus…

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What is genuine Christian behavior?

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

1 Ἡ φιλαδελφία μενέτω. Hebrews 13:1 (NA28)

1 Let brotherly love continue. Hebrews 13:1 (translated from the NA28 Greek text)

We cannot read the New Testament without seeing that believers are the ἐκκλησία or ekklēsia, “the called-out ones of God.” In the New Testament, the noun ἐκκλησία is found only in the Gospels in Matthew 16:18 and 18:17. Luke uses it in Acts several times, but Paul uses it throughout his epistles. More than half of its usage in the New Testament is in Paul’s epistles. In them, we see that he never thinks of the ἐκκλησία as a physical structure or man-made organization but as a dedicated group of disciples of Jesus Christ whom He has purchased with His blood. In light of these truths, we must seek to line ourselves up with God’s will in our obedience under the spiritual authority He has set over us. 

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March 20, 2017 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

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Mar. 20, 2017 |

BLOOMBERG

FBI Director James Comey is about to testify on the continuing U.S. investigation into Russia’s meddling in last year’s presidential election, but President Donald Trump on Monday accused Democrats of making up claims and pushed the agency and Congress to focus instead on media leaks.

Prime Minister Theresa May will file divorce papers to leave the European Union on March 29, launching two years of complex negotiations that will pit the U.K.’s need for a trade deal against the bloc’s view that Britain shouldn’t benefit from Brexit.

The high-heeled boot surrounded by five seas is ranked the healthiest country on Earth in the Bloomberg Global Health Index of 163 countries. A baby born in Italy can expect to live to be an octogenarian. But 2,800 miles south in Sierra Leone, the average newborn will die by 52.

Fierce clashes broke out in the Syrian capital on Sunday after insurgents infiltrated government-held parts of the city through tunnels overnight, a rare if brief advance after months of steady losses at the hands of government forces elsewhere in the country.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called for a concerted effort to defend free trade, saying global markets can be both open and fair.

AP Top Stories

President Trump’s approval rating has fallen to 37 percent — the lowest of his fledgling presidency, according to Gallup. His disapproval rating rose correspondingly, hitting 58 percent.

As the number of Syrian refugees fleeing the civil war climbs well into the millions, there are new warnings from top U.S. counterterrorism experts that the exodus is posing a national security threat far more serious than any the United States and Europe have seen in decades. The failure of the West to address the conditions of refugees flooding into neighboring countries creates a situation like the one that gave rise to the Taliban and al-Qaida in Afghanistan 25 years ago — with consequences that could potentially be more disastrous.

A man shot dead by French soldiers at Paris Orly airport on Saturday shouted he was there to “die for Allah” and tried to seize a soldier’s assault rifle, apparently intending to open fire on passengers, a prosecutor said.

Peruvians struggled on Sunday to cope with avalanches, mudslides and extensive flash flooding caused by torrential downpours, and forecasters predicted still more rain ahead, prolonging the country’s woes.

President Donald Trump said Saturday that Germany owes “vast sums of money” to NATO and the U.S. “must be paid more” for providing defense, reiterating his stance that European allies need to meet their end of the bargain if they are to continue benefiting from the military alliance.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has described European lawmakers as “crazies” in a salty-tongued rebuttal of criticism of his deadly drug war, while vowing again that all traffickers will be killed.

Patients who received Abbott Laboratories’ novel dissolving vascular stent had a significantly higher rate of serious adverse heart events than those treated with the company’s widely used Xience drug-coated metal stent two years after implantation, according to data presented on Saturday.

China welcomed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday just days after hosting Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and the signing of deals worth as much as $65 billion with Riyadh, as China steps up its tentative engagement with the Middle East.

Now, a group of scientists says Pluto should definitely be added back to the planet list — oh, and that there are over 100 other objects in our solar system that should also be called planets.

A Texas high school’s on-site prayer room — which serves as a spot where Muslim students can pray — is stirring controversy. Liberty High School in Frisco established the room in 2009, but Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is concerned that the room may be off-limits to students of other religious denominations. He said in a letter Friday to the school district that any exclusion would be inconsistent with the First Amendment’s protection of religious liberty. A school district spokesman responded that the classroom is available to “students of all walks of life” in the afternoon when it is vacant.

If you’re looking for a new job right now, think “health care” and “transportation,” and stay away from mining, real estate and media.

BBC

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has ordered the country’s two main border crossings with Afghanistan to reopen immediately.

Now the children’s TV show Sesame Street is introducing a new Muppet character with a simpler name, and a tougher brief. Julia, a little girl, has orange hair, a toy rabbit – and autism.

Dozens of skulls have been found at a site in the eastern Mexican state of Veracruz. The find comes just days after Veracruz state Attorney General Jorge Winckler announced that more than 250 skulls had been discovered at another mass grave.

South Korea has appealed to the World Trade Organization to determine if the Chinese government is treating South Korean companies unfairly.

More than 180,000 civilians have fled the west of the Iraqi city of Mosul in the past month, as government forces battle Islamic State (IS) militants.

WND

“The media and Democrats are so close in association and so close in their philosophical views that we might as well use one word to describe both, and that’s ‘Mediacrats,’” said Texas Rep. Lamar Smith, founder of the House Media Fairness Caucus.

A group of female clergy from Iowa wrote a letter this week to publicly state their support of the abortion chain Planned Parenthood.

Yale University may soon formally replace the term “freshman” with “first-year student” in an effort to “reflect the values” of the institution.


Top News – 3/20/2017

Anti-Trump media: 91% coverage negative, 96% of donations to Hillary
“The media and Democrats are so close in association and so close in their philosophical views that we might as well use one word to describe both, and that’s ‘Mediacrats,’” said Texas Rep. Lamar Smith, founder of the House Media Fairness Caucus.

“Blasphemous,” “Disgusting,” & “Demonic”: Archbishop Paglia’s Homoerotic Mural
Critics are saying the work commissioned by Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia is “blasphemous,” “disgusting,” and even “demonic.” “There is a need for reparation for this blasphemous work. And it is blasphemy because of the effeminate depiction of Christ in a context that the artist himself said was meant to be ‘erotic,’” said Dr. Thomas Ward, president of the National Association of Catholic Families and former corresponding member of the Pontifical Academy for Life.

Trump could ‘do an Andrew Jackson’ to save travel ban
…the Constitution and federal law give the president the authority to restrict entry to the country, said Trump could “always do a true Andrew Jackson,” the last president to challenge a court “usurping authority they did not have.”

6.0-magnitude earthquake hits off Solomon Islands
The quake struck at 02:43 am local time (1543 GMT Sunday) at a depth of 4.0 kilometres (2.5 miles), some 170 kilometres north-northeast of the capital city Honiara, the USGS said. No tsunami warning was issued.

Trump Admin To Boycott U.N. Council Over Anti-Israel Agenda
The UNHRC, which includes member countries cited for mass human rights abuses, is poised on Monday to adopt at least five anti-Israel resolutions, prompting outrage in the Trump administration over what officials described as the council’s unjust bias against the Jewish state. The boycott comes on the heels of the resignation of a Jordanian U.N. official who had sought to advance an anti-Israel agenda opposed by the U.S. and other nations.

Dome of the Rock Deliberately Placed Over Ancient Temple Site to Enforce Islamic ‘Replacement Theology’
The conflict over the Temple Mount is a clear manifestation of Islamic replacement theology, a noted archaeologist told the Knesset on Wednesday. It is the site’s holy status in Judaism that is the basis of Islam’s interest, and this phenomenon has been seen throughout history, with Islam appropriating major Christian sites as well.


SUNSPOT COUNTS REACH 7-YEAR LOW
The face of the sun has been blank (no sunspots) for 14 consecutive days. The last time this happened was April of 2010, near the end of a deep Solar Minimum. The current stretch of blank suns heralds a new Solar Minimum expected to arrive in 2019-2020.

‘Don’t f*** with us!’ Philippine President RAGES at European Union in FURIOUS tirade
The extraordinary rant came as EU bigwigs passed a resolution criticising the leader’s tough stance on drug convicts last week. European lawmakers said they were “deeply alarmed” by the reintroduction of the death penalty – adding capital punishment is considered “cruel and inhuman”. Responding to the remarks, Mr Duterte, who previously referred to Barack Obama as a “son of a whore”, once again used colourful language to berate the European Parliament

Unproven stem cell ‘therapy’ blinds three patients at Florida clinic
Three people with macular degeneration were blinded after undergoing an unproven stem cell treatment that was touted as a clinical trial in 2015 at a clinic in Florida. Within a week following the treatment, the patients experienced a variety of complications, including vision loss, detached retinas and hemorrhage. They are now blind.

Shin Bet chief warns of Hamas attack attempts ahead of Passover
The head of the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) Nadav Argaman warned on Monday morning that despite the current relative calm, Hamas and other terrorists entities may attempt to carry out attacks ahead of the upcoming Passover holiday. “The relative calm that we are experiencing at this time is quite deceiving, it’s misleading and deluding because Hamas and global jihadi infrastructure are working every day in attempt to conduct terror attacks in Israeli territory,” he stated at a meeting of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

Syria war: Damascus sees fierce clashes after rebel attack
Syrian security forces have engaged in fierce clashes with rebels on the eastern outskirts of Damascus. Artillery shells and rockets landed in the heart of the capital as part of a surprise rebel attack launched in the Jobar district. The assault began early on Sunday with car bombs and suicide attacks, activists said. State media said secret tunnels were also used.

NSA Documents Prove Surveillance of Donald Trump & His Family
Infowars.com have obtained credible information from law enforcement sources regarding individual records of U.S. citizens under National Security Agency (NSA) electronic surveillance in the years 2004 through 2010 – a database that suggests…Donald J. Trump…were under illegal, unauthorized government monitoring during those years.

North Korea issues SHOCK war warning: ‘If a single bullet is fired, we WILL nuke the US’
Kim Jong-un’s rogue state issued the stunning warning as Washington and South Korea carry out war games in the region…North Korea’s Foreign Ministry said: “The Korean People’s Army will reduce the bases of aggression and provocation to ashes with its invincible Hwasong rockets tipped with nuclear warheads and reliably defend the security of the country and its people’s happiness in case the US and the South Korean puppet forces fire even a single bullet at the territory of the DPRK.”

30 Countries Are Refusing To Take Back Illegal Immigrants Convicted Of Serious Crimes
Approximately 30 countries are refusing to accept the deportations of illegal immigrants who have committed serious crimes in the U.S., according to Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar. While these countries are refusing to accept the deportations of these criminals, the U.S. government is still issuing visas…to citizens of those countries…There is already a law on the books which allows the U.S. to hold visas from a country that is not taking back its criminals, but…the U.S. is not enforcing it.

Israel threatens to ‘destroy’ Syrian air defence systems
Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Sunday threatened to destroy Syrian air defence systems after they fired ground-to-air missiles at Israeli warplanes carrying out strikes.

Top GOP senator spills beans on real goal of EPA
President Trump is right to use his first federal budget to gut the Environmental Protection Agency and eradicate the cornerstones of Obama’s climate change strategy, says U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., because the EPA is being used as a tool by the left to kill free enterprise and destroy capitalism.

In First 2 Months in Office: Trump Reduced Debt by $100 Billion – Obama Increased Dept By $400 Billion
On January 20th, the day of President Trump’s Inauguration, the US Debt stood at $19,947 billion. As of March 16th, the most recent date for US debt reporting, the US Debt stands at $19,846 billion. President Trump has cut the US Debt burden by over $100 billion and 0.5% in the first two months since his inauguration!

Trump Looks Repeal Major Obama Fracking Rule
Lawyers with the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed to change the federal government’s position on environmental regulations, which the Obama administration had legally defended against challenges from the oil and natural gas industry and several state governments.

China Plans To Trample Obama’s Red Line In The South China Sea
Beijing has plans to start construction on the disputed Scarborough Shoal this year. China has reclaimed land in both the Spratly and Paracel Islands and constructed military outposts, but it has been hesitant to start construction on the Scarborough Shoal. Xiao Jie, the mayor of Sansha — an administrative base for China’s South China Sea activities masquerading as a city — said this week that China intends to construct environmental monitoring stations on a number of territories in the South China Sea, including the Scarborough Shoal.

Russian Anti-Smoking Campaign: “Smoking Kills More People Than Obama, Although He Kills A lot
Russian authorities included Barack Obama in their latest an anti-smoking campaign. The former US president is pictured smoking in the Russian ads seen in bus stops.


The Briefing 03-20-17

An “ideological food fight”? Confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch begin today

When feminism and abortion collide, feminism loses: British doctor pushes for sex-selective abortion

The post The Briefing 03-20-17 appeared first on AlbertMohler.com.


Op-Ed: The Fed’s stealthy QE — $267 billion of fresh liquidity injected since mid-January

The Fed has been expanding its balance sheet – big time – by buying a huge amount of assets in exchange for cash to reassure equity and bond traders.

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The Global Famine Begins: UN Announces That The Worst Food Crisis Since World War II Is Happening Right Now

Horse Famine - Public DomainWe always knew that this would start happening.  Earlier this month, I wrote about the severe economic problems that are plaguing South America, but up to this point I have neglected to discuss the horrific famines that are breaking out all over Africa.  Right now there is a desperate need for food in South Sudan, Somalia, northeast Nigeria, Eritrea and Kenya.  And Yemen, even though it is not technically part of Africa, is being affected by many of the same factors that are crippling nations all over eastern Africa.  The United Nations says that more than 20 million people could die from starvation and disease if nothing is done.  When I write about economic collapse, this is the kind of thing that I am talking about, and we are starting to see alarming conditions spread across the globe.  Many believe that we could never possibly face this kind of food crisis in the western world, but unfortunately wishful thinking will only get you so far. (Read More…)


Top Headlines – 3/20/2017

  • Stock futures lower after G20 drops free-trade pledge (Read More)
  • U.K. to Trigger Brexit on March 29, May’s Spokesman Says (Read More)
  • Comey to Testify on Hill About Russia, Wiretap Allegation (Read More)
  • Germany, Japan Push Trade Deal as Merkel Seeks Anti-Trump Allies (Read More)
  • North Korea engine test may be prelude to partial ICBM flight (Read More)
  • Regulators Said to Weigh Appraisal Change That May Spur Lending (Read More)
  • Gorsuch to restore conservative tilt to US court (Read More)
  • White House installs political aides at Cabinet agencies to be Trump’s eyes and ears (Read More)
  • Canada Committed to Lower Debt Ratio, Morneau Says Before Budget (Read More)
  • Deputy to Uber CEO Abruptly Exits, Adding to Management Turmoil (Read More)
  • Almost half of Canadians want illegal border crossers deported (Read More)
  • Deutsche Bank Says Revenue to Stay ‘Broadly Flat’ This Year (Read More)
  • What’s Attacking the Web? A Security Camera in a Colorado Laundroma (Read More)
  • French financial prosecutor’s office evacuateda (Read More)
  • A Six-Figure Income May Not Shield You From a Shock (Read More)
  • It’s Good to Be a CEO, Again: Stocks Rise, and So Does Pay (Read More)
  • Norway unseats Denmark as world’s happiest country (Read More)
  • Rent or Buy in New York? Compare the Costs (Read More)
  • No plans for early election, says UK PM May’s spokesman (Read More)
  • Visco Says ECB Could Shorten Break Between QE Exit And Rate Hike (Read More)
  • China says preparatory work for Xi-Trump meeting has begun (Read More)
  • Polls in Austria show erosion of far-right Freedom Party’s lead (Read More)

Palestinians give award to UN official who condemned Israel

Netanyahu chief of staff heads to US to sort out settlements

Netanyahu’s rift with finance minister fuels talk of early Israeli election

Argentina, Israelis mark 25 years since attack on Buenos Aires embassy

Arabs agree to escalate terror war ‘in all ways possible’

IDF calls up reservists for surprise exercise in south

IDF chief says Lebanon responsible for next conflict with Hezbollah

How Russia Is Turning Syria into a Major Naval Base for Nuclear Warships (and Israel Is Worried)

Israel-Syria Clash: With Missile Fire, Assad Is Trying to Change the Rules of the Game

Israel said to strike Syria for second time in 24 hours, amid threats from Damascus

Israeli air force kills Syrian citizen near Damascus

Israeli airstrike in Syrian Golan said to kill pro-Assad fighter

Syria’s ambassador to the UN: Syria’s response to Israel’s attack changes the rules of the game

Israel threatens to destroy Syria’s air defence systems ‘without the slightest hesitation’

Lieberman: If Syria targets our aircraft again, we’ll destroy its air defense

Syria war: Damascus sees fierce clashes after rebel attack

Syria conflict: Rebels begin evacuating Homs enclave of al-Wair

Three US soldiers wounded in Afghan ‘insider attack’

Germany Turkey: 30,000 Kurds in Frankfurt anti-Erdogan protest

Orly airport: Attacker phoned father to say ‘I screwed up’

Tests find drugs, alcohol in blood of Paris airport attacker

North Korea ‘conducts high-thrust engine test’

Trump says North Korea dictator ‘is acting very, very badly’

White House Releases Border Wall Requirements

Judge denies request to limit order halting Trump’s travel ban

Comey set to testify on Capitol Hill on Russia, hacking, wiretapping

House intel committee chairman: ‘There never was’ Trump tower wiretap

German cybersecurity watchdog raises attack alert level

European rocket scientists pledge to make first private Moon landing in 2018

6.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Auki, Solomon Islands

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near L’Esperance Rock, New Zealand

Sheveluch volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 15,000ft

Floods and mudslides kill dozens in Peru

Trump may move GOP health care bill to the right, dooming it in the Senate

Trump budget threatens nutrition services for poor women and children

U.S. Supreme Court’s ideological balance at stake in confirmation fight

Jerusalem to host Israel’s main gay pride parade

First Amendment controversy brews over Texas high school’s Muslim prayer room

C.H. Fisher – They Love Error More than Truth

Bob DeWaay – Two-Domain Theology: How We Escape Satan’s Dominion

Visual Proof That Modern Churches are (Much) Better

Jane Whaley/WOFF – Social worker accused of hiding religious sect abuse resigns

Pastor that rejects doctors and drugs charged in the death of his own granddaughter

President of Christian Ecclesia College Indicted for Mail, Wire Fraud

Female Clergy Members From Iowa Publicly Support Planned Parenthood

Principal Recruits Students for Secret ‘Gay’ Club

ABC’s ’20/20′ Contacted Me for ‘Gay Conversion Therapy’ Story, But Ignored What I Told Them

The Rise and Struggle of South Korean Missionaries

Is Ezekiel 36:8 Prophecy Coming True In The Galilee?

Posted: 20 Mar 2017 07:38 AM PDT

(Reported By PNW) One of the benefits of living in modern Israel is physically experiencing Biblical prophecy coming to life.  Two families who moved to…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

DEVELOPING: Over 250 Quakes strike Iceland Volcano, Major Eruption May Be Imminent

Posted: 20 Mar 2017 07:26 AM PDT

Iceland may very well be about to see a major eruption soon as reports indicate the last 24 hours has seen a large seismic swarm of…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Have You Been Bitten?

Posted: 20 Mar 2017 06:19 AM PDT

(By Ricky Scaparo) In this segment, we will discuss how many believers have been bitten by a venomous enemy known as “Offense” and how once…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

City of David Sees Fulfillment of Isaiah 52:2 Prophecy in Our Day

Posted: 20 Mar 2017 06:11 AM PDT

(Reported By Charisma News) When people visit Jerusalem’s Old City, they may believe it’s the same place King David set up as his capital more…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Pastor Discovers 706-Carat Diamond

Posted: 20 Mar 2017 06:04 AM PDT

A Christian pastor has reportedly discovered one of the world’s largest uncut diamonds — weighing 706 carats — in Sierra Leone’s eastern Kono region.  This…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Yale Pushing to Replace ‘Freshman’ with More ‘Inclusive’ Term

Posted: 20 Mar 2017 05:55 AM PDT

Here we go again with the changing of history and terms to accommodate the culture and prevent anyone and everyone from being “offended”!Now Yale University…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

1961 Prophecy From Evangelist Tommy Hicks Described The Army Of The Last Days That Is Rising Now

Posted: 20 Mar 2017 05:44 AM PDT

(Reported By Michael Snyder) More than 50 years ago, God showed evangelist Tommy Hicks what the mighty army of the last days would look like….

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Google Director Aims to Implant Computers Inside Human Brain

Posted: 19 Mar 2017 10:34 PM PDT

(By Kelly McDonald, Jr) Recently, the director of engineering for Google announced that he was in favor of implanting computers inside the human brain. By…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Solar Eclipse Will Cross the US for the First Time in 99 Years

Posted: 19 Mar 2017 10:30 PM PDT

(By Kelly McDonald, Jr) An extremely rare solar event will appear in the sky this summer. On August 21st, a total solar eclipse will cross…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Strange Weather: 30-Year Snowfall Hits Remote Chinese Region

Posted: 19 Mar 2017 10:27 PM PDT

(By Kelly McDonald, Jr) In the northwest section of the Xinjang Uygur Autonomous region, a rare snowfall recently fell that has not been seen in…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

BREAKING NEWS: Israel Strikes Hezbollah Convoy In Syria

Posted: 19 Mar 2017 06:43 PM PDT

Breaking News reports coming out of the Mideast are reporting that early Monday morning Israel struck what appears to be, Hezbollah targets on the Syrian-Lebanese…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Ohio Town Sees 82 Overdoses in 2 weeks

Posted: 19 Mar 2017 06:19 PM PDT

One Ohio town is reeling from what is being reported of record drug overdoses leaving nearly a dozen dead. The report from a local affiliate…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Controversial Trump Billboard In Arizona Drawing Outrage!

Posted: 19 Mar 2017 06:04 PM PDT

A large billboard in Phoneix, Arizona depicting the US President Donald Trump between nuclear mushroom clouds and dollar sign Nazi swastikas has sparked outrage among…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

UN Announces That The Worst Food Crisis Since World War II Is Happening Right Now

Posted: 19 Mar 2017 05:50 PM PDT

(Reported By Michael Snyder) We always knew that this would start happening. Earlier this month, I wrote about the severe economic problems that are plaguing…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Days of Lot: Homosexuality Sharply Increasing Among Youth

Posted: 19 Mar 2017 11:16 AM PDT

(By Kelly McDonald, Jr) A recent study was released concerning the acceptance of homosexuality among youth in the United States. Their research show an 85%…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

Christian College Says Bible Is Not Inclusive Enough

Posted: 19 Mar 2017 11:14 AM PDT

(By Kelly McDonald, Jr) Bethel University, a Christian university in Minnesota, has instructed its teachers to stop using terms such as “man” and “mankind” because…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

New Military Laser Shoots Down Drones

Posted: 19 Mar 2017 11:11 AM PDT

(By Kelly McDonald, Jr) The US Military has recently received a new laser system to shoot down drones. The laser, developed by Lockheed Martin, combines…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

BREAKING NEWS: North Korea Warns It Will Nuke US ‘If a Single Bullet is Fired

Posted: 19 Mar 2017 10:40 AM PDT

The persistent “War Rhetoric” continues from North Korea as the latest threat comes as the communists Nation has vowed to launch a nuclear strike on…

Read more at End Time Headlines.

The Power Of Agreement

Posted: 19 Mar 2017 10:27 AM PDT

(By Ricky Scaparo) In this segment, we will be discussing how the power of agreement brings breakthrough, deliverances, and miracles! Watch the video below for…

Read more at End Time Headlines.


What is The Gospel?


Who Do You Think That I Am?

Selected Scriptures

Code: A335

With that brief question Jesus Christ confronted His followers with the most important issue they would ever face. He had spent much time with them and made some bold claims about His identity and authority. Now the time had come for them either to believe or deny His teachings.

Who do you say Jesus is? Your response to Him will determine not only your values and lifestyle, but your eternal destiny as well.

Consider what the Bible says about Him:

JESUS IS GOD

While Jesus was on earth there was much confusion about who He was. Some thought He was a wise man or a great prophet. Others thought He was a madman. Still others couldn’t decide or didn’t care. But Jesus said, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). That means He claimed to be nothing less than God in human flesh.

Many people today don’t understand that Jesus claimed to be God. They’re content to think of Him as little more than a great moral teacher. But even His enemies understood His claims to deity. That’s why they tried to stone Him to death (John 5:18; 10:33) and eventually had Him crucified (John 19:7).

C.S. Lewis observed, “You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to” (Mere Christianity [Macmillan, 1952], pp. 40-41).

If the biblical claims of Jesus are true, He is God!

JESUS IS HOLY

God is absolutely and perfectly holy (Isaiah 6:3), therefore He cannot commit or approve of evil (James 1:13).

As God, Jesus embodied every element of God’s character. Colossians 2:9 says, “In Him all the fulness of Deity dwells in bodily form.” He was perfectly holy (Hebrews 4:15). Even His enemies couldn’t prove any accusation against Him (John 8:46)

God requires holiness of us as well. First Peter 1:16 says, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

JESUS IS THE SAVIOR

Our failure to obey God—to be holy—places us in danger of eternal punishment (2 Thessalonians 1:9). The truth is, we cannot obey Him because we have neither the desire nor the ability to do so. We are by nature rebellious toward God (Ephesians 2:1-3). The Bible calls our rebellion “sin.” According to Scripture, everyone is guilty of sin: “There is no man who does not sin” (1 Kings 8:46). “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). And we are incapable of changing our sinful condition. Jeremiah 13:23 says, “Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil.”

That doesn’t mean we’re incapable of performing acts of human kindness. We might even be involved in various religious or humanitarian activities. But we’re utterly incapable of understanding, loving, or pleasing God on our own. The Bible says, “There is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; all have turned aside, together they have become useless; there is none who does good, there is not even one” (Romans 3:10-12).

God’s holiness and justice demand that all sin be punished by death: “The soul who sins will die” (Ezekiel 18:4). That’s hard for us to understand because we tend to evaluate sin on a relative scale, assuming some sins are less serious than others. However, the Bible teaches that all acts of sin are the result of sinful thinking and evil desires. That’s why simply changing our patterns of behavior can’t solve our sin problem or eliminate its consequences. We need to be changed inwardly so our thinking and desires are holy

Jesus is the only one who can forgive and transform us, thereby delivering us from the power and penalty of sin: “There is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

Even though God’s justice demands death for sin, His love has provided a Savior, who paid the penalty and died for sinners: “Christ … died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, in order that He might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18). Christ’s death satisfied the demands of God’s justice, thereby enabling Him to forgive and save those who place their faith in Him (Romans 3:26). John 3:16 says, “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” He alone is “our great God and Savior” (Titus 2:13).

JESUS IS THE ONLY ACCEPTABLE OBJECT OF SAVING FAITH

Some people think it doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you’re sincere. But without a valid object your faith is useless

If you take poison—thinking it’s medicine—all the faith in the world won’t restore your life. Similarly, if Jesus is the only source of salvation, and you’re trusting in anyone or anything else for your salvation, your faith is useless.

Many people assume there are many paths to God and that each religion represents an aspect of truth. But Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6). He didn’t claim to be one of many equally legitimate paths to God, or the way to God for His day only. He claimed to be the only way to God—then and forever.

JESUS IS LORD

Contemporary thinking says man is the product of evolution. But the Bible says we were created by a personal God to love, serve, and enjoy endless fellowship with Him

The New Testament reveals it was Jesus Himself who created everything (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16). Therefore He also owns and rules everything (Psalm 103:19). That means He has authority over our lives and we owe Him absolute allegiance, obedience, and worship.

Romans 10:9 says, “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.” Confessing Jesus as Lord means humbly submitting to His authority (Philippians 2:10-11). Believing that God has raised Him from the dead involves trusting in the historical fact of His resurrection—the pinnacle of Christian faith and the way the Father affirmed the deity and authority of the Son (Romans 1:4; Acts 17:30-31).

True faith is always accompanied by repentance from sin. Repentance is more than simply being sorry for sin. It is agreeing with God that you are sinful, confessing your sins to Him, and making a conscious choice to turn from sin and pursue holiness (Isaiah 55:7). Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14:15); and “If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine” (John 8:31).

It isn’t enough to believe certain facts about Christ. Even Satan and his demons believe in the true God (James 2:19), but they don’t love and obey Him. Their faith is not genuine. True saving faith always responds in obedience (Ephesians 2:10).

Jesus is the sovereign Lord. When you obey Him you are acknowledging His lordship and submitting to His authority. That doesn’t mean your obedience will always be perfect, but that is your goal. There is no area of your life that you withhold from Him.

JESUS IS THE JUDGE

All who reject Jesus as their Lord and Savior will one day face Him as their Judge: “God is now declaring to men that all everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:30-31).

Second Thessalonians 1:7-9 says, “The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.”

HOW WILL YOU RESPOND?

Who does the Bible say Jesus is? The living God, the Holy One, the Savior, the only valid object of saving faith, the sovereign Lord, and the righteous Judge.

Who do you say Jesus is? That is the inescapable question. He alone can redeem you—free you from the power and penalty of sin. He alone can transform you, restore you to fellowship with God, and give your life eternal purpose. Will you repent and believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?


Available online at: https://www.gty.org/library/articles/A335
COPYRIGHT ©2017 Grace to YouYou may reproduce this Grace to You content for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Grace to You’s Copyright Policy (http://www.gty.org/connect/copyright).


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Legalism and Salvation

Luke 10:25-28

Code: B170320

Have you ever been called a legalist? Or perhaps you’ve slapped that label on someone else? It’s a word that gets tossed around with alarming frequency in religious circles—always as a pejorative. But how well do we really understand legalism? Such a stinging indictment shouldn’t be used recklessly, or ignorantly.

In the days ahead we’ll examine three major strains of legalism and what Scripture has to say about them. They range from dangerous to damnable, but not all of them are obvious. You may be more prone to fall into one of them than you think.

Likewise, you could be throwing around the term inaccurately, accusing and impugning people who have done nothing wrong. Either way, legalism—true legalism—is a subject that demands our attention.

Today, we’ll consider the most familiar and heretical strain of legalism: works righteousness.

Scripture is explicitly clear regarding the relationship between our good works and our salvation—there isn’t one.  We have a right, legal standing with God by grace, through faith in Christ, apart from any meritorious human works (Ephesians 2:8–9). But works-righteous legalism directly assaults that core gospel doctrine.

Self-Righteousness

The self-righteous, or works-righteous, legalist thinks that salvation hinges entirely on his ability to meet God’s legal requirements for right standing with Him. He insists that good works are either the sole cause of, or contribute to, justification before God.

That theology was central to the defective religious system devised by the Pharisees. They actually believed they could fulfill all the requirements of the Mosaic Law if they worked hard enough. Many of them took great pride in their dedicated efforts at self-righteousness.

Jesus accurately described their delusional beliefs in one of His parables, reciting a typical pharisaical prayer: “God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get” (Luke 18:11–12). That kind of self-righteousness was implicit in many of Christ’s encounters with the Pharisees. It’s why they couldn’t fathom the fact that Jesus hung out with sinners (Matthew 9:11).

Their fixation with earning salvation was exposed when one of their lawyers questioned Jesus: “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” (Luke 10:25, emphasis added). And Christ responded by telling him exactly what he needed to do if he wanted to earn eternal life through his own efforts: “Do this [keep all of God’s Law] and you will live” (Luke 10:28). John MacArthur explains the point Christ was actually making:

Jesus, of course, was not saying that there were some people somewhere who could be saved by keeping the law. On the contrary, He was pointing out the absolute impossibility of doing so, since the law demands the impossible—perfect and complete obedience (James 2:10), and promises physical, spiritual, and eternal death to those who disobey it (Ezekiel 18:4, 20; Romans 6:23). Those realities put sinners in a hopeless situation. They are required to keep the law perfectly, but are not able to do so, and as a consequence face death. The only way out of that frightening dilemma is to acknowledge one’s sin (Psalm 32:5; Proverbs 28:13; 1 John 1:9), cry for mercy (Luke 18:13), and through faith alone (John 3:16, 36; 5:24; Acts 15:9; Romans 3:20–30; 4:5; 5:1; Galatians 2:16; Ephesians 2:8–9; Philippians 3:9; 1 Peter 1:9) embrace the Lord Jesus Christ as the Savior and only sacrifice for sin (Ephesians 5:2; Hebrews 9:24–28; 10:12). [1]

Tragically, the pharisaical lawyer failed to realize that he was actually talking with the One whose mission was to fulfill God’s law on behalf of sinners (Matthew 5:17; 2 Corinthians 5:21).

Grace Plus Works

Christ’s resurrection and ascension didn’t put an end to Jewish legalism. Rather, it was re-packaged to infiltrate the early church. Instead of offering another gospel based solely on works righteousness, a new wave of legalists argued that the Christian gospel needed to be supplemented with added works.

That was the heresy Paul fought in his epistle to the Galatians. People who were zealous for the Mosaic law had infiltrated the church there. Rather than denying the gospel of grace apart from the works of the law, these Judaizers wanted to blend certain Mosaic legal requirements—especially circumcision—with the call to saving faith in Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:3; 4:9).

It’s worth noting that Paul’s war was not against circumcision per se, but rather its use as a supplemental means of justification.

In fact, Paul was emphatic that adding anything to Christ’s finished work ultimately negates His finished work:

If you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no benefit to you. . . . every man who receives circumcision . . . is under obligation to keep the whole Law. You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law. (Galatians 5:2–4)

In short, human works do not blend together with Christ’s finished work to achieve salvation. It is not a collaborative effort. Short of perfectly fulfilling the entire Mosaic law, you and I cannot make a contribution to our right standing with God.

Roman Catholicism and the Galatian Heresy

Modern parallels abound to the situation in Galatia. Roman Catholicism bears a strong resemblance to the heresy of the Judaizers. The works they insist on may be different (as is their definition of grace) but the damnable equation is exactly the same—grace plus works equals salvation:

If anyone says that the sinner is justified by faith alone, meaning that nothing else is required to cooperate in order to obtain the grace of justification, and that it is not in any way necessary that he be prepared and disposed by the action of his own will, let him be anathema. [2]

They object to justification by faith alone, anathematizing anyone who says “nothing else is required” except faith. Their religious system demands additional works of righteousness, performed by the believer, that contribute to his justification:

If anyone says that the justice received is not preserved and also not increased before God through good works, but that those works are merely the fruits and signs of justification obtained, but not the cause of its increase, let him be anathema. [3]

Roman Catholicism is hostile to any soteriology (doctrine of salvation) where good works aren’t required. And their legalism continues unabated into the present day. The Council of Trent may be almost 500 years old but it is still binding on all Catholics. Its doctrine highlights the sheer absurdity of any and every ecumenical overture towards them. The battle lines that the Reformers drew with Rome over the gospel haven’t moved in half a millennium.

In fact, Rome’s error was dealt with two thousand years ago when Paul returned to the church in Jerusalem after his first missionary journey. He brought news of many Gentile converts to Christ. That announcement triggered heated debate among the first disciples—who were Jewish—concerning which, if any, Mosaic laws should be enforced upon the new Gentile believers. Acts 15:1–29 is exclusively devoted to this matter. Peter’s counsel at that meeting should be heeded by anyone who believes in adding any works to the gospel:

Why do you put God to the test by placing on the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way that they also are. (Acts 15:10–11)

The yoke Peter referred to was the righteous demands of God’s law and Israel’s continual failure to keep it throughout its history.

What Is the Purpose of God’s Law?

All of the legalists discussed above share two critical pieces of common ground: They missed the point of God’s law and they were oblivious to the seriousness of sin.

Choosing any path of works righteousness is to subject oneself to the full scope and demands of God’s legal requirements (Galatians 5:2–4). Everyone who fails to fulfill the law in every point is under its curse (Galatians 3:10–12). Christ’s judgment on the Pharisees holds true for everyone who subscribes to any form of works-righteous legalism: “You will . . . die in your sin; where I am going, you cannot come” (John 8:21).

What then should we make of God’s commands? Was the law given in the hope that it might be a viable option through which men could possibly meet its requirements and attain eternal life? Was the law a bad thing because no one could keep it? Paul answered both of these questions with an emphatic “no.”

What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, “You shall not covet.” (Romans 7:7)

God’s law plays the vital role of exposing our guilt. That, in turn, points us to our desperate need for a Savior (Galatians 3:19). Paul calls it “our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith” (Galatians 3:24).

Works-righteous legalism is antithetical to that. Rather than exposing their guilt, legalists believe that the law affirms their self-righteousness. That is a path to eternal destruction that we must avoid at all cost.

Available online at: https://www.gty.org/library/blog/B170320
COPYRIGHT ©2017 Grace to You

You may reproduce this Grace to You content for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Grace to You’s Copyright Policy (http://www.gty.org/connect/copyright).

Three Ways to Experience More of God’s Love

Is it possible to fully understand the immensity of God’s love?

The Bible tells us repeatedly that God loves us and has given us plenty of evidence to back up his words. He created us. He created a marvelous world in which we are called to create. He provides for us.  And he forgives us, even though we are rebellious. He even went so far as to send his Son, Jesus, to die on a cross for us while we were still sinners. God did it all because he loves us.

The Apostle Paul prayed that believers would comprehend the incomprehensible dimensions of the love of Christ, and that we would know Christ’s love which surpasses knowledge.

It is a remarkably bold prayer:

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named…that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledgethat you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:14-19, emphasis mine)

We Need Strength

Paul prayed for us to have strength to comprehend the love of Christ. That strikes me as unusual.

If I were to pray for someone to better know my love, I would ask for their eyes to be opened, or for a hidden depth of feeling to become realized, or for wisdom to be gained—but it wouldn’t occur to me to pray for strength to understand love.

The love of God must be in a different category from human love if we need strength to begin to understand it.

We Need Perspective

My daughter just had a baby. He is adorable, just like his two older brothers. She needs strength to heal, to get up at all hours of the night, to handle the older two, and to manage the household. The baby doesn’t need much strength to know that his mom, dad, and brothers love him. My daughter and her husband, on the other hand, need emotional and physical strength. Their love is far stronger than the baby’s.


Knowing the love of Christ is more than an intellectual exercise; it’s experiential.
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Maybe when it comes to love, we’re a bit like babies. God has always loved us, and we simply do not understand what it has cost him. We read how much he loves us in the Bible, we experience his blessings, his provision, and even his discipline, and we do love him. But in comparison to his love for us, our love for God seems like a baby’s love for his mother.

A baby is simply not equipped to love the way his parents love him. Only as he grows in knowledge and strength will he begin to comprehend the love of his parents Jesus himself is the best teacher, and Paul was very well taught, so I have begun to pray Paul’s prayer and ask for strength to begin to comprehend God’s incomprehensible love. I can’t develop that kind of strength by myself.

We Need Other Believers

It’s easy to skip over the phrase “with all the saints” in that passage, but it is critical. No one person can fully understand the love of Christ through their limited experience. However, if we join with all believers, we will have a bigger and better picture of God’s love.

We need inner-strength for this. If we invest ourselves in the lives of others, we will rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn. The rejoicing is easy; mourning is not. When you’re celebrating with a family member over good fortune, rejoice in the love of God. Conversely, when you are sitting with a friend who is mourning, look for expressions of the love of God. It may be more difficult to find, but it is always present. As we become familiar with other believer’s stories, we will see the faithful love of God in all circumstances.

From my little bubble in the northwest suburbs of Chicago I can’t imagine how God shows his love to a homeless person in San Francisco or to the very wealthy in New York City, but I’m sure he does. It is beyond my experience to know what the love of Christ looks like to people in other parts of the world, but I know his love is enough for everyone. Knowing the love of Christ is more than an intellectual exercise; it’s experiential. And our strength to comprehend it increases as we walk with other believers.

We Need Christ

Paul’s use of four dimensions to describe the love of Christ—breadth, length, height, and depth—suggests that his love is beyond description, that it’s multidimensional in expression. Commentator Matthew Henry describes these dimensions as signifying “the exceeding greatness of the love of Christ, the unsearchable riches of his love, which is higher than heaven, deeper than hell, longer than the earth, and broader than the sea.”*

Comprehending the incomprehensible love of Christ comes from growing in knowledge and strength in him, and walking with others as they grow. Then we will be better able to fathom the breadth, length, height and depth of the love of Christ.

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Polemics Term: Cultural Marxism

WHAT IS CULTURAL MARXISM

The term Cultural Marxism, which is also known as multiculturalism (although the latter term has various meanings and implications), is a philosophy that is perhaps as old as 1919. According to William S. Lind, Cultural Marxism came into thought when the classical Marxist scheme did not work in Western Civilization in the post WWI era, as predicted by classical Marxists. Two Marxist philosophers, Antonio Gramsci in Italy and Georg Lukacs in Hungary, theorized that Marxism didn’t take root in the West because “Western culture and Christianity” had buffeted the philosophy, along with the mortal enemy of Marxism – upward economic mobility. In economically free nations in which fortunes could be earned and economic classes changed in a single generation, the workers were not nearly as interested in rising up against the wealthy because they, themselves, had hope of becoming wealthy (link).

Instead of traditional economic Marxism, what was proposed and advanced in Western Civilization far more successfully was Cultural Marxism.

But, it’s impossible to understand Cultural Marxism without first understanding Economic Marxism.

ECONOMIC (OR CLASSICAL) MARXISM

Marxism is a method of sociological analyzation that seeks to understand differences in class relations. Originating with Karl Marx, the system desires to view society in different socio-economic classes, and lists conflict between the classes as the cause of all social ills. While there are divergent schools of Marxist thoughts, it’s plainest definition is:

a theory in which class struggle is a central element in the analysis of social change in Western societies, which stands in contrast to capitalism, an economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production and distribution of goods, characterized by a free competitive market and motivation by profit (link, multiple sources)

Put plainly, Marxism recognizes “class struggle” (economically so, chiefly) as the source of problems and the socialization of all property and resources as the solution to those societal problems.

Critics of Marxism argue that not only does socialization of property and resources decrease the overall wealth of a population and is unfair to those who produce wealth, but it artificially reduces people to members of a particular “class,” and seeks to cause conflict between the classes to bring about social change (IE, the “haves versus the have-nots”). The Judeo-Christian understanding of the 8th Commandment, which undergirds the notion of private property rights, is historically the reason for great resistance to socialism in the West.

THE ADVANCEMENT OF CULTURAL MARXISM IN THE WEST

To turn classical Marxism into Cultural Marxism, members of what is called “the Frankfurt School” (which included Max Horkheimer, Theodor Adorno, Wilhelm Reich, Eric Fromm and Herbert Marcuse) argued that culture was not a part of Marx’s original idea regarding society’s “superstructure,” and was an important variable in the over-all Marxist experiment. They argued that the working class would not revolt against the “bourgeoisie” in places where the poor could become rich. So then, the Frankfurt School intellectual leader, Herbert Marcuse, argued that Marxist ideology should enlist a cultural contingent; chiefly a coalition of blacks, students, feminists and homosexuals (link).

As Lind explains…

Fatefully for America, when Hitler came to power in Germany in 1933, the Frankfurt School fled – – and reestablished itself in New York City. There, it shifted its focus from destroying traditional Western culture in Germany to destroying it in the United States. To do so, it invented “Critical Theory.” What is the theory? To criticize every traditional institution, starting with the family, brutally and unremittingly, in order to bring them down. It wrote a series of “studies in prejudice,” which said that anyone who believes in traditional Western culture is prejudiced, a “racist” or “sexist” of “fascist” – – and is also mentally ill (link)

IMPLICATIONS OF CULTURAL MARXISM ON AMERICAN CHRISTIANITY

The goal and design of Cultural Marxism was very intentionally thought-out by its intellectual progenitors in order to undermine both Western Civilization and Christianity. While Cultural Marxism may seem like a purely political ideology, like Classical Marxism, it has deep consequences for the realm of Christendom.

By viewing everything through the lens of ethnicity, Cultural Marxism is actually the enemy of true and authentic, Gospel-centered racial reconciliation, which is based upon the premise of Galatians 3:28. Cultural Marxism seeks to dis-unify, rather than unify the Church (although it is practiced under the veiled disguise of racial harmony).

It is not uncommon to hear evangelical leaders today use the term “racial justice,” a term that is steeped in (and directly derives from) Cultural Marxism. Certain evangelical leaders seeking to bring ethnic harmony to the church are actually and inadvertently falling into the century-old game plan of Cultural Marxists when they insist on seeing culture through the lens of race (and more liberal denominations may do this with gender as well, which is equally as dis-unifying).

The Evangelical Intelligentsia is especially prone to espouse Cultural Marxism, and examples of them falling for the scheme are multitudinous, as best seen in recent years in writings by both The Gospel Coalition and the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.

Source: Polemics Term: Cultural Marxism