There are only two things which I am sure of
(Letters of John Newton)
When I was young, I was sure of many things.But now that I am old, there are only two things which I am sure of: One is that I am a miserable sinner! Secondly, that Christ is an all-sufficient Savior! He is well taught--who learns these two lessons."This saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance: 'Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners'--and I am the worst of them!" 1 Timothy 1:15
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Tuesday, June 30, 2009
There are only two things which I am sure of
By Todd Friel
Christ's Family Church of Hastings, Minnesota is now using the bathroom as a way to reach out to lost souls. http://cfc.ccbchurch.com/app/
"Our men's room (decorated in race car motif) gives members a reason to invite people to church. That is what Christ Family Church is all about; reaching those who have become disenchanted with religion but are searching for a relationship with Jesus Christ."
Somehow, a zoomy bathroom is supposed to save sinful souls. Even the local newspaper wrote an article titled, "Come for the Bathroom, Stay for the Service." We have moved from John the Baptist proclaiming truth in the wilderness, to using a testosterone designed men's room to lure people to a building. While there is nothing wrong with a nifty water closet, there is plenty wrong with using it to attract people to Jesus. We implore people to come to the Savior, not come for the bathroom. We promote Jesus, not the amenities. Church is for Christians, not curiosity seekers. We win them to the Lord, not by being hip. Evangelism is to be done by church members, not the church bathroom.
How could we sink so low?
Monday, June 29, 2009
This video is a testimony to the use of Gospel tracts. More and more I am convinced and encouraged by the faithful use of a good tract.
HT: The Lawman Chronicles
Sunday, June 28, 2009
This is a short film about the premier of the Gamo language version of the Jesus Film and the impact it is having with the Gamo people group in souther Ethiopia. My favorite quote from one of the missionaries follows:
“They were so focused, they hardly moved.”
Thanks so much to Otter for sending this over!
Saturday, June 27, 2009
If you dare to proclaim that Jesus is the only name under Heaven whereby man must be saved, then brace yourself to be called some foul names. Here's how it works. You say, "Jesus is the only way to the Father." They say, "That is sooooo exclusive." You say, "God will condemn anyone who is not forgiven through the redemptive work of Jesus Christ." They say, "That is sooooo intolerant." You say, "If a person does not act like a Christian, then they aren't a Christian." They say, "That is sooooo judgmental." But hold the phone. Loaded in the claim that we are exclusive, intolerant and judgmental, is the premise that these things are intrinsically bad. Would it offend you if someone said, "You are such a baker"? Now you may or may not be a baker, but that is not the point. The question is whether or not it is bad to be a baker.
The Gospel is exclusive. Christians who say it is not, are not Christians. However, there is more to it than that. Society excludes people all the time. If a student does not get straight A's, he gets excluded from the Dean's list. You cannot walk into a restaurant and eat without paying. Why? The restaurant excludes non-payers. I can't show up at 3M and sit at a desk and use their computer. I don't work there. But when they throw me out on my ear I don't scream, "You are sooooo exclusive."
With unprecedented disdain, the pagan or liberal Christian (frequently the same thing) will drip, "You fundamentalists are sooooo judgmental." This should be no surprise coming from a post-modern generation that does not believe in objective truth. In their mind nobody is ever wrong about anything. The marvel of the postmodern is that your belief can be the complete opposite of theirs and they will not call you...I pause to type this word with fear and trembling...the "W" word. Wrong is simply not a word in the post-modern vocabulary. When you have the audacity to say someone is not correct, be prepared to be called judgmental. Once again we must ask, "Is being judgmental a bad thing?" Don't we judge all day? You judge which grocery store line to stand in. Is that wrong? Anything that shows a preference is a judgment. The next time you are called "judgmental," simply ask your post-modern friend which automobile is superior: Mercedes Benz or KIA? When they say Mercedes, then load up and fire away, "That is sooooo judgmental." Does that sound silly? It sure does.
This might be the mother of all accusations. These days, to be called intolerant is almost as bad as being called born again. We simply have to help our slanderous friend read a dictionary. At the core of tolerance is disagreement. In order for me to tolerate or not tolerate you, we must have a difference of opinion. Otherwise, we merely agree. Like-mindedness is not the question; it is how I choose to respond to you. If I disagree with you but live in harmony with you, then I am tolerant. If I punch you in the nose, then I am intolerant. By disagreeing with you without hurting you, I am practicing the virtue of tolerance, not intolerance.
How to Respond?
When someone calls you one of these filthy names, they are employing one of the emptiest debate tactics of all time: ad hominem. They don't have support for their accusation, so they call you a name instead. In this case though, the name they call you isn't bad. They simply say it like it is. Furthermore, when they call you any of "The Three Insufferables," they are doing the very thing they accuse you of. Nevertheless, even if we accept their contorted definitions of exclusivity, intolerance and arrogance, their point is ultimately irrelevant. Even if we are all of those supposedly horrible things, that does not change the validity of our claims. If you say that Jesus is the only means of salvation and they protest that you are being exclusionary, simply respond, "That may or may not be true, but why do you disagree with me?"
When you profess that only those who bear fruit in keeping with repentance are true followers of Jesus, they will insist you are intolerant. Say, "Even if I am intolerant, can you prove that I am wrong?"
The next time you claim that all roads don't lead to God and they spew that you are judgmental, calmly respond, "Yeah, so?"
Distributed by www.ChristianWorldviewNetwork.com
Friday, June 26, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Just hours after his reported death from cardiac arrest today, the stories about Michael Jackson are flying out of all media outlets, blogs, gossip pages, Facebook and countless other sources.
Among my Christian friends is the common reaction that God is not partial to anyone apart from His Son Jesus Christ. There is no doubt that Michael Jackson made a tremendous impact in the secular pop music world. We can only hope that he at some point set his eyes on the Savior and the world to come.
“Opening his mouth, Peter said: ‘I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcomed by Him.’” (Acts 10:34-35)
Christian Hip-Hop artist Shai Linne has a song and video that pointedly reminds us of the inevitable….and of the hope in Jesus Christ not because of our fame, riches or accomplishments, but because His kind grace alone.
There is a whirlwind of discussion concerning President Obama's recent speech in Cairo. This is a facinating response from The Temple Institute.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Recently I have had the privileged to learn a little about Dr. Peter Hammond. His missionary efforts have been blessed by God. Please take some time to visit his web site and learn more about his ministry.
The official government of Sudan, Ministry of Foreign Affairs website includes an article that declares that missionary Peter "Hammond should expect to be bombed when he comes to Sudan … he should expect to be shot on sight"!
Dr. Peter Hammond is a missionary who has pioneered evangelistic outreaches in the war zones of Mozambique, Angola and Sudan. Often travelling by off road motorbike, Peter has travelled hundreds of thousands of miles to deliver Bibles to persecuted Christians in Africa and Eastern Europe. In the course of his missionary activities Peter has been ambushed, come under aerial and artillery bombardments, been stabbed, shot at, beaten by mobs, arrested and imprisoned. On some mission trips he has flown far behind enemy lines to the beleaguered Nuba Mountains in Central Sudan with tonnes of Bibles, books and relief aid. He has then walked throughout the war devastated Nuba Mountains showing the Jesus film in Arabic, proclaiming the Gospel, training pastors and evading enemy patrols.
Rev. Peter Hammond is the Founder and Director of Frontline Fellowship, the Founder and Chairman of Africa Christian Action, the Director of the Christian Action Network and the Chairman of The Reformation Society. He is the author of The Greatest Century of Missions, Faith Under Fire in Sudan, Holocaust in Rwanda, the Great Commission Manual, Faith in Action, Putting Feet to Your Faith, In the Killing Fields of Mozambique, Biblical Principels for Africa, the Discipleship Handbook, Slavery, Terrorism and Islam - the Historical Roots and Contemporary Threat and The Greatest Century of Reformation and the Power of Prayer Handbook. In addition he has co-authored or contributed to: Fight for Life, Make a Difference, The Pink Agenda and South Africa - Renaissance or Reformation?, Character Assassins - dealing with Ecclesiastical Tyrants and Terrorists and Reforming Our Families. He is the Editor of both Frontline Fellowship News and Christian Action.
For over 26 years, Peter has been dedicated to assisting persecuted Christians and to working for Reformation and revival in Africa. Peter has developed the Biblical Worldview Seminar and Great Commission Course to mobilise Churches to comprehensively apply the Lordship of Christ to all areas of life and to fulfill the Great Commission.
Peter was born in Cape Town (in 1960) and brought up in Bulawayo (in what was then war torn Rhodesia - now Zimbabwe). He was converted to Christ in 1977, worked in Scripture Union and Hospital Christian Fellowship, served in the South African Defence Force and studied at Baptist Theological College, Cape Town. He also earned a Doctorate in Missiology and has an honourary Doctorate of Divinity. Peter is married to Lenora (whose missionary parents Rev. Bill and Harriett Bathman, have pioneered missionary work into Eastern Europe for over 55 years). Peter and Lenora have been blessed with four children: Andrea, Daniela, Christopher and Calvin, whom they homeschool.
HT: Frontline Fellowship
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
For all his modern pop culture styling, he waters down nothing. He is, in fact, a thorough-going Calvinist who has made Calvinism cool.
So what do you think about this? Isn’t this still just church growth methodology under another name? Macho and harsh rather than touchy-feely, but isn’t it still culturally-conforming?
Monday, June 22, 2009
Although their contributions are small, their level of giving has actually increased since attending the megachurch. Forty percent said they were giving more at the megachurch than at their previous church.
Other findings show that almost half (45 percent) of megachurch participants said they never volunteered and only 60 percent participate in small groups.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009 (12:38 pm)
By Jawad Mazhar, Worthy News Special Correspondent reporting from Pakistan
MIANWALI, PAKISTAN (Worthy News)-- A talented Christian student has been denied admission to Science studies at a girls high school in Pakistan because the Muslim school principal regards her as "too ugly" to participate, her father said Wednesday, June 17.
Abdullah Masih said the female principal of the Government Girls’ Mian Shahbaz Sharif High School in the Pakistani city of Mianwali told his 14-year-old daughter Uzma Noreen: "Your ugly face is not fit for Science studies.
"The principal, who is also a science teacher and known only as Sofia, declined to discuss the situation in details, but made clear she had not changed her opinion about the Christian sudent.
Masih, 42, told Worthy News and its news partner BosNewsLife that his daughter was devastated. "Besides humiliating my daughter" the principal "also wrecked her educational career,” he added in a telephone interview.
He said his daughter was punished for her Christian faith as she apparently scored most points of students participating in "the final examination of class eight" a key condition for Science studies in class nine.
"Her name was at the top of the list of students to whom admission in Science subjects was granted...Now she is rejected merely for being Christian," Masih claimed. "She was also told she is an ugly Christian girl and therefore her face does not appear to be fitting for Science studiesin higher classes.
"This is no isolated incident, rights groups suggest. In recent months and years, several Christian students have reportedly been forced to leave educational institutions in Pakistan because of their faith.
HT: Worthy News
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Recently I have been reintroduced to Francis Chan through a couple of his videos. Check out the following one compliments of Otter.
Friday, June 19, 2009
I came across a Youtube video of a calvinist arguing his theology. The young man had a tone that I could only describe as pugnacious. It's not that I didn't essentially agree with what he was saying, but rather how he was saying it.
This video from John Piper is a pretty good explanation of what might be going on.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
The following is a summary of his outstanding book, Thoughts for Young Men. Ryle’s gentle but straightforward style with an emphasis on Biblical truth is exactly what this generation of young men need.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Thanks for participating in the free Heather Henry CD giveaway. The winners will be notified today.
With one or two aristic "enhancements", this is complements of Ray Comfort's Atheist Central.
"[Ray wrote] 'If you think that's bad, try this: there are crazies out there that truly believe that women are related to primates, and those primates came from nothing.'
"All women, and all men, are primates by biological definition. Acceptance of this biological definition is not evidence of mental instability, thus your accusation that such individuals are 'crazy' is wholly unfounded. Who, specifically, holds a belief that primates emerged from 'nothing'? Please identify specific individuals, and cite statements from these individuals." -Dimensio
It seems that most Atheists have no idea what they profess to believe (see Psalm 14:1).
1. "It is now becoming clear that everything can -- and probably did -- come from nothing." Robert A. J. Matthews, physicist, Ashton University, England
2. "Space and time both started at the Big Bang and therefore there was nothing before it." Cornell University "Ask an Astronomer."
3. "Some physicists believe our universe was created by colliding with another, but Kaku [a theoretical physicist at City University of New York] says it also may have sprung from nothing . . . " Scienceline.org
4. "Even if we don't have a precise idea of exactly what took place at the beginning, we can at least see that the origin of the universe from nothing need not be unlawful or unnatural or unscientific." Paul Davies, physicist, Arizona State University
5. "Assuming the universe came from nothing, it is empty to begin with . . . Only by the constant action of an agent outside the universe, such as God, could a state of nothingness be maintained. The fact that we have something is just what we would expect if there is no God." Victor J. Stenger, atheist, Prof. Physics, University of Hawaii. Author of, God: The Failed Hypothesis. How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist
6. "Few people are aware of the fact that many modern physicists claim that things --perhaps even the entire universe -- can indeed arise from nothing via natural processes. Creation ex nihilo -- Without God (1997), Atheist, Mark I. Vuletic
7. "To understand these facts we have to turn to science. Where did they all come from, and how did they get so darned outrageous? Well, it all started with nothing." --"Fifty Outrageous Animal Facts," Animal Planet
8. To the average person it might seem obvious that nothing can happen in nothing. But to a quantum physicist, nothing is, in fact, something." Discover Magazine "Physics & Math/Cosmology"
9. "It is rather fantastic to realize that the laws of physics can describe how everything was created in a random quantum fluctuation out of nothing, and how over the course of 15 billion years, matter could organize in such complex ways that we have human beings sitting here, talking, doing things intentionally." (Alan Harvey Guth theoretical physicist and cosmologist). Discover Magazine, April 1, 2002
R. C. Sproul said:
"Some modern theorists believe that the world was created by nothing. Note the difference between saying that the world was created from nothing and saying that the universe was created by nothing. In this modern view the rabbit comes out of the hat with no rabbit, a hat, or even a magician. The modern view is far more miraculous that the biblical world view. It suggests that nothing created something. More than that, it holds that nothing created everything--quite a feat indeed!
"Now surely there aren’t serious people who are running around in this scientific age claiming that the universe was created by nothing, are there? Yes, scores of them. To be sure, they don’t say it quite the way I have said it, and they would probably be annoyed with me for stating their views in such a manner. They’d undoubtedly protest that I have given a distorted caricature of their sophisticated position. OK. True--they don’t say that the universe was created by nothing; they say that the universe was created by chance. But chance is no thing. It has no weight, no measurements, no power. It is merely a word we use to describe mathematical possibilities. It can do nothing. It can do nothing because it is nothing. To say that the universe was created by chance is to say that it came from nothing. That is intellectual madness."
It seems that most Atheists have no idea what they profess to believe (see Psalm 14:1).
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
This post marks the 300th for StreetFishing. So I thought I would post something just for fun.
When I was a kid, I had a subscription to Highlights magazine; Something I had gotten for my birthday and kept for years. The first thing I would do is go to the page with Goofus and Gallant. Poor ol' Goofus had it all wrong but I also kind of bristled at Gallant being such a goody-two-shoes.
Below is an updated version of my old favorite with a twist. Complements of Sacred Sandwich. Enjoy!
Court Bans Bible from Kindergarten Show-and-Tell
—From Focus on the Family Action citizenlink.com
HT: Stone The Preacher
Monday, June 15, 2009
... Not with the audacity of hope, but with the audacity of sin, President Obama calls all Americans to celebrate the depravity of man in some of its most grotesque forms
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the
United States, do hereby proclaim June 2009 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and
Transgender Pride Month. I call upon the people of the United States to turn
back discrimination and prejudice everywhere it exists.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of June, in
the year of our Lord two thousand nine, and of the Independence of the United
States of America the two hundred and thirty-third.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
“And if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you…” (Moroni 10:32)
Must keep all the commandments
“the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them” 1 Nephi 3:7
“daily transgression and daily repentance is that which is not pleasing in the sight of God.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 148)
“no unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of heaven; therefore, how can ye be saved, except ye inherit the kingdom of heaven? Therefore, ye cannot saved in your sins” (Alma 11:37)
Trying not to sin is not enough
“Desire and Trying to abandon sins is not sufficient, only abandoning sin is sufficient” (MoF by Spencer Kimball, p.163-164)
“…this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God… For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance even until death, behold, ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you his; therefore, the Spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you, and hath no place in you, and the devil hath all power over you; and this is the final state of the wicked” (Alma 34:30-35)
Friend, the Impossible Gospel of Mormonism is not only impossible but also false. It is based on fear and works righteousness. Grace only applies after all you can do (2 Nephi 25:23). Unless you never commit any sin ever again you are still in sin and not truly repentant. Trying to stop sinning is not enough. The time to deny all ungodliness is now because at death there is no second chance from being sealed to the devil who is in Outer Darkness. That is the final state of your soul for all eternity without end. Have you stopped sinning completely? If not then Grace does not apply to you. You will die in sin and will not be saved to be in the presence of the Father according to the LDS Teaching you just read. The LDS gospel is not good news.
God commands you to repent and put all trust in Jesus Christ alone to save you (Acts 17:30-31). Stop attempting to gain your own salvation through works that cannot save (Rom. 10:3-4). It cheapens Christ’s sacrifice to be only a partial payment and insults God. You can do nothing to save yourself (Eph. 2:8-9). You must put all your faith in Jesus alone and place zero trust in yourself. Cry out to God and beg him to save you from your sin, and trust ONLY in His death and resurrection as full payment
However, to die in sin apart from God's complete and undeserved mercy will bring a fearful day of wrath, judgment and a destination of Hell (Revelation 21:8). Don't wait another moment. Surrender all to the Savior for He is worthy and this day may be your last. There is no other way. Please repent and trust in the true Jesus. He is merciful to save.
I love you Friend. That is why I wanted to share this most important message of God’s kindness. Let’s talk more as soon as possible.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
by R.C. Sproul
Quicumque vult – this phrase is the title attributed to what is popularly known as the Athanasian Creed. It was often called the Athanasian Creed because for centuries people attributed its authorship to Athanasius, the great champion of Trinitarian orthodoxy during the crisis of the heresy of Arianism that erupted in the fourth century. That theological crisis focused on the nature of Christ and culminated in the Nicene Creed in 325. Though Athanasius did not write the Nicene Creed, he was its chief champion against the heretics who followed after Arius, who argued that Christ was an exalted creature but that He was less than God.
Athanasius died in 373 AD, and the epithet that appeared on his tombstone is now famous, as it captures the essence of his life and ministry. It read simply, “Athanasius contra mundum,” that is, “Athanasius against the world.” This great Christian leader suffered several exiles during the embittered Arian controversy because of the steadfast profession of faith he maintained in Trinitarian orthodoxy.
Though the name “Athanasius” was given to the creed over the centuries, modern scholars are convinced that the Athanasian Creed was written after the death of Athanasius. Certainly, Athanasius’ theological influence is embedded in the creed, but in all likelihood he was not its author.
Though the Athanasian Creed does not get as much publicity in Protestant churches, the orthodox doctrines of the Trinity and the incarnation are affirmed by virtually every historic Protestant church.
The content of the Athanasian Creed stresses the affirmation of the Trinity in which all members of the Godhead are considered uncreated and co-eternal and of the same substance. In the affirmation of the Trinity the dual nature of Christ is given central importance. As the Athanasian Creed in one sense reaffirms the doctrines of the Trinity set forth in the fourth century at Nicea, in like manner the strong affirmations of the fifth-century council at Chalcedon in 451 are also recapitulated therein. As the church fought with the Arian heresy in the fourth century, the fifth century brought forth the heresies of monophysitism, which reduced the person of Christ to one nature, mono physis, a single theanthropic (God-man) nature that was neither purely divine or purely human. At the same time the church battled with the monophysite heresy, she also fought against the opposite view of Nestorianism, which sought not so much to blur and mix the two natures but to separate them, coming to the conclusion that Jesus had two natures and was therefore two persons, one human and one divine. Both the Monophysite heresy and the Nestorian heresy were clearly condemned at the Council of Chalcedon in 451, where the church, reaffirming its Trinitarian orthodoxy, stated their belief that Christ, or the second person of the Trinity was vere homo and vere Deus, truly human and truly God. It further declared that the two natures in their perfect unity coexisted in such a manner as to be without mixture, confusion, separation, or division, wherein each nature retained its own attributes.
The Athanasian Creed reaffirms the distinctions found at Chalcedon, where in the Athanasian statement Christ is called, “perfect God and perfect man.” All three members of the Trinity are deemed to be uncreated and therefore co-eternal. Also following earlier affirmations, the Holy Spirit is declared to have proceeded both from the Father “and the Son.”
Finally, the Athanasian standards examined the incarnation of Jesus and affirmed that in the mystery of the incarnation the divine nature did not mutate or change into a human nature, but rather the immutable divine nature took upon itself a human nature. That is, in the incarnation there was an assumption by the divine nature of a human nature and not the mutation of the divine nature into a human nature.
The Athanasian Creed is considered one of the four authoritative creeds of the Roman Catholic Church, and again, it states in terse terms what is necessary to believe in order to be saved. Though the Athanasian Creed does not get as much publicity in Protestant churches, the orthodox doctrines of the Trinity and the incarnation are affirmed by virtually every historic Protestant church.
Dr. R.C. Sproul is senior minister of preaching and teaching at Saint Andrew’s Chapel and he is founder and chairman of Ligonier Ministries.
Friday, June 12, 2009
I don't claim to really know Ray Comfort even though I have met him several times. What I can say is that the few encounters I have had with him have proven to be enjoyable. Ray is funny, creative, and quick witted as well as being a prolific writer and speaker. This video shows him to also be able to enjoy God's creation in some of the most simplest ways.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
The video below is a great resource from the ministry of Justin Peters.
This 4 Hour Seminar on 2 DVDs include a lot of Video & Audio Clips of various Word of Faith Leaders such as: Benny Hinn, Joel Osteen, Kenneth & Gloria Copeland, Jessie Duplantis, Joyce Meyer, Kenneth Hagin, Creflo Dollar, Paula White, Larry Hutch, Myles Munroe, Jan & Paul Crouch, Fredrick Price, etc.This DVD allows people to See and Hear for themselves what these individuals are actually Teaching, along with the many False Prophecies that have been spoken and Not come True. Everything is then balanced with Scripture as there is Biblical Commentary, and Scriptures to help the viewer Examine Everything with the Word of God (Acts 17:11, 1 John 4:1, 1 Thess 5:21).
Below is a short preview video.
For ordering information, CLICK HERE.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
God wants you to walk with Him in confidence. He does not want you in the Slough of Despond. If you are wobbly in your confidence, let’s see if we can get you out of the pit.
This is going to sound radical, but I wonder if you are shaky because of your fear of sinning.
Don’t get me wrong, you and I should be afraid to sin, but the question is, “Why?” While there are several reasons, I suggest there should only be one reason for the believer. If you have been afraid to sin for the wrong reason, perhaps that is why you have no assurance.
There are two wrong reasons for being afraid to sin.
Reason 1: Wrong Theology
Are you afraid to sin because that will demonstrate you are not actually saved? Uh oh. That is wrong. Ponder this carefully.
Your fruit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control) is an excellent sign that you are saved (Galatians 5). While external transformation takes effort, it is relatively attainable. But having a heart change is impossible unless God has saved you.
Let’s not sugar coat this, if you are living in willful, unrepentant, persistent sin, you are not saved.
On the other hand, your sins are only POSSIBLY a sign that you are not saved. Note this well: Christians sin. That’s right, true born again believers will sin (I John). If you sin, that does not prove that you are a false convert.
“But wait,” you say. “Doesn’t the Bible say that if we keep on sinning we are of the devil?”
It sure does, but that is the key: you keep on sinning.
Let’s not sugar coat this, if you are living in willful, unrepentant, persistent sin, you are not saved. You need to repent. Now.
But if you are a man or woman who is growing in holiness (love, joy, peace, etc.) and you are not living in on-going, willful sin, then be assured: you are IN HIM.
You are saved. You have forgiveness of sins. You are adopted into His family. You are His child. You have all of the rights and privileges of an heir. STOP DOUBTING.
“But wait,” you protest. “I don’t want to sin so that grace might more abound.”
That is good, but hear me well: YOU WON'T. If you are in Him, you will not, nor cannot be a grace abuser. Why not? Because you have a new heart and new desires.
Reason 2: Wrong Motive
Perhaps your motive for not sinning is to prove that you are saved. That too is wrong.
What should be your motive for not sinning? It is NOT to prove that you are in Him.
Your fear of sinning should be motivated by your position in and love for Christ. You loathe sin because you are in Him and you do not want to sin against the One you love so profoundly.
Let me demonstrate what I am describing with the Tale of Two Christians.
Danny has a born again experience. He can remember when God brought him low and he repented of his sins and trusted Jesus. He reads the Bible every day and his family notices that he is a different person. He has even lost a lot of his old friends because he is “so Christian.” But Danny has doubts.
Danny has mortified his gross sins. The pornography has ceased and the anger is gone…almost. You see, occasionally Danny still gets kind of mad. Not nearly as mad as he used to, but he still finds himself getting annoyed in traffic and short with the kids.
When Danny gets wound up, he recognizes his sin, apologizes to God and then frets that he is not actually saved. His worry ebbs and flows based on how well he is doing.
Like Danny, Alice has a born again experience. She can remember when God adopted her and she reads the Bible every day. Her family notices that she is different. Alice has no doubts she is saved.
Alice used to be a raging gossip who loved her soap operas. Now she hates those things. Unfortunately, Alice will sometimes find herself in a conversation and she will realize that she is spreading gossip. She bridles her tongue, apologizes to God and praises Him that He has rescued her and has given her a new heart. She asks Him to help her not sin again. As the day progresses, she will thank God for His amazing grace toward her, a sinner.
Unfortunately, Alice sins again. While flipping through the channels to find Wretched TV, she lingers for a few seconds on a channel that she promised God she would not watch again. Alice gets mad at herself. Turns off the TV and apologizes to God and thanks Him that He has so graciously saved such a fowl creature. Alice is filled with awe at God’s loving-kindness. She cries.
Alice is resolved to not sin again because she is HEARTBROKEN every time she does. She does not battle sin to prove she is a Christian, but she battles sin simply because she is a Christian who loves to please the Lord with obedience. She knows that when she sins, she has increased the suffering of her Savior and treated Him with contempt, something she hates.
The thought of abusing God’s grace is the furthest thing from Alice’s mind. Let me repeat: the thought of abusing grace is the furthest thing from a Christian’s mind. Grace abuse is the last thing a Christian wants to do. Let me beat that horse. Not only will Christians not abuse grace; they won’t even want to abuse grace.
Our motive for not sinning should not be to prove we are not a false convert, but because we stand in awe of His grace.
Look to the cross, rejoice in your Savior. Do not fear. You will not abuse His grace as you walk this way. In fact, you will sin even less.
Please, do not be a doubting Danny. Be an assured Alice (unless you are a man, then be an assured Alan). Trust Him. Rest in Him. Because you are in Him.
Then go, and serve your King.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
"The apostles of Satan are not saloon-keepers and white-slave traffickers, but are for the most part ordained ministers. Thousands of those who occupy our modern pulpits are no longer engaged in presenting the fundamentals of the Christian Faith, but have turned aside from the Truth and have given heed unto fables. Instead of magnifying the enormity of sin and setting forth its eternal consequences, they minimize it by declaring that sin is merely ignorance or the absence of good. Instead of warning their hearers to "flee from the wrath to come" they make God a liar by declaring that He is too loving and merciful to send any of His own creatures to eternal torment. Instead of declaring that "without shedding of blood is no remission," they merely hold up Christ as the great Exemplar and exhort their hearers to "follow in His steps." Of them it must be said, "For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God" (Rom_10:3).
today hundreds of churches are without a leader who faithfully declares the whole counsel of God…...
Their message may sound very plausible and their aim appear very praiseworthy, yet we read of them—"for such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves (imitating) into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore, it is no great thing [not to be wondered at] if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness, whose end shall be according to their works" (2Co_11:13-15).
In addition to the fact that today hundreds of churches are without a leader who faithfully declares the whole counsel of God and presents His way of salvation, we also have to face the additional fact that the majority of people in these churches are very unlikely to learn the Truth themselves."
—A. W. Pink (1886–1952)
Taken from "Another Gospel" by A. W. Pink
HT: The Bororean
Monday, June 8, 2009
With so much emphasis these days on "evangelism" (which usually means a method that was adopted less than 200 years ago), it's amazing and freeing for many when they first hear the history of a method that we know today called "decisional regeneration" and it's founding father, Charles Grandison Finney. Maybe even more noteworthy is the fact that Finney, just before he died, renounced the very methods that he once founded and used and which many use today to gather unbelievers together in groups. If this video doesn't convince you of the dangers of decisional regeneration, I'm not sure if you truly do have a heart for the lost (as many of the proponents of this type of "evangelism" often self proclaim).
Read "Decisional Regeneration" by James E. Adams & "The Invitation System" by Iain H. Murray.
HT: Westy Seed Sower
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Thank you to Cameron Buettel over at The Bottom Line for posting this. What a sweet ending to a wonderful Lord's day.
On this day, the Lord's day, stop and meditate on the wonderful Savior Jesus Christ. Who, while we were sinners demonstrated his great love in dying as a penal substitute making reconciliation possible with God. This is a wonderful song worth absorbing, embracing, and applying!
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Friday, June 5, 2009
This post comes to us from Blog One Another. It's caused quite a stir and was discussed on last night's Ambassadors' Alliance Radio, a ministry of Tony Miano of Living Waters.
Welcome to all listeners of Last Days Radio. Before you jump all over me, may I make clear that I am using overstatement ("stop evangelizing") to make a point? By not trying so hard, I have found the gospel flows more naturally, and have enjoyed sharing the gospel with my friends much more freely and frequently.…All right, on with the show. Thanks for visiting!
Years ago, I decided to stop evangelizing my friends. Here are 14 reasons you might consider doing the same:
1. It makes them uncomfortable.
2. It makes you uncomfortable.
3. It makes you think about how to twist every conversation to Jesus rather than seeing how Jesus is already there.
4. It makes you believe you're bringing God to them, rather than seeing how the Holy Spirit has already been active in their lives.
5. It pressures you into showing an unrelatable happy, plastic face rather than letting God's grace shine through your struggles.
6.It makes you focus on talking rather than listening.
7. It leads you to answer questions they aren't asking.
8. It makes you think about what to say rather than how to love.
9. It makes you think faith is a list of statements rather than a different way of living.
10. It puts you into the role of "teacher," causing you to miss things your friends can teach you.
11. It makes them see you as a religious salesman rather than an apprentice of the Master.
12. It hurts your friendship.
13. It robs you of a good time.
14. It makes you think their lack of interest in your evangelism means they are not interested in Jesus or spiritual questions.
What do you think — do you agree/disagree? What other reasons can you think of?