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Thursday, April 30, 2009
• Exodus 3:14 God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And he said, "Say this to the people of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you."
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Jared Vineyard is a recent graduate from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He served in the military in Iraq for one year and was miraculously saved when a car bomb went off in a car he was searching. Hear Jared's story first-hand and invite others to watch it.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Keeping in pace with my last post, I thought this short article was pretty compelling concerning the work of God's sovereignty in converting the soul. Consider John 6:44. "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day."
I'm not sure who wrote the introduction below, but there's not much I can add to it.
"God's sovereignty simply refers to the fact that all things are under His rule and control, and that nothing happens in this Universe without His direction or permission. He is a God Who works, not just some things, but all things after the counsel of His own will (see Eph. 1:11). God's purpose is all- inclusive and is never thwarted (see Isa. 46:11). Nothing Takes Him by Surprise."
"It is not merely that God has the power and right to govern all things but that He does so always and without exception." - John Piper
· God is sovereign over the entire universe: Ps 103:19; Rom 8:28; Eph 1:11
· God is sovereign over all of nature: Ps 135:6-7; Mt 5:45; 6:25-30
· God is sovereign over angels & Satan: Ps 103:20-21; Job 1:12
· God is sovereign over nations: Ps 47:7-9; Dan 2:20-21; 4:34-35
· God is sovereign over human beings: 1 Sam 2:6-7; Gal 1:15-16
· God is sovereign over animals: Ps 104:21-30; 1 Ki 17:4-6
· God is sovereign over "accidents": Pr 16:33; Jon 1:7; Mt 10:29
· God is sovereign over free acts of men: Ex 3:21; 12:25-36; Ez 7:27
· God is sovereign over sinful acts of men and Satan: 2 Sam 24:1; 1 Chr 21:1; Gen 45:5; 50:20
Monday, April 27, 2009
I have been meditating on the proper use and time for apologetics. Of late, that means how to communicate to Mormons in my area. There are some very active ministries here that are focused on knowing as much as they can about LDS doctrines in order to communicate the truth of the Bible to them. Many of these folks are former Mormons, so they carry a good deal of credibility for their methodology. This often produces lengthy dialogues over days, weeks or months with lost Mormons they are trying to reach. It can also result in endless rabbit trails of conversation which frankly, has often left me with a headache.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Just last night, I was at a men's event at my church and the question of the "age" or "level" of accountability came up yet again with a brother. What perfect timing to go into the MacArthur Q and A archives!
What is the Scriptural basis for the "Age of Accountability" in regards to children's salvation?
I think the best way to answer that is to say this: There is no "Age of Accountability" identified in Scripture, as such. There is nothing in the Bible that says, "Here is the 'age' and from here on you are responsible!" I think the reason for that is because children mature at different paces. That would be true from culture to culture, and from age to age in history. So the Lord in His wisdom, didn't identify a specific moment. God knows when that soul is accountable. God knows when real rejection has taken place; when the love of sin exists in the heart. When enmity with God is conscience and willful. God alones knows when that takes place.
Also, it is important to say this: There is no indication, anywhere in Scripture, of the salvation of a child. There is no illustration of it. Jesus never had an encounter with a child and lead him to faith. He encounter a lot of people; preached to a lot of crowds, and a lot of people believed, but there is never any indication about a child believing. So consequently, we have to assume, then, that a saving commitment to Jesus Christ comes only after a child has reached the conscience reality of rejection, and the conscience awareness of iniquity. As to when that is, as I say, it varies from child to child.
The Jews, as you well remember, had identified about the age of twelve, and that's, you remember, when Jesus was taken by His parents to Jerusalem for the Passover and the Feast, and there He was in the temple questioning the doctors. I think you have a good illustration there; if Scripture says anything, it sets that one illustration, and Jesus was asking the kinds of questions that were actually profound questions to the doctors. We can assume then that was the age at which those kinds of questions begin to be personal. So I have always felt that somewhere around that period of time, the transition from childhood to adulthood takes place. It's probably not totally disassociated from puberty, where there is a consciousness of one's own impulses, feelings, drives, desires, and therefore sinful attitudes and passions, and whatever else that starts to emerge.
Now, as to how you deal with that--I was just talking to a parent about that the other day--I believe that it is absolutely essential, all the way along with the child, that every time they desire to make a commitment to Jesus Christ, at whatever age they're at, you encourage them to do that. Because you don't know, we can't know, when that is a saving commitment. I mean, if I go into a class over here of five or six-year-olds or seven or eight-year-olds, and tell them the story of Jesus, and ask how many want to ask Jesus into their heart, they will all say we do, because the story of Jesus is compelling, because that's what you want from them, and if they love you and you are their mom and dad, then obviously that's what's going to happen. So, when a child, say at the age of six or seven, or whatever it might be, says, "I want to invite Christ into my life," then you need to encourage them to do that. Everyone of those, I see as a step towards God. At what point that becomes saving faith--God knows--I don't know.
But, I also believe, that up until that point of real saving faith, God in His mercy, would save that child, should that child die. I have been doing some study on that very issue, because when I was at a conference recently, and that question was asked of a panel, of very astute theologians--no one gave an adequate answer. And I thought, "How can we have theologians who don't know the answer to that question," "What about the children before the age of accountability, when they die, do they go to heaven?" I think the answer is "yes," and I think it is a strong "YES," based upon the confidence of David who said, when his little baby died, "He cannot come to me, but I shall go to him." And David knew where he was going; David knew where he was going to heaven--he knew that. There wasn't any question in his mind about that, and when he said, "I shall go to him," in those words was the anticipation, and the hope and the joy of reunion. Now, some people have said, "Well, all he meant was, 'I am going to be buried next to him.'" There wouldn't be any reason to say, "He can't come to me, but, Oh I'm so glad I am going to be buried next to him!" There would be no joy in that; that wouldn't satisfy anything. So I think at that point, he was expressing the confidence that he was going to heaven, he knew that, and that's exactly where he would find his son, who had died before the age of accountability.
Another interesting thing that occurs numerous times in the Old Testament, is that children are referred to, and those children who die, as well, are referred to as "innocent," and the Hebrew word that is used for "innocent" is used numerous times in the Old Testament, refer to "not being guilty"--literally, "being taken to court and found 'not guilty.'" In fact, you remember, that it refers to the babies that were passed through the fire to Moloch [false god] as the "innocents", so I believe that God, prior to the "Age of Accountability" treats them as "innocent." It doesn't mean that they are no fallen; doesn't mean that they are not sinful--it does mean that God mercifully treats them as "innocent" in spite of that, and He has to exercise grace to do that, just as He exercises grace to save those who believe.
But, that "Age of Accountability" is not clearly identified. I just think it's up to parents; every time a child wants to respond and open the heart to Christ--you need to encourage that, all the way along, until they come to that point where it is genuine, and the Lord knows that, and you may not know that.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Rob-roy found this article over at Pyromaniacs. I have to agree with one of the comments made over there that this is one of the best posts ever. So true.
by Dan Phillips
Decades ago, I read a disturbingly candid essay by a pastor about his struggles with pornography. It was in Leadership magazine. Years later, two of his realizations still stand out to me.
The author came to see (as I recall) that he was attracted to these images because they were unreal. The women in the pictures never had bad days, were never crabby and demanding, never disrespectful and demeaning. No mood swings. They always suited his mood, his needs, his wants. They were unreal.
Read the rest of this article here.
Friday, April 24, 2009
In a recent event from the Atlanta Civic Center, Ravi Zacharias answers a tough question about religious freedom- specifically the freedom to disbelieve- in other countries. From the DVD titled "Is America Really Christian."
Note: Yes, I believe that is Jeff Foxworthy at the beginning and end.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
I first saw a list like this in a childrens' Sunday school class. It never gets old.
Abraham’s Seed (Genesis 22:18; Galatians 3:16).
Advocate (1 John 2:1).
Almighty (Revelation 1:8).
Alpha and Omega (Revelation 1:8; 22:13).
Amen (Revelation 3:14).
Angel (Genesis 48:16; Exodus 23:20,21).
Angel of God’s presence (Isaiah 63:9).
Angel of the Lord (Exodus 3:2; Judges 13:15-22).
Apostle (Hebrews 3:1).
Arm of the Lord (Isaiah 51:9; 53:1).
Author and Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).
Author of eternal salvation (Hebrews 5:9).
Beginning of the creation of God (Revelation 3:14).
Beloved (Ephesians 1:6).Beloved Son (Matthew 12:18).
Blessed and only Potentate (1 Timothy 6:15).
Branch (Jeremiah 23:5; Zechariah 3:8; 6:12).
Bread of Life (John 6:35, 48).
Bridegroom (Matthew 9:15).
Bright and Morning Star (Revelation 22:16).
Captain of Salvation (Hebrews 2:10).
Captain of the Lord’s hosts (Joshua 5:14,15).
Carpenter (Mark 6:3).
Carpenter’s Son (Matthew 13:55).
Chief Cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20; 1 Peter 2:6).
Chief Shepherd (1 Peter 5:4).
Christ (Matthew 16:20; Mark 14:16; Luke 23:2).
Christ Jesus (Acts 19:4; Romans 3:24; 8:1; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 1:30).
Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:39; 1 Timothy 1:12).
Christ of God (Luke 9:20).
Christ the Lord (Luke 2:11).
Commander (Isaiah 55:4).Consolation of Israel (Luke 2:25).
Cornerstone (Matthew 21:42; Ephesians 2:20).
Counselor (Isaiah 9:6).
Creator (John 1:3).
David (Jeremiah 30:9; Ezekiel 34:23).
Dayspring (Luke 1:78).Deliverer (Romans 11:26).
Desire of all nations (Haggai 2:7).
Door (John 10:7).
Elect of God (Isaiah 42:1).
Eternal life (1 John 1:2; 5:20).
Everlasting Father (Isaiah 9:6).
Faithful and True (Revelation 19:11).
Faithful witness (Revelation 1:5; 3:14).
First and Last (Revelation 1:17; 2:8).
Firstborn (Psalms 89:27; Hebrews 1:6; Revelation 1:5).
Forerunner (Hebrews 6:20).
Fountain (Zechariah 13:1).
Glory of the Lord (Isaiah 40:5).
God (Isaiah 40:9; John 20:28).
God blessed forever (Romans 9:5).
God’s fellow (Zechariah 13:7).
Good Shepherd (John 10:14).
Governor (Matthew 2:6).
Great High Priest (Hebrews 4:14).
Head of the Church (Ephesians 5:23; Colossians 1:18).
Heir of all things (Hebrews 1:2).
High Priest (Hebrews 4:14).
Holy Child (Acts 4:27).
Holy One (Psalms 16:10, with Acts 2:27; 3:14).
Holy One of God (Mark 1:24).
Holy One of Israel (Isaiah 41:14; 54:5).
Horn of salvation (Luke 1:69).
I AM, (Exodus 3:14, with John 8:58).
Image of God (2 Corinthians 4:4).
Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23).
Jesus (Matthew 1:21; 1 Thessalonians 1:10).
Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:1).
Jesus of Nazareth (Matthew 21:11; Mark 1:24; Luke 24:19).
Judge (Acts 10:42; 2 Timothy 4:8).
Judge of Israel (Micah 5:1).
Just One (Acts 7:52; 22:14).
King (Zechariah 9:9, with Matthew 21:5).
King of Glory (Psalms 24:7-10).
King of Israel (John 1:49).
King of Kings (1 Timothy 6:15; Revelation 17:14).
King of peace (Hebrews 7:2).
King of righteousness (Hebrews 7:2).
King of Saints (Revelation 15:3).
King of Salem (Hebrews 7:1).
King of the Jews (Matthew 2:2; 27:37; John 19:19).
King of Zion (Matthew 21:25).
Lamb (Revelation 5:6, 12; 13:8; 21:22; 22:3).
Lamb of God (John 1:29, 36).
Lawgiver (Isaiah 33:22).
Leader (Isaiah 55:4).
Life (John 14:6; Colossians 3:4; 1 John 1:2).
Light of the world (John 1:8; 8:12).
Lily of the valleys (Song of Solomon 2:1).
Lion of the tribe of Judah (Revelation 5:5).
Living Bread (John 6:51).
Living Stone (1 Peter 2:4).
Lord and Savior (2 Peter 1:11; 3:18).
Lord Christ (Colossians 3:24).
Lord God Almighty (Revelation 15:3).
Lord God of the holy prophets (Revelation 22:6).
Lord Jesus (Acts 7:59; Colossians 3:17).
Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 11:17; 16:31; 20:21).
Lord of all (Acts 10:36).
Lord of glory (1 Corinthians 2:8; James 2:1).
Lord of Hosts (Isaiah 44:6).
Lord of Lords (1 Timothy 6:15; Revelation 17:14; 19:16).
Lord our righteousness (Jeremiah 23:6; 33:16).
Man of Sorrows (Isaiah 53:3).
Mediator (1 Timothy 2:5).
Messenger of the covenant (Malachi 3:1).
Messiah (Daniel 9:25; John 1:41).
Mighty God (Isaiah 9:6).
Mighty One of Israel (Isaiah 30:29).
Mighty One of Jacob (Isaiah 49:26; 60:16).
Morningstar (Revelation 22:16; 2 Peter 1:19).
Most Holy (Daniel 9:24).
Nazarene (Matthew 2:23).
Offspring of David (Revelation 22:16).
Only Begotten Son (John 1:18).
Only Begotten (John 1:14).
Our Passover (1 Corinthians 5:7).
Potentate (1 Timothy 6:15).
Power of God (1 Corinthians 1:24).
Prince (Acts 5:31).
Prince of life (Acts 3:15).
Prince of peace (Isaiah 9:6).
Prince of the kings of the earth (Revelation 1:5).
Prophet (Matthew 21:11; Luke 24:19; John 7:40).
Rabbi (John 1:49).
Rabboni (John 20:16).
Ransom (1 Timothy 2:6).
Redeemer (Job 19:25; Isaiah 59:20; Isaiah 60:16).
Resurrection and life (John 11:25).
Rock (1 Corinthians 10:4).
Rock of Offence (1 Peter 2:8).
Root of David (Revelation 5:5; 22:16).
Root of Jesse (Isaiah 11:10).
Rose of Sharon (Song of Solomon 2:1).
Ruler of Israel (Micah 5:2).
Savior (Luke 2:11; 2 Peter 2:20; 3:18).
Savior of the Body (Ephesians 5:23).
Sceptre (Numbers 24:17).
Second Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45).
Second Man (1 Corinthians 15:47).
Seed of David (2 Timothy 2:8).
Seed of woman (Genesis 3:15).
Servant (Isaiah 42:1; 52:13; 53:11; Acts 4:30).
Servant of Rulers (Isaiah 49:7).
Shepherd (Mark 14:27).
Shepherd and Overseer of Souls (1 Peter 2:25).
Shepherd of Israel (Psalms 80:1).
Shiloh (Genesis 49:10).
Son of David (Matthew 9:27).
Son of God (Luke 1:35; John 1:49).
Son of Joseph (John 6:42).
Son of man (John 5:27).
Son of the Blessed (Mark 14:61).
Son of the Father (2 John 1:3).
Son of the Highest (Luke 1:32).
Star (Numbers 24:17).
Stone of Stumbling (1 Peter 2:8).
Sun of righteousness (Malachi 4:2).
Sure Foundation (Isaiah 28:16).
Surety (Hebrews 7:22).
Teacher (Matthew 23:8; John 3:2).
Tender Plant (Isaiah 53:2).
True God (1 John 5:20).
True Light (John 1:9).
True Vine (John 15:1).
Truth (John 14:6).
Vine (John 15:1).Way (John 14:6).
Wisdom (Proverbs 8:12).
Wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:24).
Witness (Isaiah 55:4; Revelation 1:5).
Wonderful (Isaiah 9:6).
Word (John 1:1; 1 John 5:7).
Word of God (Revelation 19:13).Word of Life (1 John 1:1).
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Here is a great article by Fred G. Zaspel, Published by Word of Life Baptist Church, Pottsville, PA.
It would be all but impossible to give an accurate description of the modern evangelical church without mention of the invitation system, or the "altar call," as it is called. The altar call is a custom in virtually all Evangelical, Fundamentalist, Wesleyan, Pentecostal, and Charismatic circles. Immediately following the sermon the congregation will sing a hymn during which the preacher calls men and women to walk to the front of the auditorium (the "altar") to make a public decision to "accept Christ." Salvation is offered to all who will but come to the front and take it. Those who come receive the personal attention of a counsellor and are instructed what to pray, and so on. They may be taken to a private "inquiry room," or they may kneel together at the front of the auditorium and speak together softly while the congregation is singing.
I say this is the custom. Indeed, it is all but universal in the evangelical world, and it is considered to be an essential part of evangelism. In fact, those who do not observe the custom are generally held to be "liberal" or at least "unconcerned" about evangelism. The invitation system is an essential feature of the modern evangelical church.
But in the thirteen years that I have been at Word of Life, there has never been such an altar call. I certainly do not want to leave the impression that those who observe the practice are not our friends, indeed, our brothers in Christ. But our refusal to adopt the prevailing custom makes us stand out as different, and as a result we are sometimes asked to explain "why." Given that the custom is such a prevailing one today, the question is a fair one. Why do we not observe the altar call at Word of Life Baptist Church?
Read the entire article here.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
That's exactly what this video is. If you've seen any of Paul Washer's video messages, no doubt they have caused you to examine yourselves. This video is something altogether different: Paul Washer open air preaching in Peru.
HT: The Lawman Chronicles
Monday, April 20, 2009
Sunday, April 19, 2009
I recently had the pleasure of communicating with Phil Johnson via Facebook concerning a question I had for Dr. John MacArthur. Realistically, this is about as close as I can hope to get an answer from J-Mac himself!—and who else better to ask?
My question had to do with why John MacArthur has remained silent on the issue of author William P. Young’s novel, The Shack.
Phil’s original response (I deleted it—doh’!) was that basically, Dr. MacArthur wasn’t inclined to comment on the book and to simply check out Tim Challies’ review. I wanted a little further clarification considering the controversy and impact it is having among evangelicals and wrote back the following:
I agree Challies did a great review. In fact I'm using his article to warn with those I care about concerning this book. It’s probably the most level, discerning and intelligent piece out there. But may I respectfully say that your response didn't really answer my question? I know you don't answer for "all things MacArthur" by any means, but you're more reachable. The truth about Seeker Sensitive message you guys did helped me to articulate why I left the church we attended for 9 years when I couldn't otherwise really pinpoint it to those who were asking. Why Dr. MacArthur remains completely silent on this is just a little surprising, that's all. --Not even a peep that I can find on Google .
Note: I was implying that a critique from Dr. MacArthur may serve as a tool for those not sure about the book. Much he provided to me when I was unsure about Seeker sensitive issues and more specifically the introduction of Purpose Driven material into the church I attended at the time.
Phil Johnson’s reply:
“In short, he hasn't read the book and doesn't want to. He wouldn't normally read a fiction book. In all the years I have known him, a brief experiment with a Louis La'Mour book is the only fiction work I have ever known him to read. Therefore he leaves the reviewing of fiction works to others. He wasn't a fan of Peretti novels or rapture fiction, either but he let other people write those critical reviews rather than read something he never would have read anyway just to critique it. Since he does read things like Challies' review of the book, and he liked Challies’ review of that book and felt it was a sufficient response to the issue, he is happy to leave it at that. He's not looking for more things to critique. It's really not his aspiration to be the leading critic on every evangelical aberration.”
I guess I can’t argue with that. Curiosity satisfied with a bit of inside humor from the world of Dr. John MacArthur!
Saturday, April 18, 2009
This post comes to us compliments of our friends over at The Word Street Journal. Check them out for encouragement and stories from the street.
What is "modern" evangelism? Is it relevant to our modern culture? Is it something that makes modern people feel good? Is it a drawing card that is used to pack thousands into our modern churches? Is there a more modern and, therefore, more effective way of preaching the ages old gospel?
Or, is modern evangelism a way of presenting the gospel in such a way that it actually numbs and nullifies the truth of it and, therefore, causing it to do more harm than good? Are there ulterior motives behind modern day evangelism?
Would you like to move on from the questions and get some answers? Good! So would I.Via Lane Chaplin's YT Channel, Eric Holmberg, of The Apologetics Group, delivers the answers in this 11 minute segment from a documentary series produced by TAG called "Amazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism". As Chaplin puts it: "It gives great commentary on the current state of popular 'evangelism' and what real evangelism is."I encourage novice gospel givers to watch, that you may be informed . And I also encourage the more seasoned ones, that you may be reminded.
Friday, April 17, 2009
This question comes to us from a series of Q and A from Dr. John MacArthur. Click here to see the entire index.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Humanists argue that public education is supposed to be neutral. But there’s no such thing as neutrality. Scripture says that you either walk in light or darkness (John 8:12)—you’re either for Christ or against Him. There’s really no in-between.
But God is real, and we need to build all our thinking on the Bible, starting from Genesis.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Quincy Jones, aka Q-D.O.G., sees Christcentric's music as the convergence of church history, theology and hip-hop. With songs like "Mighty Fortress," an incredible adaptation of Luther's classic, and "Sufficiency of Scripture," their unique blend of theological truths and driving beats into contextualized catechisms was birthed in response to the poor theology they encountered as they traveled to perform. Now a student at SWBTS, watch as Quincy explains his passion for the church, the history of ideas, and incorporating theology and hip-hop.
HT: Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary official Youtube channell.
Here's a great study tool I've found. It's a web site called Biblos.com. Along with having several parallel bible translations, it has a wide assortment of study aids--to many to mention!
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
I'll Be Honest is the media ministry of Grace Community Church of San Antonio, TX; Pastor Tim Conway. This site is focused on brining Glory to God through video testimonies of the saving Grace of God that testify to biblical salvation. We are in a culture that is destroying the necessary biblical doctrines of regeneration and justification by faith alone. In this day in age we must fight this war for the truth, for life is a mere vapor and eternity is on the horizon. We also strive to biblically exhort followers of Jesus Christ to continually submit their life as a living sacrifice to God. It is essential to encourage and spur one another on, to run the race for Christ, displaying Him as the treasure He is.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Quoting Joel Beeke . . .
The Puritans showed a profound dependence upon the Holy Spirit in everything they said and did. They felt keenly their inability to bring anyone to Christ as well as the magnitude of conversion. "God never laid it upon thee to convert those he sends thee to. No; to publish the gospel is thy duty," William Gurnall said to ministers. . . .
The Puritans were convinced that both preacher and listener are totally dependent on the work of the Spirit to effect regeneration and conversion when, how, and in whom He will. The Spirit brings God's presence into human hearts. He persuades sinners to seek salvation, renews corrupt wills, and makes scriptural truths take root in stony hearts. As Thomas Watson wrote, "Ministers knock at the door of men's hearts, the Spirit comes with a key and opens the door." And Joseph Alleine said: "Never think you can convert yourself. If ever you would be savingly converted, you must despair of doing it in your own strength. It is a resurrection from the dead (Eph 2:1), a new creation (Gal 6:15; Eph 2:10), a work of absolute omnipotence (Eph 1:19)."Modern evangelists need to be persuaded that the Spirit's regenerating action, as John Owen wrote, is "infallible, victorious, irresistible, and always efficacious"; it "removeth all obstacles, overcomes all oppositions, and infallibly produces the effect intended." All modes of action which imply another doctrine are unbiblical. As JI Packer writes in his book A Quest for Godliness:
"All devices for exerting psychological pressure in order to precipitate 'decisions' must be eschewed, as being in truth presumptuous attempts to intrude into the province of the Holy Ghost." Such pressures may even be harmful, he goes on to say, for while they "may produce the outward form of 'decision,' they cannot bring about regeneration and a change of heart, and when the 'decisions' wear off those who registered them will be found 'gospel-hardened' and antagonistic."
Packer concludes in a Puritan vein: "Evangelism must rather be conceived as a long-term enterprise of patient teaching and instruction, in which God's servants seek simply to be faithful in delivering the gospel message and applying it to human lives, and leave it to God's Spirit to draw men to faith through this message in his own way and at his own speed."
From: Puritan Evangelism: A Biblical Approach
Sunday, April 12, 2009
“For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.” (1 Peter 3:18).
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Friday, April 10, 2009
My reluctance to use the phrase ".....God has a wonderful plan for your life" is pretty clear in the article below. The question is, define "wonderful." In God's economy, it may mean suffering at the hands of an angry government. In America, it is often meant to convey that life will be better; Things like your job, relationships and finances will surely improve.
Someone once said, "If I can't preach it to the guy on death row due to die tomorrow, or to someone facing possible persecution and death, then I can't preach it at all."
The Costs of Following Christ in Bangladesh
Set to be baptized in February, 70-year-old suffer burns on 70 percent of body. DHAKA, Bangladesh, Unknown attackers tried to burn a 70-year-old woman to death on January 7 after learning that she would be baptized as a Christian next month. Rahima Beoa, who was planning to be baptized on February 13 in Muslim-majority Rangpur district, 248 kilometers (154miles) northwest of the capital city of Dhaka, suffered burns on 70 percent of her body. "The unknown people wanted to burn alive the elderly woman because they came to [believe] that she would be a Christian in the next month," said Khaled Mintu, a regional supervisor of the Rangpur district of the Isha-E-Jamat Bangladesh denomination. "It was a devilish conspiracy to stop her being a Christian." Beoa is the mother-in-law of Ashraful Islam, who along with his wife became a Christian two years ago. Close relatives and neighbors were said to be angry with the couple for their conversion from Islam.
The 40-year-old Islam lives in Cinatuly village, located on silty land on Bangladesh's major Tista river, with his three children and mother-in-law. "Generally local people become baptized going to the capital city, Dhaka, so that nobody knows anything about the new believers," said Mintu. "Beoa is so [old] that it was not very easy to bring her to Dhaka for baptism. Otherwise she would have been baptized long ago." Roads from the silty village to Dhaka are rough, and leaving the area means villagers must walk miles to catch a bus.
On the night of the attack, Islam went to the Isha-E-Jamat church with his wife and two smallest children, a service that usually takes place at night as all the villagers are day laborers or vendors. The service went late into the night as the pastor taught on baptism. News that Beoa and others would be baptized in February was said to have reached the entire village.
While Islam's mother-in-law and 9-year-old son were sleeping at home, the attackers set their bamboo and wood home ablaze. There were two head of cattle in one corner of the house, which was built with a mansard roof of corrugated tin. "The boy managed to escape the fire," Mintu said. "But the elderly woman was injured and got 70 percent burnt on her body, and the cattle and other stuff of the house were incinerated."
No relatives or neighbors came to put out the fire, he added. A "quack doctor" treated the elderly woman's burns in another house, he said, because the family cannot afford treatment in a hospital.
"We did not file any case in the police station against anyone, because we could not trace anyone for that arson attack," Mintu said. In 2006, he said, more than 7,000 local Muslims came to vandalize the houses of area Christians. "They wanted to evict us because are Christian," Mintu said. "With the help of the local government officials and police, we manage to live in this land against the strong opposition of the majority Muslims." There are 50 Christian families within two miles in that area, he said, most of them of Muslim upbringing.
Internatinal Christian News, Aenon Shalom - HT: sliceoflaodicea.com
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Frequently we pray that God would not forsake us in the hour of trial and temptation; but we too much forget that we have need to use this prayer at all times. There is no moment of our life, however holy--in which we can do without His constant upholding. Whether in light or in darkness, in communion or in temptation--we alike need the prayer, "Do not forsake me, O Lord!"
A little child, while learning to walk--always needs the parent's aid. The ship left by the pilot--drifts at once from her course. Just so--we cannot survive without continuous aid from God.
Let it be your prayer today, "Do not forsake me, O Lord! Father, do not forsake Your child--lest he fall by the hand of the enemy. Shepherd, do not forsake Your lamb--lest he wander from the safety of the fold. Great Gardener, do not forsake Your plant--lest it wither and die! Do not forsake me now, O Lord! And do not forsake me at any moment of my life. Do not forsake me in my joys--lest they absorb my heart. Do not forsake me not in my sorrows--lest I murmur against You. Do not forsake me--for my path is dangerous, and full of snares--and I cannot travel without Your guidance. Do not forsake me--for without You I am weak--but with You I am strong. Do not be far from me, O Lord, for trouble is near--and there is none to help. Leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation!"
Every once in awhile in my evangelism outings, I come across a Christian with a solid testimony and an appreciation for what I’m doing out on the streets. We usually talk for a little while and then I ask them if they have heard of Bill Bright or Campus Crusade for Christ. Many of them have. Then I mention that In his book, The Coming Revival, Bill Bright reported that *“only two percent of believers in America regularly share their faith in Christ with others” They are usually surprised by that and that’s when I hold out a stack of tracts—generally about ten or so. I talk to them about he usefulness of tracts and if they think they could find a way to distribute these few I'm holding out. That can mean face to face or simply placing them where people will find them. They pretty much always agree that they could do this.
I also make sure to tell them to keep one so that they can order more tracts or that they can find my website on the back for more information about sharing their faith. Then we part ways.
And that’s the Ten Tract Challenge!
*(NewLife Publications, p. 65).
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
In the most recent Newsblast from Living Waters/The Way of the Master, Ray Comfort apologizes for not being more clear in his "banana analogy." As always, there's a twist that can only come from the mind of Ray himself! Watch the whole story below.
I remember asking this question in a bible study years ago. The church we were a part of was all about "community" and really encouraged small group study. With attendance in the thousands, there was no way for the pastoral staff to be there for everyone. The church organized ice-breakers and group organization meetings, but did very little to make sure qualified group leaders where in place. This resulted in the common dilemma of all of us looking around for someone with the "right" answer. At the time, it seemed like the only good answer was one that made sense to me, and not necessarily what the scripture truly meant.
Read this short article from John MacArthur with a good, sound answer to this problem.
What does it mean "to me"?
By John MacArthur
That’s a fashionable concern, judging from the trends in devotional booklets, home Bible study discussions, Sunday-school literature, and most popular preaching.
The question of what Scripture means has taken a back seat to the issue of what it means “to me.”
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Zeke and Lucinda Brooks always credited their large family Bible with keeping them on the straight and narrow, and keeping Zeke from falling off his chair.
Reposted from Sacred Sandwich.
Monday, April 6, 2009
I've only learned about Jon Speed and his ministry in the last few months, but I have really appreciated his work and commitment to sharing the Gospel to everyone he can. He has a great web site and a great story. I look forward to posting more from Jon soon.
Right: The Apostle Paul Preaches in Athens.A Defense Of Open Air Preaching
By Jon Speed
By now most of the church family knows that Pastor Jon has
finally lost it; last Saturday (May 22, 2004) a group of ten
people from our church (two were actually from First Baptist in
Holley) went to the Lilac Festival in Rochester and did open air
preaching. Has Pastor Jon finally gone off of his rocker? What
would make a pastor in a comfortable church do something as
"unseemly" as making a public spectacle of himself and the
people who went with him?
It has nothing to do with making a spectacle of ourselves or of
our church. It has everything to do with literally preaching the
Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, can what we do on
Sunday morning be rightly called "preaching" at all? Should it
be? Should we even try to "preach" on Sunday morning? The
word "preach" means public proclamation of the message of
salvation. What we do on Sunday should be "teaching" the
saints to live godly lives. What we have in contemporary
evangelical Christianity are thousands of weekly evangelistic
services within church buildings where less than 2% of
believers invite unsaved friends and family to hear a paid
professional try to elicit some sort of decision for Christ. To
say that this kind of evangelism is woefully inadequate is a
We could call this method of evangelism "in-dragging", as
opposed to Biblical "out-reach." It is something similar to a
fisherman fishing INSIDE of his boat rather than casting the
net outside of it. Only a foolish fisherman would try to catch
fish inside of his boat! What kind of foolish churchianity have
we created which accepts as normal this kind of evangelism?
It certainly is not Biblical; try to find this model in the Book of
Acts or anywhere else in the New Testament, if you can.
Is it any wonder that most regularly attending church goers are
Biblically and doctrinally illiterate? How could it be any
different? Most Sunday morning sermons are geared to reach
the three or four unbelievers who were invited to the church
service or the 50% of the congregation or more who are false
converts. As a result, the soundly saved saints continue in a
state of spiritual starvation, unless they happen to go to a
church which has a Biblically sound Sunday School program,
evening service, or discipleship group and they actually attend
these things (a breed of Christian even rarer than the churches
which still offer these things).
How is it that contemporary pastors have abandoned their
evangelistic zeal? A traveling missionary evangelist once told
this writer that in more than a decade of service he only had a
pastor go with him to seek and save the lost outside of the
church building once. Once! Another fellow pastor once
cautioned this writer against doing open air preaching because
it might inconvenience law enforcement. If it inconveniences
law enforcement to enforce the law regarding freedom of
speech…does this sentence even need to be completed?
There was a time when a pastor who did not do open air
preaching was not considered worthy of the title. We talk so
much about revival and it is nothing but talk because we do not
imitate the Biblical methodology of those who were used of
God to bring revival. Consider for a moment the people that
God used in the most powerful ways: John Wesley, George
Whitefield, Charles Spurgeon, D.L. Moody, General William
Booth, R.A. Torrey. These men all preached open air!
I close this essay with a lengthy quote from the prince of
preachers, Charles Spurgeon. The quote comes from the book,
"Lectures To My Students". In this volume, Spurgeon spent
two chapters on the topic of open air preaching. This writer's
prayer is that these words will penetrate your heart and break
it to reach the 150,000 people who die every day, the vast
majority of which are going to Hell.
"I fear that in some of our less enlightened country churches there are
conservative individuals who almost believe that to preach anywhere
except in the chapel would be a shocking innovation, a sure token of
heretical tendencies, and a mark of zeal without knowledge. Any young
brother who studies his comfort among them must not suggest something
so irregular as a sermon outside the walls of their Zion. In the olden
times we are told 'Wisdom crieth without, she uttereth her voice in the
streets, she crieth in the chief places of concourse, in the opening of the
gates'; but the wise men of orthodoxy would have wisdom gagged except
beneath the roof of a licensed building. These people believe in a New
Testament which says, 'Go out into the highways and hedges and compel
them to come in' and yet they dislike a literal obedience to the
command. Do they imagine that a special blessing results from sitting
upon a particular deal board with a piece of straight-up paneling at their
back (pew)—an invention of discomfort which ought long ago to have
made people prefer to worship outside on the green grass? Do they
suppose that grace rebounds from sounding boards, or can be beaten out
of pulpit cushions in the same fashion as dust? Are they enamored of the
bad air, and the stifling stuffiness which in some of our meeting houses
make them almost as loathsome to the nose and the lungs as the masshouses of the Papists (Catholics) with their cheap and nasty incense? To
reply to these objectors is a task for which we have no heart: we prefer
foeman worthy of the steel we use upon them, but these are scarcely
worth a passing remark. One smiles at their prejudice, but we may yet
have to weep over it, if it be allowed to stand in the way of usefulness.
"No sort of defence is needed for preaching out of doors; but it would
need very potent arguments to prove that a man had done his duty who
has never preached beyond the walls of his meeting-house. A defence is
required rather for services within buildings than for worship outside of
Many of us fundamental evangelicals claim spiritual lineage to
Spurgeon and others who were cut from the same cloth. If the
cliché is true that the apple does not fall far from the tree, how
is it that we find ourselves in another orchard altogether?
Brothers and sisters, do not fear open air preaching. It is our
spiritual birthright, traced back much further than Spurgeon,
but going back as far as John the Baptist, Jesus Christ, Peter,
and Paul. May God have mercy on us for trading this glorious
birthright for a bowl of Campbell's soup. Appealing to our flesh
though it may be, it cannot compare to the riches of the
inheritance of a purely Biblical methodology.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Saturday, April 4, 2009
The following is from a recent post at Ingrid Schlueter's Slice of Laodicea blog. One word--unbelievable.
Here’s a promo video for the Easter services this year at Crosspoint Community Church. These cutting-edge pastors are certainly creative. Now who would have thought about a church celebrating all things 70’s on Easter Sunday? Nothing beats resurrection hymns and preaching about Jesus Christ’s empty tomb like John Travolta, Starsky and Hutch and the cast of Three’s Company!
Friday, April 3, 2009
This is Tim Challies' (pictured left) expanded book review on the William P. Young novel, The Shack. Go to the bottom of the article to download the PDF. It is truly worth your time. I also suggest printing a copy to re-read and mull over.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
**This post has been removed at the request of the author. Please CLICK HERE to go to the updated post of this article.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Sorry for all of the cross references. I just thought that the subject is important enough to thouroughly study.
Reasons to Repent
Isaiah 55:7 (A)Let the wicked forsake his way And the unrighteous man his (B)thoughts; And let him (C)return to the LORD, And He will have (D)compassion on him, And to our God, For He will (E)abundantly pardon.
Ephesians 2:3 Among them we too all (A)formerly lived in (B)the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were (C)by nature (D)children of wrath, (E)even as the rest.
John 3:19 "This is the judgment, that (A)the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for (B)their deeds were evil.
John 6:44 "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me (A)draws him; and I will (B)raise him up on the last day.
Romans 8:7 because the mind set on the flesh is (A)hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so,
Romans 6:17-19 But (A)thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that (B)form of teaching to which you were committed,
18and having been (C)freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.
19(D)I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh For just (E)as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.
1Corinthians 2:14 14But a (A)natural man (B)does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are (C)foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.