By Todd Friel
Looking for a good church? Join the club. Church-shopping can be a long and painful
process. To shorten your search, call the pastor of the church before you visit and ask
the following questions. This might save you a lot of Sundays.
1. What is man's biggest problem?
Seeker sensitive and felt-needs churches focus on man’s hurts and problems. The Bible
says that man’s biggest problem is sin.
2. What must a man do to inherit eternal life?
Repent and trust is the Biblical answer. If the word “repent” is never used, say, “Thank
3. How do you deliver the salvation message?
Ask the pastor to describe specifically what he says. Does he encourage people to
simply say a prayer? Does he tell people to ask Jesus into their hearts? The salvation
message should include: God’s holiness, man’s sinfulness, God’s response (hell),
God’s kindness (Jesus on the cross), man’s response (repentance and faith).
4. How hard is it to become a Christian?
The “formula” is simple, doing it is not. It is not easy to believe.
5. How often do you talk about sin, righteousness and judgment?
Balance is key. This should not be the only emphasis, but it should be a regular
6. How seeker sensitive is your church?
It is o.k. for a church to be “seeker aware” but seeker sensitive means that they lean
toward seekers and not the saved.
7. Who do you do church for, seekers or members?
“Both” is not acceptable. Church should be done for members and the unsaved are
welcome to attend.
8. Do you dumb down your sermons?
If he says yes, he is probably not trying to wean his members from milk to meat.
Answers like, “We try to make our sermons accessible to everyone” are sermons that
are not meaty.
9. What is your mixture of topical vs. expository preaching?
Topical preaching is fine, but if a pastor never or rarely preaches expositionally (verse
by verse), then you are going to be learning from the pastor and not God’s Word.
10. Do your sermons emphasize theology or are they relevant?
Everyone should say their sermons are relevant, what you are looking for is if they
11. Describe your youth programs.
If fun and games is the major (and usually first) emphasis, you have a youth program
that is trying to compete with MTV.
12. Describe your evangelism programs.
Don’t just accept, “We have an evangelism committee.” Dig. Are they serious about
13. What church growth model do you follow?
Hopefully they don’t have one. Churches should be reaching out to the lost, but
churches that are plugged into new church growth models tend to follow man’s modern
ideas rather than the Bible.
14. How much do you give to missions and the hungry?
Again, this reveals the heart of the church. While most churches give to missions, many
never consider the poor.
15. Do you believe the Bible contains no errors or contradictions?
No equivocation allowed here.
16. Do you believe in a literal 6 day creation?
Jesus did (Matt.19:4).
17. Do you believe in a literal hell and eternal punishment?
Jesus did (Matt.25).
19. When you distribute the Lord's Supper, do you emphasize the need to examine
Paul did (I Cor.11:27-32).
20. Can a person who is living in a persistent lifestyle of sin inherit eternal life?
Sinners can certainly be forgiven, but practicing sinners cannot inherit eternal life (I
21. Does your church exercise church discipline?
Paul said we should (I Cor.5).
22. Do Sunday school teachers, nursery, and youth volunteers fill out an application to
answer questions about their core beliefs, or are all volunteers accepted?
23.What are the essentials of the faith?
Father, Son, Holy Spirit, Salvation through faith alone, the inerrancy of Scripture.
24. Do you have a cross in your sanctuary?
Many remove it because they fear it will turn off seekers. They should glory in the
cross. The cross should be the central focus of every church.
HT: Wretched Radio
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Sunday, May 31, 2009
By Todd Friel
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
This week we have been looking at what genuine regeneration is about. Here is a compelling video from Calvary Chapel Hemmet and pastor Brett Coronado. What gospel do you think this young lady has been exposed to?
Thursday, May 28, 2009
2 Corinthians 13:5, "Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!"
I. Evidences that neither prove nor disprove one’s faith
a. Visible morality: Matt 19:16-21
b. Intellectual knowledge: Romans 2:17ff
c. Religious involvement: Matt. 25:1-10
d. Active Ministry : Marr 7:21-24
e. Conviction of sin: Acts 24:25
f. Assurance: Matt 23
g. Time of decision: Luke 8:13-14
II. The fruit /proofs of authentic / true Christianity
a. Love for God: Luke 10:27, Romans 8:7
b. Repentance from sin: Psalm 32:5, II Cor 7:10, I John 1:8-10
c. Genuine Humility: Psalm 51:17, Matt 5:1-12, James 4:6-9
d. Devotion to God’s Glory: Psalm 105:3, Isaiah 43:7, I Cor 10:31
e. Continual Prayer: Luke 18:1, Eph. 6:18, James 5:16-18
f. Selfless love: I John 2:9ff, 3:14, 4:7ff
g. Separation from the world: I Cor. 2:12, James 4:4ff, I John 2:15-17
h. Spiritual Growth: Luke 8:15, John 15:1-6, Eph 4:12-16
i. Obedient Living: Matt 7:21, I Peter 1:2,22….I John 2:3-5
If list I is true of a person and list II is false or non-evident, then there could be cause to question the validity of one’s profession of faith. If list II is true of a person, then list I will be true as well.
From: Dr John MacArthur Study Bible Index Notes, 1997.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
By Todd Friel
The music weeps, the preacher pleads, "Give your heart to Jesus. You have a God shaped hole in your heart and only Jesus can fill it." Dozens, hundreds or thousands of people who want to get their spiritual life on track make their way to the altar. They ask Jesus into their heart.
Cut to three months later. Nobody has seen our new convert in church. The follow up committee calls him and encourages him to attend a Bible study, but to no avail. We label him a backslider and get ready for the next outreach event.
Our beloved child lies in her snuggly warm bed and says, "Yes, Daddy. I want to ask Jesus into my heart." You lead her in "the prayer" and hope that it sticks. You spend the next ten years questioning if she really, really meant it. Puberty hits and the answer reveals itself. She backslides. We spend the next ten years praying that she will come to her senses.
Telling someone to ask Jesus into their hearts has a very typical result, backsliding. the Bible says that a person who is soundly saved puts his hand to the plow and does not look back because he is fit for service. In other words, a true convert cannot backslide. If a person backslides, he never slid forward in the first place. "If any man is in Christ, he is a new creation." (II Cor.5) No backsliding there.
Brace yourself for this one: with very few if any exceptions, anyone who asked Jesus into their hearts to be saved…is not. If you asked Jesus into your heart because you were told that is what you have to do to become a Christian, you were mis-informed.
If you have ever told someone to ask Jesus into their heart (like I have), you produced a false convert. Here is why.
1. It is not in the Bible.
There is not a single verse that even hints we should say a prayer inviting Jesus into our hearts. Some use Rev. 3:20. To tell us that Jesus is standing at the door of our hearts begging to come in.
"Behold, I stand at the door and knock." There are two reasons that interpretation is wrong.
The context tells us that the door Jesus is knocking on is the door of the church, not the human heart. Jesus is not knocking to enter someone’s heart but to have fellowship with His church.
Even if the context didn’t tell us this, we would be forcing a meaning into the text (eisegesis). How do we know it is our heart he is knocking at? Why not our car door? How do we know he isn’t knocking on our foot? To suggest that he is knocking on the door of our heart is superimposing a meaning on the text that simply does not exist.
The Bible does not instruct us to ask Jesus into our heart. This alone should resolve the issue, nevertheless, here are nine more reasons.
2. Asking Jesus into your heart is a saying that makes no sense.
What does it mean to ask Jesus into your heart? If I say the right incantation will He somehow enter my heart? Is it literal? Does He reside in the upper or lower ventricle? Is this a metaphysical experience? Is it figurative? If it is, what exactly does it mean? While I am certain that most adults cannot articulate its meaning, I am certain that no child can explain it. Pastor Dennis Rokser reminds us that little children think literally and can easily be confused (or frightened) at the prospect of asking Jesus into their heart.
3. In order to be saved, a man must repent (Acts 2:38). Asking Jesus into your heart leaves out the requirement of repentance.
4. In order to be saved, a man must trust in Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31).
Asking Jesus into your heart leaves out the requirement of faith.
5. The person who wrongly believes they are saved will have a false sense of security. Millions of people who sincerely, but wrongly, asked Jesus into their hearts think they are saved but struggle to feel secure. They live in doubt and fear because they do not have the Holy Spirit giving them assurance of salvation.
6. The person who asks Jesus into his heart will likely end up inoculated, bitter and backslidden. Because he did not get saved by reciting a formulaic prayer, he will grow disillusioned with Jesus, the Bible, church and fellow believers. His latter end will be worse than the first.
7. It presents God as a beggar just hoping you will let Him into your busy life. This presentation of God robs Him of His sovereignty.
8. The cause of Christ is ridiculed. Visit an atheist web-site and read the pagans who scoff, "How dare those Christians tell us how to live when they get divorced more than we do? Who are they to say homosexuals shouldn’t adopt kids when tens of thousands of orphans don’t get adopted by Christians?" Born again believers adopt kids and don’t get divorced.
People who ask Jesus into their hearts do. Jesus gets mocked when false converts give Him a bad name.
9. The cause of evangelism is hindered. While it is certainly easier to get church members by telling them to ask Jesus into their hearts, try pleading with someone to make today the day of their salvation. Get ready for a painful response. "Why should I become a Christian when I have seen so called Christians act worse than a pagan?" People who ask Jesus into their hearts give pagans an excuse for not repenting.
10. Here is the scary one. People who ask Jesus into their hearts are not saved and they will perish on the Day of Judgment. How tragic that millions of people think they are right with God when they are not. How many people who will cry out, "Lord, Lord" on judgment day will be "Christians" who asked Jesus into their hearts?
So, what must one do to be saved? Repent and trust. (Heb.6:1) The Bible makes it clear that all men must repent and place their trust in Jesus Christ. Every man does have a "God shaped hole in their hearts," but that hole is not contentment, fulfillment and peace. Every man’s heart problem is righteousness. Instead of preaching that Jesus fulfills, we must preach that God judges and Jesus satisfies God’s judgment…if a man will repent and place his trust in Him.
If you are reading this and you asked Jesus into your heart, chances are good you had a spiritual buzz for a while, but now you struggle to read your Bible, tithe, attend church and pray. Perhaps you were told you would have contentment, purpose and a better life if you just ask Jesus into your heart. I am sorry, that was a lie.
HT: Wretched Radio
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Monday, May 25, 2009
By James E. Adams
What is Regeneration?
"Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3). Our Lord Jesus Christ taught that the new birth is so important that no one can see heaven without it. Mistakes concerning this doctrine have been very destructive to the Church of Christ. Regeneration, or the new birth, is a work of God. It is not a work of man. It is not something that man does but something that God does. The new birth is a change wrought in us, not an act performed by us. This is stated so beautifully by the Apostle John when in the first chapter of his Gospel he speaks of the children of God as those "which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God" (v. 13).
What is "Decisional Regeneration"?
The history of the Christian Church has seen many errors concerning the new birth. These teachings depart from Scripture by attributing to man the ability to regenerate himself. When these false concepts of man and the new birth are adopted, churches soon become corrupted with false practices. The Roman Catholic church, the Anglican church, the Lutheran church and many other churches have all been corrupted at different times and to different degrees with the teaching of Baptismal Regeneration. Because of this erroneous teaching on regeneration, these churches have embraced false practices.
In the nineteenth century few controversies were so heated as the one over Baptismal Regeneration. It is interesting to note that C. H. Spurgeon (1836-1892), the most prolific preacher of that century, had printed in 1864 more copies of his sermon denouncing Baptismal Regeneration than of any other sermon. Baptismal Regeneration teaches that the new birth is conveyed by the waters of baptism. The sacrament is performed by man and is in his control.
But the twentieth century Church has, in "Decisional Regeneration," a more subtle falsehood to combat. "Decisional Regeneration" differs from Baptismal Regeneration only in the fact that it attaches the certainty of the new birth to a different act. This doctrine, just as Baptismal Regeneration, sees the new birth as the result of a mechanical process that can be performed by man. What is here called "Decisional Regeneration" has in its deceptive way permeated much of the Christian Church.
Click here to read the full article.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
By Henry Morris PhD
"Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee." (Psalm 119:11)
The memorizing of Scripture has become almost a lost art among Christians today, and it is a great loss, for storing Scripture in the heart can be a great blessing in one's Christian life and witness.
The example of the early Christians is clear: Peter, Stephen, Paul, and others quoted extensively from the Old Testament in their impromptu sermons (Acts 2:17-21; 7:32-34; 13:33-35; etc.), and the same has been true of most of the great preachers and teachers of the Word ever since. There are multitudes of situations where it is of great help to be able to cite from memory an appropriate Scripture passage.
In our present generation, there have been many Christian lay organizations--the Gideons, the Navigators, the Bible Memory Association, and others--that have strongly urged their members to memorize Scripture and have experienced great blessing as a result. Any Christian can do it if he tries and will find his Christian life strengthened in the process.
But the main reason for memorizing Scripture is the Word itself in effect commands it: "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord" (Colossians 3:16).
The Lord Jesus Himself, in His humanity, no doubt learned the Scriptures as a boy (Luke 2:47, 52) and then quoted from them extensively in His many discourses, "leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps" (1 Peter 2:21). He provided a perfect illustration of the validity of our text, defeating Satan in each of his three temptations simply by quoting a Scripture verse that He had long before hidden in His heart (Matthew 4:4, 7, 10). For the Word truly to be in our lives, it needs to be in our hearts.
HT: Days of Praise
Saturday, May 23, 2009
*Note: This drawing is now closed and the winners have been selected. Please look for new drawings coming up about once a month or so. Blessings, Robert*
It's been awhile since we've offered a free giveaway here at StreetFishing.org This time, we are offering a Christian Inspirational CD from Heather Henry. She performed at Calvary Chapel Queen Creek a few months ago and has a terrific voice and heart for the Lord. You will be blessed by her music.
Depending on how many entries we receive, we will be giving away up to five of the CD, Surrender.
All you need to do to enter is to send Robert an email at firstname.lastname@example.org subject heading "CD giveaway." Please feel free to enter even if you've won the drawing before.
Note: This offer is only available to people living in the continental US.
By Arthur Pink
"If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" 2 Corinthians 5:17 In the new birth, God exerts a quickening influence or power upon His own elect. Regeneration is very, very much more than simply shedding a few tears because of some temporary remorse over sin. It is far more than changing our course of life, the leaving off of bad habits and the substituting of good ones. It is something different from the mere cherishing and practicing of noble ideals. It goes infinitely deeper than coming forward to take some popular evangelist by the hand, signing a pledge-card, or "joining the church." The new birth is no mere turning over a new leaf--but is the inception and reception of a new life! It is no mere reformation, but a radical transformation. In short, the new birth is a miracle--the result of the supernatural operation of God. It is radical, revolutionary, lasting!
In the new birth:
God lays hold of one who is spiritually dead--and quickens him into newness of life!
God takes up one who was shaped in iniquity and conceived in sin--and conforms him to the image of His Son!
God seizes a drudge of the Devil--and makes him a member of His holy family!
God picks up a destitute beggar--and makes him joint-heir with Christ!
God comes to one who is full of enmity against Him--and gives him a new heart that is full of love for Him!
God stoops to one who by nature is a rebel--and works in him both to will and to do of His good pleasure!
By His irresistible power, God transforms . . . a sinner--into a saint; an enemy--into His friend, a drudge of the Devil--into His beloved child!
HT: Grace Gems
Friday, May 22, 2009
"The church has had this illusion somehow, that we can wipe out everything that offends and somehow influence people to be saved in an inoffensive way. Eventually, you've got to get to the offence. You might as well start there, because until they're offended about their own sin and their violation of the holiness of God, they aren't going to come penitently to the Savior." -John MacArthur
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Many of you may remember that back in March, I had a number of posts and exchanges with some folks from Central Christian Church in Mesa, Arizona. It was precipitated by a blog post of associate pastor Jeremy Jernigan. It had to do with their embracing of the New York best seller, The Shack by William P. Young.
I began to write a comment on the blog post and soon decided that it might be better to send an email directly to pastor Jernigan in an effort to warn him of some of the problems with this book in a more personal manner. (This is because my family had been members at Central for nine years and my concern was for the body and friends I still had there). His response was ultimately another post that was an attack on evangelists like myself calling our model of outreach "Spam Evangelism." Why Jeremy made this leap is a mystery to me-except that he may have followed my link and found out what I was all about and decided to come from that angle.
Recently, Central had the author of The Shack as a guest for an interview. Strangely enough, this took the place of the regular weekend services- nine of them to be exact. Perhaps I shouldn't speculate, but I have a feeling that they had record numbers turn out for the event.
As I expected, the blogs of the various pastors and their loyal readers were beaming with rave reviews of their new hero. Below are a couple of exerpts.
From pastor Jeremy Jernigan:
"And it wouldn’t be right to mention this book without a reference to the few who so loudly protest it. Here is my advice to you if you’re reading my blog: if someone tells you to stay away from this book, ask them if they’ve ever read it themselves. Their answer may shed some light on the “credibility” of their opinion. Then read the book. You’ll probably love it. If nothing else, it will get you to think about God in ways you’ve probably never thought about before.
To sum it up: hurt people found God this weekend and some religious people “were pissed” (to quote Paul). Reminds me of when Jesus preached."
From Pastor Danny Dodson:
"I must say that I am dismayed and frankly ashamed of some of the attacks and criticism this brother has taken for writing a fictional story as a gift for his children. How brutal some of these critics have been and many of them by their own admission have never even read the book. To post and share such close-minded opinions when you haven't even read for yourself that which you criticize is as hypocritical as one can be. There are many things we Christians should stand strong against and fight against. The Shack isn't one of them. "
Frankly, I'm surprised that the best they could do to defend their position was to throw up this strawman argument of "If you haven't read it, your not credible." They really should know better.
I want to thank Rob-roy for submitting the following response to this position. It is to the point, well written and most importantly, delivered with love.
Thought this would be helpful for many of you who have been asking me questions about various objections you come across. One of the objections that comes up again and again over the years is that to have credibility to comment on a book or movie a person must have seen or read all of it. Reading or seeing part of the book or movie is not credible enough to take comments seriously we are told.
For instance when the Da Vinci Code book and then the movie came out it seemed that it was a prerequisite to have read the whole book or have seen the movie to have “credible” comments and concerns. Or even raise questions. Cleary it is not always a credibility issue to make a decision or express concerns about material such as books or movies based on a sampling of the material.
Another example is this. How much water needs to be tested in order to get a reading? All of it or a sample of it? Is it fair to gauge the entire water supply based on a sample? If the sample shows bad water do you dismiss it because it did not test the whole water supply? You would take the results seriously at the very least.
Recently the latest book to enter the fray is The Shack. Let’s use it as the latest example of this tactic. Some Shack fans have claimed that the critics are not credible unless they have read the entire book (though the majority of the reviews are by those who have read it all). The fans of The Shack who would denounce, question or dismiss the credibility of critics who have not read all of The Shack contradict themselves when they also claim to not believe the Muslim Quran or the LDS Book of Mormon to be words from God if they have not read those books entirely.
Most Christians reject the Gnostic Gospels not having ever read them. Same with the extra biblical writings of the Apocrypha. And they do so never having read those books in their entirety. Does that mean they are not credible in denying the Quran and Book of Mormon? Hardly. Just means there is a double standard at work.
How many times have a seen various churches bring in former LDS or Jehovah Witnesses or even Atheists. Not one time have I heard one of them or the church leaders encourage members to read the Book of Mormon, The New World Translation or Darwin’s Origin of Species or they will not be credible when the reach out to their lost friends who are LDS, JW or Atheistic. What we get is a few samples of the falsehood shared with us about these teachings from credible people and not a call to read those false teachings and decide for ourselves. And here is the point. We can read those books. We are not told not to read the books. We are told however that they are false. Not to read them as truth. And in the course of the class the parts that are the most false are highlighted. That is what many have done in love with The Shack and concerns about it changing the Gospel delivered once and for all by God in His word.
Another example. Every person I know categorically rejects and encourages others to reject the Satanic Bible. And yet none of them have read that version. None of them. They have read parts that are extremely revealing and have heard from others who have read all of it. Apparently though that is not enough. You must read all of Anton LaVey’s Satanic Bible or you are simply not being fair or credible.
Based on this logic the vast majority of people at modern churches have credibility issues. The overwhelming majority of professing Christians have not read the entire bible and yet they promote it as God’s word. Wait a minute? To be consistent should there be a credibility check? They should then not profess to be Christians or get baptized having not read all of what they claim to be God’s word right? And yet we know that the overwhelming majority of people saved are saved before they have read the entire bible. Not after.
God can reveal enough light from His word to convert someone without reading it all and then grow them as a result of conversion by having them read the rest for the rest of their lives. Conversely, God can reveal enough error and lies from a book from reading portions of it without needing to take it all in.
I only need a taste of liver and onions for me to stop eating it. It doesn't take eating the whole thing to determine it tastes awful. I don't have to watch all of a movie that starts out offensive in order to determine if it really is. What is interesting is that most people decide not to see movies based on the clips which provide only a sample of the movie. In fact most Christians will not watch R rated movies (or PG 13 either). Why would they be so shallow as to rely on someone else’s review and rating or short samples of the movie to make such a decision? Shouldn’t they see the whole movie first before deciding whether they should see the whole movie? Of course if they do that it is too late. They would have already seen the movie they were trying to determine whether they should see or not. That is the false dilemma of credibility that is created where otherwise the person is not making a truly informed decision right?
Do I need to take meth, cocaine or cyanide to decide for myself whether they are good for me? I think I can be credible in telling others to stay away from meth based on a small sample of information from brief news stories without reading The Journal of American Medicine five volume set on the subject.
The “credibility” spin obscures the point that there are legitimate biblical questions about many parts of The Shack (and Quran, Book of Mormon, Satanic Bible, insert latest fad here) that have been brought to light and no real answers have come. The diversion about credibility does not deal with important concerns and is itself contradictory when applied to the large majority of the Christian culture.
Remember, in the garden God said don't eat of the tree. Eating of the fruit of that tree was bad news to say the least. God made it clear His word was sufficient and they had His word on it. He did not say try the fruit and decide for yourself if it is bad. That was Satan's tactic.
It’s fair to ask someone if they have read and/or how much they have read about the book they are commenting on. It is also fair to address and answer legitimate questions without resorting to “read the book and decide for yourself”. Playing the credibility card does not deal with or answer the serious concerns loving Christians have about the false teaching contained in The Shack and the impact on their brothers and sisters in Christ (and the lost). To be concerned about these things and be quiet…
Now that would be a credibility issue!
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Here is the promotional video.
As always, here is another great message from Alistair Begg of Truth For life.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Proclaiming The Gospel Ministries was established in 1991 by Mike Gendron to serve and glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by proclaiming His death and resurrection as God's only provision whereby sinners can be forgiven, redeemed and justified. Jesus Christ satisfied the righteous justice of God by paying the eternal punishment for sin when he died as man's substitute. Any person who repents and receives Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior by grace through faith, ceasing to trust in anyone or anything else for salvation, becomes a child of God and receives the gift of eternal life which can never be revoked. Since there are many who proclaim another Jesus and another gospel, we are called to expose spiritual deception so that people will not be deceived about life's most critical question - "What must I do to be saved?"
As a Roman Catholic for over 30 years, I was taught from the Catechism that salvation was by faith plus baptism, the sacraments, good works, law keeping, the sacrifice of the Mass, indulgences, purgatory and penance. According to God's infallible word, this is another gospel that deceives Catholics with a false hope. Only when Catholics trust the Lord Jesus Christ as their all-sufficient savior will they know they are saved completely and forever!
Check out the ministry web site of Mike Gendron by clicking here.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
This article from Tony Miano at his blog.
I would like to introduce you to a friend of mine and his Bible Reading System. His name is Professor Grant Horner, associate professor at The Master's College--specializing in the Renaissance and the Reformation. He is also the Chair of Humanities at Trinity Classical Academy.The Bible pictured here is the one from which Professor Horner has read for the last 26 years. I was introduced to his Bible Reading System just a few days ago, through an invitation to the system's Facebook group. I have but one complaint.
Click here to read the rest of this article.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Years ago I use to listen to pastor Leo Giovinetti on Calvary Sattelite Network. Here is an article I ran across recently that I thought would bless readers.
Are you suffering because of your faith? Are you getting beaten up and put down because you're trying to live differently - because you're trying to live for God? Jesus said: "Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven." Matthew 5:10-12
Are you suffering great things because you're serving God? God's chosen vessels must suffer. Why? Because it's the only way those watching you will believe your testimony. It's the only way the world will believe that salvation is real. All of God's chosen vessels will suffer. But great is your reward!
Look, I'll bet you'd invite several people to church every week if you got $10 million to do it. Who wouldn't? But what if you get stomped on and tromped on and beaten up instead? Would you still serve the Lord? Would you serve Him with joy? If you do, people will want to know why. When people see the glory of the Lord in your life, they want a part of it - even if it involves suffering.
Look at Paul. Except for Jesus, I don't believe there was ever anyone who suffered more for the Gospel than Paul. But I want you to understand, Paul knew what he was going to suffer before he got started in ministry.
The Lord told Ananias: "He (Paul) is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake." Acts 9:15-16
What did Paul have to suffer? He tells us: "Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches." 2 Corinthians 11:25-28
Paul knew the extreme hardships were good for spreading the Gospel. He wrote: "But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel; So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places; And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear." Philippians 1:12-14
And Paul knew the rewards: lives changed, souls saved for Jesus, and crowns of glory in heaven: "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing." 2 Timothy 4:7-8
What about you? Are you suffering because you're serving, or are you suffering because God's trying to get your attention? If you are serving, the enemy will do all he can to discourage you and stop you from serving. But if you continue on in the face of suffering, those you are serving will notice that you serve because you love the Lord. You will be a witness, they will be blessed, and God will be glorified.
How do you start serving? Begin every day by reading your Bible. That's how a servant of the Lord gets his orders for the day. Read your Bible every day. Let God speak to your heart through His word. Read your Bible everyday and draw closer to Jesus
Friday, May 15, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
"If you were God, and your child here on earth failed to trust in Jesus, would you torture them eternally or just forgive them? Wouldn't you say 'You broke the law but you know what it's impossible to keep. I love you and I understand your lack of faith?' Maybe not. I'd like to hear." -Steve
"God is not based upon observable, testable evidence. He is based upon faith. With God we are unable to make predictions and test them to see if they are correct." -Rabbitpirate
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
As part of a downtown revitalization effort, Phoenix has something of an art fair on the first Friday of each month. It's commonly referred to as "First Friday." There are works of art on all levels being offered in galleries as well as those being sold flea market style on lawns and sidewalks. There are usually various bands playing here and there and plenty of colorful characters walking about.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Should culture tell us what the bible is allowed to say?
The first clip is an audio clip from John MacArthur's sermon entitled "Assorted attacks on the Bible." Clear warning is given to not only those who would adapt the bible to fit culture as well as those who would consider studying from such translations as the Today's New Internationa Version.
This second clip is from what looks like an impromptu commentary from Rob Bell. Bell is an enthusiast on the TNIV and hands them out to everyone that comes to his church.
Now you be the judge.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Matthew 10:34-39 Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn " 'a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her motherinlaw— a man's enemies will be the members of his own household.' "Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
If you have ever questioned the value of memorizing Scripture, you won't after watching this video.
HT: The Lawman Chronicles
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Friday, May 8, 2009
This video excerpt is from a DVD called "Does the Truth Matter Anymore?" published by Cross.tv. It covers topics such as pragmatism and worldly church growth tactics. You can purchased it on the following web page:http://www.crosstv.com/GuestTeachers.htm#wp29
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Right: C.H. Spurgeon age 23
The very first service which my youthful heart rendered to Christ was the placing of tracts in envelopes, and then sending them up, that I might send them, with the hope that by choosing pertinent tracts, applicable to persons I knew, God would bless them. And I well remember taking other tracts, and distributing them in certain districts in the town of Newmarket, going from house to house, and telling, in humble language, the things of the Kingdom of God. I might have done nothing for Christ if I had not been encouraged by finding myself able to do a little.
Then I sought to do something more, and from that something more, and I do not doubt that many of the servants of God have been led on to higher and nobler labors for their Lord, because they began to serve Him in the right spirit and manner. I look upon the giving away of a religious tract as only for Christ; but: were it not for the first step, we: might never reach to the second; but that being attained, we are encouraged to take the next, and so, at the last, God helping us, we may be made extensively useful.
I think I never felt so much earnestness after the souls of my fellow creatures as when I first loved the Savior’s name, and though I could not preach, and never thought I should be able to testify to the multitude, I used to write texts on little scraps of paper, and drop them anywhere, that some poor creatures might pick them up, and receive them as messages of mercy to their souls. I could scarcely content myself even for five minutes without trying to do something for Christ. If I walked along the street, I must have a few tracts with me; If I went into a railway carriage, I must drop a tract out of the window; if I had a moment’s leisure, I must upon my knees or at my Bible; if I were in company, I must turn the subject of conversation to Christ, that I might serve my Master.
It may be that, in the young dawn of my Christian life, I did imprudent things in order to serve the cause of Christ; but I still say, give me back that time again, with all its imprudence and with all its hastiness, if I may but have the same love to my Master, the same overwhelming influence in my spirit, making me obey my Lord’s commands because it was a pleasure to me to do anything to serve my God.
From C.H. Spurgeon’s Autobiography, Volume 1 pages 179-81
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Excerpted from Ashamed of the Gospel © 1992 by John F. MacArthur, Jr. (Wheaton: Crossway). All rights reserved. Used by permission.
[At the end of the Puritan age] by some means or other, first the ministers, then the Churches, got on "the down grade," and in some cases, the descent was rapid, and in all, very disastrous. In proportion as the ministers seceded from the old Puritan godliness of life, and the old Calvinistic form of doctrine, they commonly became less earnest and less simple in their preaching, more speculative and less spiritual in the matter of their discourses, and dwelt more on the moral teachings of the New Testament, than on the great central truths of revelation. Natural theology frequently took the place which the great truths of the gospel ought to have held, and the sermons became more and more Christless. Corresponding results in the character and life, first of the preachers and then of the people, were only too plainly apparent.
The Sword and the Trowel
Tracing the state of evangelicalism from the Puritan age to his own era, Shindler noted that every revival of true evangelical faith had been followed within a generation or two by a drift away from sound doctrine, ultimately leading to wholesale apostasy. He likened this drifting from truth to a downhill slope, and thus labeled it "the down-grade."
Monday, May 4, 2009
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-92) was England's best-known preacher for most of the second half of the nineteenth century. In 1854, just four years after his conversion, Spurgeon, then only 20, became pastor of London's famed New Park Street Church (formerly pastored by the famous Baptist theologian John Gill). The congregation quickly outgrew their building, moved to Exeter Hall, then to Surrey Music Hall. In these venues Spurgeon frequently preached to audiences numbering more than 10,000—all in the days before electronic amplification. In 1861 the congregation moved permanently to the newly constructed Metropolitan Tabernacle.Spurgeon's printed works are voluminous, and those provided here are only a sampling of his best-known works, including his magnum opus, The Treasury of David. Nearly all of Spurgeon's printed works are still in print and available from Pilgrim Publications, PO Box 66, Pasadena, TX 77501.
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Awhile back, I posted a few articles and links concerning William P. Young's novel The Shack. Suffice it to say, there has been a whirlwind of controversy in evangelicalism surrounding book and author. I have made it abundantly clear that I believe that this book poses many dangers to both believers and non-believers alike. The above link will take you to the blog of associate pastor Jeremy Jernigan concerning his interview with Young.
The reason it was of particular importance to me was that Young has been invited to speak next month at Central Christian Church of the East Valley, My former place of worship for nine years up until 2005. There are many people at Central that are still close to my heart and I have taken steps to get information into their hands concerning this controversy. What God decides to do with that is completely His business-not mine.
It seems that once again, pastor Jernigan is engaged in a controversial "conversation" with a man concerning his (the man's) homosexuality. Rather than comment on the full discussion here, I will post an article below from my friend Steven's blog.
As our dear brother John Calvin said "A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent."In light of a blog post, posted by Jeremy Jernigan (teacher @ Central Christian Church of the east valley) that has a conversation between him and a openly gay man of the name of Kimeron. I tried to post a acomment on Jeremy's blog http://tomorrowsreflection.com/ but for some reason or an other it would not be posted, so I thought that I would post on my blog what I intended to on Jeremy's. I am not writing this on an attack against gay's, I am writing this in attack of a proffessing believer not obeying his master and withholding the truth from a sinner, and refusing to preach truth to man that is need of a savior, not just becuase he is gay but because he has sinned against a Holy God and we are called to share with every man and women the good new s of salvation ( Matt 28:19).
Click here for the rest of this article.
Friday, May 1, 2009
The scariest passage in the Bible, without a doubt, is the one painted by Jesus of the Day of Judgment.
He says there will be a great crowd of people who sincerely believe they are Christians. They will say to Him "Lord, Lord..." But He will reply, "Depart from me, I never knew you, you workers of lawlessness," (Matthew 7:22-23).
The bottom line is that Jesus says unless you repent you will perish. You cannot continue to live in wanton sin and claim to have repented. If you're having sex with your boyfriend or girlfriend, if you're stealing, involved in pornography, living in homosexual sin, lying, blaspheming the name of God... and you're trying to console yourself by saying, "I'm still protected... I'm still a Christian... I gave my heart to Jesus so-and-so many years ago... I'm just going through a hard time right now." The Bible urges you to "examine yourself" to see whether or not you're in the faith... to "test yourself" to see whether or not you are truly saved... (2 Corinthians 13:5). What is the test? It is spelled out clearly in two passages of scripture:
2 Timothy 2:19 -- "...everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must depart from wickedness." If you haven't departed from wickedness, you are proving that you have never repented.
1 John 2:3-6 -- "We know that we have come to know Him if we obey His commands. The man who says, "I know Him," but does not do what He commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him." If you say you've repented, but you continue to live in rebellion and wanton sin, the Bible says you're a liar... you're only fooling yourself.
Does this mean that real Christians never sin?
Of course not. But it does mean that they certainly sin a lot less than they did when they were unsaved... and when they do sin, they are grief stricken in their hearts and go to the Lord in tears. If the distinction between living in wanton sin, and sinning as a genuine Christian is fuzzy to you, simply read Romans 7:7-8:9.
Something like 90% of Americans claim to have a "relationship with Jesus Christ." But Jesus warns that "many" will say to Him on that day "Lord, Lord..." only to hear those terrifying words, "Depart from me, I never knew you." Avoid a day of unspeakable horror. Don't end up as one of them. Repent today and put your faith in Jesus Christ... pass from death to life.
Please listen to this message online: "Are You Really a Christian?" (It is located on that page's right-hand side near the vertical middle of the page. )
Time is short. Be sure.