Sunday, December 25, 2011

He's Here!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Spirit of Christmas

By Greg Koukl


Although the biblical meaning of Christmas is more in place for Greg than ever, he misses the emotional experience it no longer holds for him--a poignant reminiscence from his past.


I have a confession to make.

In the past few years I've had some difficulty getting into the spirit of Christmas. Now that I think about it, when I say the past few years I guess I mean the past 20 years or so. I guess my whole adult life I've struggled with this and I've wondered why. Maybe you have the same difficulty. Even mentioning the phrase "the spirit of Christmas" raises a few issues for me. It's usually uttered in the context of criticizing the excesses of the holiday season. Christmas season used to start just after Thanksgiving in the good old days. Now it seems like Thanksgiving itself has been lost all together, swallowed up by an ever expanding Christmas commercial season that devours now almost a quarter of our calendar year. That's pretty pathetic, in a way. People observe that and say, gee whatever happened to the true spirit of Christmas. Or they mourn the loss of the true meaning of Christmas.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Tossmas!

Something I've posted for the last couple of years.

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Death of Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens' was strident in his outspoken hatred for God . He was good with words both in print and in public speaking settings, and his supporters loved him for it. He was flippant in his treatment of Christ and Christians alike.  He found Christians praying for his salvation distasteful and urged them that it was as socially insensitive as offering atheism to a dying Catholic.  

Apparently, he held this unwavering position shaking his fist at God until his dying day. While God only knows what took place in the last moments of Hitchens’ life, (see Luke 23:39-43) one thing is for sure,  if he could send a message now, it would be on bended knee urging everyone he knows to repent and believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

 “My chief consolation in this year of living dyingly has been the presence of friends,”
 -Christopher Hitchens 1949-2011

“For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?”

The Ultimate Question

  What shall I do to inherit eternal life? You know the commandments, “Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not bear false witness, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.” If we say we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins.  The wages of sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus. God demonstrates His own love towards us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. He who knew no sin became sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.  If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.  All who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.  Repent therefore and be converted, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord. Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other. Eternal life is found in knowing the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom He has sent. Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your heart.  For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?  The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.


Friday, December 2, 2011

A History, The Kettle and The Gospel

Each year, as part of our normal evangelistic efforts, we approach the familiar red kettles and bell ringers of the Salvation Army with the message of the Gospel.  In past years, I have engaged them verbally with a brief history of the organization they are serving as an ice breaker. Then I have made my way into sharing the Gospel with them. Most were gracious and even thankful that I spent some time talking to them.

This year I got to volunteer along with other co-workers in ringing the bell. Believe me, these folks have nothing but time on their hands while minding the red kettle. Your time spent with them will be welcomed.

This year, I'm doing things a little differently. I'm still talking to people, but I'm leaving them with a brief history/gospel tract page. Maybe we'll also tape candy canes to them for a festive touch.

Click Here to view a printable version of our Brief History/Gospel  page.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

What Is Atheism


From the Blog and brain of Chad Williams.

All too often on the street I run into people that are self-proclaimed Atheists but, when pressed to give a response as to why they believe that “God does not exist” they recant: “I never said I believe that ‘God does not exist’ I simply lack a belief in God’s existence.”
Is a lack of belief in God’s existence really Atheism though? Certainly not, and when pressed to give an explanation as to what they believe; more times than not they wind up giving a description of Agnosticism.
A true Atheist however is not someone that is open to the possibility of God’s existence. A real atheist is not one that merely lacks a belief in God. A genuine atheist is one that affirms there is no God.
The term Atheist comes from the Greek ἄθεος (atheos). In English this comes out as two words:
 represents the “negative” or “no”
θεος represents “God”
Atheism is the negative (ἄ) contrasted form of God (θεος), which is to say that there is “no God.”
Claiming oneself to be an Atheist -in it’s truest form- comes with a burdensome task as it asserts anegative, that is to say, it affirms that God does not exist which comes with shouldering quite a burden of proof. Of course they are not up to the task and therefore they pour a different meaning into the word “Atheist” and so the word games and redefinitions begin.
They want that provocative title “Atheist” but when their feet are put to the fire on it, they describe themselves to be more Agnostic; or as the Latin form puts it Ignoramus. I guess identifying oneself as anIgnoramus just doesn’t have the same rousing ring to it.

Friday, November 18, 2011

I made this video last year. With Romney back in the news the views have picked up. Over 4,000 in the past few weeks.

Rob-roy

 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

How to Call for a Gospel Response Like a Calvinist


"Think like a Calvinist. Preach like an Arminian."
That is how one preaching professor taught his students to call people to faith in a sermon. He couldn't reconcile a theological system that embraces God's sovereignty in salvation with a plea for sinful people to change. Ultimately, this prof thought Calvinism makes sense biblically and logically, but not practically.
Perhaps you have struggled with this, too. I know I have.
There was a season of my ministry where I didn't call people to believe the gospel. I preached the gospel, of course, but only with the hope that the Spirit would use his word to regenerate spiritually dead teenagers against their will. I merely implied that they must believe the gospel.
But I have turned from this mindset. This is not because my pendulum has swung to a more balanced position between Calvinism and Arminianism---I don't believe there is such a thing. It's because I've grown to understand what Calvinism is and, perhaps more importantly, what it isn't.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

And His Name is Jesus



He was born in an obscure village the child of a poor peasant.  He grew up in another village where he worked in a carpenter shop until he was 30.  Then for three years he was an itinerant preacher.  He never wrote a book, he never held an office, he never had a family or owned a home. He never led an army or traveled 200 miles from where he was born. He did none of the things that usually accomplish greatness. He had no credentials but himself and was 33 when the tide of public opinion turned against him.  His friends ran away, one even denied him and he was turned over to his enemies and went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves and while he was dying, his executioners gambled for his garments, the only property he had on earth.  When he was dead, he was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend .  Twenty centuries have come and gone, and today he is the central figure of the human race.   All the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, all  the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned put together  have not effected humanity on this earth as much as that one solitary life.” 

--Frank Turek  during a debate with atheist author Christopher Hitchens

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Great Quotes

"The major ideas underlying the doctrines of grace......that God is sovereign, that Christ died for me, that God loved me before I loved Him, that He sought me and drew me and initiated my reconciliation while I was still His enemy, those are truths I believed when I was a rank Arminian. You know what, any true Arminian believes those truths. If you believe those things, you have affirmed the heart of Calvinism and you are functioning with Calvinistic presuppositions."  --Phil Johnson


Monday, October 3, 2011

The Ultimate Question

The following message is the sole purpose this blog exists.

  What shall I do to inherit eternal life? You know the commandments, “Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not bear false witness, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.” If we say we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins. The wages of sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus. God demonstrates His own love towards us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. He who knew no sin became sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. All who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. Repent therefore and be converted, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord. Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other. Eternal life is found in knowing the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom He has sent. Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your heart. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.

HT: Scripture Tracts

Sunday, September 25, 2011

180 Movie

One of the most important films you will ever see.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Refuting Islam In 3 Minutes

This short video was produced by my friend Andrew Rappaport. Please check out his web site at www.strivingforeternity.org.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

What Do Jehovah's Witnesses Teach?

 Matt Slick of www.carm.org explains the main teachings of the Jehovah's Witnesses and some of their basic theological errors.



Monday, September 19, 2011

Is Mormonism Christian?

Matt Slick of www.carm.org explains why Mormonism is not Christian due to its rejection of the essential doctrines of the Christian faith and the authority of the Bible. For more documentation see: http://www.carm.org/religious-movements/mormonism/mormonism-christian.


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Are Roman Catholics saved?

No one can judge a Roman Catholic's heart, but God. However, if the Roman Catholic follows the official position of the Roman Catholic Church which teaches that justification is by works, then such a person is lost. The Bible teaches that justification is by faith alone (Rom. 4:5; Eph. 2:8-9).   --C.A.R.M.



 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Monday Dose of Spurgeon

"If you ask God to convert souls, but you will not do anything for those souls; if you ask God to save your children, but you will not talk to them about their salvation; if you ask God to save your neighbors, and you do not distribute tracts among them, nor do anything else for them, are you not truly a hypocrite? You pray, but you refuse to do anything to affect an answer."
- Charles Spurgeon

Thursday, August 18, 2011

For Meditation

The believer has the promise that sin will not be master over them for they are not under law but grace (Romans 6:14).

That would mean the unbeliever is without the promise and remains a slave to sin and is not under grace but instead the judgment of the law. Share the gospel today. There is only certain amount of time left...

Monday, August 15, 2011

Pyromaniacs: Pornagraphic Divination

 StreetFishing publisher's note:  Up until this point, I've been a pretty consistent supporter of Mark Driscoll. I've always thought his teaching was a bit edgy and perhaps at times unnecessarily graphic, but not weird. This particular message puts him into the category of just plain bad teaching. I'm not calling him a heretic or labeling him in any particular manner, but I have read the article posted below by Phil Johnson and think he makes a compelling argument for being careful with what comes out of Mars Hill Church and the ministry of  Mark Driscoll.

by Phil Johnson


In a post last week, I pointed out that the preposterous claims, unhinged behavior, and spiritual quackery that are so prominent at the charismatic movement's lunatic fringe are by no means limited to the outer edges. Goofiness and gullibility are necessary byproducts of a belief system that fails to take seriously the principle of sola Scriptura and its ramifications (i.e., the authority and sufficiency of Scripture).

Here's a sample of the kind of thing I was referring to: The video below features Mark Driscoll, claiming the Holy Spirit regularly gives him graphic visions showing acts of rape, fornicators in flagrante delicto, and sexual child molesters in the very act. WARNING: This is an extremely disturbing video, for multiple reasons:

Continue reading...

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Unbelieveable Unbelief

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The benefits of not ignoring election in your Bible

Quoting James Boice 



So many people think that election is useless and perhaps even pernicious. It is nothing of the sort. It is part of the Bible's inspired teaching and is therefore "useful," as Paul insisted all Scripture is (2 Tim. 3:16-17). Here's a look at ways election impacts things like evangelism and worship:
1. Election is humbling. Those who do not understand election often suppose the opposite, and it is true that those who believe in election sometimes appear prideful or smug. But this is an aberration. God tells us that he has chosen some by grace entirely apart from merit or even an ability to receive grace, precisely so that pride will be eliminated: "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast"(Eph. 2:8-9).
2. Election encourages our love for God. If we have a part in salvation, however small, then our love for God is diminished by just that amount. If it is all of God, then our love for him must be boundless. Sadly, today's church frequently takes the love of God for granted. "Of course, God loves me," we say. "I love myself; why shouldn't God love me too?" Consider the little girl who loved the Barney theme song from television ("I love you, you love me; we're a happy family"). But she sang it this way: "I love me, you love me; we're a happy family." That is how we tend to think of God's love. We think we deserve it. Understanding that we are elected by grace alone undermines our self-centered, self-satisfied way of thinking.
3. Election will enrich our worship. Who can admire a God who is frustrated by the rebellious will of human beings? Martin Luther wrote, "It is not irreligious, idle, or superfluous, but in the highest degree wholesome and necessary, for a Christian to know whether or not his will has anything to do in matters pertaining to salvation.... For if I am ignorant of the nature, extent and limits of what I can and must do with reference to God, I shall be equally ignorant and uncertain of the nature, extent and limits of what God can and will do in me--though God, in fact, works all in all. Now, if I am ignorant of God's works and power, I am ignorant of God himself; and if I do not know God, I cannot worship, praise, give thanks, or serve Him, for I do not know how much I should attribute to myself and how much to Him. We need, therefore, to have in mind a clear-cut distinction between God's power and ours, and God's work and ours, if we would live a godly life."
4. Election encourages us in our evangelism. People suppose that if God is going to save certain individuals, then he will save them, and there is no point in our having anything to do with it. But it does not work that way. Election does not exclude the use of the means by which God works, and the proclamation of the gospel is one of those means (1 Cor. 1:21).
Moreover, it is only the truth of election that gives us any hope of success as we proclaim the gospel to unsaved men and women. If the heart of a sinner is as opposed to God as the Bible declares it to be, and if God does not elect people to salvation, then what hope of success could we possibly have in witnessing? If God does not call sinners to Christ effectively, it is certain that we cannot do so either. Even more, if the effective agent in salvation is not God's choice and call--if the choice is up to the individual or to us, because of our powers to persuade others to accept Christ--how could we even dare to witness? For what if we make a mistake? What if we give a wrong answer? What if we are insensitive to the person's real questions? In that case, people will fail to believe. They may eventually go to hell, and their eternal destiny will be partly our fault, and how could any thinking, feeling Christian live with that?
But on the other hand, if God has elected some to salvation and if he is calling those elected individuals to Christ, then we can go forth boldly, knowing that our witness does not have to be perfect, that God uses even weak and stuttering testimonies to his grace and, best of all, that all whom God has chosen for salvation will be saved. We can be fearless, knowing that all who are called by God will come to him.

From:  The Doctrines of Grace: Rediscovering the Essentials of Evangelicalism



HT: Oldtruth.com

 
 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Manipulated 'Decisions' Lead To Gospel-Hardening

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

HT: oldtruth.com

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Only The Gospel Fills Our Sails

Michael Horton rightly warns against depending on “guidance technology” to put wind in our sails:
Like a sailboat equipped with the most sophisticated guidance technology, our Christian lives are often decked out with the latest principles for living, with spiritual guidance counselors telling us what will make life really work for us and our families. Oftentimes, brand new Christians sail out of the harbor under full sail, eager to follow the guidance system, making use of all the gadgets, enthusiastically listening to every fellow boater who has some advice to offer. Yet as many long-time believers know, eventually the winds die down and we find ourselves dead in the water. Then when storm clouds gather on the horizon, we discover that all of the guidance technology and good advice in the world cannot fill our sails so that we can return safely to the harbor. The equipment can plot our course, tell us that a storm is coming, and indicate our present location, but it cannot move us one inch toward the safety of the harbor. In other words, if we are looking for motivation in the Christian life, it cannot come from motivational principles; only the gospel fills our sails…While God’s wise directions are necessary, apart from the ever present word of promise that despite our failures at sea, God is at the helm piloting us to safety, we will eventually give up on sailing altogether.  Purposes, laws, principles, suggestions, and good advice can set our course, but only the gospel promise can fill our sails and restore to us the joy of our salvation.
The Gospel Driven Life, pg. 143-144

HT:  The Gospel Coalition blog: Tullian Tchividjian

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Harold Camping: Unrepentant False Prophet Refuses to Stop Dragging Christ's Name Through the Mud

by James White

When someone has been given over for decades to false teaching and arrogant spiritual dictatorship over others, well...we shouldn't be surprised at what is happening as I type these words. I am listening live to Camping's rambling press conference. I cannot possibly express my deep disgust at this man's willingness to continue to drag the Christian faith and the Holy Bible through the mud. He is utterly unrepentant, and now is adding to his condemnation blatant lies. He just told the gathered press that no church today believes that every word of the Bible comes from God. Of course, it is Camping who thinks the words of the Bible are theological play-dough, all there to serve his whims and his next false prophecy. But, will the press differentiate? Will they speak to responsible Christian scholars, believing scholars? No, Camping is truly a plague upon us, not only here in the United States, but all around the world. God have mercy upon us.

"We had all of our dates correct. We had all our proofs correct." "May 21 was a spiritual coming...He has come, in the sense that He now has the world under judgment." Well, I pretty well called that one, sadly. I had a feeling we would be stuck with this foolishness until October 21, 2011. What an amazingly foolish thing: "Well, folks, we only have 153 days to go, but, hey, we aren't going to put up billboards and stuff, we are going to play music and do teaching about how to live as a good Christian." Brilliant. I can't wait to see the video of this.

Now Camping is lying about Greek verbs. I cannot possibly imagine what the press is going to do with this.

Well, folks, I don't know what else to say. The man is an inveterate heretic, unrepentant, and we call all of his followers to repent and abandon this man's wild delusions. 


HT: aomin.org

Friday, May 20, 2011

The End is Near? The False Teaching of Harold Camping

By Albert Mohler


The church is not to be arrogantly setting dates, but instead to be eagerly waiting for him. Of that we can be truly certain.

Harold Camping is now warning the world that the Day of Judgment will begin at about 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 21, 2011. The 89-year-old founder of Family Radio has made such pronouncements before, most recently in 1994. He now says that he simply miscalculated then, but he is absolutely certain that he has the right calculation now. You have been warned.

continue reading......

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Ambassador Model-Knowledge

Since I'll be heading back out to the Ambassadors' Academy this summer, I thought this message from Greg Koukl was timely. He's got some good basic tips of being and effective ambassador for Christ.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Grieving, Rejoicing that Osama bin Laden Is Dead

by Christopher Morgan

Osama bin Laden is dead.

How do we as Christians respond?

As I watched the news reports, various passages came to mind–everything from Jesus’ teaching on loving and praying for enemies, to James’ forceful picture of a future slaughterhouse coming upon oppressors of God’s people. The more I reflect on it, the more I realize that my internal tension is similar to another one I have felt many times before–a tension related to the biblical doctrine of hell.
As strange as it seems, hell is depicted in the Bible both as tragedy and victory. Hell is tragic, as it is awful that people rebel against God and persistently spurn the Savior. God is “slow to anger,” “abounding in love and faithfulness” (Exod. 34:6-7), and does not take pleasure in the punishment of the wicked, just as he does not find pleasure in the existence of sin (Ezek. 18:23). Jesus likewise grieved and wept over human lostness, sin, and the impending judgment (Matt. 23:37; Luke 19:41; 23:34). The apostle Paul also shared this perspective, earnestly longing and praying for the conversion of his lost fellow-Jews, even to the point of being willing to undergo God’s wrath for them (Rom. 9:1-6; 10:1). That sinners go to hell is tragic and should break our hearts.

Continue reading....

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Pistol Whipped

This was  newsletter note from Todd Friel of Wretched Radio. Good stuff I want to share with my Christian brothers and sisters.   Happy Easter!


See if you can relate to any of these sentiments.

>There’s nothing like reading a really good parenting book to make me feel like a complete failure as a father.

>Spending a few minutes with an overly enthusiastic home school parent sure can make me feel like a loser as a mother.

>Watching the worship team makes my praises feel inferior.

>Listening to Paul Washer pray makes me want to crawl under a rock for my lukewarm petitions.

>When I see a skinny celebrity I feel guilty for eating that bag of Cool Ranch Doritos.

>Ray Comfort must love the Lord more than me because he witnesses to so many people.

Perhaps you noticed a theme throughout those statements: feeling like a failure for your lack of performance. If you ever feel lousy because of your failures, you need to know that your lack of joy is not due to the fact that you are a lousy parent, prayer, dieter or evangelizer. Your lack of joy comes from your failure to remember the Gospel!

Here is the hard truth of the matter:

>You and I fail constantly to lead our children to the cross as we parent.

>You and I never have enough intensity in our praise and prayers.

>Even on a good Jenny Craig day, you and I love things too much.

>If we witness to ten people a day, you and I don’t witness to as many people as we should.

Here is the great news, you and I are still enthusiastically accepted and loved by the Father! This is not due to your performance, but it is exclusively due to the performance of the Son on your behalf!

>Dad, you blow it as a father. Jesus died for bad dads.

>Mom, you sin when you home school your children in anger. Jesus died for angry moms.

>Christian, on your best Sunday, your praise and prayers are weak and distracted. Jesus died for you, a blasphemer.

>Overweight person, you have made a bag of chips an idol. Jesus died for you, an idolater.

>Your lack of love for the Lord and for the lost is an abomination to God. Jesus died for your apathy.

Dear Pistol Whipped Christian, you must stop trying to find joy and acceptance in your performance. On your very best day, your performance, like mine, is pathetic! But Jesus performance was perfect! Because of the doctrine of justification, His performance is now your performance!

Your ability to parent marvelously, praise intensely, pray fervently, eat wisely or evangelize perpetually should not be your source of peace, joy or satisfaction. Your source of joy should be found in Jesus, who died for your sins and failures.

The daily reminder that God sees you as perfect because of Jesus will lead you to more joy and to more loving parenting, intense praising, fervent praying, self-control and love for the Lord and for the lost.

Now, aren’t you glad for Easter!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Meet Esly!


Esly Carrero's online portfolio

 From time to time I introduce a new blogger or friend who has a great web site with an important overall message, and I frequently pass along the great articles they write.  It is a privilege to encourage other brothers and sisters in Christ and make new connections for the purpose of growing us in maturity and reaching the lost ultimately to the glory of God alone. All of my connections here have been Gospel centered and usually evangelism centered. Some are apologetic ministries or creation science ministries, but even those are ultimately centered on the truth of the Gospel.
This will be the first time I have promoted anything other than a ministry, but I still think it's in order.

Recently I had the pleasure of working on a small project with Esly Carrero Stampek of Esly.net Actually, Esly has all the talent and did all the work! She has a great web site and business...And, it's Gospel centered! Although that's not the primary subject of her work, she makes not secret about where she gets her talent and inspiration.  Please visit her site often. There's lots to see.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Use Logic, Mock Christians

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

New Evangelical Virtues

This is a really good post from Time Challies. He is always balanced and seeks to discern truth and trends. Read on for a great observation concerning Rob Bell's new controversial book and current growing views on the doctrine of Hell.


I don’t want to keep talking about Rob Bell. Honest. And in this post I am only going to touch on him on the way to something else. I think the uproar about his view on hell has helpfully illustrated what passes as virtue in the evangelical world today. As I have read some of the controversy, reading particularly from those who have taken his side, I have seen evidence of three characteristics that seem to pass as virtues today. In some parts of the Christian world, these are now embraced as Christian virtue: doubt, opaqueness, and an emphasis on asking rather than answering questions.

Continue reading.....

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Have You Experienced Repentance?

Have we ourselves repented? This, after all, is the question that concerns us most. It is well to know what the apostles taught. It is well to be familiar with the whole system of Christian doctrine. But it is far better to know repentance by experience and to feel it inwardly in our own hearts. May we never rest until we know and feel that we have repented! There are no unrepentant people in the kingdom of heaven. All who enter in there have felt, mourned over, forsaken, and sought pardon for sin. This must be our experience, if we hope to be saved.

~ J.C. Ryle
Expository Thoughts on the Gospels: Mark, [Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1985], 116.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Take Action

Please take a moment to read this article and then voice your concerns to the various authorities in Athens, Georgia. It is an occurrence that is becoming all to familiar in our nation today. Marcus is not only a friend of this ministry, but a bold proclaimer of the Gospel of Christ.

http://www.repentamerica.com/news/pittman-arrested.html

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I Believe In Unicorns!

Friday, February 18, 2011

John MacArthur Rebukes Joel Osteen

Monday, February 14, 2011

Unholy Trinity

John MacArthur

Creflo DollarI don't watch much television, and when I do I generally avoid the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN). For many years TBN has been dominated by faith-healers, full-time fund-raisers, and self-proclaimed prophets spewing heresy. I wrote about the false gospel they proclaim and the phony miracles they pretend to do almost two decades ago in Charismatic Chaos (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1992. See especially chapter 12). I had my fill of charismatic televangelism while researching that book, and I can hardly bear to watch it any more.

Recently, however, while recovering from knee-replacement surgery, I decided to sample some of the current fare on TBN. From a therapeutic point of view it seemed a good choice: something more excruciating than the pain in my leg might distract me from the physical suffering of post-surgical trauma. And I suppose on that basis the strategy was effective.

But it left me outraged and frustrated—and eager to challenge the misperceptions in the minds of millions of unbelievers who see these false teachers masquerading as ministers of Christ on TBN.

I'm outraged at the brazen way so many false teachers twist the message of Scripture in Jesus' name. And I'm frustrated because I'm certain that if these charlatans were not receiving a large proportion of their financial support from sincere believers (and silent acquiescence from Christian leaders who surely know better), they would have no platform for their shenanigans. They would soon lose their core constituency and fade from the scene.

Continue reading....

Thursday, February 3, 2011

11 Year-Old Reveals Jesus Throughout the Entire Bible

Friday, January 28, 2011

For your enjoyment

I tried to find a good reason to post this video here that relates to this blog. I'm not sure what that is, except that God has given us animals to subdue and rule over (Genesis 1:28.) I suppose that would include enjoying and caring for our domestic pals. This pup is surely a joy to his owner, but the glory is God's alone for giving us animals to appreciate.

Monday, January 24, 2011

'Man Saves Man' and Decisions Are The Plan

Where did we ever get the idea that people can save other people, and even save themselves? Sure, nobody comes right out and says that, but you can tell that they think it. It's amazing how this one theological error upstream ends up causing an entire evangelism epidemic downstream. No, theology is not useless "head knowledge", it impacts our actions. And in this case, bad theology has produced an entire errant evangelistic system.


The problem that we are seeing today, is that church leaders believe that people can control when and if the New Birth occurs. Here's one example with scenes from an actual church service: 








We are warned of the problem in Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God:
"If we forget that it is God's prerogative to give results when the Gospel is preached, we shall start to think that it is our responsibility to secure them. And if we forget that only God can give faith, we shall start to think that the making of converts depends, in the last analysis, not on God, but on us, and that the decisive factor is the way in which we evangelize. And this line of thought, consistently followed through, will lead us [into error]. If we regarded it as our job, not simply to present Christ, but actually to produce converts, to evangelize not only faithfully, but also successfully, our approach to evangelism would become pragmatic and calculating."
That's exactly the kind of thinking that is represented in links like these:
Megachurch pastor Steven Furtick says he's setting "strategic goals in the areas of attendance, salvation decisions, (and) baptisms". Now if you really believe that it's up to God to save people, how can you make a specific goal for salvations? How can you predict how many God will save? Maybe He'll save none. I suppose one way is if God tells you ahead of time how many he's going to save. That's what Steven reports on another post in which he shares how God told him that "100 people would give their lives to Jesus", and before he preached a sex sermon God told him that "50 people would be saved". Curiously, these numeric prophetic messages are never mentioned ahead of time, and are only spoken of in specific terms AFTER they appear to come true.
A staffer at one church talks about their goal of saving "hundreds" over the upcoming year, but I wonder if they've considered the possibility that the Holy Spirit might save 10 times that many, or maybe nobody at all. After all, John 3:8 reminds us, who can predict what the Spirit will do? He's like the wind that blows where it wishes.

The Cool Church missions blog points out that 300 made decisions when "Pastor George spoke". Elsewhere, Pastor Greg talks about 1600 people who got saved in jail, and makes a special point of mentioning that "I led over 130 to the Lord myself". A nursing home evangelist says that he resists boasting about 'decisions' but, you guessed it, he ends up doing it anyway. Not only that but, he let's you know that the decisions occurred "due to our ministry".



As for the video clip above, it's worth noting that repentance was never discussed by the pastor in that church service. Leaving out key aspects of an evangelism message like that is one of the common traits of the modern error of Decisional Regeneration. That's the focus of this informative video clip which outlines the problem with today's "man saves man" church methodology, which is based on no less than faulty theology.

HT: Oldtruth.com

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Theology Questions

Mars Hill Church has some good resources concerning the most asked questions about theology. Here is one on assurance of salvation.

This is a question that comes up frequently, particularly among fairly new Christians who are still working on understanding the Scriptures. First, the very fact that this situation is bothering you is evidence that you are part of God’s family and need not fear loss of your salvation. You cannot lose your salvation. Look up Romans 11:29 and memorize it.

If you’re concerned about the “unforgiveable sin,” be sure to see Pastor Mark’s explanation on the topic.
As for your referring to Hebrews 6:4-6 and Hebrews 10:26-31, let me say that these are two of the most hotly debated portions of Scripture among theologians more astute and experienced than most all of us. Our suggestion would be to try to acquire or borrow a copy of the ESV Study Bible and read the commentaries that it gives on those two portions of Scripture.

The Mars Hill position on those passages would be that they describe persons who fall into one of the first three soils that Jesus describes in Luke 8:4-15. When you read that parable and the meaning that Jesus himself provides, you will understand that many people can “taste” the blessings of God and sometimes even appear to be “born again,” but in time it is revealed that they never were the “good soil.” The Apostle John in 1 John 2:19 explains those of the first three soils by saying, “They went out from us, but they were not really of us, for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they are not of us.”

The very fact that being one who does not remain is bothersome to you, reveals that you are saved. You want to remain in the body. Therefore, be assured and secure in your salvation. Check out the document, Assurance Scriptures, and rest in your own assurance. When you have time, turn in your Bible to 1 John 5 and then download and print this document. You will see that you can already identify with at least some of the evidences of your being a part of God’s family. As you mature in your faith, more and more of those evidences will become part of your life. We call that process “sanctification.”

Instead of worrying about your salvation, you need to move on to why God saved you. Read Ephesians 2:8-10. Verse 10 will indicate to you that he saved you for a purpose. As a new believer, you need to figure out what your Spiritual Gifting is and how you can fulfill Ephesians 2:10. When you have time, go to the Mars Hill website for the six sermons that Pastor Mark preached on spiritual gifts. As you listen, you most likely will discover which gift or gifts that God has blessed you with. When you begin to minister to others with that or those gifts, you will experience the joy and assurance that our Lord Jesus wants you to have.

Satan would want to put doubt in your mind. Tell him to get lost in Jesus’ name, because he has no right to your life. He is the father of lies and he or his demons are lying to you to weaken your faith. Flee from him and serve the Lord Jesus because he is your head pastor and top authority.

Resources

Am I Saved – Examine 1 John 5.rtf
Assurance Scriptures.txt

Friday, January 7, 2011

What is Reformed Theology (In a nutshell)

I thought it was time for something pithy...

Reformed theology...

...presupposes God's Word alone as our ultimate authority.
...stresses the sovereignty of God, that is, His reign over all things, meticulously determining (Eph 1:11)
   all that comes to pass (i.e. God is never taken by surprise).
...ephasizes a Christ-Centered proclamation of the gospel, that salvation is wholly of God, by grace alone
   through faith alone in Christ alone as revealed in the Scripture alone to the Glory of God alone.
...views the Bible as a redemptive-historical organic unfolding of revelation which is structured by three
   covenants (redemption, works and grace).

It goes without saying that those in the Reformed Tradition hold to the doctrines of grace (the five points of Calvinism), man's helpless condition apart from Christ, the necessity of evangelism and the work of the Holy Spirit who (monergistically) quickens the dead to life through the preaching of the word as God turning their heart of stone to flesh, and opening their eyes to the excellencies of the gospel (uniting them to Christ). In other words, RT stresses the way the objective, written Word together with the inner, supernatural ministry of the Holy Spirit work together. For the Word without the illumination of the Holy Spirit remains a closed book. We (the church) cast forth the seed of the gospel and the Holy Spirit germinates it, so to speak, with the blood of Christ bringing forth life in people from every nation, tribe, language, and people (Rev 14:6). RT traces its historical and theological lineage back to the theology of Christ, Paul, Augustine and to the Protestant Reformation of the 16th Century.

HT: Monergism.com