Friday, January 30, 2009

Things not to do in Sunday School



Kevin showed this at our S.S.teacher's meeting.
This is funny!!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Patton on the "profession of faith"










There are many people who are very comfortable in their profession of faith they made so long ago. So comfortable are these people that they never make any further moves in their walk with God. Like my friend, they rely upon the “once-saved-always-saved” doctrine that they were taught immediately upon conversion.

I don’t have a problem with teaching once-saved-aways-saved, but I would qualify it a great deal. Let me be plain and clear. The doctrine of God’s grace is radical. It is absolutely radical. It is unbelievably radical. God gives us an unspeakable gift free of charge. We don’t owe God anything for it. Neither is it on lay-away. In fact, it would be very offensive to God for us to even try to pay for it. It is priceless. Yet this gift, from a human point of view, is received by faith. Faith is the evidence of our salvation. It is the instrumental cause of our salvation. Faith is the evidence that we have entered into the race. But what we fail to emphasize is often more destructive to the Christian faith than not telling the Gospel at all. We fail to tell people that there is a false kind of faith. There is a faith that crosses the starting line, but never completes the race. Their is a faith that does not save.

Paul encourages the Corinthians:

“Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you– unless indeed you fail the test?” (2 Cor. 13:5)

The author of Hebrews says:

“Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it.” (Heb. 4:1)

In Revelation, it is only those who overcome who are promised eternal life:

“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.” (Rev. 2:7; emphasis mine)

James speaks about a faith that does not save:

“What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him?” (Jam. 2:14)

Remember in the parable of the soils in Matthew 13, there are three types of seeds that sprout (start the race), but only one truly takes root (finishes the race).

I believe that once a person is truly saved, he or she will never lose that salvation. John 10:28 is all I need for this. Yet I think we need to warn people that not all faith is true faith.

Lloyd-Jones on Being Different

Dr. Lloyd-Jones on making a difference by being different:


The glory of the gospel is that when the Church is absolutely different from the world, she invariably attracts it. It is then that the world is made to listen to her message, though it may hate it at first. That is how revival comes. That must also be true of us as individuals. It should not be our ambition to be as much like everybody else as we can, though we happen to be Christian, but rather to be as different from everybody who is not a Christian as we can possibly be. Our ambition should be to be like Christ, the more like Him the better. And the more like Him we become, the more useful to the world we will be.

(HT:Tullian)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Horton on Lifestyle Evangelism





















“Like many Emergent Church leaders, [Dan] Kimball invokes a famous line from Francis Assisi that I also heard growing up in conservative evangelicalism: “Preach the gospel at all times. If necessary, use words.” Kimball goes on to say, “Our lives will preach better than anything we can say.” (We encounter nearly identical statement from [Joel] Osteen…). If so, then this is just more bad news…because despite my best intentions, I am not an exemplary creature. The best examples and instructions –even the best doctrines– will not relieve me of the battle with indwelling sin until I draw my last breath. Find me on my best day –especially if you have access to my hidden motives, thoughts, and attitudes– and I will always provide fodder for the hypocrisy charge and will let down those who would become Christians because they think I and my fellow Christians are the gospel. I am a Christian not because I think that I can walk in Jesus’ footsteps but because He is the only one who can carry me. I am not the gospel; Jesus Christ alone is the gospel. His story saves me, not only by bringing me justification, but by baptizing me into His resurrection life.”

“Conformity to Christ’s image (sanctification) is the process of dying to self (mortification) and living to God (vivification) that results from being regularly immersed in the gospel’s story of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection…That my life is not the gospel is good news both for me and for my neighbors… We do not preach ourselves but Christ. The good news…is that what we say preaches better than our lives, at least if what we are saying is Christ’s person and work rather than our own. The more we talk about Christ as the Bible’s unfolding mystery and less about our own transformation, the more likely we are actually to be transformed rather than either self-righteousness or despairing.” (P117, 118)

excerpt from "Christless Christianity"

(HT:Nathan White)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Fifteen Pro-Life Truths to Speak

(HT:John Piper blog)

"You will know the truth and the truth will set you free." - Jesus Christ

1. Existing fetal homicide laws make a man guilty of manslaughter if he kills the baby in a mother's womb (except in the case of abortion).

2. Fetal surgery is performed on babies in the womb to save them while another child the same age is being legally destroyed.

3. Babies can sometimes survive on their own at 23 or 24 weeks, but abortion is legal beyond this limit.

4. Living on its own is not the criterion of human personhood, as we know from the use of respirators and dialysis.

5. Size is irrelevant to human personhood, as we know from the difference between a one-week-old and a six-year-old.

6. Developed reasoning powers are not the criterion of personhood, as we know from the capacities of three-month-old babies.

7. Infants in the womb are human beings scientifically by virtue of their genetic make up.

8. Ultrasound has given a stunning window on the womb that shows the unborn at eight weeks sucking his thumb, recoiling from pricking, responding to sound. All the organs are present, the brain is functioning, the heart is pumping, the liver is making blood cells, the kidneys are cleaning fluids, and there is a fingerprint. Virtually all abortions happen later than this date.

9. Justice dictates that when two legitimate rights conflict, the limitation of rights that does the least harm is the most just. Bearing a child for adoption does less harm than killing him.

10. Justice dictates that when either of two people must be inconvenienced or hurt to alleviate their united predicament, the one who bore the greater responsibility for the predicament should bear more of the inconvenience or hurt to alleviate it.

11. Justice dictates that a person may not coerce harm on another person by threatening voluntary harm on themselves.

12. The outcast and the disadvantaged and exploited are to be cared for in a special way, especially those with no voice of their own.

13. What is happening in the womb is the unique person-nurturing work of God, who alone has the right to give and take life.

14. There are countless clinics that offer life and hope to both mother and child (and father and parents), with care of every kind lovingly provided by people who will meet every need they can.

15.Jesus Christ can forgive all sins, and will give all who trusts him the help they need to do everything that life requires.

Scum of the Earth















"We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things." 1 Corinthians 4:13

Christlike people know where they stand with the world -- out with the garbage. The world did not value Jesus, and the world does not value his followers today. In this world of false glories, the cross and all who love it will never measure up to this week's definition of cool. The early church accepted that and triumphed. Now it's our turn. And one thing to gladden us along the way: even below the bottom of the heap is the Lord Jesus Christ, the weakness of God and the foolishness of God, saving everyone low enough to discover him there.

(HT:Ortlund)

The Word

"You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God." Matthew 22:29

"The charge against the Sadducees was not simply that they failed to relate and to correlate knowledge and power. More particularly, it was that they were theologically and experientially ignorant of both revelatory truth and the power of God. Not only were they strangers to God's power but they were unknowing of it. Their detachment from God's power, moreover, was due to a deficient knowledge of Scripture. Jesus here pays to the Scriptures one of his ministry's highest tributes, when he implies that knowledge of Scripture will guard one from theological error and acquaint one with the power of God."

Carl F. H. Henry, Wheaton Alumni magazine, Summer 1996, page 15.

(HT:Ortlund)

Paul on Service

I served the Lord with great humility and with tears, although I was severely tested by the plots of the Jews.
Acts 20:19

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Anniversary of Roe vs. Wade

The "Jane Roe" of Roe v. Wade was Norma McCorvey. In 1969 she was 22 years old, divorced, homeless, and pregnant for the third time (she had placed her first two children for adoption). Somehow an adoption agency connected her with two young lawyers fresh out of law school who were eager to challenge the Texas statutes on abortion. McCorvey only met with her lawyers twice--once for beer and pizza, the other time to sign an affidavit (which she didn't read). In order to speed things up McCorvey lied and told them she had been raped. She never appeared in court, and she found out about the infamous ruling from the newspapers. The baby she was seeking to abort was born and placed for adoption.

Today Norma McCorvey is pro-life, advocating for the unborn. You can read her sworn testimony recounting her experience as the plaintiff in one of the most significant cases to appear before the Supreme Court.
(HT:Justin Taylor)

Here she is on video:

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Oath- Just Read It!















Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. almost ruined a great day for President Obama.

(from NY Times)

After a day’s worth of chatter over whether the president had been properly sworn into office — he transposed a couple of words in the oath after being incorrectly prompted by the chief justice — advisers to Mr. Obama decided Wednesday afternoon to try it one more time.

Only hours after aides told reporters there was no reason to administer the oath again, they concluded it was easier to do it on the first day, rather than have someone challenge the legitimacy of his presidency.

“We believe that the oath of office was administered effectively and that the president was sworn in appropriately yesterday,” Gregory B. Craig, the White House counsel, said. “But the oath appears in the Constitution itself, and out of an abundance of caution, because there was one word out of sequence, Chief Jus- tice Roberts administered the oath a second time.”

The trouble began at the swearing-in ceremony on Tuesday when Chief Justice Roberts misplaced a word in the oath, saying: “That I will execute the office of president to the United States faithfully.” The word “faithfully” is supposed to appear between “will” and “execute.”

Mr. Obama, who had been studying his lines, briefly interrupted Chief Justice Roberts initially, which could have thrown the chief justice off course. Then, he paused awkwardly after saying, “that I will execute.”

So the chief justice gave it another try, but still did not get it quite right, omitting the word “execute.”




Below is the Presidental oath.. Mr. Roberts here is a piece of advice from a man who performs many weddings--
Just Read it!!!

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of the President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

The Streak Continues- 0-54!




Benediction Prayer






"When white will embrace what is right?" - Wow Imagine if a white person said the opposite. Think he would get a standing ovation?

Inauguration prayer

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Lincoln Bible














CBS News reports about Lincoln Bible used by President Obama at his inauguration.


CBS News White House correspondent Bill Plante reports.

They call it the "Lincoln Bible."

"It is in tolerably good condition," said Clark Evans of the Library of Congress.

While it is in good condition, it's not really the Lincoln family bible.

With the Civil War about to erupt and an assassination threat in Baltimore, Lincoln arrived in Washington in the middle of the night.

His belongings and his bible were still en route.

So could it be true that Abraham Lincoln showed up for his first inauguration without a bible, and the chief justice there to swear him in sent him and his clerk to get one?

"That's a very likely scenario for what happened," Evans said, showing the current Lincoln Bible. "And … this is what he brings back."

The clerk of the Supreme Court, William Thomas Carroll, brought back one of the many bibles he kept for official use - then signed and sealed it.

On that day, Lincoln spoke to a nation in crisis, about to split in two.

And on Election Night, Mr. Obama echoed Lincoln's words.

"As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours," Mr. Obama said.
"We are not enemies, but friends, though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection."

Monday, January 19, 2009

Richard Baxter on Preaching




















For myself, as I am ashamed of my dull and careless heart, and of my slow and unprofitable course of life, so, the Lord knows, I am ashamed of every sermon I preach; when I think what I have been speaking of, and who sent me, and that men’s salvation or damnation is so much concerned in it, I am ready to tremble lest God should judge me as a slighter of His truths and the souls of men, and lest in the best sermon I should be guilty of their blood.

Me thinks we should not speak a word to men in matters of such consequence without tears, or the greatest earnestness that possibly we can; were not we too much guilty of the sin which we reprove, it would be so.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Does it matter what we preach as long as people are coming?



Have you ever experienced Joel's Christianity?

No pain. No poverty. No problems.
Sounds more like Tony Robbins than the Gospel of Jesus.

Hamas Leader's Son becomes a Christian




Pray for Mosab Hassan Yousef

Friday, January 16, 2009

The End of an Era




















We are nearing the end of an era. President George W. Bush will soon leave office.
What will you remember most about his Presidency?

When I think of the good: he has helped to keep us safe and he mentioned God every now and then.

When I think of the bad: "you can go from bail out to bombs" one man said. For me personally too many to list. But don't all Presidents have this.

President-elect Obama will have his fans and his nay sayers as well. One thing is for certain change is on the way. Let's all pray it is a good change for our country. We need President Obama to succeed. So I am asking all my fellow Dems and Rep. to pray for our outgoing President and his Wife and our soon to be President and his wife and family.


"I exhort therefore, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and givings of thanks, be made for all men: for kings and all who are in high places; that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; who desires all people to be saved and come to full knowledge of the truth." 1 Timothy 2:1-4.

Safe Landing!



If all of the details of this story are true, this is amazing.








(fox news)
A US Airways pilot who safely landed an Airbus 320 in the Hudson River off the shores of Manhattan without any fatalities is being hailed as a hero.

Charles Sullenberger, who has flown for US Airways since 1980, flew F-4 fighter jets with the Air Force in the 1970s. He then served on a board that investigated aircraft accidents and participated later in several National Transportation Safety Board investigations.

Passenger Joe Hart said Sullenberger "was phenomenal."

"He landed it — I tell you what, the impact wasn't a whole lot more than a rear-end (collision). It threw you into the seat ahead of you. Both engines cut out and he actually floated it into the river," he said.

Another passenger, Jeff Kolodjay, said the captain instructed them to "brace for impact because we're going down."

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the pilot, whom he declined to idenitify, told him he walked the plane twice to make sure everyone was off the plane, before exiting the aircraft.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Hmmm











(from Denny Burke)


On Monday, I noted that President-elect Barack Obama has invited openly gay bishop Gene Robinson to pray at the inauguration. The New York Times reports on this selection and includes a brief interview with Bishop Robinson:

Bishop Robinson said he had been reading inaugural prayers through history and was “horrified” at how “specifically and aggressively Christian they were.”

“I am very clear,” he said, “that this will not be a Christian prayer, and I won’t be quoting Scripture or anything like that. The texts that I hold as sacred are not sacred texts for all Americans, and I want all people to feel that this is their prayer.”
Bishop Robinson said he might address the prayer to “the God of our many understandings,” language that he said he learned from the 12-step program he attended for his alcohol addiction.

This morning, Albert Mohler posted an interesting commentary on Robinson’s remarks. Mohler writes:
The bishop’s comments reveal just about everything one needs to know about his theology. He pledges that “this will not be a Christian prayer” and he “won’t be quoting Scripture or anything like that.” No, nothing like that. . . The “God of our many understandings” is a confused composite — a very postmodern idol. Clive James is quite right about the theological crisis of unbelieving bishops - but you need go no farther than New Hampshire to find an example.

Wow! What do you think about an openly gay Bishop praying at the inauguration?

Hmmm?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Strobel on Evangelism Fatigue




















from www.leestrobel.com


Fighting Evangelism Fatigue

Your brother is an atheist. Your neighbor is into New Age and Tarot cards. Your boss thinks Christianity is based on ancient mythology. The waiter at your favorite lunch spot is a Muslim. Your chiropractor is simply indifferent about God.

And some days – if you’re really honest – you just don’t care very much. At least, not enough to initiate a spiritual conversation with them.

Let me be the first to confess: there are times when I suffer from evangelism fatigue. I know I should care, I know I should reach out to them, I know I should talk to them about Jesus – but my motivation meter is hovering at low voltage.

Maintaining a high-energy evangelistic lifestyle isn't easy, is it? Sometimes our passion for personal outreach begins to flicker. Call it unspiritual. Call it sin. But let's be honest enough to call it what it undeniably is: very, very real. So what can we do about it? Here are some steps I take when these doldrums hit.

Admit it to God and ask for His help.As soon as I sense that my concern for spiritual seekers is waning, I ask God to give me a renewed desire to reach others with the Gospel. After all, Jesus' mission was to seek and save the lost. When we sincerely ask God to heighten our compassion for those outside the faith, we can have confidence He will respond. And when we begin to pray for specific seekers we know, it's difficult for us to remain indifferent about their eternity.

• Make a call and get a date on the calendar.
All of us know someone who’s far from God. Usually, they’re only a phone call or an email away. By taking a risk and inviting them to lunch or to play golf, we’re setting up a rendezvous during which a spiritual conversation might flourish. Putting a date on the calendar gives us a focus for our prayers and provides an impetus for us to prepare.

• Keep resources handy.
I find I’m much more apt to get into a spiritual discussion with waiters, airplane passengers, or taxi drivers if I’m carrying a seeker-sensitive Christian book that I can put into their hands. That way, I don’t shy away from encounters because I know I won’t have time to answer every question. Instead, I can initiate a conversation and then give them a resource that they can read later.

• Buy lunch for an evangelism enthusiast. Every church has a few people who are especially effective in sharing Jesus with others. Why not offer to get together for a meal so you can catch their contagious Christianity? Whenever I dine with Mark Mittelberg, Alex McFarland, Garry Poole, or other friends who always seem to be on the front lines of evangelistic action, I walk away with fresh motivation to engage in the same kind of spiritual adventures.

Ultimately, I want to be the kind of Christian that Dr. Jack Sternberg encountered. Sternberg, a cancer physician from a conservative Jewish background, was very distant from God. But here's what he wrote about an incident that occurred while he was practicing medicine in Arkansas:

“One woman with terminal breast cancer was in her early 30's, with a husband and young child whom she would soon leave widowed and motherless. Yet she seemed more concerned about my spiritual welfare — in my knowing Jesus — than the fact that she was dying . She saw my lostness, my separation from God, as a greater tragedy than her own illness.

“She trusted this Jesus, then and for eternity. God had allowed illnesses to ravage her, yet she still loved, worshiped, and followed Him. She seemed confident about her future and genuinely concerned about mine. And that overwhelmed me.”

This woman was salt and light as Jesus intended all of us to be – and Sternberg found faith in Christ as a result. Sometimes the first step in becoming more like her is a very simple prayer: “God, help me catch a glimpse of how much lost people matter to you – and then give me the desire and courage to reach them for You.”

Patton on Theology and Belief









(from Parchment and Pen)
In just about every discipline of thought, you have accountability. If you are a doctor, you cannot just develop and prescribe a new medicine because your mother told you all your life that it worked. If you do, you will go to jail. As a scientist, your works will be scrutinized by your peers in published journals. As a physicist, you cannot invent a new law of nature based upon a dream or vision. As a judge, you cannot judge people based upon subjective opinions or a deep inner peace. The constitution prevents this. If you are a soldier, you cannot disregard your superior and come up with a new battle plan because you were enlightened by a new book you read on fighting techniques. In all these areas there is an accountability structure that provides discipline and guards against novelty and abuse. Within each exists a system of checks and balances that, for the most part, provides integrity. In other words, you cannot just do or believe anything. If you violate these constraints, you will be humiliated and humbled.

Sadly we have an epidemic of theological discipline in the church today. People think that they can believe and teach anything based upon a subjective experience or a provision of hope. This epidemic is caused due to lack of theological accountability. We don’t think we need people to tell us we are wrong. We don’t have any system of checks and balances; in fact, we often avoid them. We think that if we have the Bible and the Holy Spirit, we have license. There is no way to be humiliated so that we can be humbled.

Because of this lack of discipline we have people out there believing and teaching based upon wild hairs. They are prescribing spiritual medicine that they invented. Sadly the average person is the spiritual test rat. I wonder what the “faith-is-a-force” people did when they first got the idea that faith was a force that we could control. Did they consult anyone about this? Did they have theological advisers? Did they have someone who would tell them that they was wrong? Did they consult church history or biblical exegetes? Did they even have a method for validating their beliefs?

Integrity of belief is essential for every Christian. We all need trustworthy sources to which we can turn to test our beliefs. We need to have learned how to handle the Scriptures properly. We need to learn not only the right beliefs, but how to come to the right beliefs the right way. We all need to be humbled . . . often. We even need to get the snot kicked out every once in a while. We need battle scars of discipline. We need to have friendships with people who will tell us we are in left field. We need to fear discipline enough that we will think twice about believing or teaching something novel.

In the early church Christians went through a rigorous discipleship process (notice the connection between disciple and discipline). Once you became a Christian you went through a three year boot camp. You were called a catechumen, derived from the Greek katechein, meaning “to teach” or instruct.” For three years your theology was shaped and scrutinized by superiors in the church. Did you get that? Three years. During this time your superior(s) mentored you through the faith. We see this illustrated in ancient church documents such as the Apostolic Traditions, the Apostolic Constitutions, the Canons of Hippolytus, and the Testamentum Domini. The church would not accept a new convert to the faith without this rigorous discipleship process. They took serious Christ’s command to “make disciples.”

From the Didascalia Apostolorum we read, “When the heathen desire and promise to repent, saying ‘We believe,’ we receive them into the congregation so that they may hear the word, but do not receive them into communion until the receive they seal and are fully initiated” (2.39).

This initiation did not come for three full years. Why? For two reasons. 1) The early church did not assume that a profession of faith was sincere, having seen many who once professed and then turned away either in doctrine or in practice. 2) They wanted to ensure the health and stability of the new converts belief.

Cyril of Jerusalem reflects on the importance of theological stability: “Let me compare the catechizing to a building. Unless we methodically bind and joint the whole structure together, we shall have leaks and dry rot, and all our previous exertions will be wasted” (Prochatechesis 11). This training provided a fail-safe that Christianity would be represented correctly and that the “believers” would truly believe, knowing what they were getting themselves into. In other words, they gave them an opportunity not to believe so that they might truly believe.

This process may seem extreme to us today, but consider where we are at. Once one becomes a Christian, the most they normally receive is a four week membership class that deals less with theology and more with church polity. But for the most part they don’t even get this. We tell them to ask Christ into their heart then we send them on their way with our blessing. In reality, we don’t know what has been created. At best, we have just placed a new born baby on the streets telling them to be filled and happy.

Is it any wonder that the church has such an epidemic for theological integrity? Should we really expect any different?

Who are you accountable to for your beliefs? When you get a wild hair about some theological issue, where do you turn? Better, where does this wild hair come from and who gave you the right to have a wild hair. “Wild.” Look it up in the dictionary and you will see that it means “undisciplined, unruly, or lawless.”

People need serious theological training. People need discipline. People need to be humiliated theologically. People need to know that they cannot do whatever they want with Christian belief and expect there to be so many lab rats available. If you have not been trained theologically, you need to be. This does not mean that you have read a book or two on theology, but you need to be in some sort of program that systematically, from beginning to end, takes you through the Christian faith, teaching you not only what to think and believe, but how to think and believe. We all need to be critiqued, disciplined, and humbled. We need more spiritual black eyes. We also need to be prepared to do the same with others.

Proverbs 11:14 Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.

Proverbs 13:10 By insolence comes nothing but strife, but with those who take advice is wisdom.

Proverbs 19:20 Listen to counsel and accept discipline, That you may be wise the rest of your days.

Proverbs 6:23 For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Washer on false teachers



















You either love Paul Washer or you hate him. He doesn't beat around the bush and you know where he stands. But in this sermon he makes a very bold and judgmental claim against Joel Osteen. Tell me if you agree or disagree.
This is from a sermon by Paul Washer:

“Their god is their belly, but, they look like sheep; how is that? How is it that they look like sheep? By their flattering, smooth speech that in an age of tolerance makes you think they are men most full of love.

They will never contradict, they will never create a scandal, they will never be offensive, they will never speak forth things to anger men. They have the smooth tongue of a serpent, and they flatter men, and they give carnal men exactly what they want.

Let me tell you something about false teachers, you think so many times that people fall prey to false teachers, and that, in a sense, can be true, at times. But, I think the dominant theme in Scripture is just the opposite. False teachers are God’s judgment on people who don’t want God…but, in the name of religion, plan on getting everything their carnal heart desires.

That’s why a Joel Osteen is raised up; those people who sit under him are not victims of him, he is the judgment of God upon them…because they want exactly what he wants, and it’s not God!”


Is Joel Osteen really the judgment of God on people?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Penn on Evangelism



Penn, of Penn & Teller, of passionate athiest, has some incredibly honest and important thoughts about evangelism.

Penn’s a proclaimed atheist, so his reaction to this experience is pretty humbling.

“I don’t respect people who don’t proselytize. If you believe that there’s a heaven and hell, and people could be going to hell, and you think, ‘Well, it’s not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward’… How much do you have to hate somebody not to proselytize?”

Friday, January 9, 2009

Coach K is upset..















Coach K is annoyed because the local paper didn't mention that Dook was ranked number 2 in the polls. So he blasted them recently. Here is a brief snip from the News and Observer in bold.

Duke is the No. 2 men's basketball team in the country. You may have read that on ACC Now but not in print.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski would like everyone to note that the Blue Devils are No. 2 in the coaches and AP polls in the first full week of January.

"I don't even think it was mentioned in the newspapers here, that we were No. 2 in the polls," Coach K said after Duke's 79-67 win over Davidson on Wednesday. "Fact, I know it wasn't mentioned, so I guess nobody really cares."



This is his quote from the News and Observer. He also said other things but I can't put them on my blog because he uses such bad language I refuse to put it here.

So for the record, Duke is No. 2 -- one spot ahead of that other unnamed school.

Poor Ol' Coach K will someone please call and congratulate him on being number 2!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

John Piper talking about Swords



















Swords Are for Killing
January 5, 2009 | By: John Piper



In New Testament times swords were not for digging, shaving, or whittling. They were for killing. The only reason Peter cut off Malchus’s ear was that he missed (John 18:10).

But Herod didn’t miss: “He killed James the brother of John with the sword” (Acts 12:2).

Many saints have felt the full force of the sword: “They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword” (Hebrews 11:37). So it was and will be: “If anyone is to be slain with the sword, with the sword must he be slain” (Revelation 13:10).

That’s what swords are for. So when Paul calls the word of God the “sword of the Spirit” in Ephesians 6:17, he is serious—something must be put to death. And it is not people. Christians don’t kill people to spread our faith; we die to spread our faith.

The link in Paul’s mind is given in Romans 8:13.

If by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

The word of God is the sword of the Spirit. The Sword is for putting to death. And by the Spirit we put to death our sinful deeds. So I conclude that the way we kill our sins is with the Spirit’s sword, the word of God.

All temptations to sin have power by lying. The are “deceitful desires” (Ephesians 4:22). They tell us that the pleasure of the sin is worth it. The killing blow against these lies is the power of God’s truth. Hence the sword of the Spirit, God’s word, is the weapon to use.

As John Owen said, “Be killing sin, or it will be killing you.” That is what swords are for, especially the Bible.

J. I. Packer on Preaching











"Doctrinal preaching certainly bores the hypocrites; but it is only doctrinal preaching that will save Christ’s sheep."

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Calvin on Evangelism




















God certainly desires nothing more than for those who are perishing and rushing toward death to return to the way of safety. This is why the gospel is today proclaimed throughout the world, for God wished to testify to all the ages that he is greatly inclined to pity

It is true that the principle thing we have to look to is to teach the ignorant and to show them the way of salvation."


"It is no small consolation to godly teachers that, although the larger part of the world does not listen to Christ, He has His sheep whom He knows and by whom He is also known. They must do their utmost to bring the whole world into Christ's fold, but when they do not succeed as they would wish, they must be satisfied with the single thought that those who are sheep will be collected together by their work." (Comment - John 10:27)


Thus we may see what St. Paul’s meaning is when he saith, God will have His grace made known to all the world, and His gospel preached to all creatures. Therefore, we must endeavour, as much as possible, to persuade those who are strangers to the faith, and seem to be utterly deprived of the goodness of God, to accept of salvation. Jesus Christ is not only a Saviour of few, but He offereth Himself to all.... , yet we must labour as much as possible to draw those to salvation who seem to be afar off. And above all things, let us pray to God for them, waiting patiently till it please Him to show His good will toward them, as He hath shown it to us.

…we are called by the Lord on this condition, that every one should afterwards strive to lead others to the truth, to restore the wandering to the right way, to extend a helping hand to the fallen, to win over those who are without….

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Exit


















When Should People Leave Their Church?
November 17th, 2006
(By John MacArthur)


Leaving a church is not something that should be done lightly. Too many people abandon churches for petty reasons. Disagreements over simple matters of preference are never a good reason to withdraw from a sound, Bible-believing church. Christians are commanded to respect, honor, and obey those whom God has placed in positions of leadership in the church (Heb.13:7, 17). However, there are times when it becomes necessary to leave a church for the sake of one’s own conscience, or out of a duty to obey God rather than men. Such circumstances would include:

If heresy on some fundamental truth is being taught from the pulpit (Gal. 1:7-9).

If the leaders of the church tolerate seriously errant doctrine from any who are given teaching authority in the fellowship (Rom. 16:17).

If the church is characterized by a wanton disregard for Scripture, such as a refusal to discipline members who are sinning blatantly (1 Cor. 5:1-7).

If unholy living is tolerated in the church (1 Cor. 5:9-11).

If the church is seriously out of step with the biblical pattern for the church (2 Thess. 3:6, 14).

If the church is marked by gross hypocrisy, giving lip service to biblical Christianity but refusing to acknowledge its true power (2 Tim. 3:5).


This is not to suggest that these are the only circumstances under which people are permitted to leave a church. There is certainly nothing wrong with moving one’s membership just because another church offers better teaching or more opportunities for growth and service. But those who transfer their membership for such reasons ought to take extreme care not to sow discord or division in the church they are leaving. And such moves ought to be made sparingly. Membership in a church is a commitment that ought to be taken seriously.

Tell others about Jesus

Oh, if you have the hearts of Christians or of men in you, let them yearn towards your poor ignorant, ungodly neighbours. Alas, there is but a step betwixt them and death and hell; many hundred diseases are waiting ready to seize on them, and if they die unregenerate, they are lost forever.

Have you hearts of rock, that cannot pity men in such a case as this? If you believe not the Word of God, and the danger of sinners, why are you Christians yourselves? If you do believe it, why do you not bestir yourself to the helping of others? Do you not care who is damned, so you be saved? If so, you have sufficient cause to pity yourselves, for it is a frame of spirit utterly inconsistent with grace. . . .

Dost thou live close by them, or meet them in the streets, or labour with them, or travel with them, or sit and talk with them, and say nothing to them of their souls, or the life to come? If their houses were on fire, thou wouldst run and help them; and wilt thou not help them when their souls are almost at the fire of hell?

(Cited in I. D. E. Thomas, A Puritan Golden Treasury [Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1977], 92–93)

Friday, January 2, 2009

Luther on Infant Baptism

Infant Baptism
by Dr. Martin Luther


XIII A.
Part Fourth: Of Infant Baptism.



That the Baptism of infants is pleasing to Christ is sufficiently proved from His own work, namely, that God sanctifies many of them who have been thus baptized, and has given them the Holy Ghost; and that there are yet many even to-day in whom we perceive that they have the Holy Ghost both because of their doctrine and life; as it is also given to us by the grace of God that we can explain the Scriptures and come to the knowledge of Christ, which is impossible without the Holy Ghost. But if God did not accept the baptism of infants, He would not give the Holy Ghost nor any of His gifts to any of them; in short, during this long time unto this day no man upon earth could have been a Christian. Now, since God confirms Baptism by the gifts of His Holy Ghost as is plainly perceptible in some of the church fathers, as St. Bernard, Gerson, John Hus, and others, who were baptized in infancy, and since the holy Christian Church cannot perish until the end of the world, they must acknowledge that such infant baptism is pleasing to God.

Further, we say that we are not so much concerned to know whether the person baptized believes or not; for on that account Baptism does not become invalid; but everything depends upon the Word and command of God. This now is perhaps somewhat acute but it rests entirely upon what I have said, that Baptism is nothing else than water and the Word of God in and with each other, that is when the Word is added to the water, Baptism is valid, even though faith be wanting. For my faith does not make Baptism, but receives it. Now, Baptism does not become invalid even though it be wrongly received or employed; since it is not bound (as stated) to our faith, but to the Word.

Therefore I say, if you did not believe then believe now and say thus: The baptism indeed was right, but I, alas! did not receive it aright. For I myself also, and all who are baptized, must speak thus before God: I come hither in my faith and in that of others, yet I cannot rest in this, that I believe, and that many people pray for me; but in this I rest, that it is Thy Word and command. Just as I go to the Sacrament trusting not in my faith, but in the Word of Christ; whether I am strong or weak, that I commit to God. But this I know, that He bids me go, eat and drink, etc., and gives me His body and blood; that will not deceive me or prove false to me.

Thus we do also in infant baptism. We bring the child in the conviction and hope that it believes, and we pray that God may grant it faith; but we do not baptize it upon that, but solely upon the command of God. Why so? Because we know that God does not lie. I and my neighbor and, in short, all men, may err and deceive, but the Word of God cannot err.

Is that a correct conclusion, that whenever any one does not do what he ought, the thing in itself shall be nothing and of no value? My dear, just invert the argument and rather draw this inference: For this very reason Baptism is something and is right, because it has been wrongly received. For if it were not right and true in itself, it could not be misused nor sinned against. The saying is: Abusus non tollit, sed confirmat substantiam, Abuse does not destroy the essence but confirms it. For gold is not the less gold though a harlot wear it in sin and shame.

Therefore let it be decided that Baptism always remains true, retains its full essence, even though a single person should be baptized, and he, in addition, should not believe truly. For God's ordinance and Word cannot be made variable or be altered by men.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Luther on Salvation and Free Will




















In the words of Martin Luther:

"I frankly confess that, for myself, even if it could be, I should not want ‘free-will’ to be given me, nor anything to be left in my own hands to enable me to endeavor after salvation; not merely because in face of so many dangers, and adversities, and assaults of devils, I could not stand my ground and hold fast my ‘free-will’ (for one devil is stronger than all men, and on these terms no man could be saved); but because, even were there no dangers, adversities, or devils, I should still be forced to labour with no guarantee of success, and to beat my fists at the air. If I lived and worked to all eternity, my conscience would never reach comfortable certainty as to know how much it must do to satisfy God. Whatever work I had done, there would still be a nagging doubt as to whether it pleased God, or whether He required something more. The experience of all who seek righteousness by works proves that; and I learned it well enough myself over a period of many years, to my own great hurt. But now that God has taken my salvation of the control of my own will, and put it under the control of His, and promised to save me, not according to working or running, but according to His own grace and mercy, I have the comfortable certainty that He is faithful and will not lie to me, and that He is also great and powerful, so that no devils or opposition can break Him or pluck me from Him. ‘No one,’ He says, ’shall pluck them out of my hand, because my Father which gave them me is greater than all’ (John 10:28-29). Thus it is that, if not all, yet some, indeed many, are saved; whereas, by the power of ‘free-will’ none at all could be saved, but every one of us would perish."
Marin Luther, The Bondage of the Will (Grand Rapids: Revell, 1957), 313-314.

Luther on Predestination










"All things whatever arise from, and depend on, the divine appointment; whereby it was foreordained who should receive the word of life, and who should disbelieve it; who should be delivered from their sins, and who should be hardened in them; and who should be justified and who should be condemned." - Martin Luther

In his Treatise on Grace & Free Will, the title of Chapter 41 reads, "The wills of men are so much in the power of God, that he can turn them whithersoever it pleases him."[9] And again, chapter 42 reads, "God does whatsoever he wills in the hearts of even wicked men."

He begins the chapter, "Who can help trembling at those judgments of God by which He does in the hearts of even wicked men whatsoever He wills, at the same time rendering to them according to their deeds?"

In his Commentary on Romans, written around 1515, he wrote,
"All things whatever arise from, and depend on, the divine appointment; whereby it was foreordained who should receive the word of life, and who should disbelieve it; who should be delivered from their sins, and who should be hardened in them; and who should be justified and who should be condemned.

Luther begins The Bondage of the Will this way "God foreknows nothing contingently, but. . .He foresees, purposes, and does all things according to His own immutable, eternal and infallible will."

Luther goes on to write "If you hesitate to believe, or are too proud to acknowledge, that God foreknows and wills all things, not contingently, but necessarily and immutably, how can you believe, trust and rely on His promises?"

and...

"If, then, we are taught and believe that we ought to be ignorant of the necessary foreknowledge of God and the necessity of events, Christian faith is utterly destroyed, and the promises of God and the whole gospel fall to the ground completely; for the Christian's chief and only comfort in every adversity lies in knowing that God does not lie, but brings all things to pass immutably, and that His will cannot be resisted, altered, or impeded."

Regarding God's desire for all men to be saved, Luther himself objects. In response to the claim that 'God desires all men to be saved,' and that 'Christ died for all men,' he writes that:

"These points and others like them can be refuted as easily as the first one. For these verses must always be understood as pertaining to the elect only, as the apostle says in 2 Tim. 2:10 'everything for the sake of the elect.' For in an absolute sense Christ did not die for all, because he says: 'This is my blood which is poured out for you' and 'for many' - He does not say: for all - 'for the forgiveness of sins' (Mark 14:24, Matt. 26:28)"


Also from the Luther's Bondage of the Will “‘Who will believe’ (you say) ‘that God loves Him?’ I reply, Nobody! Nobody can! But the elect shall believe it; and the rest shall perish without believing it, raging and blaspheming… You say that a flood-gate of iniquity is opened by our doctrines. … Nonetheless, these are the very doctrines which throw open to the elect, who fear God, a gateway to righteousness, an entrance into heaven, and a road to God!”