Monday, November 30, 2009

Quotes (#1)

"Apart from Christ, the Bible is a closed book. Read with him at the center, it is the greatest story ever told...What is the point of the historical books, the Psalms, the wisdom literature, and the Prophets? According to the apostles-and Jesus himself, the Bible is an unfolding drama with Jesus Christ as its central character."-Michael Horton

(Christless Christianity, pg. 14)

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Bit of Satire

Occasionally, there comes along a piece of satire that I find worthy of passing along. Such as in this case. Enjoy. :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Sermon on the Day of Judgment.

In this sermon, Paul Washer preaches on the day of judgment, also known as the "Great White Throne Judgment" The text that he is preaching on is Revelation 20:11-15.

"Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire." (Rev. 20:11-15)

Now, personally, I do believe that there will be a varying degree of punishment in hell, on the basis of whether they heard the Gospel or not. I base this off of Luke 12:47-48, which states: "And that servant who knew his master’s will but did not get ready or act according to his will, will receive a severe beating. But the one who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, will receive a light beating."

That being said, the unbelievers who stand before the "great white throne and him who was seated on it," will stand ashamed and terrified before almighty God, in the full knowledge that they are standing before King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Now, believers will have been justified by the blood of Christ. However, unbelievers will stand exposed before a Holy and Righteous God.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

An Interesting Video on the Bible vs. the Book of Mormon

While this video doesn't really explicitly deal with Mormon theology, I found this movie extremely interesting. As I've probably mentioned, I have an aunt & uncle who raise beef cattle, hay and corn on a 200 acre farm in western New York, about halfway between Rochester and Syracuse. Incidentally, this farm is only about 10 miles from the town of Palmyra, New York, where the Book of Mormon was first published, and one evening over the summer, we were at a parade in Palmyra, and were across the street from the place where the Book of Mormon was first published. I've also been right past Hill Cummorah, where Joseph Smith allegedly found the golden plates.

I'm also, right now, taking a course in Biblical Archeology, so I'm kinda famalliar of the Biblical sites mentioned that are being excavated in Israel.

Another Look at the Jehovah's Witnesses

Chances are, the vast majority of us know about the mission's efforts of the Jehovah's Witnesses. Some of us may have even had Jehovah's Witnesses come by, trying to convert us to their beliefs. I remember a couple summers ago, we had a couple Jehovah's Witnesses come by my home, and I actually didn't realize that they were Jehovah's Witnesses until I recognized the Watchtower logo on one of the magazines they had in their bag. But, I don't think that a lot of us are fully aware of what they believe, and the autocracy that the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society holds over the lives of the members. I encourage you to watch this series of videos if interested.

"Now, actually, concerning false prophecy, we read "And if you say in your heart, 'How may we know the word that the LORD has not spoken?'—when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him." (Deuteronomy 18:21-22)

What Is the Gospel?

It seems like there’s an increasing ignorance on what the gospel is. Recently, the “White Horse Inn” released the results of a survey done in St. Louis, Missouri, at an event held by Franklin Graham. One of the questions was: “Which of the following do you think is the best summary of the Christian Gospel?” 14% felt that it was “God changing me,” 12% answered that it was “Making a decision for Jesus,” and 36% said that it was “Living for God.” This past summer, Emergent guru, and teaching pastor at Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, said that we are the gospel.

But, like I said, is this true? The Apostle Paul writes: “I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:16)

Now, we also read from Romans: “What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, as it is written: ‘None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.’" (Romans 3:9-12) Furthermore, because of our sin, we deserve hell.

We all deserve God’s wrath, and our good works certainly won’t save us. But, this is where the good news, the gospel, comes in.

We clearly have references of the coming good news in the Old Testament.

“Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.” (Psalm 32:1-2)

God states: “I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.” (Isaiah 43:25)

“Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more." (Jeremiah 31:31-34)

Now, taken in light of the fact that our sin deserves our eternal damnation in hell, this is no small thing that God will blot out our sins. Now, how was this accomplished? Through Christ and His substitutionary atonement for our sins on the cross at Calvary.

This is pointed out in Isaiah 53.

“But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all…. Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.” (Isaiah 53:5-6 & 10-12)

In the New Testament, we read.

In the context of talking about Abraham, Paul writes: “But the words ‘it was counted to him’ were not written for his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.” (Romans 4:23-25)

“For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified…. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised— who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.” (Romans 8:29-30 & 34)

“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1st Corinthians 6:9-11)

So, what we can clearly read by Scripture, is that the Gospel is Christ’s atonement on the behalf of those who believe (the elect), to pay for their sins. Now, I say the elect, in full knowledge that we are to preach the gospel to everyone, and in fact, we won’t know the full number of believers until His return.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Sermon on the Cost of Following Christ

In this sermon, Mark Keilar preaches on Matthew 10. The context of Matthew 10 is Jesus sending out the 12 disciples to "go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And proclaim as you go, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons." Yet, the sermon is on the cost of following Christ that Jesus warned His 12 apsotles in Matthew 10:16-24.

Persecution for Christians has been part of church history for nearly 2,000 years, from the martyrdom of the first Christians under the Roman Empire, to those suffering & being martyred for Christ in places like Saudi Arabia, China and North Korea.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Paul Washer Shares on the "Shocking Youth Message"

Paul Washer shares his heart about the "Shocking Youth Message" that he preached in Alabama in 2002, including the rather surprising background that led him to preach that message. He also shares his opinions on the state of the church today in America. I'm gonna be honest and say that his "Shocking Youth Message" led me to do a lot of soul searching.

Now, generally, I don't repost stuff that I've already posted before. However, this time, I think I'm gonna make an exception and repost the "Shocking Youth Message," even though I posted it on my blog once before.

I praise God that He has raised up people like Paul Washer, Jim McClarty, John MacArthur and Mark Keilar for these troublesome days when many sections of American Christianity are sliding into apostasy!!!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

John Piper on the Prosperity Gospel

In this video, John Piper shares his thoughts on the prosperity "gospel." I'm reminded of Jesus' words in Matthew 16:26: "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?"

Monday, November 2, 2009

Double Predestination

Scripture clearly teaches the predestination of the elect for salvation.

"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified." (Romans 8:28-30)

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved...In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory." (Ephesians 1:3-7 & 11)

But, in this video, Mark Keilar discusses the predestination of the non-elect for damnation.