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Saturday, October 13, 2018

The World You Wanted!


"If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do"? (Psalm 11:3)

You read it (in today's society, you probably watch it), all the time. Increases in venereal disease, more divorce, less marriage, lower birth rates. The world is awash in sinful behavior and lack of modesty and, let's face it, rational decision making. Today, people will tell us that the epitome of freedom is to do what you want, regardless of how reckless and irrational. People no longer think about the consequences or their actions. They just "go with it" and deal with the results, if they ever do, at some point much later in the future. We are reminded of the old Jewish king who, when God told him that He would punish Israel for their sins, but not during the king's lifetime, thought it was just fine.

And where does all this come from? For decades, secularists have insisted that religion, and especially Christianity, must be eliminated from the public sphere. Men and women should be allowed to do just about whatever they want, as long as it supposedly doesn't "hurt anyone else." If you have a modicum of common sense, however, how you can come to the conclusion that the behavior that takes place on a regular basis all around us doesn't hurt others is beyond me. Every person's behavior has a ripple effect on others. I don't live on an island all by myself. What I do today will have consequences for others, even if just for my children, in the future. 

The issue, however, is that people have become so self-centered, that they no longer care what happens to future generations. Witness how parents are increasingly permissive. Our society has become an infantile one where, as John MacArthur once said "teachers are afraid of the principal, the principal is afraid of parents, parents are afraid of their children and the children are afraid of no one." Thus, the people who are least equipped to make rational, sensible decisions, our children, are the ones who are running the show. The predictable result is that we conduct society's business based on our feelings at any given moment rather than relying on our God-given intellect. And, sad to say, this is an attitude that has also infected the church. As John Robbins said, "Twenty-first-century American churchgoers are children carried about by every wind of doctrine, not knowing what they believe, or even if they believe anything for certain." Recent surveys tell us that even among young people who are still churchgoers many doubt whether the Bible is even true. Yes, even within the church the post-modernist virus grows unchecked. 

The irony of all this is that the ones that howl the loudest at the wretched condition of our nation and our world, are the very ones that brought us to this point in the first place. In their rush to create a world where passions and desires are the most important factors in how you live, they forgot that living that way inevitably leads to chaos. If you preach sexual liberalism, you get an increase in venereal disease and pregnancies out of wedlock with their resulting fatherless children. If you preach abortion on demand, you get women who are psychologically damaged and whose lives are forever shattered, not to mention millions of little lives snuffed out at the altar of convenience. If you preach lack of discipline, you get undisciplined children. "Be not deceived, God is not mocked. For what a man sows that also he will reap" (Galatians 6:8). 

So, the next time you think that libertine behavior will somehow make your life better, think again. The only thing that such undisciplined lifestyle does is destroy the future you could have if you submit to God and His law. After all, law and order is how He designed the world to run. And, whenever we attempt to do things contrary to the Designer's wishes, they never turn out well, now or in eternity!





Friday, September 21, 2018

The Perfect Choice


Recently I received a short comment on a video I did several months ago reviewing a presentation by Robert Breaker on Calvinism (you can view the video here). One of the comments that I got on the video, was from someone who purportedly was a one time Calvinist, but had abandoned that system of belief. And the very short comment was as follows:

“Sorry, Mike, I used to be a 5 point Calvinist too, but consider 1 John 2:2, John 12:32, Joshua 24:15 etc.

I asked a couple of brothers from Grace Baptist Church to take a crack at answering this person’s “objections.” Reproduced below, is the first of those responses (by Matthew Sample). Over the next several weeks, I will be posting responses to the other two scriptures this individual puts forth as justification for his not being a Calvinist any longer. The obvious implication being that Calvinism is not right because these scriptures supposedly prove the contrary. Hope you find it useful.


Saturday, September 8, 2018

"Professing Themselves Wise"


As Christians we often wonder why the world seems to be so adamant in rejecting what we consider the most wonderful thing in the world. And that is the concept that Jesus died for our sins and that He offers us eternal life of bliss and blessedness rather than the death and decay that we see around us. Think about it, who would not want such a destiny? How can anyone reject such an offer? And all simply for our surrender to the One who sacrificed for us in the first place. The rewards we receive simply for acknowledging Jesus as Lord and serving him in this life is beyond compare.


Saturday, August 25, 2018

Evangelism in the Early Church: Part 3


This is the third and final installment of my review of Evangelism in the Early Church. 

The Christians and the Jews

When it comes to the relationship between Judaism and Christianity in the early church, Green believes that the mission of the early Christians to the Jews was a failure. In human terms, you could say that it was, since very few Jews, comparatively speaking, were converted. However, if you understand Paul’s insight when you read Romans 11, not only was that the design of God, but it was also intended for very specific purposes. The change in focus of the early church to the Gentiles, would have been much more "strained" had the Jews not rejected the good news the way they did. Paul makes the point that because of the Jewish rejection, the Gentiles were "grafted in." Thus, it is not that the early church “failed” to reach the Jews, but that the Jews, in their rejection of their Messiah, in turn fulfilled the purposes of God for the Gentiles.


Saturday, August 18, 2018

Evangelism in the Early Church: Part 2


This is part two in a series on "Evangelism in the Early Church."

Adapting Without Compromising

 "Their sanctuary was empty; their mysteries meaningless" Tacitus speaking about Pompey entering the temple and not finding "anything" (no images, especially).

As so often happens, we humans have a very difficult time understanding the concept of adapting without compromising. To our ears, adapting has an odor of accommodation and that is a word that brings all kinds of negative thoughts to our minds. But one of the issues that Green discusses is the fact that the early disciples sought to find where their audience was and then went about speaking to them with terms they understood. It is of little value to tell someone what the theory of relativity is if they’re not going to understand the basic physics that underlie it. At the same time, however, when we speak of being uncompromising we mean just that. In the end, we must present a choice, not another way to tolerate. People should know that they are lost and need to come to Christ; the gospel should not be presented as just another "god" to be added to the pantheon of gods, as Green points outs using the example of the Romans and their even increasing lineup of deities.


Saturday, August 11, 2018

Review of Evangelism in the Early Church


Over the next several weeks, I will be posting my review of Evangelism in the Early Church. Hope you find it useful.

“Evangelism was everyone's task, not just the ‘professional’ preachers; they understood the importance of their mission—there was no universalism in the early church (when Origen flirted with the idea and began to propound it, he was labeled a heretic—MT). Today as the church increasingly finds itself amidst a hostile society, we have the tendency to retract into our communes and be the ‘respectable people’ who nevertheless accomplish little; the end times was of paramount importance—the end would come and then everyone was to be judged, thus, it was very important to preach the message, a message that was Christo-centric. The early church did not distinguish between the Christ of the gospel and the ‘Christ of history’ as the ‘erudite’ of today do, they are one and the same and they preached Him accordingly. Christianity is enshrined in the life, but it is proclaimed by the lips. If there is a failure in either respect the gospel cannot be communicated." Michael Green 


Saturday, August 4, 2018

The Responsibilities of the Head

"For the husband is the head of the wife, just as Christ is the head of the church and He is the Savior of the body" (Ephesians 5:23).

We live in an age where egalitarianism is the religion of the masses. No one should dare suggest that men and women are not equal in certain areas at the risk of incurring the ire of the hoi poloi. Think back on the many people who have been ostracized or marginalized in various businesses and enterprises because they dared to declare their belief in the roles that God has assigned to his creation. Even in churches and "Christian" colleges, to even hint at the fact that the Bible speaks to the differences between the sexes is to speak heresy (and that's even if they admit there is such a thing as different sexes in the first place!)


Friday, July 20, 2018

When There is no Hope


According to a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey published on 7 June, "suicide is a growing problem in the United States." The survey indicated that "rates increased by 25% across the United States over nearly two decades ending in 2016. Twenty-five states experienced a rise in suicides by more than 30%." The first and most obvious question that comes to mind is why? Why are people in this country killing themselves with increasing frequency? Why are they finding suicide an acceptable outlet to whatever problems they think they have, or actually have? Is there anything that can give individuals considering suicide the hope they need to continue the hard slog of life?


Saturday, June 30, 2018

The Work of Grace


One of the things that distinguishes Christianity from all other major religions of the world is the issue of grace. No other religion makes so much of grace and in no other system of belief is grace so central as in the Christian faith. And it is easy to see why. In just about every other system, indeed I would submit that in every other system, what man does to reach up to God is the essence of the belief. From Islam to Buddhism, man is constantly trying to find a better way to reach up to God and somehow please Him enough to be accepted by Him. That was the primary impetus behind the heathen ancients' sacrificial system: "how can I appease the deities so they will be pleased with me"?


Saturday, June 16, 2018

LGBTQ+...Pride?


Image result for lgbtq pride monthThis month has been named LGBTQ+ Pride Month. According to this article at ABCnews.go.com, "Every summer in the United States, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community and allies come together for a month-long celebration of love, diversity, acceptance and unashamed self-pride" (notice the words "celebration" and "unashamed"). The article goes on to explain that the month of June was selected for the "celebration" in order to commemorate the Stonewall riots that took place in 1969. If you don't know what the Stonewall riots are, I will not get into that here, but you can search and find a plethora of information on that unfortunate episode on the internet.


Sunday, June 3, 2018

Politics, Politics!


Every time I see a Facebook meme or a twit reported in the media praising one of the political parties or the other, I wonder whether those heaping praise on them understand the nature of man. You will often see Christians singing the praises on the so-called conservative party in our land. To them, whatever the Republicans do is defacto good and proper. It matters little who the person is or what kind of individual he may be in his personal life, the fact that he is a member of the Republican party and is a "conservative," somehow gives him some sort of street cred that others do not have. The same can be said on the other side of the ledger. If you're a Democrat, then whatever those folks do has your stamp of approval. 


Sunday, May 20, 2018

The Pitfalls of “Superior Learning”


Recently I listened to a short clip from a longer conversation between Sam Harris, famous atheist speaker, and Bart Ehrman,  professor of New Testament studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and professed "former Christian." (If you're reeeeeally bored, you can listen to the entire interview at this link). The segment of the conversation that I listened to, dealt with what Harris called "the moral logic of human sacrifice" in the context of Jesus dying on the cross. He explained that our species once upon a time believed in invisible gods who could be propitiated with human sacrifice. In his view, Christianity is little more than an "unwitting cult of human sacrifice" following in the footsteps of such cultic practices in our historical past. The doctrine, or as he corrected himself, the assertion that God required a human sacrifice is the central issue at the heart of Christianity.


Sunday, May 6, 2018

Healing the Soul


"It does no good to heal people's physical bodies, just to send them back to the depraved lives that are leading them to destruction." D. Martyn Lloyd Jones

It is often eye opening how the world views sin. Just the other night, my wife and I were watching a TV show. Now, before I write anything else, let me specify that Hollywood is not known for its support of traditional, biblical-based morality. So the fact that they portray depraved, sin-soaked lives and activities should not come as a surprise to anyone. But it just seems that those who are the ones most in the public eye are constantly trying to outdo each other in their rush to embrace anything and everything that rejects God and His dictums. If some sort of new-fangled sin begins to peek its head in the public consciousness, you can bet that it was likely first promoted by the media.


Saturday, April 14, 2018

“It’s Not Fair!”

“It is unspeakably dreadful to find the great majority of those who profess to receive the Scriptures as divinely inspired, gnashing their teeth against its author when informed that He has sovereignly elected a people to be His peculiar treasure, and to hear them charging Him with being a hateful tyrant, a monster of cruelty. Yet such blasphemies only go to show that “the carnal mind is enmity against God.” AW Pink, The Doctrine of Election


Saturday, March 31, 2018

“Be Perfect Even as Your Father is Perfect”



One of the greatest controversies that has been a part of the church since its inception is the role that the law plays in the life of a Christian. On the one hand, you have those who believe that the law is everything. In other words, you can do what you need to in order to attain perfection and be “right” with God. This idea found perhaps its greatest proponent in America in the person of Charles Finney. On the other hand, you have the folks who, like the non-lordship salvation proponents, will tell us that the law matters not one wit. As long as you say a prayer and “accept” Jesus you’re golden. Thus, you have people such as Sam Gipp, a King James only proponent, telling us that an individual who rejected his faith and now does his best to destroy the faith of others, is still saved (whatever that means!)


Saturday, March 17, 2018

Imitating the Godly

“I think my mind has been too intent on things which I look upon as services for the Church. But God will have us know that he has no need of me nor them, and is therefore calling me off them. Help me with your prayers that I may, through the riches of his grace in Christ, be in some measure ready for my account.” John Owen, Letter to Charles Fleetwood

One of the defining differences between the Bible and the purported holy books of other religions, is the fact that the Bible does not seek to paper over the faults of its main characters. From beginning to end, the Bible shows the lives of the protagonists in its narratives with their many virtues, but also with their many warts. Although it calls Abraham the “friend of God” (James 2:23), it also tells of the unbelief that led him to seek to have a child with Hagar (Genesis 16) and to lie about Sarah (Genesis 20). Although it says that David was a “man after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22), it also tells of his adultery, murder and unbelief (2 Samuel 11). (As an aside, the Qur'an, and Islam in general, considers all its prophets sinless).

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Dead Faith?

“For just as the body without the Spirit is dead, so is faith without works dead being alone” (James 2:26).

One of the great debates within so-called Christendom is just how works and grace interact in the salvation of man. The Roman Catholic church officially stipulates that works are a part of the justification process and that, although grace is necessary to bring about the salvation of the soul, it is not in and of itself sufficient for that purpose. This was perhaps the greatest “bone of contention” between the Reformers (Luther, Calvin, et. al.) and the Roman church. Whereas Rome dogmatically set forth the essential nature of works in contributing to a man’s salvation at the council of Trent—including baptismal regeneration—the Reformers insisted that grace alone, through faith, was the vehicle through which God saved the sinner.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

The Word

One of the cornerstones of the Protestant Reformation was the belief that the Bible and it alone, is the final and infallible rule and authority for life and practice in the church. In the Bible, the Reformers taught, we find the answers to all matters pertaining to doctrinal issues dealing with the salvation of our souls as well as the holy living of the people of God. In contrast to the prevailing Catholic idea that tradition passed down, supposedly from the time of the apostles, held as much authority as the Bible, the Reformers categorically denied that anything was on par with the “God-breathed” Word. “Sola Scriptura” restored the Bible to its rightful place in the life of the church and unleashed a movement the reverberations of which are still being felt today.


Saturday, February 3, 2018

The Blind Leading The Blind

“But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them” (2 Corinthians 4:3-4).

Recently, I ran across an article entitled Clergy gather to bless one of the only U.S. clinics performing late-term abortions.” As you can imagine, I had to do a double take when I saw the word “clergy” linked with “bless” and “late-term abortions.” Although such statements shock us, and so they should, they have become all too common in a society that is increasingly becoming more hedonistic and self-absorbed. Although human nature has been the same since Adam fell, the Bible makes it clear that as we approach the coming of the Lord, humanity will become worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived themselves (2 Timothy 2:13).


Saturday, January 20, 2018

“You’re With Him”

Erwin Lutzer, long-time pastor of Moody Church in Chicago, tells of the story of the time when he was ushered into the Oval Office in the White House. He was once at a conference where he met a Secret Service agent who worked at the White House. During the course of their conversation, the agent asked Lutzer if he would like to go see the Oval Office. The President at the time, George Bush the elder, was out of town for the Memorial Day Holiday and of course, Lutzer said yes. On that Memorial Day Monday he and his daughter showed up at the White House to conduct the visit.


Saturday, January 6, 2018

"In Our Thoughts and Prayers"

I’m sure you’ve noticed that every time someone has an accident or other unfortunate event in their lives, there will be some who will immediately tell them that they are in their “thoughts and prayers.” Whenever I hear someone say such a thing (often on TV or some other form of mass media), I can’t help but wonder if the person saying such a thing really understands what they’re saying. I know that this is usually offered as some sort of consolation to the one who is the victim of the mishap. But does the speaker understand what he or she is saying? More than likely they do not. All too often you will hear people say such things who, by the way they conduct themselves and the things they say on a daily basis, have no concern for the spiritual and who, dare I say it, probably do little if any praying.