Peyton Manning Shares the Shocking Reason Why He Loves Jesus, Drinks Beer, & Won’t Pray to Win

 

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Peyton Manning drinks Budweiser, doesn’t point to God after scoring a touchdown, and never prays to win a football game.

He’s also a Christian (stay with me here).

Manning accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior at the age of thirteen, and since then, his faith has been his number one priority. He grew up in a Bible-believing home, and he tries to be the best man he can be…but there’s an important reason why you don’t really hear much about that side of him.

He would rather his actions outshine his words.

Often times, we squish Christianity into this little box of do’s and don’t‘s, stuffing an infinite God into the puny confines of our own minds. We think we know what following Christ looks like, but in his book Manning that Peyton co-wrote with his dad Archie, Peyton reveals how his Christian walk may not look the same as anyone else’s—but it is no greater, and no lesser.

And this is exactly what he means…

Transcript via Minding the Truth:

“Like my dad, I make it a point when I speak to groups to talk about priorities, and when it’s schoolkids, I rank those priorities as: faith, family, and education, then football. For me generally it had always been the big four: faith, family, friends, and football. And I tell all of them that as important as football is to me, it can never be higher than fourth. My faith has been number one since I was thirteen years old and heard from the pulpit on a Sunday morning in New Orleans a simple question: “If you died today, are you one hundred percent sure you’d go to heaven?” Cooper was there and Eli [Peyton’s two brothers] but it didn’t hit them at the time the way it did me. It was a big church, and I felt very small, but my heart was pounding. The minister invited those who would like that assurance through Jesus Christ to raise their hands, and I did. Then he invited us to come forward, to take a stand, and my heart really started pounding. And from where we sat, it looked like a mile to the front.

But I got up and did it. And I committed my life to Christ, and that faith has been most important to me ever since. Some players get more vocal about it—the Reggie Whites, for example—and some point to Heaven after scoring a touchdown and praise God after games. I have no problem with that. But I don’t do it, and don’t think it makes me any less a Christian. I just want my actions to speak louder, and I don’t want to be more of a target for criticism than I already am. Somebody sees you drinking a beer, which I do, and they think, “Hmmmm, Peyton says he’s this, that, or the other, and there he is drinking alcohol. What’s that all about?”

Christians drink beer. So do non-Christians. Christians also make mistakes, just as non-Christians do. My faith doesn’t make me perfect, it makes me forgiven, and provides me the assurance I looked for half my life ago. I think God answered our prayers with Cooper, and that was a test of our faith. But I also think I’ve been blessed—having so little go wrong in my life, and being given so much. I pray every night, sometimes long prayers about a lot of things and a lot of people, but I don’t talk about it or brag about it because that’s between God and me, and I’m no better than anybody else in God’s sight.

But I consider myself fortunate to be able to go to Him for guidance, and I hope (and pray) I don’t do too many things that displease Him before I get to Heaven myself. I believe, too, that life is much better and freer when you’re committed to God in that way. I find being with others whose faith is the same has made me stronger. J.C. Watts and Steve Largent, for example. They’re both in Congress now. We had voluntary pregame chapel at Tennessee, and I attend chapel every Sunday with players on the team in Indianapolis. I have spoken to church youth groups, and at Christian high schools. And then simply as a Christian, and not as good a one as I’d like to be.

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Have Mercy on me, Oh God,

Have mercy on me, O God,

according to your steadfast love;

according to your abundant mercy

blot out my transgressions.

Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,

and cleanse me from my sin!

For I know my transgressions,

and my sin is ever before me.

Against you, you only, have I sinned

and done what is evil in your sight,

so that you may be justified in your words

and blameless in your judgment.

Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,

and in sin did my mother conceive me.

Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,

and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;

wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Let me hear joy and gladness;

let the bones that you have broken rejoice.

Hide your face from my sins,

and blot out all my iniquities.

Create in me a clean heart, O God,

and renew a right spirit within me.

Cast me not away from your presence,

and take not your Holy Spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation,

and uphold me with a willing spirit.

Then I will teach transgressors your ways,

and sinners will return to you.

Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God,

O God of my salvation,

and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.

O Lord, open my lips,

and my mouth will declare your praise.

For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;

you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;

a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

Do good to Zion in your good pleasure;

build up the walls of Jerusalem;

then will you delight in right sacrifices,

in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings;

then bulls will be offered on your altar.

Christians Should Vote for Good Governance over Good Theolog

Politicians pander. It’s what they do. But Christians seem especially susceptible to those claiming to be their spiritual brethren. It would be better if people of faith focused on candidates’ practical ability to perform the duties of what remains a secular office.

With the Iowa caucuses drawing near, it seems like every Republican tramping through the snow claims to be a Bible-believing, God-fearing, Jesus-loving Christian. A gaggle of church leaders are promoting their favorite presidential wannabe.

It’s a fruitless exercise. It’s rarely easy to judge whether a particular candidate’s faith claims are true. God told the prophet Samuel: “Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)

For instance, Ted Cruz appears to have done the best this year in presenting himself as a committed Christian. His religious tale, including the conversion story of his pastor father, is contained in an 18-minute documentary. By all accounts, Cruz is doing well among the most theologically conservative Republicans in Iowa.

Yet McKay Coppins of BuzzFeed reported on doubts about Cruz’s faithfulness. Moreover, in late 2014, Cruz used a conference on persecuted Christians from the Middle East, among the most vulnerable people on the planet, as a campaign prop.

Cruz also gave less than one percent of his income to charity between 2006 and 2010. Opposing candidate Mike Huckabee observed: “It’s hard to say God is first in your life if he’s last in your budget.”

Donald Trump has been doing his best to pander without a carefully crafted story. Running casinos with strip clubs is unusual “fruit” from a Christian walk. His style of campaigning doesn’t exactly advance the Christian faith.

How about the rest of the GOP candidates? What do they really believe about God? Do they have a personal relationship with Jesus?

The best response is: who cares? One’s theological views just don’t tell much about a person’s competence to perform a civil office. Voters should care most about how a candidate would confront Washington’s virtual fiscal insolvency, end America’s constant warring in the Middle East, address dependency as well as poverty among the poor, and deal with other serious policy issues.

Indeed, by the most public measures of behavior, President Barack Obama appears to be a more faithful Christian than Donald Trump. Yet many political activists who loudly assert their Christian faith are trending toward the Donald. Indeed, Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr., gave a fulsome introduction to Trump, even comparing Trump to Jesus in expressing unpopular opinions.

It actually would have been more reassuring had Liberty University invited Trump to speak and The Donald done so, with neither pandering to the other. Trump ain’t my cup of tea, but the argument for his candidacy is entirely secular. Nevertheless, Christians should vote for him if they believe him to be the best candidate—and not because they believe him to be a faithful Christian like themselves.

As I wrote for American Spectator: “After years of being manipulated by ambitious politicos, believers should check their credulity at the polling place door. Christians shouldn’t cast their ballots based on their perceptions of the contenders’ religious faith. Martin Luther was right when he declared that he preferred to be governed by a smart Turk than a stupid Christian.”

Goodness and faithfulness are important, but no substitute for competence. Believers and nonbelievers alike should choose the best candidate, not the best Christian, for president.

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About the author, Ron DeHaas

Ron DeHaas

Ron DeHaas is the president and co-founder of Covenant Eyes. Ron has a BS and an MS in Geology from The Ohio State University and attended the University of Michigan as a PhD candidate. Ron pioneered the concept of Accountability Software, and founded Covenant Eyes in the spring of 2000, and today over 150,000 subscribers enjoy the Internet accountability Covenant Eyes provides. Ron also founded Nehemiah Ministries, a 160-acre retreat and counseling center in south-central Michigan for pastors and missionaries. (Photo from the Lansing State Journal, photographer Greg DeRuiter. Used with permission.)

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7 Pro-Life Resources

Unto Him

Legalized abortion is a horrific and ongoing reality in the United States. Since this coming Sunday, January 17, is the observation of the Sanctity of Life–as it is on the third Sunday of January every year–I wanted to compile some pro-life resources:

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Brigitte Gabriel will be speaking in Naples, Florida next month, and you’re invited

 

As ISIS sympathizers rise in America committing terror attacks against innocent Americans, people are asking what is going on? How big is ISIS in America? How are they recruiting? What are the signs of a jihadist ready to strike in any community. What is ISIS’s ideology?

Brigitte Gabriel will be giving a cannot miss intelligence briefing on this issue and what you can do as a citizen. Please share this email with all your friends and encourage them to attend.

Date:             Thursday, February, 11th, 2016

Time:             7:00 PM 

Location:      First Baptist Church of Naples

                      3000 Orange Blossom Drive

                      Naples, Florida 34109

You don’t want to miss this event!

Seating is limited and will fill up fast. If you want your friends to get a seat, be sure to send them this email immediately.

Seating is first come, first serve.

Thank you and see you in Naples!

ACT for America accepts no funding from any governmental agency, any foreign influence peddlers, or political institutions. Your support of ACT for America is critical in winning a battle we cannot afford to lose. All donations are tax-deductible. Click here to donate. ACT for America education is a 501(c)3 organization.

Praying for spiritual awaking

American culture is circling the drain faster and faster… dramatic changes have sent our country spinning out of control.

Take a look at the statistics:

  • Only 36% of 18-29 year olds believe it is very important to be married.
  • 79 % of men and 76% of women 18-30 years old view pornography at least once a month.
  • Church attendance has declined 15% in the last 30 years.

How can Christians live faithfully amid such pervasive spiritual decay?

Vote Hillary to get 8 more years

http://www.billoreilly.com/b/Hillary-Clinton-and-Your-Money/909877972494804663.html

By Bill O’Reilly

The stats are grim.  About half of American workers are currently earning less than $30,000 a year.

Median income in America peaked in 1999.

In 2015, median income is more than a thousand dollars below the 1999 level.  Incredible.

In the seven years President Obama has been in office, the median income has fallen.

So obviously the American economy is not good – no matter how politicians try to spin it.

Enter Hillary Clinton, who defined herself politically in September then contradicted herself yesterday:

HILLARY CLINTON: “You know, I get accused of being kind of moderate and center.  I plead guilty.”

((EDIT))

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: “What’s the difference between a socialist and a Democrat?  Last question.”

CLINTON: “Well, I can tell you what I am.  I am a progressive Democrat.  I am a progressive Democrat …”

MATTHEWS: “How is that different than a socialist?”

CLINTON: “… who likes to get things done and who believes that we’re better off in this country when we’re trying to solve problems together, getting people to work together.”

Obviously Hillary Clinton dodged the question about socialism.

But I can tell you this – she is not a socialist. Everybody knows the Clintons live very well with two lavish homes, private jet flights and an enormous income stream.

Speeches and the Clinton Foundation afford Bill and Hillary an affluent lifestyle which they embrace.

Meantime Mrs. Clinton’s competition, Bernie Sanders, really is a hardcore socialist.

He does not live high.  He walks the walk.

Unfortunately, the walk is lame.  Socialism does not work and Sanders, promoting a guaranteed  income for all Americans, is living on a planet far, far away.

The Democrats should listen to their icon John F. Kennedy:

State of the Union Address, January 11, 1962

JOHN F. KENNEDY: “To help those least fortunate of all, I am recommending a new public welfare program, stressing services instead of support, rehabilitation instead of relief, and training for useful work instead of prolonged dependency.”

What President Kennedy espoused was government help in helping yourself.

Not handouts.  Not socialism.  Not progressive politics.

The truth is that Hillary Clinton is masquerading as a far left person so Sanders will not embarrass her in Iowa and New Hampshire.

However, by doing so, she loses credibility.

How would Hillary Clinton improve the economy?  Nobody knows.

And the economy definitely needs to be improved.

A new study by Bankrate.com surveyed 1,000 American adults.

Sixty-three percent say they are unable to handle a $500.00 car repair or a $1,000.00 emergency hospital room bill.

And according to the Pew Organization, 59% of American households experienced a financial shock in 2014.

It is clear many American homes are living week-to-week – an extremely dangerous situation.

There comes a point, and Talking Points has said this before, when people get the government they deserve.

Terrorism and the economy are the two big issues in this year’s presidential election.

Hillary Clinton is a lock for the Democrat nomination and says she is now a progressive Democrat.

But she’s not.

Seven Reasons Not to Play the Lottery


Seven Reasons Not to Play the Lottery

Americans now spend more than $70 billion dollars annually on lotteries. That’s more than the combined spending on books, video games, and movie and sporting-event tickets. Lotteries are legal in 43 states.

“That’s more than $230 for every man, woman, and child in those states — or $300 for each adult,” reports The Atlantic.

I agree with the report that this is a great shame on our nation. From time to time, the Powerball or Mega Millions lotteries rise to unusually high numbers and get fresh attention in the news (tonight’s and tomorrow’s drawings are announced as $140 million and $400 million).

Here are seven reasons, among others, I have often rehearsed to make the case that you should not gamble with your money in this way.

1. It is spiritually suicidal.

“Those who desire to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. . . They have pierced themselves with many a pang” (1 Timothy 6:7–10).

2. It is a kind of embezzlement.

Managers don’t gamble with their Master’s money. All you have belongs to God. All of it. Faithful trustees may not gamble with a trust fund. They have no right. The parable of the talents says Jesus will take account of how we handled his money. “They went and worked” (Matthew 25:16). That is how we seek to provide for ourselves (1 Corinthians 4:12; 1 Thessalonians 4:11; Ephesians 4:28)

3. It’s a fool’s errand.

The odds of winning are nearly 176 million-to-one. You take real money and buy with it a chance. That chance is so infinitesimally small that the dollar is virtually lost. 175,999,999 times. The smaller amounts paid out more often are like a fog to keep you from seeing what is happening.

4. The system is built on the necessity of most people losing.

Lotteries are simply another form of gambling (without any of the glamor and glitz of Las Vegas, of course). The “house” controls the action; the players will all eventually lose.

5. It preys on the poor.

According to the International Business Times, the lottery supports and encourages “yet another corrosive addiction that preys upon the greed and hopeless dreams of those trapped in poverty. . . . The Consumerist suggested that poor people in the U.S. — those earning $13,000 or less — spend an astounding 9 percent of their income on lottery tickets. . . making this ‘harmless’ game a ‘deeply regressive tax.’”

6. There is a better alternative.

A survey by Opinion Research Corporation for the Consumer Federation of America and the Financial Planning Association revealed that one-fifth (21 percent) of people surveyed thought the lottery was a practical way to accumulate wealth. We are teaching people to be fools.

If the $500 a year that on average all American households throw away on the lottery were invested in an index fund each year for 20 years, each family would have $24,000. Not maybe. Really. And the taxes on these earnings would not only support government services, but would be built on sound and sustainable habits of economic life.

7. For the sake of quick money, government is undermining the virtue without which it cannot survive.

A government that raises money by encouraging and exploiting the weaknesses of its citizens escapes that democratic mechanism of accountability. As important, state-sponsored gambling undercuts the civic virtue upon which democratic governance depends. (First Things, Sept., 1991, 12)

So, if you win, don’t give from your lottery winnings to our ministry. Christ does not build his church on the backs of the poor. Pray that Christ’s people will be so satisfied in him that they will be freed from the greed that makes us crave to get rich.


John Piper was assisted by Desiring God staff in gathering the statistics for this article.


More from Desiring God

  • One Must-Read in 2016: We will never fully comprehend or appreciate the fact that God has given us his own words in a book. John Piper gives us seven reasons to read the Bible every day.
  • Advice for Another Year of Bible Reading: Most Christians know they should spend time regularly in God’s word, but they don’t know how. Bruce Ware offers us five tips from decades of Bible reading.
  • How to Read the Bible for Yourself: When John Piper sits down to read the Bible, how does he see the things he sees? Here he gives us three steps to understanding and applying every passage in God’s word.
Thumb author john piperJohn Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books.

© 2015 Desiring God Foundation. Distribution Guidelines

Wow. That’s a bold move. For what all the news pundits are calling ‘un-American’ and even ‘un-Christian’, Franklin Graham is agreeing with Donald Trump. In fact, he says he’s been saying it all along.

For some time I have been saying that Muslim immigration into the United States should be stopped until we can properly vet them or until the war with Islam is over. Donald J. Trump has been criticized by some for saying something similar. The new Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said yesterday that he disagrees—saying that “such views are not what this party stands for and more importantly it’s not what this country stands for.” Politicians in Washington seem to be totally disconnected with reality.

Research shows that there are 2.75 million Muslims living in the U.S. According to a poll commissioned by the Center for Security Policy, 51% of Muslims living in America believe “Muslims in America should have the choice of being governed according to sharia” (Islamic law) instead of the U.S. Constitution. 29% agree that violence against those who insult Mohammad is acceptable, and 25% agree that violence against America can be justified as part of global jihad. Among males under the age of 45, that number rises to 36%. And 29% of males under 45 believe that violence against America is justified in order to make Sharia the law of the land. This is frightening.

Our politicians are not listening to the truth—my prayer is that God will open their eyes. This affects our security and the future of our nation. If you agree, email your Congressman or Senator today, and SHARE this with others (be sure to copy & paste this text when sharing).

A Prayer of Gratitude

If you are at all like me, you probably find it easy to pray those prayers of petition (“Please give me…”) but far more difficult to pray those prayers of gratitude (“Thank you for…”). Here is some valuable assistance from The Valley of Vision.

O My God,
You fairest, greatest, first of all objects,
My heart admires, adores, loves You,
For my little vessel is as full as it can be,
And I would pour out all that fullness before You in ceaseless flow.
When I think upon and converse with You
Ten thousand delightful thoughts spring up,
Ten thousand sources of pleasure are unsealed,
Ten thousand refreshing joys spread over my heart,
Crowding into every moment of happiness.
I bless You for the soul You have created,
For adorning it, for sanctifying it,
Though it is fixed in barren soil;
For the body You have given me,
For preserving its strength and vigor,
For providing senses to enjoy delights,
For the ease and freedom of limbs,
For hands, eyes, ears that do Your bidding;
For Your royal bounty providing my daily support,
For a full table and overflowing cup,
For appetite, taste, sweetness,
For social joys of relatives and friends,
For ability to serve others,
For a heart that feels sorrows and necessities,
For a mind to care for my fellow-men,
For opportunities of spreading happiness around,
For loved ones in the joys of heaven,
For my own expectation of seeing You clearly.
I love You above the powers of language to express,
For what You are to Your creatures.
Increase my love, O my God, through time and eternity.

Obama’s Setting Us Up for Another 9/11

Most Dangerous Man in American History is
Barak Hussein Obama and his regime of
Insane American Haters called Democrats

Socialism is not the Answer

Independent Sentinel

We have an FBI director who is putting on a “brave face”, there are terror warnings throughout the world, recent terror attacks, and a refugee screening process that is frighteningly and deeply flawed. Wait until you see how we screen the refugees and who does the screening. It doesn’t matter what his intentions are, Barack Obama is setting us up for another 9/11. It might not be this year but it will happen.

I’ve often contended the terrorists will wait until he’s out of office because he’s the best friend they could ever hope to have in the White House. The holiday season is upon us and many are worried about the obvious that it would be a perfect time for jihadis to attack Americans. As 9/11 is etched in our memories so could Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas, Hannukah, and New Year’s. The terror groups have shown their…

View original post 832 more words

Terrorism Is Muslim-Period

I’m tired of being told that Islam is a “Religion of Peace,” when every
day I can read dozens of stories of Muslim men killing their sisters, wives and daughters for their family “honor”; of Muslims rioting over some slight offense; of Muslims murdering Christian and Jews because they aren’t
“believers;” of Muslims burning schools for girls; of Muslims stoning teenage rape victims to death for “adultery;” of Muslims mutilating the genitals of little girls; all in the name of Allah, because the Qur’an and Shari???a law tells them to.

I’m tired of being told that, out of “tolerance for other cultures,” we must let Saudi Arabia use our oil money to fund mosques and madrassa Islamic schools to preach hate in America and Canada, while no American nor Canadian group is allowed to fund a church, synagogue or religious school in Saudi Arabia to teach love and tolerance..

Getting the Gospel Right Is Fundamental

by Cameron Buettel

The gospel of Jesus Christ is a sacred message. It is God’s chosen means for reaching all who would come to saving faith (1 Corinthians 1:21). Whether you preach to a congregation or witness to your neighbor, eternal destinies hinge on the proclamation of Christ crucified. It’s why the apostle Paul asks the rhetorical questions:

How will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? (Romans 10:14)

And getting that message we preach correct is so critical that Paul reserved his harshest condemnation for anyone who gets it wrong:

But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! (Galatians 1:8–9)

Those who peddle a false gospel bring damnation on themselves and all who embrace their message. Christ identified only one path to salvation (Matthew 7:13-14; John 14:6)—there are no alternate routes.

So in our attempt to identify the fundamentals of the Christian faith, we clearly need to prioritize doctrines essential to the gospel. In the words of John MacArthur, “A doctrine must be regarded as fundamental if eternal life depends on it.”[1] John MacArthur,Reckless Faith (Wheaton: Crossway, 1994) 111.

Who God Is

Most evangelists logically start with an explanation of who God is, as His attributes and nature undergird all the other key elements of the gospel. In fact, there’s no hope of salvation apart from the knowledge of God. Jesus said, “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (John 17:3). As John MacArthur points out:

Eternal life is obtained through the knowledge of the true God and Jesus Christ (John 17:3; 14:6; Acts 4:12). Since Jesus Himself is the true God incarnate (1 John 5:20; John 8:58; 10:30), the fact of His deity (and by implication the whole doctrine of the Trinity) is a fundamental article of faith (see 1 John 2:23). Our Lord Himself confirmed this when He said all must honor Him as they honor the Father (John 5:23). The truths of Jesus’ divine Sonship and Messiahship are also fundamental articles of faith (John 20:31).[2] Reckless Faith, 111.

The critical statement is “knowledge of the true God and Jesus Christ.” Plenty of false teachers have become rich and famous by using the names “God” and “Jesus Christ” to describe idols of their own invention. We must be wise to the cunning means Satan uses to assault the nature and character of God, and protect the truth from corrupting influence.

Who Man Is

We live in a therapeutic culture that exalts human reason at the expense of God’s law. Self-examination has given way to self-esteem, sins are redefined as mistakes, and the problem of guilt is solved through suppression or denial. The doctrine of depravity has been buried beneath a pile of psychobabble. John MacArthur rightly critiques this trend:

The wisdom of our age says guilt feelings are nearly always erroneous or hurtful; therefore we should switch them off. But is that good advice? What, after all, is the conscience—this sense of guilt we all seem to feel?

The conscience is generally seen by the modern world as a defect that robs people of their self-esteem. Far from being a defect or a disorder, however, your ability to sense your own guilt is a tremendous gift from God. He designed the conscience into the very framework of the human soul. It is the automatic warning system that cries, “Pull up! Pull up!” before you crash and burn.[3]http://www.gty.org/resources/articles/A273/the-conscience-revisited

It is our guilt that affirms God’s verdict—all people are sinners (Romans 3:23) and without excuse (Romans 1:18–20). Put simply, sin is the breaking of God’s law (1 John 3:4). And it is God’s law that performs the essential task of accurately diagnosing our sin problem (Romans 7:7). John MacArthur highlights this process:

Apart from the law, we would have no way of accurately judging our sinfulness. Only God’s law reveals His divine standard of righteousness and thereby enables us to see how far short of His righteousness we are and how helpless we are to attain it by our own efforts.[4]John MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Romans 1–8 (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 1991) 370.

The apostle Paul warned that “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23)—spiritual death. Hell is an unpleasant reality, but ignoring it won’t make it go away. Eternal damnation is a biblical reality that must be expressed soberly and pleadingly. We cannot possibly overstate the horrific experience of the damned but we can understate it with expressions like “separation from God,” or “a Christless eternity.” Such terminology betrays the force with which Scripture speaks:

[They] will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night. (Revelation 14:10–11)

Believers need to avoid the insidious trend of ignoring the horrors and eternality of hell. One of the major motivating factors behind preaching and evangelism is the stark reality that people are going to hell. The eternality and severity of hell ought to correspond to the intensity of our drive to reach the lost.

What Christ Has Done

Jesus Christ alone provides the means by which sinners can be saved. The facts of His life, death, and resurrection contain the essence of the gospel message.

Christ’s thirty-three years of earthly life were a righteous fulfillment of all God’s laws that we have sinfully broken (Matthew 5:17). He died as a sin-bearing substitute, suffering God’s holy wrath in the place of sinners (Romans 3:25–26; 2 Corinthians 5:21). And His resurrection proves that His sacrifice was sufficient (Romans 4:23–25; 1 Corinthians 15:3–4). John MacArthur elaborates:

The bodily resurrection of Christ is a fundamental doctrine, because 1 Corinthians 15:14 tells us, “If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain.” Romans 10:9 confirms that the resurrection is a fundamental doctrine, and adds another: the lordship of Christ. “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.”[5] Reckless Faith, 112.

There is a major implication in confessing Jesus as Lord: Trusting Him as Savior also means submitting to His lordship.

What Christ Demands

Saving faith goes far beyond verbal acknowledgment or mental agreement. Saving faith is a repentant faith. Turning to Christ in faith always implies turning away from sin. That’s why Jesus said: “Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3, 5). Those who confess faith in Christ but continue to engage in a lifestyle of unrepentant sin are not justified by faith because their “faith” is a false faith (1 John 3:4–10). It is only the faith evidenced by repentance that is true justifying faith. John MacArthur explains the importance of this doctrine:

According to Romans 4:4–5, justification by faith is a fundamental doctrine as well: “Now to the one who works, his wage is not reckoned as a favor, but as what is due. But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness” (emphasis added). In other words, those who seek acceptance before God on the ground of their own righteousness will find they fall short (Romans 3:27–28; Galatians 2:16–3:29). Only those who trust God to impute Christ’s perfect righteousness to them are accounted truly righteous. This is precisely the difference between Roman Catholic doctrine and the Gospel set forth in Scripture. It is at the heart of all doctrine that is truly fundamental.[6] Reckless Faith, 112.

Though they can be listed in different ways, fundamental doctrines concerning salvation always revolve around the core truths of who God is, who man is, what Christ has done, and what Christ demands of the sinner. They are not up for debate or compromise—they simply must be affirmed.

Conversely, there are also fundamental doctrines that we are forbidden to deny. And that’s what we’ll examine next time.

      

If I said these things would I be a Muslim or a Christian?

“IT WAS YOU, OBAMA who spoke these words at an Islamic dinner – “I am one of you.”
IT WAS YOU, OBAMA who on ABC News referenced – “My Muslim faith.”
IT WAS YOU, OBAMA who gave $100 million in U.S. taxpayer funds to re-build foreign mosques.
IT WAS YOU, OBAMA who wrote that in the event of a conflict -“I will stand with the Muslims.”
IT WAS YOU, OBAMA who assured the Egyptian Foreign Minister that – “I am a Muslim.”
IT WAS YOU, OBAMA who bowed in submission before the Saudi King.
IT WAS YOU, OBAMA who sat for 20 years in a Liberation Theology Church condemning Christianity and professing Marxism.
IT WAS YOU, OBAMA who exempted Muslims from penalties under Obamacare that the rest of us have to pay.
IT WAS YOU, OBAMA who purposefully omitted – “endowed by our Creator” – from your recitation of The Declaration Of Independence.
IT WAS YOU, OBAMA who mocked the Bible and Jesus Christ’s Sermon On The Mount while repeatedly referring to the ‘HOLY’ Quran.
IT WAS YOU, OBAMA who traveled the Islamic world denigrating the United States Of America.
IT WAS YOU, OBAMA who instantly threw the support of your administration behind the building of the Ground Zero Victory mosque overlooking the hallowed crater of the World Trade Center.
IT WAS YOU, OBAMA who refused to attend the National The below provides the basis for virtually everything Obama does Prayer Breakfast, but hastened to host an Islamic prayer breakfast at the WH.
IT WAS YOU, OBAMA who ordered Georgetown Univ. and Notre Dame to shroud all vestiges of Jesus Christ BEFORE you would agree to go there to speak, but in contrast, you have NEVER requested that the mosques you have visited adjust their decor.
IT WAS YOU, OBAMA who appointed anti-Christian fanatics to your Czar Corps.
IT WAS YOU, OBAMA who appointed rabid Islamists to Homeland Security.
IT WAS YOU, OBAMA who said that NASA’s “foremost mission” was an outreach to Muslim communities.
IT WAS YOU, OBAMA who as an Illinois Senator was the ONLY individual who would speak in favor of infanticide.
IT WAS YOU, OBAMA who were the first President not to give a Christmas Greeting from the WH, and went so far as to hang photos of Chairman Mao on the WH tree.
IT WAS YOU, OBAMA who curtailed the military tribunals of all Islamic terrorists.
IT WAS YOU, OBAMA who refused to condemn the Ft. Hood killer as an Islamic terrorist.
IT WAS YOU, OBAMA who has refused to speak-out concerning the horrific executions of women throughout the Muslim culture, but yet, have submitted Arizona to the UN for investigation of hypothetical human-rights abuses.
IT WAS YOU, OBAMA who when queried in India refused to acknowledge the true extent of radical global Jihadists, and instead profusely praised Islam in a country that is 82% Hindu and the victim of numerous Islamic terrorists assaults.
IT WAS YOU, OBAMA who funneled $900 Million in U.S. taxpayer dollars to Hamas.
IT WAS YOU, OBAMA who ordered the USPS to honor the MUSLIM holiday with a new commemorative stamp.
IT WAS YOU, OBAMA who directed our UK Embassy to conduct outreach to help “empower” the British Muslim community.
IT WAS YOU, OBAMA who embraced the fanatical Muslim Brotherhood in your quest to overthrow the Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak.
IT WAS YOU, OBAMA who funded mandatory Arabic language and culture studies in Grammar schools across our country.
IT WAS YOU, OBAMA who follows the Muslim custom of not wearing any form of jewelry during Ramadan.
IT WAS YOU, OBAMA who departs for Hawaii over the Christmas season so as to avoid past criticism for NOT participating in seasonal WH religious events.
IT WAS YOU, OBAMA who was uncharacteristically quick to join the chorus of the Muslim Brotherhood to depose Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, formerly America’s strongest ally in North Africa; but, remain muted in your non-response to the Brotherhood led slaughter of Egyptian Christians.
IT WAS YOU, OBAMA who appointed your chief adviser, Valerie Jarrett, an Iranian, who is a member of the Muslim Sisterhood, an off-shoot of the Muslim Brotherhood”.

Impeach Obama before ISIS murders come calling on America and Obama gives them FREE healthcare

Friends,

Yesterday morning, President Obama declared that we had “contained ISIS.” Yet a week ago, ISIS murdered 224 people aboard a Russian plane, and now Friday night, Paris was struck by a multi-layered attack that resulted in over 125 people murdered, many more wounded, and a world again left in shock. We are clearly not dealing with leashed animals or with a JV team. We’re dealing with a threat to western civilization. During the debate last week, I stated that we should not admit those claiming to be Syrian refugees and was condemned by the left for that position. I was right and the events in Paris affirm that. Even the far left and politically correct government of France has closed its borders. It’s time for a President who will act to protect Americans, not just talk and protect the image of Islam.

I call for the following:

1. Close our borders instead of Guantanamo.

2. Institute an immediate moratorium on admission to those persons from countries where there is strong presence of ISIS or Al-Qaeda.

3. Build a coalition that will include NATO, Russia, and nations of the Middle East to aggressively destroy ISIS. Nations who refuse to participate will be sanctioned and isolated.

4. Revoke any agreement with Iran regarding their nuclear capacity. Radical Islamists, whether Sunni or Shia, are a clear and present danger to civilization.

My prayers are with the people of Paris, France. America will always have your back in the war against terrorism. Always.

Sincerely,

Mike Huckabee

Three Reasons to Not Make Sexually Immoral Joke

But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. (Ephesians 5:3-6 ESV)

This past Sunday I had the privilege of opening up Ephesians 5.1-21 at Grace Fellowship Church. In the verses above, Paul warns the Ephesians that they ought not to joke about sexual sins.

Why would he do that? Does God not have a sense of humour? Are we just supposed to be a bunch of prudes with out-dated morals?

I suggest that from the text, there are at least three reasons why you should not be making or laughing at sexually immoral jokes.

1. You cannot repent of something you find funny

Ephesians 5 4The essence and grounds of repentance is hatred of sin. How can you hate it if you’re laughing at it?

Crude joking can be active or passive. That is, jokes can be something you speak or something you hear. You pick this up in the TV shows and movies that you watch, and the conversations you engage in at your workplace.

We cannot find sin both humorous and repulsive at the same time; either we laugh at it or run from it, but we cannot do both.  How can you be serious about walking away from these sins if you’re laughing at them?

2. When you laugh at these things, you are laughing at something that is sending others to hell

If other humans experiencing the wrath of God is funny, then we can entertain ourselves with sin. But Paul’s words are clear: ‘Because of these things (the sexually deviant acts we joke about), the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience.’ If we actually believe in the wrath of God, we’ll quickly see why sin isn’t just funny.

3. Those things that you’re laughing at are the things that put Jesus on the cross

Paul just reminded us of the love of Christ: ‘He loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God’ (Eph 5.2). Why did he have to die as a sacrifice? Because of my sexual immorality, all impurity, and covetousness (which is idolatry) (Eph 5.5).

He died for our sins. Should the one who had his hands and feet pierced with nails and his side pierced with a spear, now have his back pierced by the knife of his peoples’ jokes? How can we laugh at what killed our King? How can we snicker at what caused unimaginable sorrow to our Father, when he crushed his Son?

So what?

I’m not telling you what to watch or laugh at. You should think carefully about it, but I’m not going to suggest rules.

But if you’re not growing in holiness, do you think it could be partly because you’re so enamoured with the world you’re supposed to be leaving behind?

How many of us are using sitcoms and rom-coms as a way to live like Lot’s wife, looking back at the world being destroyed, laughing along, inwardly longing to go back there? And then we wonder why we fall into sexual sin, covetousness, and worldliness.

May God help us to become serious about what is truly evil.

Thankful for Newly Elected Gov. of Kentucky

Matt Bevin’s family tragedy and strong Christian faith

Earlier this evening, the news broke that Matt Bevin has been elected as the next governor of Kentucky. As that news ripples across the country, what may not be as well known is Bevin’s fervent Christian faith and connection to Southern Seminary where I teach. Several years ago, Bevin endowed our school’s center for global missions. This came about as a result of a devastating family tragedy. You can hear Bevin share the story above in his own words, or you can read Aaron Hanbury’s 2012 report below. Don’t miss this one.

The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary officially opened its new Bevin Center for Missions Mobilization, Oct. 9, during the seminary’s Heritage Week. This center will mobilize prayer and people for the fulfillment of the Great Commission through the Southern Seminary community.

Functions of the Bevin Center will include a major missions conference, training events, affinity group fellowships, cultural immersion experiences, hosting missionaries in residence, an expanded missions week on Southern’s campus as well as expanded missions trips around the world.

Glenna and Matthew Bevin provided an endowment to fund the center in remembrance of their late daughter, Brittiney, whose passion for the gospel drove her life. At the dedication of this center, R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Seminary, introduced Matthew Bevin to explain why he and his family made this gift.

Speaking to the seminary’s board of trustees, foundation board, faculty and students, Matthew Bevin told the story of Brittiney, who was the oldest of his 10 children. From the time she was a young girl, Brittiney possessed an incredible heart for missions, according to her father. He used the biblical phrase “salt and light” to describe Brittiney’s compassion for “the least of these.”

As young as 14 years old, Brittiney sensed a call to pursue missions vocationally. The Bevins sent her on overseas missions trips to India and Romania to share the gospel and to work in orphanages. These trips confirmed both to her parents and to Brittiney that God called her to the work of spreading the gospel to the nations. Only weeks after her return from Romania, when she was 17 years old, Brittiney Bevin died in a car accident on Lexington Rd., right in front of the Southern Seminary campus.

Matthew Bevin said that his daughter will not physically be able to fulfill her calling, but her desires are being fulfilled by the legacy she left behind. The Bevins desire to see Brittiney’s calling live on through a generation of young Christians ready to answer the call to world missions.

And, according to Matthew Bevin, Southern Seminary is the best institution to house and operate such a center. He said: “We have confidence that Southern is an institution that will steward this in a way that will serve God best.”

Concluding his comments, he read a prayer that Brittiney Bevin recorded in her journal the night before she died.  Her prayer emphasized her heart for the lost and the down-trodden. She wrote her “dangerous prayer” and hoped to be fully deployed for the gospel of Christ.

She wrote: “You hold the only peace that can fill the deepest hole. But how do I get it? You said, ‘Ask and you shall receive.’ I am asking and I know that you will give it to me. Every week you bless me so much and teach me lessons after lessons. I know that once again you are showing me your love. I can’t fathom how much you feel when one of your children suffers, but I’ve had a glimpse of your heartache. Please fill me with your wisdom that I won’t just watch others suffer, but that I’ll be able to say what they need to hear. As a new week approaches, my dangerous prayer is that you’ll place broken hearted people in my path and fill me with you so that I can let your love heal their pain.”

Have you ever been called a fundamentalist?

by Cameron Buettel

Have you ever been called a fundamentalist? In recent years it has become the de factoterminology for people of any religious persuasion who hold “extreme” views.

Sadly, popular opinion and the secular media usually get to define what constitutes extremism. Today it includes anything from waging jihad to defending God’s design for marriage—and every socially unfashionable conviction in-between. And because the unbelieving world has zero use for doctrinal distinction, so-called fundamentalists from opposing faiths are grouped together as extremists. That’s why a world blinded by sin cannot see the difference between Christian and Islamic fundamentalists.

Nick Gier, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the University of Idaho, typifies the prevailing view among academia:

There are some chilling parallels between Christian and Islamic fundamentalists. Both divide the world between believers and unbelievers, and by deciding for themselves who is saved and who is damned, they think that they can play God with our lives. Both have also declared war on the secular culture of liberal democracy, the most peaceful and prosperous means of social organization ever devised by humankind. They both reject the separation of church and state and would set up governments based on their own views of divine laws. [1]

Aside from being wildly inaccurate, the net result of that mindset has been to identify all forms of fundamentalism as a singular threat. And those who do so are determined to rid our progressive, liberated society of that threat.

Among evangelical Christians, fundamentalism is a term that gets regularly associated with prohibition—“Don’t dance, drink, or chew; and never go with girls who do.” And many fundamentalist Christians would readily concede that the stereotype is not too far removed from the truth. Activities like dancing, drinking, cards, and movies are almost always off-limits to members of those churches.    From the vantage point of modern evangelicalism, it’s hard to see any fun in fundamentalist Christianity.

Fundamentalism may now be a word that fosters derision from the world and scorn from churchgoers, but church history tells a completely different story.

During the early twentieth century, the tentacles of German theological liberalism had reached American shores. The liberal emphasis on human reason and experience came at the expense of biblical authority, inerrancy, and sufficiency—and doctrinal purity was threatened from within the church. Rising liberalism, not extremism, was the dominant threat to the Church. And heroic Christians of that era rose up in defense of the fundamental truths of biblical Christianity. Thus Christian fundamentalism was born in order to fight a necessary war for biblical truth.

Fundamentalism was never conceived as an outlet for Christian hardliners and extremists. It’s not a dirty word, or at least it shouldn’t be. There are fundamental biblical truths that must be defended and contended for (Philippians 1:16; 1 Peter 3:15; Jude 3). And defending those precious truths is just as vital today as it was a century ago. In the days ahead we will tell the story of Christian fundamentalists and the fundamentals they fought for. These are encouraging lessons from church history that speak to the struggles we face today, and the battles that loom on the horizon. You don’t want to miss it.

Debunking 4 Myths About Religious Freedom October 28, 2015

By Russell Moore

It’s rather common in headlines and news articles these days to see “religious freedom” placed in scare quotes. Many seem to think religious liberty is just a Religious Right Trojan horse for Christian privilege.

Here are four popular myths about religious liberty I commonly encounter.

Myth #1: Religious freedom is about ending the separation of church and state.

This myth is grounded in a misunderstanding of church/state separation, held by many on the secular progressive Left and some on the religious Right. Church/state separation, as practiced in this country, was not supported simply by Enlightenment skeptics but by orthodox believers.

The Revolutionary-era Baptists, for example, were hardly “progressive” in theology or politics. Nevertheless, they knew the state shouldn’t have the power to establish a religion or to restrict the free exercise of religion. They knew Jesus had commanded his followers to render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s (Matt. 22:21). This means taxation and the obedience of legitimate civil law. But the state is not given power of worship or power over the conscience, and a state that pretends to such power has overstepped its bounds.

Religious freedom isn’t about tearing down the separation of church and state; it’s about maintaining the separation. This doesn’t mean the separation of religious convictions from public debate; such a forced secularization would have left us without an abolitionist movement, anti-war movements, and the civil rights movement. It does mean, though, that the church doesn’t attempt to punish unbelief with civil power and that the state doesn’t attempt to interfere with the living out of religious convictions, except where necessary for public order and justice.

Myth #2: Religious freedom is about discriminating against those with whom we disagree.

Believe it or not, most religious people in this country have no desire to withhold their friendship, much less their business, from people with whom they disagree, even on serious issues. Some have suggested that bills spelling out religious freedom rights give businesses the “right to discriminate,” especially against gay and lesbian persons. This is not true.

The cases in dispute on this front are not about businesses with “no gays allowed” policies. They aren’t about a refusal to serve gay people, but about persons being compelled, by state coercion, to use their speech to actively support weddings they believe would cause them to personally sin. Religious freedom means that religious convictions ought to be considered when these sorts of conflicts emerge. It’s hardly in the best interest of anyone—secular or religious—to ask people in the marketplace to act in ways they consider immoral, just because their views are unpopular at the moment.

Myth #3: Religious freedom allows people to ignore the law.

Some suggest that religious freedom protections allow people simply to skirt the law, as though one is issued a card exempting him or her from catering gay weddings or providing abortion drugs in insurance plans. That’s hardly the case. We have long respected the right of religiously motivated conscientious objectors to be exempted from combat duty that violates their consciences. No, this doesn’t mean a laissez-faire policy of draft dodging for anyone who claims a religious objection. It just means the government looks into the religious claims and doesn’t force, by penalty of jail, Mennonites or other pacifists to drop bombs or fire rifles. Nor does the accommodation of Native American religions to use eagle feathers in their worship mean open season on endangered species.

Accommodating religious convictions where possible has helped our country to cooperate across divisions, and has helped us to remain far more unified and pluralistic than we would otherwise be.

Myth #4: Religious freedom is just about protecting Christians.

I’ve heard some say that “religious freedom” is just another way of saying “Christian privilege.” Is it true some Christians haven’t been as consistent as they should have been in protecting religious freedom for all? Certainly. Americans, in virtually every segment, have been less than consistent in maintaining all of our natural rights for unpopular groups at various times in our history. That doesn’t make freedom of speech or freedom of the press any less important.

The most publicized religious freedom cases in recent years have involved Christians, cases such as Hobby Lobby and the Little Sisters of the Poor. But the same groups pressing for religious freedom in these cases have also been active in cases involving religious minorities—including Muslims and Sikhs and Native American spiritualities, in ways less covered by news media. See, for example, cases involving a Muslim woman’s EEOC complaint against Abercrombie and Fitch for discriminating against her for wearing her traditional Islamic headdress. See the case of the Muslim prisoner who successfully sued for the right to wear his beard in keeping with his religious convictions. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), now so controversial, originated—with support from religious conservatives and left-wing civil libertarians alike—in a case protecting ceremonial peyote use by Native American religionists.

Such advocacy for religious freedom for all has a rich history among American Christians, including the most conservative evangelicals. Early Baptists like John Leland, for example, spoke out for “soul freedom” for Jews and Muslims and even atheists at a time when few even existed in this country. The point was that religious freedom is not a spoil of government, dispensed to those with the most votes. Rather, religious freedom is a natural right, recognized by government but not legislated into existence by government.

Culture War Casualties

Religious liberty doesn’t fuel culture wars. It protects fundamental freedoms from culture war casualties, regardless of which side is winning at the moment.

That’s why religious freedom is important, and why debunking its cynics is so urgent.

How Confidence Makes Us Kind

 by Russell Moore

How do we engage the culture with convictional kindness? How do we remain compassionate and loving, even in the face of intense opposition and hostility? If we’re going to be obedient in this, we must have confidence.

As I wrote this, I was simultaneously watching a number of discouraging fissures within churches and ministries. Some of them involved leaders falling. Some involved petty disputes between Christians that resemble Hollywood actors in grudge-matches over whose dressing room is bigger. I told a friend that this made me all the more in awe of the ministry of Paul. After all, we have two thousand years of history behind us. He was battling external threats of arrest, and internal wrestling in the churches with heresy and immorality. And all he had to go on was a career wrecked by a light and a voice.

Paul said that the false teachers were the equivalent of Jannes and Jambres, the Egyptian magicians who mimicked Moses’ and Aaron’s signs from God with their own occultist power (Exod. 7:11-12). God’s servants authenticated their sending from God by transforming a staff into a writhing, living serpent. But Pharaoh’s court magicians turned back their argument by doing the same thing. Exodus tells us simply, “But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs” (Exod. 7:12). That’s the point. Paul concluded a section of horrifying pessimism with the words, “But they will not get very far” (2 Tim. 3:9). This is crucial.

“This country is spiritually in decline,” or “If God doesn’t judge this country, he will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.” Writer Marilynne Robinson notes that those who speak in such a way rarely include themselves, or their circles of friends, in this assessment. It becomes another form of “us” versus “them” demarcation. Moreover, it feeds into a sort of apocalypticism that feels invigorating, like, she says, a panic attack—with a jolt of adrenaline to fire up the passions. But this hysteria is actually a betrayal of Christianity itself, since it assumes that history is ultimately in the hands of humanity.

The opponents of the gospel often picture the onward advance of secularization and of moral “freedom” as the inevitable march of historical progress. Christian orthodoxy is on the “wrong side of history.” They believe this, but, too often, so do we. The culture around us knows what it means when they see a church in perpetual outrage and bluster. They know that we are scared. How different this is from the mindset of Jesus himself.

The kindness of Jesus toward sinners is not that startling, at least on the surface. We know, after all, that Jesus was on a redemptive mission, even when it’s hard to see how we fit into that mission. But what is remarkable to me is Jesus’ kindness, at least on one occasion, to the devils themselves. When Jesus encountered the man of the graves, filled with unclean spirits, the Bible tells us the demons “begged him not to command them to depart into the abyss” (Lk. 8:31). The Scripture says that these spirits begged to be sent into a herd of pigs. My response would have been one of fear, I’m quite sure. These are, after all, terrifyingly dark beings, normally shielded from our perception. Jesus doesn’t panic. He exhibits as he does in all sorts of terrifying situations a calm tranquility. The Bible says, simply, “So he gave them permission” (Lk. 8:32).

Why? Jesus obviously was not seeking to redeem these spirits; the Bible says they are unredeemable, not even included in the atonement of Christ (Heb. 2:16). Jesus responded this way because he was not afraid. He was confident in his Father’s mission for him, and thus was free from the need, rooted in insecurity, to constantly prove himself.

If all we have to go on is what we see around us, then, of course, we will become scared and outraged, and our public witness will turn into an ongoing temper tantrum, designed just to prove to our opponents, and to ourselves, that we are still here. And in so doing we would employ the rhetorical tricks of other insecure movements: sarcasm, vitriol, ridicule. But we are not the voice of the past, of the Bible Belt to a post-Christian culture of how good things used to be. We are the voice of the future, of the coming kingdom of God. The message of the kingdom isn’t “You kids, get off our lawn.” The message of the kingdom, is, “Make way for the coming of the Lord.”

A gloomy view of culture leads to meanness. If we believe we are on the losing side of history, we slide into the rage of those who know their time is short. We have no reason to be fearful or sullen or mean. We’re not the losers of history. We are not slouching toward Gomorrah; we are marching to Zion. The worst thing that can possibly happen to us has already happened: we’re dead. We were crucified at Skull Place, under the wrath of God. And the best thing that could happen to us has already happened; we’re alive, in Christ, and our future is seated at the right hand of God, and he’s feeling just fine.

If the gates of hell can’t hold Jesus back, why would we be afraid of Hollywood or Capitol Hill? Times may grow dark indeed, but times have always been dark, since the insurrection of Eden. Nonetheless, the light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not, the darkness will not, the darkness cannot overcome it. The arc of history is long, but it bends toward Jesus.

This article is adapted from my new book Onward: Engaging the Culture Without Losing the Gospel

_________

Homosexuality and the Bible—-Give us all, Lord, opportunity to speak to those that we might meet caught in that sin, and to know that the most compassionate thing we can do is not accept them, but warn them, for if they don’t understand the sin, they can’t see the Savior.

Selected Scriptures

Homosexuality and the Bible

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In today’s world, tolerance is king.  And there’s no greater tolerance issue than homosexuality.  Activists have changed the way mainstream society–politics, business, education, the media–thinks about homosexuality.  They’ve also changed the way many churches and denominations think about it.

Where do you draw the line?  More to the point, where does the Bible draw the line?  In Homosexuality and the Bible, John MacArthur challenges popular views about how Christians should interact with homosexuals–and what God thinks of homosexuality.

Filter your questions about homosexuality through the grid of God’s Word.  Definitive answers await.

    Includes the following 2 messages:

Finally! For years all we hear is that Islam has been ‘hijacked’ and that most Muslims are peaceful people: And that matters to the 270 million people who have been killed in the name of Allah HOW? They estimate that some 15 to 20 percent of all Muslims are ‘radical.’ Well here’s a real news bulletin that actually has meaning:

O God, do not remain silent; do not turn a deaf ear, do not stand aloof, O God. See how your enemies growl, how your foes rear their heads. With cunning they conspire against your people; they plot against those you cherish. “Come,” they say, “let us destroy them as a nation, so that Israel’s name is remembered no more.” Psalm 83:1-4

Why profanity is wrong

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by Alex McFarland
Magic Mountain, an amusement park in Southern California, is known for a roller coaster named X. Coincidentally, I was there to speak at a youth event when I overheard an X-rated conversation between some teens who were part of a church youth group. Later that day, the conversation prompted me to address the issue from the stage. I asked, “How many of you struggle with using bad language?” Many hands went up. I followed up with questions we’ve all probably considered at some point: Is it wrong for a Christian to use curse words? If so, why? And what makes profanity, well, profane?

Entertainment is full of swear words, sexual innuendo and scatological slang. In a recent study of prime time TV, Parents Television Council identified more than 11,000 expletives – twice as many as were used a decade ago. Indeed, in our coarsening culture, some young people can’t recall a time when f-bombs weren’t part of “normal” discourse. Kids use it because they’ve grown up hearing profanity and having it reinforced by the media. And somehow it becomes a personal habit that even Christian teens may consider acceptable in certain situations.

I’ve heard people argue that words are just sounds to which we attach meaning. But to deny the power of language, one must argue the point with what? With words. And those combinations of letters and sounds assume that meaning will be conveyed, heard and grasped. You assume that your listener understands what you’re saying. We can’t get around the fact that words contain meaning.

Words also yield consequences. For proof that language matters, consider that we have an entire lexicon associated with their misuse: fraud, slander, libel, perjury, harassment, defamation. For those who deny the objective nature of language, I suggest that they don’t test their position by publicly making a joke about harming the president or jest about explosives while riding on an airplane. A U.S. Marshal will be summoned to quickly help them grasp that, yes, words have meaning. The ways people abuse words have social, legal and even spiritual implications.

All to Jesus I surrender
The Bible reminds us that our words should honor God and benefit others. Ephesians 4:29 says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” James 1:26 warns us to keep a tight rein on our tongues, while Colossians 3:8 says, “Rid yourselves of all things such as these: anger, rage, malice, slander and filthy language from your lips.”

Regarding use of profanity by believers, some contend that since Christ makes us free, how we say things doesn’t matter. While salvation sets us free from the penalty of sin, freedom doesn’t equal license. In fact, the Bible makes it clear that Christians have an obligation to pursue holiness (Ephesians 4:24; Titus 2; 1 Peter 1:5 and 2:24).

Indeed, God’s ownership of believers extends even to the words we use. According to 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 we’re mere stewards. Jesus Christ owns us, including our minds and mouths. Spiritual maturity requires that we yield everything to God.

Judged by the words we use
All Christians should submit their vocabularies to the lordship of Christ, in part because God is always listening. His grace is perfect, but if words didn’t matter, Jesus wouldn’t have said, “I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:36-37).

Profane means “unholy” or “unwholesome.” Some types of speech are literally unholy. Spouting certain four-letter words can hinder spiritual growth, harm relationships with others and undermine our credibility as bearers of gospel truth.

Christians possess an advantage by having a pure well of words from which to draw. Years ago, as a new believer working my way through college, a superior took note of the fact that I didn’t tell off-color jokes or use foul language like others in that workplace. Not only did this create a witnessing opportunity, but I was promoted to a level that no 21-year-old had ever held in that company. My boss later told me that my habit of avoiding profanity led him to promote me.

Every communicator has thousands of words at his or her disposal. In the quest for individuality and self-expression, there’s no shortage of raw material. So, talk! But do so only in ways that speak well of ourselves, of others and of the Savior.

__________________________________

Alex McFarland is heard weekdays on Exploring the Word on American Family Talk Radio. He is author of 13 books on the Christian worldview, and is founder of Truth For A New Generation, the nation’s largest annual apologetics event.

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