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Those Who Once Stood With Us in the Gospel Now Capitulating to the World.

It always saddens to me see those who once stood with us to go out from us by capitulating to the world and its narrative. It is especially distressing to see this among professing Christians. Dr. Adrian Warnock's recent article, among other things, is a call for Christians to apologize and repent for calling to those with same-sex attraction to faith and repentance. He clearly seems to be advocating the idea that those Christians who proclaim the gospel to those with same-sex attraction are Pharisees because, he believes, very few persons in this category can change, so it is abusive and hurtful to call them to repent of something they are unable to repent from.  Never mind what they Bible teaches.

I am wondering whether Dr. Warnock understands that the Bible declares that none of us can change ourselves. Does he think those with same-sex attraction are alone in their moral inability to change? As such would he affirm the following statement which the Bible indicates is true about all sinners?

Tue, 05/26/2015 - 16:31 -- john_hendryx

God's Glory and the Church's Weakness

Historically speaking, God's glory has often shone the brightest when the church was at its weakest. In fact, Christians should see times of cultural/political weakness as a time of the greatest opportunity to exhibit Christ.  If God ordains that the Church should endure weaknesses, insults, distresses, persecutions or difficulties, for Christ’s sake, we should be well content, for when we are weak, Christ is strong. (2 Cor 12:10) Perhaps the greatest apologetic will be to respond to such hardships and difficulties with joy and love toward those who may bring them our way (1 Peter 3:13-22), along with steadfast perseverance in the principles of our convictions.

Those in the early church did not whine and complain when the endured injustice but joyfully accepted it because it they had better and lasting possessions (Heb 10:34) and such an attitude in the face of hardship was used by God to draw many people to Christ. Having lived so comfortably in the west some Christians may be tempted to forget the truth that "we are no longer our own but were bought at a price." i.e.. we are to be content in giving up our rights if it will shine forth God's glory and be used by God to help even a single individual to come to Christ.

Mon, 05/25/2015 - 10:08 -- john_hendryx

Born Captive to Sin, Rescued by Grace

I was born into this world with certain sinful dispositions and inclinations, and neither therapy nor willpower could produce real change to my fallen human nature. God's holy laws could only expose to me, as a fallen creature, my utter moral impotence and accountability to God (Rom 3:19, 20) but gave me no ability to obey them. The gospel, on the other hand, is not a simple call to behavior modification, but instead, the granting of a renewed heart, a new nature, which loves God's commands (1 John 3:9, 5:1-4; Deut 30:6; Ps. 119:97; Ezek 36:26). And by grace I was declared righteous for Jesus's sake, who fulfilled God's law for me, not because I brought anything of my own to the table. As a result the gospel of grace awakens me to the fact that other sinners are also fallen human beings. So how can I look down on anyone, when God had such amazing mercy on a great sinner like me? I now only want to point others to the light of the gospel of Christ that they might also know Him.

Fri, 05/22/2015 - 22:00 -- john_hendryx

Deceitful Workmen

I have recently encountered not a small number of professing "Christians" online who are "offended" when certain lifestyles are referred to as sinful, even though the Bible is not unclear about it. But if something offends a person does that make it wrong? That is not an argument but a tactic. So it always makes me wonder: are these really people who believe themselves to be Christians or are they pretending to believe but have ulterior motives? (since it is easy to hide real identities online) It is true that the gospel can indeed be offensive to sinners and has been offensive to me on many occassions, but God always uses that offense for His sovereign good purposes.(1 Cor. 1:18) The Scripture is clear that if someone is a regenerate believer who loves God they would not be trying to find any way they could to get out of what the God commands in the Bible but would be eager to want to find out how they can, by the grace of God, obey His precepts.

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 16:24 -- john_hendryx

What about the person without the Bible?

What about the person without the Bible? Will they be held accountable for breaking God's Law? Or Face God's judgment? According to Scripture, "the work of the Law is written on their hearts." And the Bible even gives multiple examples of God judging peoples and nations who have never heard God's Law. Consider some of them- even before God gave Moses the Law at Mount Sinai God held men accountable for their wickedness against the work of the Law written on their consciences. 1) God flooded the whole earth and saved Noah's family because "the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." (Genesis 6:5). 2) The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were likewise annihilated for practices they knew were wrong (Genesis 19:7; Genesis 18:20-19:25). 3) And after the exodus, God employed Israel to destroy the wicked Canaanites for their sin, just as He had indicated to Abraham 400 years earlier that He would give Israel the land after a period of slavery but they would have to wait "until the iniquity of the Amorite was complete" (Genesis 15:12-16).

"For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness, and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Jesus Christ." (Rom. 2:14-16)

Many will, no doubt, gnash their teeth at this aspect of Biblical revelation but it is plain and reminds us that when Christ returns, He comes not to bear sin, but to judge the world and bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. (Heb 9:27)

All the more reason to be vigilant in prayer for the lost and to send workers to every nation of the world to gather the harvest.

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 13:02 -- john_hendryx

Light and Truth: Bible Thoughts and Themes (eBooks)

by Horatius Bonar

The volumes in Bonar’s Light and Truth series comprise of numerous short devotional meditations on different parts of the Bible. These free eBooks are available in ePub, .mobi and docx formats. For those who may want to learn how to convert the DOCX files into your Logos library  check this howto file  -- >> Personal Book Builder – Using PBB to add your own books to Logos.

While many of his choice devotional works have been reprinted in popular editions, generally mass market paperbacks, his most ambitious work, Light & Truth has been, to now, available only to persistent booklovers with an ample supply of both funds and smiling providences. But now, all five volumes are available.for free in eBook format(s) from Monergism. The strength of the work is its versatility.  It is sound enough for the study, sweet enough for the closet, and simple enough for the child. The five volumes cover the entire Canon, with the greatest concentration being on the New Testament. Reflecting Bonar's lifetime of study on the prophetic books, an entire volume is devoted to The Revelation.

The five volumes are divided as follows:

1. Old Testament

2. Gospels

3. Acts & Greater Epistles

4. Lesser Epistles

5. The Revelation

 

Mon, 05/18/2015 - 20:46 -- john_hendryx

Sin is against an infinitely holy God so the punishment is also infinite

Sin is against an infinitely holy God so the punishment is also infinite. But thank the Lord Jesus Christ, in His great love for sinners, came to fully absorb the wrath of God for us upon His own Person; the wrath that sinners like us deserve, so that all who are united to Him will receive His bountiful mercy. This doctrine is perhaps the most sobering in the Bible, but it also teaches us to love our enemies, to do good to those who hate us, to bless those who curse us, and pray for those who abuse us. Because God was kind to ungrateful and evil men like us, so we should likewise be merciful, and extend our love to enemies, even as our Father was merciful to us when we were His enemies. (see Luke 6:27-36).

Regarding eternal punishment Jonathan Edwards once said,

"The crime of one being despising and casting contempt on another, is proportionably more or less heinous, as he was under greater or less obligations to obey him. And therefore if there be any being that we are under infinite obligation to love, and honor, and obey, the contrary towards him must be infinitely faulty. Our obligation to love, honor and obey any being is in proportion to his loveliness, honorableness, and authority. . . . But God is a being infinitely lovely, because he hath infinite excellency and beauty. . . . So sin against God, being a violation of infinite obligations, must be a crime infinitely heinous, and so deserving infinite punishment. . . . The eternity of the punishment of ungodly men renders it infinite . . . and therefore renders it no more than proportionable to the heinousness of what they are guilty of.” (Jonathan Edwards - “The Justice of God in the Damnation of Sinners."

Mon, 05/18/2015 - 12:48 -- john_hendryx

The history, the record, the evidence

How is Christianity different than other religions? It is vastly different on many levels. How? Most world religions essentially rely on the testimony of one single individual having claimed to have some kind of revelation from God. Islam and Mormonism, for example, both have the testimony of one man claiming to have had a talk with an angel. The followers basically have to believe the word of one man. Other religions, such as Hinduism, rely on subjective mystical feelings derived from mystical practices developed in obscurity... but Christianity relies on the testimony hundreds of witnesses to the events surrounding the Person of Jesus Christ. Most importantly, the resurrection, the pivotal event in human history. It relies on real history, and real events witnessed by significant number of people - 100s. People willing to die if they had to for believing it - and many did. And the 66 books of the Bible from different authors from different eras all tell the same unfolding, consistent, overarching story.

Fri, 05/15/2015 - 13:46 -- john_hendryx

Five Errors that Arise from Christ-Replacements

Jesus Christ: The Interpretive Key to the Scripture: Five Examples of Doctrinal Errors that Arise When this Key is not Used.

"You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life." (John 5:39, 40)
 

"For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" - (1 Tim 2:5)

"The Scriptures should be read with the aim of finding Christ in them. Whoever turns aside from this object, even though he wears himself out all his life in learning, he will never reach the knowledge of the truth." - John Calvin

Almost all errors and inconsistencies in our understanding of Bible texts occur when our interpretation is less than Christ-centered. This is foundational. Unless our study, however diligent, leads us to see that all Scripture points to Jesus Christ, our study is in vain. The importance of the Bible (OT & NT) is that it testifies about Jesus Christ (John 1:43-45, Acts 3:18, Acts 17:2-3, 2 Tim 3:14-15,1 Pet 1:10-12, Rom 1:1-3, 16:25-27, Luke 24:25-27 & 44-46).

Mon, 05/11/2015 - 16:34 -- john_hendryx

Faith Plus Works vs. Faith Alone and Works as Evidence of Faith: Is it Just Semantics?

Visitor: Faith + Works [heresy?] = Faith + Sanctification [works is essential !] = Justification, Sanctification, Glorification = Salvation?

To me, it just points to why so much division is in Christianity. No sooner than a work is done, someone will claim heresy. Another will claim it as their testimony of faith.
---

Response: Salvation by Christ alone vs. salvation by Christ plus works are two entirely different visions of Christianity, not just a simple division over whether we should have red or green carpet in our local church building. To think that "Christ alone" does not matter or is not important enough to fight for is more worrisome to me. Indifference or thinking that church unity is somehow more important than preaching Christ alone ... i.e.. that we can (at least partly) maintain our own just standing before God -- is not a matter simple division among otherwise well-meaning brothers... this is critical as to whether we are honoring God or dishonoring Him (Gal 3:3; Phil 3:3). This is where the rubber meets the road.

--

Visitor: You're kidding, right? The "Christ alone" view keeps insisting that it includes works that is evidence ..

but the works gets interpreted as heresy vs. evidence of faith in "Christ alone".

---

Response: are you, then, affirming, that Jesus Christ is not sufficient to save you? That you yourself must MAINTAIN your just standing before God? That Jesus isn't enough? I am talking about your justification here - your right standing before God. To believe that your flesh contributes one bit of righteousness to your standing before God is the heresy Paul refers to in Galatians 3:3.

Sat, 05/09/2015 - 09:21 -- john_hendryx

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