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Thank God Without Ceasing

We affirm with the Bible that whosoever believes in Jesus Christ (without exception) will not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). That has never been at issue. Problem is, no one is naturally willing to submit to the humbling terms of the gospel, apart from regenerating grace (Deut 29:4, 30:6; Ezek 36:26; John 1:13; 5:21, 6:63-65, Rom 8:7, 1 Cor 2:14). Indeed, God commands all people everywhere to repent and believe (Acts 17:30), so it is man's responsibility, but men naturally love darkness, hate the light and will not come into the light (John 3:19, 20) So even after God has given all men opportunity, what is amazing is not that He saves only some of us, but rather, why He saves any of us at all. Even though man is so obstinate, God still yet extends his mercy to us (Rom 9:16). Though no one will come to Jesus on their own, the Spirit still has mercy on a great many stiff-necked ill-deserving sinners... In love (Eph 1:4, 5), He opens their blind eyes, unplugs their deaf ears and turns their hearts of stone to hearts of flesh. Some get justice, others get mercy, but no one gets injustice. So if, by the grace of God, you believe the gospel... thank God for Jesus who provided EVERYTHING we need for salvation, including a new heart to believe. Thank God without ceasing

Tue, 12/02/2014 - 23:47 -- john_hendryx

Psalm 37 - Do not fret because of those who are evil

Psalm 37

Of David.

Do not fret because of those who are evil
    or be envious of those who do wrong;
for like the grass they will soon wither,
    like green plants they will soon die away.

Trust in the Lord and do good;
    dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Take delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord;
    trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
    your vindication like the noonday sun.

Be still before the Lord
    and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
    when they carry out their wicked schemes.

Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
    do not fret—it leads only to evil.
For those who are evil will be destroyed,
    but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.

10 A little while, and the wicked will be no more;
    though you look for them, they will not be found.
11 But the meek will inherit the land
    and enjoy peace and prosperity.

Thu, 11/20/2014 - 13:50 -- john_hendryx

The 50 Best Christian Books of 2014

Overall, 2014 was a pretty decent year for Christian books. Keep in mind that we are limited in our ability to read the many books published this year which means there were a significant number of books we did not read or have a chance to even glance at, so if your book is not listed here, do not be discouraged. ... These are not necessarily in any particular order.

Tue, 11/18/2014 - 09:34 -- john_hendryx

Don't Make a Savior of Your Morality

To utterly despair of oneself is infinitely more difficult for a man than to invent some kind of good works.generated self-salvation project. Human beings irresistibly gravitate toward a works or karma-based system because it gives man the false hope that his redemption is within his own reach. But a salvation that is all of grace, a gift earned by Someone else, is so utterly offensive to human nature, so humbling to our pride, that only a supernatural work of grace will bring a person to yield to it.

Contrary to popular and cultural concepts of God, the Bible declares that trusting (even partly) in our goodness, merit or works for salvation is one of the the greatest causes of man's damnation. Instead the Bible teaches that God came into the world as a flesh human being to satisfy the righteous requirements of the law and absorb the penalty we deserve for sin on Himself in order to redeem all who, by the grace of God, come to Jesus Christ in faith. And when Jesus died on the cross he actually nailed the ordinances of the law that stood against us to the cross; in the second chapter of Colossians we read that he blotted them out (Colossians 2:14). Yes Jesus actually fulfilled the law and satisfied the penalty of sin from our side. He didn't come to destroy the law but to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17). This means he did for us what we were unable to do for ourselves. We can do nothing to achieve salvation or add to His work (partly or fully).

Mon, 11/10/2014 - 14:09 -- john_hendryx

Cultural Exile

As for our slide into cultural exile, among other reasons, perhaps we should consider that a great deal of it is self-induced. The church's downward spiral in doctrinal (biblical) and moral integrity seems to be one of the main culprits. If we believe in the sovereignty of God then there is certainly good reason He has placed us in the current situation we find ourselves in. So we should consider not looking so much "out there" as the cause of our problems but rather begin to look in the mirror. Our restoration from exile may not come from putting out all the socio-political fires around us but rather come on the condition of our corporate repentance (Lev 26:40-42; Deut 30:1-10; Jer 29:13). Perhaps not a popular sentiment but worth considering. Then again, God shaking up the church may not ultimately be such a bad thing. He has often taken a bad historical situation and made it into a good one. The gospel many times has flourished even in the most unlikely social and political conditions.

Related Essay
What Exile Means

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 18:25 -- john_hendryx

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