Friday, 28 December 2012

Why?

No, That's Not the True Meaning of Christmas


by John MacArthur

The community where I live doesn’t make international headlines very often, but last week the managers of a local residential complex for seniors earned a large-print banner at the top of the Drudge Report. “Christmas Tree Banned: ‘Religious Symbol,’” the headline screamed.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

To A Transexual Friend Who Professes To Be A Christian


(I wanted to say this to my childhood friend who got a sex change, but I broke contact with him since he never replied to my message and went along with the procedure.)

You're living a fantasy.
First you must accept who you are. If you say that you were supposed to be a woman then you are saying that God made a mistake, but God doesn't make mistakes. God made you a man.

He accepts you as you are. That means that no matter how big the sin, He will forgive. No sin is too big for Him to cover. Go to him with a contrite spirit and turn away from listening to your emotions. Scripture says, “The heart is deceitful. Who can understand it?” God understands it because He made it. And now He has let you turn to your wickedness because you have abandoned His word and chosen to ignore it for your happiness. Joy is God's gift to us. We cannot obtain it on our own efforts. When you do that, it's superficial.

From A Man Under Sufferance


I have suffered a lot emotionally for God. It may not sound like a big thing if you were to compare it to martyrdom but it's part of our calling.
John G. Stackhouse,
You are not content to give yourself the mere necessities of existence, surely, but instead you prefer to give yourself the very best life has to offer....And in the Christian religion, there is nothing wrong with this attitude. Jesus never suggested we not seek the best for ourselves. To be sure, sometimes what is truly best for us requires sacrifice: "Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple" (Luke 14:27). Yet Jesus himself "endured the cross" in order to secure "the joy that was set before him" (Hebrews 12:2). The key is to realize that securing what is best for oneself takes place within the overarching goal of pleasing God and serving God's world--especially in the form of our neighbour, the "near one."

Drifting


If a Christian continually excuses his wandering ways and denies sin, then his conscience gradually numbs. A person who becomes desensitized to wrongdoing has paved the way for more sinful behaviour with less guilt.

As the drifting believer's conscience becomes anesthetized, his spiritual ears are also deadened--truth cannot gain entrance because he has invited wrong attitudes and philosophies into his thinking process. What's more, his heart hardens to the things of God. Shrinking away from testimonies about divine power, grace, and mercy, he avoids situations that might reawaken the conscience and stir his spirit to repentance.

People drift from God in search of more--more freedom, choices, and pleasure. But since the consequences are a hard heart, a numb conscience, and dead ears, what they end up with is less. The drifting believer sacrifices the victorious life in Christ for an existence devoid of permanent satisfaction.

What Can We Learn From Natural Disasters?


Inspired by John MacArthur

The world is so offended. We're so used to mercy and blessings, so accustomed to abusing grace that when justice does appear we think that it's injustice. We're offended when God is not merciful because we don't understand what we deserve.
Yes, there are times when His mercy runs out. Though we would never tolerate a person who constantly offends us, God has more mercy than we do.

You're living on borrowed time. You're living by the grace from a Holy God. The message is always the same in every disaster; you're gonna die. And you're just storing up wrath until the day of judgement (that is, the day you die). Day by day you're filling up the reservoir of God's patience until some day the dam breaks and you drown under all your sins (that is, your sins will be revealed on the day of judgement).
However, God has sent his Son into the world to take our punishment. The goodness of all the blessings God has given you should lead you to ask God to forgive you for abusing his goodness and at times mocking his mercy and grace.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Is It Necessary to Have a Pastor?

Here is a question I asked CARM.org last month. I decided to share it since I haven't been posting much this year. This question came up on regard to an encounter with a couple of evangelists from a home church who were trying to tell my wife and I that organized church is wrong and there is no need for a pastor. Please share your ideas!


Hi Michael!


Thanks for the question; It's a good one. I would say yes, it is necessary to have a pastor if you want to be a blessed and fully functioning part of the body of Christ. This, of course, is a great calling and the Church is Christ's means by which He ministers to the world in this age. Consequently, note this passage:


"And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ" ~Eph 4:11 , 12


You see by this that pastors have been given by Christ to build the kind of Church He desires.


I hope this helps.


Rod
http://www.e-sword.net/

Thursday, 16 August 2012

What Does ΙΧΘΥΣ mean?

by Matt Slick of CARM.org

The word “ixoye” is an acronym comprised of the first letter of five Greek words: Iesous Xristos Theou Yios Sotare which means Jesus, Christ, Son of, God, Savior.
  • Iesous (Iasoos) is Jesus. The first letter is ‘iota’, Ιησους.
  • Xristos (Christos) is Christ. The first letter is ‘chi’, Χριστóς.
  • Theou (Theou) is God. The first letter is ‘theta’, Θεοῦ.
  • Yios (Huios) is Son. The first letter is ‘upsilon’, Υἱός.
  • Sotare (Sotare) is Savior. The first letter is sigma’, Σωτήρ.
The word is also the Greek word for “fish," icthus, ἰχθύς which when spelled in capital letters in Greek is ΙΧΘΥΣ. Remember, Jesus called the fishermen to be fishers of men (Matthew 4:19; Mark 1:17). Jesus used the metaphor to represent evangelism in the proclamation of the gospel by which people are saved from their sins. Christians began using the fish as a symbol for Christianity in the first century.


Resource: http://carm.org/questions/other-questions/what-does-ixoye-mean

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Original Sin

What is Meant By The Term Original Sin?

Original sin has to do with the fallenness of human nature. Jonathan Edwards wrote a tremendous treatise on original sin. He not only devoted himself to a lengthy exposition of what the Bible teaches about man’s fallen character and his propensity toward wickedness, but he made a study from a secular, rational perspective that addressed the philosophy that was widespread in his day: Everyone in the world is born innocent, in a state of moral neutrality in which they don’t have any predilection toward either the good or the evil. It’s society that corrupts these innocent natives, so to speak. As we are exposed to sinful behavior around us, our normal, natural innocence is eroded by the influence of society. But that begs the question, How did society get corrupt in the first place? Society is people. Why is it that so many people have sinned? It’s almost axiomatic in our culture that nobody is perfect. And Edwards asked questions like, Why not? If everyone were born in a state of moral neutrality, you would expect statistically that approximately 50 percent of those people would grow up and never sin. But that’s not what we find. Everywhere we find human beings acting against the moral precepts and standards of the New Testament. In fact, whatever the moral standards are of the culture in which they live, nobody keeps them perfectly. Even the honor that’s established among thieves is violated by thieves. No matter how low the level of morality is in a given society, people break it.
So there is something indubitable about the fallenness of our human character. All people sin.
The doctrine of original sin teaches that people sin because we are sinners. It’s not that we are sinners because we sin, but rather, we sin because we are sinners; that is, since the fall of man, we have inherited a corrupted condition of sinfulness. We now have a sin nature. The New Testament says we are under sin; we have a disposition toward wickedness, so that we all do, in fact, commit sins because it is our nature to commit sins. But that’s not the nature that was originally given to us by God. We were originally innocent, but now the race has been plummeted into a state of corruption.


How is it just that all humanity is born into sin because of Adam's fall?

I think the New Testament does teach that the whole world is born into the consequences of a fallen nature because of the sin of Adam and Eve. The New Testament repeats this idea frequently—“that through the disobedience of one man, death comes into the world.” This has been an occasion for much theological protest. What kind of a God would punish all people with the consequences of one individual’s sin? In fact, it seems to go contrary to the teaching of the prophet Ezekiel. He rebuked the people of Israel when they said that the fathers had eaten sour grapes and the children’s teeth were set on edge. The prophet said that God treats every person according to his own sin. He doesn’t punish me for what my father did, nor does he punish my son for what I did, although the consequences may spill out into three or four generations. That the guilt is not transferred from one person to another seems to be the message in Ezekiel.
It makes the question all the more puzzling. In protest we want to say, “No damnation without representation.” We don’t like to be held accountable for what somebody else did, although there are occasions in our own system of justice where we recognize a certain level of culpability for what another person does through the means of criminal conspiracy.
For example, I might hire you to kill somebody. Even though I’m far away from the scene of the crime and don’t pull the trigger, I can still be tried for first-degree murder. All you did was carry out my desire. Even though I didn’t pull the trigger, I’m guilty of the intent and malice of forethought that you actually exercised.
You might say that’s a poor analogy of the Fall because nobody hired Adam to sin against God in my name. Obviously we didn’t. He was appointed to be the representative of the whole human race. Again, we tend to find that difficult to swallow because I don’t like to be held accountable for what my representative does if I don’t have the opportunity to choose my representative. I certainly didn’t choose Adam to represent me. That’s one of the reasons we like to have the right to elect our representatives in government: The actions that they take in the political realm have tremendous consequences on our lives. We can’t all be in Washington enacting legislation. We want to elect our representatives in the hope that they will accurately represent our desires and our wishes.
There is no time in human history when you were more perfectly represented than in the Garden of Eden because your representative was chosen infallibly by a perfectly holy, perfectly just, omniscient God. So I cannot say that I would have done differently than Adam did.
One last point: If we object in principle to God’s allowing one person to act for another, that would be the end of the Christian faith. Our whole redemption rests on the same principle, that through the actions of Christ we are redeemed.


©1996 by R.C. Sproul. Used by permission of Tyndale.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. ©1982 by Thomas Nelson.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.