Friday, December 22, 2006

Resurrection Life

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. Colossians 3:1-17

This chapter begins with an obvious assumption, that of our being raised with Christ. Therefore what follows is based upon our identification with Christ in His death and resurrection. As such, we are then commanded to live in a certain way and reckon the body of sin dead to its former passions and lusts.

Verse 2 gives us the key; setting our minds on the things above, where Christ is. Many times we read in scripture of the need to guard our minds from corrupting thoughts. Our mind is the gateway to our heart and as such we must guard what we allow to be entertained there. What we allow into our minds ultimately enters our heart and becomes the things we wrap our affections around. This is where idolatry begins, by entertaining wrong thoughts which effectively ensnare our heart in misguided adoration.

We are warned to bring every thought to the obedience of Christ, and furthermore this is where Satan begins to attack our faith. If we resist the devil, he will flee from us. David wrote, "Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against Thee". He obviously understood the need to train his mind to focus on scripture and by doing so, his response would be to medidate on the law of God, thereby restraining him from sinning.

As believers today, we have not only the word of God but also His holy Spirit. His indwelling Spirit is opposed to our fleshly desires as scripture says, "the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh". They are indeed contrary to one another. By taking God's grace, we are able to overcome the flesh, the world, and the devil. God has commanded that we live an overcoming life, we have no legitimate right to sin or excuse for the same. He has provided all the means for our victory, His very life and nature. Christ Himself is our victory and wants to express Himself through our lives. However, we must daily yield to Him and by taking up our cross, deny our own lusts and selfish pleasures.

God's grace is the enabling quality to overcome any temptation, sin, or trial. For where sin did abound, grace did much more abound. We are never beyond the place where his grace cannot lift us up. God's grace is simply Christ offering Himself as our supply.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Fineprint on Finney

I have read much of Finney's heresy in the blogosphere. While not very familiar with Charles Finney, I did read a short biography the other night as I was very curious to see who this man was. However, I found nothing in that biography worthy of labeling him a heretic. So my dear readers, could you please enlighten me as to what exactly this man is guilty of. I would appreciate a point form list of what exactly you find disconcerting.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Missions Minded

I have been slipping here, obviously. Here is the next addition of the missions focus I am trying to maintain.

Gospel for Asia is one of the premiere missions currently operating in the Indian subcontinent. While they are based primarily in India, their influence extends into many neighbouring countries, including Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan.

If you have not read Revolution in World Missions by brother K.P. Yohannan, then you have missed out on one of the most important movements happening in the kingdom today. GFA is on the cutting edge of evangelism in the 10/40 window and has seen thousands come to Christ every year. There are simply too many things to say about this awesome organization so I will simply refer you to their website where you can become more familiar with their work.

Thursday, December 14, 2006


(I hope to return to regularly scheduled programming soon, until then please read this important development concerning the EU)

Europe's New Official Language

The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German, which was the other possibility. As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5 year phase-in plan that would become known as "Euro-English".

In the first year, "s" will replace the soft "c". Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy. The hard "c" will be dropped in favour of "k". This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter.

There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year when the troublesome "ph" will be replaced with "f". This will make words like fotograf 20% shorter.

In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible. Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the horibl mes of the silent "e" in the languag is disgrasful and it should go away.

By the 4th yer people wil be reseptiv to steps such asreplasing "th" with "z" and "w" with "v".

During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary "o" kan be dropd from vords kontaining "ou" and after ziz fifz yer, ve vil hav a reil sensi bl riten styl. Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech oza. Ze drem of a united urop vil finali kum tru. Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German like zey vunted in ze forst plas. If zis mad you smil, pleas lev und coment.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Love & Marriage

If you are not married, this post may seem irrelevant. However, I think you can probably understand what I am trying to say.

For those of us who have been married for a while (myself 13 years), the early days of courting and marriage seem a bit distant as the rush of life consumes our thoughts and energy. But if we think back to those times when we began to fall in love with our future wife or husband, we realize how much our every waking moments had been spent comtemplating our future marriage and life together.

Now I must confess that my thoughts are not consumed all day long with my wife now, as work and the responsibilities of life crowd in, but my love for her is definitely richer and deeper than when we first married. I am beginning to understand the love that Paul talks about in Ephesians, although I have far from arrived.

Is this your experience as well...that marriage has progressed from purely warm and fuzzy to something of depth and meaning? Is this not what the norm should be, that we grow closer together in oneness as we set our affections upon the Lord?

Sadly, this is not the case for thousands of marriages. The proof is that divorce has become a common and everyday occurence in our society. Even in the Church today divorce is rampant, and to make it worse we have preachers who compromise this message making it more acceptable. It is hard to find one family that has not been affected by a marriage breakdown.

Marriage is a wonderful picture of Christ and His Church, and Paul speaks of this mystery in Ephesians. For no reason will Christ forsake His Bride but is lovingly preparing us to meet Him and enter into a joyful fellowship for all eternity. But as God's people, are we truly loving the Lord with all of our heart, or has the love of money and temporal pleasures caused us to lose our first love? Christ's warning in Revelation was quite severe to the church at Ephesus. They had become guilty of losing their first love and He warned them to repent lest He should come and chasten them.

God loves us with a jealous love and will do whatever it takes to correct us when we stray from Him. But His desire is that we submit to Him and enjoy the riches of His grace and the fellowship of His table. In His presence is fullness of joy, and at His right hand are pleasures for evermore. What are you being satisfied with today? Let us return to the Lord, for He will pardon our iniquity and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

New Link

Well, it's about time I added a new link in the chain. So out of a completely selfless motive, I am linking to JD Hatfield's blog, Voice of Vision. JD has suggested I need to round out my theology a bit more and he is happy to assist in that matter.

There are a couple of reasons I like JD, first being we share the same name. Secondly, our fathers share the same name...and before you ask, no, we are not cousins. JD pastors a church down in the sunny citrus land of Florida, and has a very good attitude towards discussing topics of a Biblical nature. I appreciate his willingness to avoid contentious name calling and seek unity based on scriptural truth.

I can't help but think that I have heard the name Hatfield somewhere before though...hmmm...could it have been on an old episode of the Flintstones where Fred goes to visit some distance relatives in Arkansas. Does that sound familiar to anyone?

Anyways, I think I am now well roundedly linked to reformed brethren and calvinistically minded individuals. To avoid the danger of becoming unbalanced, I need to find some other view points. Does anyone have some recommendations?

By the way, nobody likes a person to remain unlabeled. What in your opinion is the label you would attach to my beliefs as you have read them. How am I coming across?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Faith Alone

We all know the verse in Ephesians that declares we are saved by grace through faith, and this totally apart from any form of works. The mere fact that it is the grace of God that saves us precludes any act on our part of coming to Christ on our own merit. I think we would all agree on this point.

However, I think sometimes the meaning of 'faith' can become obscured or fuzzy, and we attach meanings and assumptions that are possibly not correct to try and properly understand this word. Hebrews chapter 11 states that faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen. Therefore faith at its core has the implication of something that is not really tangible, and yet so profoundly understood that it transcends the realm of logic and reason and that of sight and sound.

Curiously enough, the word 'faith' stands alone and is only defined by its measure or activity. I have not confirmed this 100% completely, but I cannot think of one instance where faith has a modifier either preceding or following it.

Is there such a thing as a modifier for the word 'faith'?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Sinless Perfection

The doctrine of Perseverance teaches us that a genuine believer will last or persevere until the end of his or her life. They will ultimately prevail over sin by demonstrating fruits of repentance. While not perfect, their lives will have obvious signs of works which therefore prove the legitimacy of their faith.

I do not wish to discuss the Biblical accuracy of this doctrine today, but rather to look at the matter of sin in the life of a 'genuine' believer. As we know, God does not wink at sin nor does He overlook our sins. We know that He has paid the ransom to redeem us from our sins and the power of sin. Why then do we continue to sin?

If we have the nature of Christ within us as the Bible says, why do we as christians continue to sin? Why do some of us experience more victory over sin than others? How much can a believer sin and still be a 'genuine' christian? Has God ordained that we sin?

From the following verses, it would seem God desires us to be perfect in all that we say and do. Is this theoretically possible for us to do? Why or why not? I would really love to hear from my Calvinist friends.

2Co 13:11
Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.

Php 3:15
Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

2Ti 3:17
That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

1Pe 1:15
But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;

1Pe 1:16
Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

1Jo 2:1(a)
My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not.

Joh 8:11
She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Japan Mission

Last week I mentioned listening to a radio program called "Unshackled". One of the programs featured a missionary to Japan. In the two part series, South African, Neil Verwey describes how the Lord led him to go as a young man to Japan. Prior to his going he had vowed not to get married, but shortly after arriving met a single missionary lady who he eventually fell in love with. Neil and Peggy Verwey founded Japan Mission and have been serving the Lord together in Japan for 50 years. Even today, Neil has no plans of "retiring" but desires to be used by God for the furthering of the kingdom in Japan.

Neil describes the challenges and rewards of bringing the gospel to the Japanese people. Because Japanese culture is so tightly family oriented, many Japanese feel they must first ask their parents for permission to become christians. They also feel much pressure to continue in the idolatrous practices that are so much a part of society.

Japan has one of the smallest percentages of evangelical believers of any country in the world. Truly the harvest is plentiful in that nation, and in desperate need of messengers of the good news of Jesus Christ. If you are seeking a nation to minister to, Japan definitely ranks as being very needy of prayer. May God do a mighty work there and set the captives free.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

The True North

My wife took a few photos around the house.
In the bottom one, our 8 year old son is looking
out at dusk towards a sundog.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Check It Out!

Doing book reviews was always a big reason I decided to blog. However it seems I failed to get really started in that regards. Then after reading many of the book reviews by fellow bloggers I felt somewhat ill prepared to properly give a review.

People read books for all sorts of reasons. For some reading opens up doors of knowledge and learning, while for others reading gives them an enjoyable pastime whereby they can escape into a fantasy world of their imagination. As a young boy I loved to read adventure novels as well as anything to do with the outdoors, military, or cowboys. I was greatly intrigued by military history and loved reading through books detailing great wars of the past.

Within the heart of every man is a longing for adventure and excitement. Sadly, many of us pass the days cooped up behind desks, or chained to endless menial tasks. Our yearning for this adventure wains as we age but there is always a quiet longing lurking in the heart. God has designed men this way, and while these desires have been greatly abused throughout history, nevertheless God is still looking for men who will step out in faith and trust Him to lead them into the unknown.

For many of us who grew up as church kids or were raised in christian homes, we thought of the christian life as a docile and passive existence where we attended the meetings and were good quiet little members of society. So when I began to read "Rebel with a Cause" I was immediately drawn to the adventurous lifestyle of Franklin Graham. Even after Christ saved him, Franklin was still willing to risk his safety to reach people with the gospel, and bring much needed relief through meeting physical needs.

I had always though of both Billy and Franklin Graham as simply evangelists who never really knew what the average man went through, or for that matter ever exposed themselves to hardships etc. But as I read this book, I gained a whole new sense of respect for Franklin and his ministry, Samaratin's Purse.

While this book definitely doesn't rank as a theological book, it nevertheless meets the most important requirements for any sound theology; that of presenting the gospel of Jesus Christ to lost sinners. I was impressed that Samaratin's Purse makes sharing Christ the main reason for their endeavours and ministry. From what I can gather, they have not simply become another christian humanitarian organization that gives but neglects to preach the message of Christ, rather, their desire for the word to be spread is evident in their condition of accepting projects.

A very interesting concept I read about was something that the founder of World Vision, Bob Pierce, called "God room". I will let Franklin explain:

From India we went to Katmandu, Nepal, and Iran. While traveling with Bob, I learned many of life's lessons. But the lesson Bob taught me that stands out above all else is what Bob called "God room". "What do you mean?" I asked him once when he started talking about "God room". He gave me a glance that was close to disgust, almost as if to say, "Don't you know?" He took a deep breath and sighed before he said, "'God room' is when you see a need and it's bigger than your human abiities to meet it. But you accept the challenge. You trust God to bring in the finances and the materials to meet that need. "You get together with your staff, your prayer partners, and supporters, and you pray. But after all is said and done, you can only raise a portion of the resources required. "Then you begin to watch God work. Before you know it, the need is met. At the same time, you understand you didn't do it. God did it. You allow Him room to work."

Is that not the essence of faith? Allowing ourselves to go beyond what our eyes can see and by faith accept the challenges the Lord puts in our path? God wants to be glorified through our lives, but we must be willing to let Him have control and the ultimate say. This concept lit a fire in me as I began to see more the practical working of faith.

This book is a personal look into the life of one of America's most famous Christian families, and yet it is more than simply a autobiography. I found it to be faith challenging as I was presented with situations where christian men were willing to step out by faith, and allow God to be magnified while bringing the gospel and food and clothing to impoverished souls.

I would strongly encourage you to get this book and allow your faith to be stretched. May we all be willing to ask, "Lord what do you have for me?"

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Who Are You Feeding?

"For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." Galatians 6:8

Just as we feed our physical bodies that which is nourishing for health and strength, so too we are to feed our inner man that we might overcome the temptation of sin. However, just as when we eat the wrong foods on a regular basis we suffer the consequences of ill health, so too by not feeding upon the living Bread we can become spiritually weak.

Scripture warns us to not sow to the flesh because what we sow we shall reap. Not only do we suffer consequences for our sin, but we quench the Holy Spirit's working and thereby feel the effects of death in our lives.

Galatians gives us a synopsis of the contrasts between the flesh and the Spirit. By abiding in Christ we will bear the fruits of the Spirit, but if we allow our fleshly lusts to be indulged, we will begin to express the works of the flesh. So be careful what you eat, it may have ramifications you never desired or expected.

"Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God."
1 Peter 4:1-2

Monday, November 27, 2006

Missions Monday

I have decided to highlite one mission each week. So to start off this hopefully soon to be tradition, I decided to pick a domestic mission that is rarely glamourized by the Church.

When one thinks of a rescue mission, immediately a picture of skid row enters your mind where drunken bums lie in filth, intoxicated by any numbers of mind numbing drugs. Our initial reaction is to turn away in disgust not wishing to become stained by their filthiness and rank odour.

I remember when as a boy while waiting for the bus one time, a drunken man who had obviously urinated in his clothing came into the bus shelter and lay down on the bench to take a nap. Of course I was immediately taken back at his appearance wondering why on earth people would stoop to such a state. Of course, we were no worse than these visibly sin racked individuals. Perhaps the only difference being our sin was hidden and carefully manicured. But underneath it all, the depravity of the human heart can lead each one of us to this miserable state.

Pacific Garden Mission is the longest continuous running rescue mission in America. Since 1877, the "Old Lighthouse" has been meeting the spiritual needs of some of Chicago's most down and out individuals.

Famous evangelists such as Billy Sunday and Mel Trotter were both won to Christ through the faithful preaching of men serving there. D.L. Moody was also involved in the early days of PGM.

I first heard about this mission through a weekly radio program they produce called "Unshackled", dramatizing the lives of men and women who came to Christ. Incidentally, Unshackled is also the longest running radio show in history. I was very impressed with the quality of both the show and the content of the message.

I encourage you to check out for yourself the ministry of Pacific Garden Mission. You can listen to a past drama online right here.

Praise God for faithful men and women who were willing to go and minister to the outcasts of society.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Rest Sweet Rest

For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
Heb. 4:10-11

God had prepared a marvelous land for His people, a land full of milk and honey, a land overflowing with the abundance of minerals and trees, a land of rivers and streams. Yet in spite of all this, Israel disobeyed God through unbelief, and a whole generation perished in the wilderness. Of the men over 20, only Caleb and Joshua were granted the right to enter in and possess the good land.

This story gives us great pause to consider the consequences of disobeying a holy and righteous God. After all the miracles God had shown Israel and His mighty deliverance through the Red sea and the wilderness, still a rebellious Israel doubted God's word and grumbled and complained in the wilderness. Because of that they were prevented from enjoying what their eyes had seen.

While obviously the spiritual ramifications are huge in this story. The Old Testament was not written simply as an historical book, or as a bunch of nice little fairy tales, but "For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope." Rom. 15:4
Therefore it behooves us to understand the application of this story to our christian lives today. We know that God had promised Israel rest from her enemies, and a land to call their own where they could have peace and security from their foes. While they were in Egypt they had worked like animals as slaves of Pharaoh. There is a beautiful picture of our salvation in the exodus of Israel from Egypt. Throughout scripture Egypt has been referred to as the world. Consider the following verses:

By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.
Heb. 11:29

Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
1 Cor. 10:1-11

Why did Paul mention this? It was because he was giving the Corinthians a stern warning on what would happen should they continue in disobedience and sin. Here was his reason for quoting these verses;

Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
1 Cor. 9:24-27

Paul was comparing the christian life to a race and urging his readers on to the finish line. Obviously there were things that could disqualify a person from receiving the prize, Paul knew that even though he had preached to others and been given the revelations of scripture, he was capable of missing out simply by allowing his sinful flesh to remain unchecked.

The goal of Israel's exodus was the land of Canaan. Yet many that left Egypt missed out on the inheritance God has promised them and instead wasted away their years in the wilderness. Sure, God took care of their needs as their clothing did not wear out and they never lack for food. Yet they missed the purpose for which they had been set free. They failed to enter into the rest.

Our purpose as christians is not simply to come out of the world, be a separate people and live happy, healthy lives. Rather God has given an inheritance, and this inheritance is in Christ. Christ himself is our rest, our portion, our good land. He is our meat, our drink, our true bread, and our righteousness. By faith let us lay hold of everything God has for us in Christ. May we not look back in regret as we see the missed opportunities of putting faith into action and seeing the mighty hand of God intercede on our behalf. Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.
2 John 1:8

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Are You Antinomian?

This word has been used a lot lately around the blogisphere in what my good friend and "heretic" brother in the Lord would call a theological cussword.

While their are many nuances to this word, my basic understanding would be that antinomianism is the setting aside of the law. So an antinomianist would be one who preaches lawlessness or disregard for law keeping.

Am I correct in this assumption? How do you see the position of the law in a believers life? How does the law of Moses relate to our christian walk?

Who Owns Your Soul?

"Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ. From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men."
Matt. 16:21-23"

Why did Jesus forbid his disciples from revealing who He was?

Was Satan actually in Peter when Jesus rebuked him?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Presuppostional Profundity

I was helping my son with a math question today and came to understand something important yet very basic. If in his long division work he made an elementary mistake at the beginning, his efforts would be in vain as his answer would necessarily be wrong.

Isn't this how a lot of people spend their time and efforts? They make an incorrect assumption somewhere in the beginning of life and the mistake costs them dearly along the way.

So too, we can come to the Word of God making statements or conclusions based upon an incorrect presuppositional platform. This affects our understanding of God's word profoundly making us jump through theological hoops to make sense. We then further add to the dilemna by quoting commentators or theologians who also made the same mistakes, thereby intensifying the problem and creating confusion for future readers and followers.

Foundational Groundwork

It is imperative that we come to the Word of God without a preconceived bias or agenda. Rather we come simply asking God to confirm His Word by His Word. That is, we use scripture to explain scripture. Sounds simplistic doesn't it? It is! However, the problems come when we attempt to use our natural rationale or understanding to deduct spiritual principles, or worse, to discount the commands of Christ in favour of lessor constraints. We in effect become like the pharisees who arm twisted the law to fit their own traditions, conveniently circumventing the purpose of the law, which was to drive them to Christ.

So while I accept the sheer impossibility of any bias or presuppostions when coming to the word (as my brother Bobby points out), we must ask God for clarity and revelation to grasp the mysteries hidden from the natural mind. Thus the imperative to be transformed by the renewing of our minds becomes expedient and practical.

A Banquet Table

Lastly, the Word of God was given to us for many reasons, but one of the chief reasons was for our edification. We are exhorted to feed upon His Word as the bread of Life. Christ Himself is our true drink and our true meat. His logos simply helps us to hear His rhemas, which by the way never contradict what He has written. He has given us all things richly for our enjoyment, Christ Himself is our portion. Enjoy Him today!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Monday Questions

I am going to ask you some questions that have been bouncing about in my head. They are in no particular order...but I would love to hear from my fellow bloggers on how you see them in a Biblical light.

Please refrain from quoting a commentary or other scholarly work, and from the pages of scripture alone explain why you believe what you do about these points.

Also, please only answer one question per comment. I am not looking for a single "right" answer, but eagerly wanting to know how you see them.

1. Who are the demons, and what is their origin?

2. What does the verse "they shall be saved, yet so as by fire" mean?

3. What habitation did the angels in Jude 6 leave to be bound in everlasting chains?

4. Who are the Nephilim in Genesis, and where did they come from?

5. What colour was Adam's skin?

6. Why were the Rechabites commended by God?

7. Is the millenium a literal thousand years?

8. In Luke 4:6 Satan claimed to control all the glory and power of the world. Was there validity in his claim?

9. Why did Jesus stop in mid sentence when quoting Isaiah 61:1-2.

More to come as they pop into my head....

Friday, November 17, 2006

Why We Tarry?

"Had I cared for the comments of people, I should never have been a missionary." - C.T. Studd

What are you waiting for? A personal invitation?

The command has been given, go into all the world and preach the gospel.

Lord, free us from our feeble excuses and fear of the unknown!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Look Closely

What is the difference between a Christian and a politician? Can you think of anything which practically stands out? After all, we are not to concede to popular opinion or exude an hypocritical attitude.

Politics can be a very good litmus test of human nature. Only when people are pressed into a corner, does their true character "shine".

note to politicians: I apologize in advance to those of you who genuinely seek to represent yourselves and your constituents with integrity, honesty, and morality.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Got Milk?

You have just had the privilege of leading a new convert to Christ. He is overwhelmed at the knowledge that Christ has forgiven his sins and saved him from hell. All is well for many weeks as this new babe in Christ enjoys his new life, but one night you receive a phone call from the same person sounding quite distraught and dejected.

It seems he has slipped into his former lifestyle and committed a terrible sin. He is sure that God cannot forgive him, and that his salvation is no longer guaranteed.

How would you counsel him? What would you say concerning his lack of assurance over his salvation? How would you help him deal with the sin he is convicted over?

Friday, November 10, 2006

Should Christians Invest?

Apparently, the American mutual fund industry has reached the 10 Trillion dollar mark in investments. This caused me to ponder the validity of this option for believers in Jesus Christ.

What? Are you crazy, now you are talking I? You are probably thinking right now, "What exactly is wrong with investing in mutual funds, stock markets, or your 401K retirement fund?

Well if we look at this from a simple economics perspective, probably nothing. But as saints of the most High God, we should not live our lives fashioned after the wisdom of this world. I want to give you some food for thought concerning our roles as "Stewards" of God's resources.

First of all, we have a clear commandment from scripture to "not lay up treasure on earth, where moth and rust decay and thieves break in and steal." Even the most secure investments have been compromised by fraud, theft, and dishonesty.

Secondly, much of our investment betrays a lack of trust in God's provision for our daily bread. This does not mean we should give away every last penny, but we must consider why we are saving or storing up wealth.

Thirdly, and this one is more serious than we all think. Where exactly is this money going that we are investing? I am fairly certain that a large portion of it is being used to fund programs and projects that we as Christians would wholeheartedly disagree with. So in effect, the money God has entrusted us to use wisely is in fact being used to promote a humanistic worldview.

So, should we as Christians invest our money? I say emphatically yes, but with a caveat. Just as we will give an account for every word and deed, so too our time and money are sacred trusts. We must know where the funds are going and what the end use will be. Think of yourself as a banker who must wisely "loan" out his collateral. Consider the following scriptural means of "investing" our money.

1. Giving above and beyond our tithe to support missions, and specifically the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Giving to relief organizations is fine, but it must be coupled with the saving news of Christ's atoning work on the cross.

2. Helping out our brethren who are in desperate need.

3. Caring for widows and orphans in our community.

4. Supporting businesses run by Biblical principles even though it means paying a bit more.

These are just four ideas, I would love to hear yours.

Let us take seriously the command to "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you."

Do you believe our God is faithful to meet ALL of our needs? If so, begin to live like it, not putting your trust in your bank account, 401k, or any other earthy means of self sufficiency. Do not worry about tomorrow or tomorrow's needs, let us pray for today's bread seeing how we can be a blessing to others. It is truly more blessed to give than to hoard.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

An Observation

Have you ever noticed how some people command greater respect or attention when speaking. There are several reasons for this including intellect, wealth, status, or a rank. As we know, the Bible tells us that man looks on the outward appearance, but God weighs the heart.

I have seen this trait in the blogging realm as well. What I mean is that certain Canadian bloggers are sometimes dismissed as being irrelevant or not as important simply because they live outside the US of A. Now this is by no means a comprehensive statement of American sentiment, but none-the-less, there is a small segment that exude this attitude in their posts and comments. I understand completely their underlying premise, as they perhaps feel we are simply objective and disinterested parties in the affairs of the U.S. Of course, there may be some bloggers that are simply off base in their words and merit a shrug, myself being not excluded at times.

But as I pondered this, I began to see a spiritual parallel. Throughout the pages of scripture and history, men are given greater hearings simply because they possessed some quality that many others were desirous of.

For example, Israel was called to be a light to the nations and a demonstration of the glory of God to the nations. Sadly, she fell into disrepute and destruction through succumbing to the snare of idolatry. Her glory was removed and her people scattered and destroyed.

Similarly in history, God has raised up nation after nation not simply because He wanted to bless them, but rather that His glory would be seen in a greater way throughout the earth. The Roman empire prepared the way for the gospel by uniting the people under one form of government, building efficient roads, and establishing law and order. The apostle Paul was then able to travel great distances to bring the good news of Jesus Christ to the known world.

Germany was the birthplace of the reformation enabling the gospel to once again be understood and received by the common man. The modern missionary movement had it's start in the Moravian brethren going abroad.

Years later, God raised up England because of the faithful preaching of the gospel by godly men, who had been greatly influenced by the men before them. Consider the choices France and England made, France embracing secular humanism while Britain received the gospel through men such as Whitefield, Wesley, etc. The results were astounding in their differences.

I am saying all that to say this; God has definitely raised up America to be the dominant nation in the earth today. But this is not so y'all can live comfortable lives free from suffering, disease, or want. Rather just as Esther was raised up for such a time as this, so too, God has blessed America with abundance and respect so that He may be glorified.

Americans do gain a hearing citizens from other countries envy. People look to the US as the model for prosperity and success. But do they hear the gospel when they come? Are they confronted with the true riches?

Proverbs tells us that righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people. Furthermore wealth, riches, and a crown do not endure to all generations.

The privileges and benefits of bearing the torch come with a great responsibility. Hold fast the light of the glorious gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ for all to see. Let us remember we are blessed to be a blessing to others.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A House Divided

Yesterday's election reinforced the fact that politics will not change the world for better, rather man's natural inclination is for selfish ambition at the cost of moral integrity and societal justice.

As a Canadian I was surprised how similar the language of some Democrats was to our own leftist party, the NDP. Talk of equality, fairness, common good, all sound nice and fluffy. However, at the heart of these buzz words is a socialistic agenda bent on forcing poverty down the throat of every hard working American. To many, the idea of disparate wealth is anathema, a idea which must be driven into the ground and replaced with the doctrine of fairness, where every person gets the same equal amount. Unfortunately this philosophy is not Biblical, and for that matter has been proven to be a failure in former communist countries.

God has designed man to work for his bread, and yet "well intentioned" socialists wish to compensate the sluggard with the same reward as the diligent. At the foundation of capitalism is the idea that hard work, honesty, and core values can earn one a deserved return.

I began to consider the current political situation in Washington. I seriously wonder and doubt whether the framers of the Constitution envisioned partisan politics as the ideal form of a democratic republic. The notion that one must align themselves with a party clashes with the notion of "by the people, for the people". The idea that the citizenry would be represented in government has been seriously harmed by this polarization of partisanship.

Would not the ideal situation be a government where each congressmen, senator, and governor was elected based upon local issues and free from the incumberance of national ties. They could then effectively represent their core values and home state with a more honest voice.

But sadly we are now faced with a situation whereby we are constantly voting for the lessor of two evils, or as this election displayed, singular issues such as the war in Iraq. The populace has been manipulated into casting a reactionary vote which gives no thought to future repercussions.

It is time that godly men seek office not for personal gain or promotion, but rather to represent the principles of God and the constitution on which America was founded. Only as each representative votes by their conscience with complete immunity from castigation can we hope for laws that will honour the God by Whom we beseech so many blessings.

As God's people, let us realize once and for all that only through humble repentance of our love for the world and its pleasure, and by seeking His face in prayer can the tide change.

May God continue to bless America and Canada!

Monday, November 06, 2006


For those of you below the 49th parallel, tomorrow is a big day. Please prepare now to vote and bring your neighbors, friends, relatives, and seniors. It is imperative that the people express their wishes at the polls.

Prayer is also extremely vital as this election could possibly decide the future of many hot buttons issues such as same-sex marriage, abortion, etc.

There are two seats on the Supreme Court that will likely be vacated soon and a Democratic Congress or Senate could make it quite difficult to install judges who will uphold the value of human life and the literal reading of the Constitution.


Monday, October 30, 2006

What's the Point?

We have all heard the excuse that "we'll never fully understand the Bible this side of the grave". This statement is sometimes given as a way to evade a difficult question, and at others time a means of silencing arguments.

However, I firmly believe it is God's desire to reveal all of scripture to us as His children. Furthermore, the entire counsel of God is important for our edification, instruction, reproof, correction, and warning; the goal being a godly man or woman fully equiped for every good work.

But there are many things that prevent us from gaining a clear vision of God's eternal purpose, as seen throughout the pages of the Bible. This causes us to be confused, sidetracked, and often half-hearted in our service to the Lord. For whatever reason, we fail to see the awesome truth's hidden in the riches of His word.

Jesus said that "you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free". While salvation did bring us the initial freedom from the bondage of sin and Satan's kingdom, our understanding was stilled clouded concerning the full revelation of God's purpose. As we read and prayed over the scriptures, the Holy Spirit granted us light to see much truth and reality about Christ and all that we have in Him. This light dispels the darkness and brings more freedom in our lives. We began to realize that fear was not a God ordained feeling, and that perfect love casts out fear.

Similary, we learned that God works all things together for good, to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.

The crunch seems to come when we fail to see the meaning or application of certain passages or chapters. It is this lack of light that leads us to incorrectly assume regarding God's desire for our lives. Many christians have been sidetraced and made ineffective simply because they did not take God at His word and hence 'refused' continued light.

The purpose of understanding the Bible is not simply so that we can boast of our knowledge or insight, for as we know, knowledge puffs up. All of scripture reveals the glory of God, and specifically the characteristics and attributes of Christ. As we understand more and more of His word, we begin to see just how glorious the Lord Jesus is, and what an awesome treasure we have. Then just as Christ was able to endure the despisings, ridicule, and sufferings, we too will be able to take up our cross and follow Him. When we see the joy set before us, all earthly trials will pale in comparison. May God open our eyes to see eternity!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Whom Fearest Thou?

Having just read the account of king Hezekiah, I was struck by the difference between him and many previous kings.

At the beginning of each king's reign is recorded an account of his heart's intentions. It is sad to see that most of the kings after David did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord. Occasionally there was one who did that which was right, and yet always held back a portion.

When we come to Hezekiah, the Bible tells us that he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, and furthermore he removed the high places and the bronze serpent. In fact he is singled out alone for his trust in God.

The test of his devotion and trust come years later in his reign when the Assyrians come against him with unbeatable odds.

For the past few centuries, Israel had been continuously pillaged and robbed of her treasures, wealth, and military might. Now she stands completely powerless to stop an invading army. Prior to Hezekiah, many kings had hired out the armies of other nations to assist them in battle. They did this by taking the consecrated gold and silver from the temple and sending it as a payment for service.

Would they have hearkened to the lessons of history, they would have realized that the Lord was to be their defender, and that He did not need numbers to secure a victory. Hezekiah's trust of the Lord is made apparent when instead of looking to man for deliverance, he goes into the house of the Lord and presents the Assyrian's mocking letter to God. The Lord speaks through His servant Isaiah and declares that this enemy will indeed not prevail but fall before Israel.

After reading this account, I was again reminded that the Lord is looking for those whose hearts are perfect towards Him. To do that, we must take our eyes off of the present circumstances that seem so insurmountable and cast ourselves completely upon the Lord. He is waiting for us to give Him our complete trust and obedience, then He will show Himself strong.

Today we have many opportunities to put our faith into action. Whom will you serve today? Will you lean upon the king of Egypt or will you prostrate yourself before your heavenly King, looking to Him alone for deliverance, strength, and provision?

Monday, October 02, 2006

Captain, That is Illogical?

The topic of logic in relation to understanding scripture has recently come up and I thought I would add two cents worth to this discussion.

It seems that the argument breaks down into two sides; the first being that God gave us a mind to rationally and logically understand His word, the second being that only divine revelation can explain what the Bible really means.

Let me first address the skepticism of the second point. People who balk at the notion of divine revelation or God speaking directly to us raise the concern of extra-Biblical revelation. They often equate this type of speak as charismatic in nature and therefore highly suspect. Of course we have many examples of preachers and others who have received a "word from God" which determined which course they would take. It is funny how many times these "words" are in direct relationship to their desires, such as the Lord told me I should divorce my wife, or the Lord told me to marry that unbeliever, etc. You have probably heard just about every different angle there is.

A favourite one is this; "Well I prayed about it and had peace in my heart so I figured that God was saying yes."

Here is a couple of ways in which we can know something is not from God.

  • If an idea or thought contradicts what is already commanded in the Bible, it is just plain wrong.
  • If it requires a small "compromise" to achieve our goals, we have either not heard from God, or perhaps the timing is not right.
  • When it requires us to manipulate a situation in order for the results to be favourable, we are probably going ahead of the Lord.

These are just three and I'm sure there would be many more sound and wise warnings from scripture. (DO YOU HAVE ANY TO ADD?)

Now how about the first argument of using our logical and rational mind? I know what you are thinking; our new regenerated mind is now able to function "logically" so therefore it is safe to trust its judgement.

The verse used to defend this is "Now the natural man cannot understand the things of God, because they are spiritually discerned." It is true that an unbeliever cannot truly understand the mysteries of the Bible. His heart and mind are still blinded to the truth through spiritual death.

However, we must be careful to assume that our minds are now free from the old nature and its affects. The Bible is very clear that a process called transformation is taking place whereby we not only are able to comprehend the things of God, but begin to think and behave in harmony with the new life of Christ indwelling us.

For many centuries, man has esteemed the grasping of knowledge as a noble and worthwhile goal. While it is true that our western civilization has made tremendous leaps in the advancement of technology, arts, and science, these in and of themselves do not equate with a regenerate mind.

Any unbeliever can have a sharp and intelligent mind, knowing great mysteries of science, mathematics, etc., yet be completely void of comprehending the depth of God's love.

We must realize that growing in grace is not an intellectual exercise, it is the result of a relationship with the giver of grace, Christ Himself. It is an abandonement of our self-dependance to utter need for Him as everything to us.

Therefore, truth and the search for it is not found in the objective analysis of logic or rationale, as if we can simply deduce by reason and study the great mysteries hidden from the ages. Rather, truth is a person, Christ Jesus Himself, and in Him is hidden all wisdom, mysteries, knowledge, and truth.

What is my point?

Exactly! You can study scriptures all you want and never understand its greater mysteries. You can use your best logic and rational thinking and yet miss all the deepest meanings of Christ's words.

Only by asking Christ to fill us with His Holy Spirit as we read, by all means of supplication, meditation, and prayer, can we begin to grasp the riches He has hidden in the wonderful pages of scripture. If we try to separate truth from Christ, or logic from knowing Him, we will become intellectually minded christians as opposed to spiritually minded christians.
The Bible is not simply a book to "understand" with our minds, but rather this book reveals to us a person. Only has we begin to see Christ throughout the pages of the Bible will we truly begin to understand. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. His Word points us to Him, and in turn He speaks to us through His word.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

America's Love Affair

It seems that a rather large rift exists between the way Americans perceive themselves, and how the rest of the world understand them to be. For the last 50 or so years America has been the dominant player on the world stage. Their leadership has helped to shape the thinking of countless millions who see the U.S. as the land of promise and endless opportunities.

While there is much truth in that statement, sadly, America has also become an net exporter of much filth and immorality.

While we have become used to the ever numbing influence of Hollywood and it's charge down the hellish abyss, people from other countries have been deeply shocked and disgusted. Now of course the Europeans exceed even Americans in depravity, but that is another story.

There is much to be said for first impressions; when missionaries travel to other lands and bring the good news of Christ, these people are drawn to us and what we have to offer. However, if their first impression is through exposure to filthy movies and corrupt business dealings, they soon come to think that all Americans are like this.

Jesus said that a city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Similarly, the U.S. has been blessed with the opportunity to take the gospel into all the world.

But somewhere along the way, we Christians became obsessed with the pleasures of a hedonistic culture and compromised our love for God and the purity of His Word by embracing the "culture" of a secular society. Just because it is American does not make it any better than the ideology that Islamic fascists are promoting. We must realize that sin by any name is a detriment to our spiritual health and the stability and longevity of the nation.

America has become a society addicted to sinful pleasures and the life of ease. It will catch up eventually and the results will not be pretty. Let us pray that God will move in our midst to draw His people out of the mixture of a carnal christianity into the purity of a Christ centered life.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Are You an Idolator?

During the writing of the New Testament, idolatry was a major concern for many new believers and was a cause for much stumbling among them. Paul and John had much to say regarding the idols and our relationship towards them. The basic summary was to avoid idolatry and any practices associated with them.

While Paul explains clearly that an idol is nothing, he pointed out that behind the idols were demons who received the sacrifices and worship of those serving them. Paul went on to explain that we cannot serve God and the demons at the same time.

While our culture today does not explicity promote the worship of idols, would there not be many things that could be considered part of idolatry?

What are some things you think can lead us into idolatry today? How would you define idolatry? What is the basic premise for avoiding idolatry?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Lazy Poster

Well, it has been awhile since I posted something. My excuse of being too busy at work transitioned into other excuses. So here is my feeble attempt to resurrect this blog from the duldrums.

Let me ask you a few questions to start with:

1. What are the most important topics in world events currently?

2. What is your favourite version of the Bible, and why?

3. Do you think there are any versions that should be considered heretical or blatantly inaccurate?

4. What does the word fellowship mean to you? How would you describe and define it Biblically?

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Only a Boy Named David

As a boy, I loved reading stories of Samuel and David. If anyone lived an adventurous life it was king David. This is really an account of God taking one young man from obscurity and placing him at the height of everything life has to offer.

However, if anything it was a test of David's character and his reliance upon the God of his youth.

David's life is an Old Testament example of how we as christians are to face the struggles in our soul and the temptations we face in life. While David was not always victorious, he was affirmed by the Lord as a man after God's own heart. That is a very strong commendation. Sure David made many mistakes, and some very serious, but his humility and seeking after repentance showed the desire of his heart to please his God.

One of the things I admired about David was his determination not to lift his hand against king Saul, God's anointed. He realized that in fact he would be lifting his hand against God by harming His chosen man.

This tells me that sometimes God will test us by putting our enemies within our grasp and seeing how we will respond. Will we exact vengeance ourselves by defaming them, repaying evil with evil, or will we simply acknowledge that God has the sovereign authority to deal with them.

There are many wonderful analogies in the life of David. What is your favourite one?

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Prosperity Preaching?

Have you seen the new Billion dollar bill? I did a double take when I saw the face on it. I was trying to put a name to this man when it suddenly dawned on me who it was.

Do you know? If you have read much of Phil Johnson, you would probably know at first glance. In fact, I'm surprised he hasn't used this in one or more of his posts.

Maybe your asking yourself, I didn't know there was a billion dollar note. Well there isn't, this is actually a tract that Ray Comfort uses in his evangelism. If you haven't been to Ray's site, I would strongly encourage a visit as he has some very unique and catchy props for grabbing people's attention.

Ray Comfort has also revived the use of the law in preaching, citing Wesley and others who stressed a roughly 90% law, 10% grace ratio in preaching to the lost. Why you ask? Well until a person sees their need and their sinful condition, they will not realize the gift of grace being offered them by God.

Ray cites the prevalence of an easy grace gospel as the reason for the high rate of backsliders in today's conversions. Of course you might argue that they were never saved in the first place. However, if a person puts on the Lord Jesus Christ simply to have a better life and experience joy and happiness, when trials come they will cast off their life preserver thinking it the cause of their unhappiness. Rather, when a person comes to Christ for cleansing and forgiveness of their sin, realizing their lost state and impending torment in hell, they will be inclined to weather the adversity knowing Christ has already saved them from much worse.

Ray's approach is sometimes called the 10 cannons of God's law. As he rightly points out, the law is a schoolmaster or guide to bring us to Christ. The law points out our failures and sin, bringing us to our knees in humility before God. Only then can His grace become available to us.

Take a look at his site, you will find some helpful tools to share the gospel and encouragement to overcome the fear of man.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Heaven, Hell, and Earth?

In Christianity and western thought for that matter, there is a common understanding that a person will either spend eternity in one of two places, heaven or hell.

In fact, this has become the standard question posed to many when presenting the gospel; "Where will you spend eternity, heaven or hell?"

Ever since beginning this blog, I have read numerous discourses on the particulars of salvation, formally known as soteriology. While most evangelical christians understand eternal life to be a gift and something received by faith, there are also many denominations - with the Roman Catholics being the largest - which teach a mixture of faith and works as a prerequisite for eternal life.

I would like to go beyond the salvific matter here, and plunge into the future and its contents. So I pose the following question for you to ponder and consider. If you have an answer or thought that makes Biblical sense, please do us the favour of sharing it. Here is the question:

If all believers will spend eternity in Heaven, and all unbelievers in Hell, what will be the purpose of the earth? Will it be inhabited? Will it still exist?

Israeli Peace Plan

As a Christian, how do you view the current conflict in the Middle East? I am interested in hearing from those advocates of Amillenialism.

What are your thoughts regarding the attempt to gain peace between Israel and her neighbours? How does this fit into prophecy? Or is it simply a natural part of history that has no bearing upon Biblical precedent?

If you are dispensationally orientated, please hold your peace for now.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Is this Perserverance?

A fellow blogger had this to say in a comment. Do you agree?

Jim, with regard to your second question, it would not only be presumptuous -- it would also be contrary to Scripture -- to think that we have a guarantee of salvation. That's not to say, however, that we should despair of God's mercy. What we need to be careful of, however, is the error that we can make some kind of profession of faith and be assured we have an iron clad guarantee of going to heaven.

To the contrary, Scripture tells us that our salvation is an ongoing process, not a one time event. If one reads Scripture carefully, we see that we have been saved (Rom. 8:24, Eph. 2:5–8); we're being saved (1 Cor. 1:8, 2 Cor. 2:15, Phil. 2:12); and, we hope to be saved (Rom. 5:9–10, 1 Cor. 3:12–15). Even St. Paul said, "I am working out my salvation in fear and trembling" (Phil. 2:12), "with hopeful confidence in the promises of Christ" (Rom. 5:2, 2 Tim. 2:11–13).

Wow. I can't speak for you, but if St. Paul felt he still needed to work on his salvation, I think it would be foolish of me to presume my salvation is guaranteed!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Why the Conflict?

When a man’s ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. Prov. 16:7

Looking at the current conflict in the Middle East, one has to question the reasons for this reoccuring unrest. As long as I can remember, Israel and it's neighbours have been fighting and waging war with each other. There must be a reason other than geo-political?

If we peel back the pages of history and read the accounts of Israel's earliest days, we see a struggle for survival. Many times, the nation of Israel had to fend off invading raiders, warring nations, and conquering kings. Has this always been because of sin or iniquity?

There are possibly other reasons why God allowed His people to face trials and afflictions. More than once, a God fearing king had to face the wrath of an invading nation.

But the main reason for Israel's loss on the battlefield was its divided heart as revealed through idolatry and worldliness. Time after time, the people would forget the commands and ways of their God and go after the gods of the nations. In His jealous wrath, the Lord sent armies to bring His people back to Him. Many times they did indeed cry out for deliverance, but sadly eventually they succumbed to the sin of idolatry and were driven into exile, their temple and beautiful capital city destroyed.


Much of what we see in the Bible concerning Israel is a mirror or picture of the Christian life. Sure, we have been brought out of Egypt, baptized into the Jordan, and entered into the good land. However, just as Israel had their giants and wicked nations to destroy, so too, we must put to death the old man and his evil ways. The giants that David faced are pictures of the same struggles we battle today; lust, greed, anger, pride, and fear. We read in 1 John 2:16 that "all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

To enter into the good land is not to escape these enemies. Rather, we are not confronted with them in a most agressive way. As sons and daughters of God, we are now also enemies of Satan. As such, he is opposed to us and will attempt to defeat our walk using the tactics mentioned above.

As soon as we begin to think we are able to stand on our own, the tempter lays a cunning trap which catches us off guard. We are then exposed to overpowering forces that our flesh is incapable of fighting off. At this juncture, we must acknowledge our weakness and cry out to God for help.

However, we do not need to let things go that far. By being constantly in fellowship with our Saviour and allowing Him to lead and guide us, we can avoid many problems and painful afflictions.

Are we being bombarded on all sides by our enemies? Perhaps our ways are not pleasing the Lord. But, there is also the possibility that our adversary is not happy with our testimony. In that case we must learn to resist the devil and he will flee from us. May our precious Lord Jesus keep us close to Him as we listen to that still small voice.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

My Brother Daniel

I am not being lazy here, but I want y'all to read what Daniel has to say on the issue of the Tree of Life and it's relevance in our lives today. Please keep in mind that this post is not related to soteriological issues, so make sure you check your weapons at the door.


p.s. I am not endorsing his pornographic picture however. 18+ required.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Who are They?

And I will pour on the house of David, and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look on me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. Zechariah 12:10

Who is Zechariah referring to in this passage? Has this prophecy been fulfilled yet? If so, when?

If you have an answer that makes sense please let me know. I am interested in hearing the reformed view of this passage.

Friday, July 21, 2006

A Cup of Trembling

Have you been watching the news on Lebanon lately? What has surprised me is the number of foreign nationals currently there. I am curious, why are there so many Americans, Canadians, British, and French there? I mean, 25,000 Americans, 40,000 Canadians, and over 25,000 Australians?

In a country of only 4 million people that is a lot of tourists and visitors?

Another question; why is there no evacuation from Israel when rockets are falling down all over the cities there? Could it be people have no confidence in the government of Lebanon. Would you, when they have obviously succumbed to the influence of Hezbollah?

If a nation wants to maintain sovereignty, they must keep control of any unlawful organizations in their country. Can you imagine if our government did not keep a tight lid on the Hells Angels?

The truth of the matter is that there is strong support for Hezbollah among the populations of the Arab nations. Why? Because they are venting an anger that the nations are unofficially willing to commit. They would rather finance and support the terrorist groups under the table than openly confront them and risk the wrath and military might of Israel (and for that matter, America).

Now, our western bleeding hearts media seems to only look at the current conflict through the narrowest angle, forgetting the historical context of this struggle.

At the heart of this conflict are two opposing religions and philosophies. The Arab nations with their strong Islamic beliefs and practices, and the Jews with their God given claims to the land of Israel.

What the media continually fails to acknowledge is the fact that all the Arab nations are silently working towards the extinction of Israel as a nation and the Jewish people as a race. Lately, Iran's president has voiced these same intentions with unveiled hatred and contempt. No wonder Israel's resolve to root out this militant arm of anti-Israeli sentiment.

As Christians what should our response be? We know from scripture that God is calling people out of all nations, tribes, and tongues. Therefore He desires even Palestinians, Lebanese, and every other Arab nation to come to Christ. Sadly, these people are blinded by the lies of a false god named Allah, and the writings of the prophet Mohammed. Conversely the Jewish nation has also been blinded to the truth of the gospel. Let us pray that the Lord would be pleased to open the blind eyes, and call many out of darkness into His marvelous light.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Are You Relevant?

In the pursuit of being up to date and current, many have overlooked the fact that some things really never change. As Christians, we have an insatiable desire to be relevant in the community and appear as "normal" to our neighbours.

This attempt at fitting in causes some to compromise their values, principles, and conscience, trying to garner the favour of a lost and dying world. Somehow we think the gospel will be more readily accepted if we present it cloaked in the modern influence of culture and fashion. Perhaps we even go so far as to change the terminology and phrasing we use to sound more cool or in touch with our society.

While being unnecessarily dated is not an advantage either, and can be a hindrance, our hope for souls to be won should not rest in our wisdom, looks, talents, or abilities; but simply in the gospel of Jesus Christ. For as the scriptures say; "God has chosen the foolishness of preaching the gospel to save..."

Now many today have boiled to gospel down to a simple "God loves you" message that is not the least bit offensive. The problem is that it is also very ineffective. You see, while it is true that God loves us, His love is tempered by His justice and righteousness. He cannot just overlook sin and rebellion, His just nature demands a penalty for sin.

In order for the good news to really become good news, the whole truth must be given; the fact that we have broken the eternal laws of God, and stand in the path of His impending wrath and judgement. Only after we see our sinful condition and our lost state, will the fact that Jesus paid the price sound good to us. As the song says;

How sweet the name of Jesus sounds
To a believers ear;
It soothes his sorrow, heals his wounds,
And drives away his fears.

Now, another aspect of being relevant is the thought that we must be current on the popular culture and the pulse of society.

However, the more I look at the world situation and see history unfolding around us, the more I realize that God's word is the central theme guiding the course of this world. If we want to be truly relevant, we will immerse ourselves in the written word of God, and allow His divine nature to saturate our entire being, making us vessels capable of participating in the greatest adventure of history, the revealing of our Saviour and Lord to a lost and dying world.

Now, go and be relevant!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Our Man has Balls!!

It has been extremely refreshing to now have a Prime Minister who stands for more than the popular vote.

For the past 13 years we have had to put up with compromise after compromise, as the former leaders attempted to please everyone from the same-sex marriage advocates to the separatist Bloc Quebecqois.

Now, Prime Minister Stephen Harper is now attempting to right the wrongs and bring some sanity and honesty to the halls of government. After 5 months in office, his mandate is making some obvious improvements.

First, he has reestablished ties to the U.S. administration, which our former leadership had shamefully ridiculed.

Secondly, he has taken the reins of power by sticking to his word on several issues, such as reducing the GST and expanding the military's budget.

But, today I was very impressed to see his comments relating to the current Israeli-Lebanon conflict. Contrary to the apathetic leaders of Europe, he is acknowledging Israels right to a sovereign defense, and during his meeting with Tony Blair cited the need for Hezbollah to release the IDF soldiers as the way to achieve peace. Why is almost every head of state opposed to Israel's right to self-defense?

May God continue to give our Prime Minister wisdom, courage, and integrity to do and say the right things, no matter how politically incorrect. Now, let's pray he will have some guts to stand against the same-sex legislation illegally ramrodded through by the last government.

God bless Canada!

A Sick, Sick Story!

Daniel Phillips has posted on the disgusting selfish attitude of our modern yuppies and their justification for killing their "imperfect" children.

Check it out...this is what we are up against. Speak out!

Beautiful and Sensitive - make me puke!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Stocks and Bonds

The Philippian Jailer

…And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open; he drew his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. But Paul cried out with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, and brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.
Acts 16:27-34

This account of Paul and Silas’ time in prison leave us with some very interesting observations. There are a number of things I could point out, but I would like to first discuss the issue of the Jailer’s salvation.

It was obvious that he knew of the two men’s faith. They were quite vocal about it, even singing praises unto God in the midst of the prisoners, locked in the stocks.

However, God orchestrated an unusual thing to happen; an earthquake that opened every door and unlocked every chain. Here was their opportunity to escape, after all were they not unjustly arrested in the first place? But Paul had a true heart for evangelism, and here it shines through. In the midst of this chaos he cries out for the jailer to not commit suicide. The same man that was cruel and harsh with Paul and Silas is now being rescued from death by them. In one night he is saved both physically and spiritually.

Now the jailer didn’t need any more prompting, he realized that God was indeed a mighty God and the sudden realization of his lost state overwhelmed him. Rushing into the cell, he fell before them, and in a trembling voice asked what he must do to be saved…

What would you have said? Here is the simplicity of the gospel; all that is recorded for us is that was told to “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved”.

The next verse describes them as speaking the word of the Lord to him and his household.

After this he and his whole household were baptized in obedience to the word of God. Then he began to wash the wounds of Paul and Silas as well as feed them. His once indifferent attitude was now changed to one full of appreciation and thankfulness for his new life in Christ.

Would to God we could be such witnesses of His grace and light to a dark and lost world.

Now, what else could be said on this passage?