Friday, July 28, 2006
Thursday, July 27, 2006
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?
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
p.s. I am not endorsing his pornographic picture however. 18+ required.
Monday, July 24, 2006
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
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Now, go and be relevant!
Friday, July 14, 2006
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!
Thursday, July 13, 2006
…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.
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?
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
I decided to find out what he meant by that and what follows is our conversation.
Jim: What do you mean by the one who endures to the end?
Young Man: what do you mean, read matthew 24... you might learn something...:)
Jim: Thanks. I like to learn new things.
Young Man: hahahahaha.
Jim: What does that mean to you to endure?
Young Man: meeeeeeeeee...to last... to overcome...I think.
Jim: How do we do that?
Young Man: don't give in to temptation...overcome sin.
Jim: so what happens when we give in to temptation and sin?
Young Man: you better ask for forgivness and repent.
Jim: How does that fit in with enduring until the end?
Young Man: well you can't give in to temptation, you can't fall away from Christ...and no one knows when the end will come.
Jim: What does it mean to fall away from Christ?
Young Man: give into sin.
Jim: ha ha, you are giving me the run around on these answers.
Young Man: lose faith...lol.
Jim: What happens to someone who loses faith and gives into sin?
Young Man: maybe I don't have the answer...
Jim: What does one have to do in order to end up in hell?
Young Man: not believe...not repent...have no faith.
Jim: believe what?
Young Man: believe christ died for our sins...it's much easier to go to hell then to heaven.
Jim: no doubt...what does it mean to have faith?
Young Man: to believe that Christ died for our sins,to believe he's coming back for us...to trust in his word.
Jim: Do you believe you will spend eternity with Christ?
Young Man: honestly, if the last day of the earth was tomorrow, no...but I'm working on it.
Jim: What do you think it would take to know for sure?
Young Man: to know deep down inside that I put the Lord first in my life and that I live every day for him...which I know I haven't.
Jim: Isn't that based upon your own efforts? Is there anything you can do to make yourself a better person or acceptable to God?
Young Man: yes.
Jim: what? The bible says that there is none righteous, not even one, and anything we try and do for God is like the filthy rags of a women having her period. gross eh!
Young Man: well being a good person won't get you into heaven but I think I would be more acceptable to God if I put him first everyday and told people about him.
Jim: Basically, there is nothing we could ever do to earn God's forgiveness. You could tell the whole world about God and that still wouldn't get you into the kingdom of heaven. Even if you put Him first everyday from now on, you have still fallen short of His glory.
Young Man: God's grace is a gift we can't earn it.
Jim: That's right, how do we access that grace.
Young Man: I'm not sure...give your life to him.
Jim: Do you believe Jesus Christ died for you?
Young Man: yes.
Jim: Do you believe He can forgive your sins?
Young Man: yes.
Jim: The bible says that if we confess Jesus as Lord, and believe that God has raised Him from the dead we shall be saved. "But as many as received Him, to them he gave the ability to become children of God, to those who believe in His name." You must believe He died for you, and confess Him as your Saviour. With our mouthes confession is made unto salvation. There is nothing we could do to earn God's favor. Jesus Christ took our place on the cross and the punishment (eternal fire) that we deserved. The payment was made in full, but we need to acknowledge that and trust Christ to save us. Living for Christ and telling others about Him are great, but they will never save us. Only the blood of Jesus Christ can cleanse us from our sins and allow us to stand before God, blameless.
Jim: That is a decision you must make between yourself and God. You must place your trust completely in His sacrifice...calling out to Him to save you and forgive you from your sins. The Bible says that he who believes and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believes not is condemned.
Jim: Does this make sense to you?
Young Man: yes.
Young Man: :) yes it is...thanx Jim.
Jim: Your more than welcome, I am always happy to try and answer any questions....I will be praying for you.
Young Man: thanx I greatly appreciate it.
While this man obviously knew the terminology regarding salvation, he lacked a key ingredient...assurance. He had no definitive confirmation of being saved. He really didn't understand trusting in Christ alone. Instead, he had included the need to repent, to not sin, to not fall away, and to tell people about God in order to incur His favor. This is the basic problem plaguing religion today...a man centered attempt at reaching God, without realizing that we cannot add to the finished work of Christ. He had not come to the place of simply abiding in Christ and entering into the rest Christ had purchased. This is interesting since many people can quote verses, doctrines, and theologies. But they lack the critical step of faith in Christ, apart from any other external activity. I sincerely pray that he will realize Christ is enough and the payment has already been made in full. He just needs to reach out by faith and lay hold of the promises in scripture. May we all return to the simplicity of trusting in Christ alone. What are your thoughts?
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
How can one tell if a certain Christian group is on the level doctrinally?
While there are many warning signs to look for, the first and most obvious one is the means of salvation.
In other words, what a church, denomination, or organization teaches and promotes concerning the way of salvation is the true benchmark of apostasy.
It is so simple that we usually miss it: Whenever any condition is added to the doctrine of grace through faith, the die has been cast for declension into apostasy. If we make the gospel conditional upon any other factor than expressly required, we have created another gospel, and instead of being the good news it has now become the formula for attaining eternal life.
We are saved by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ - plus nothing - minus nothing. Any addition of works or requirements pollutes the purity and power of the shed blood of Christ, and casts insult upon the finished and complete work of Christ.
When you add requirements to simply trusting in Christ alone for your salvation, you have in essence created a works based salvation, or as the theological elite like to call it, an anthropocentric gospel.
You may say, “But they have such sound doctrine or teach such wonderful hermeneutics”. Any such teaching will be flawed and fundamentally corrupted by their denial of the sufficiency of the atoning work of Christ’s blood for our sins.
To front or backload the gospel is to create another gospel. While many may in fact be saved through such incorrect preaching, there will exist doubts and fears that their salvation may possibly be false, spurious, disingenuous, or even be taken away should they not maintain good works and evidences of fruit.
So to nail it down: Our hope should rest on nothing else but Jesus’ blood and righteousness. In Christ alone my hope is found. Praise God that nothing can separate us from His love which is in Christ Jesus.