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.