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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

From Death to Life - A Book Review - Part 2 + Bonus James Phillipps Music Video

This is my second installment of reviewing From Death to Life: How Salvation Works written by Allen Nelson IV.

I will try to continue with brief comments by chapter for now.

Chapter 3 talks about ways to proclaim the Gospel, and it gives an excellent description of what the bad news and the good news is.
I think it is a good reference to review (possibly to bookmark) what it is that Christians should actually be sharing with unbelievers.
My only discomfort with the chapter, that I recall, was trying to use Old Testament situations as Gospel examples (which I didn't quite see as what the particular OT situations were about).
However, knowing someone else who loves to use life situations to springboard to the Gospel, I find it interesting (though I would not see it as an actual exposition of the texts).  I do wholeheartedly agree with the author that the ways others sometimes misuse the texts are not helpful.

Chapter 4 discusses God's work in salvation.

Chapter 5 in the book moves from God's regenerating work into a detailed explanation of what faith and repentance are.
It also touches on baptism.
After having recently responded online to a Roman Catholic, and remembering some other discussions with people who have veered off one way or another, I thought the details in this chapter were good reminders for Christians.
We can't argue people into believing what is true, but it's good to understand what Scripture teaches for ourselves.
There are dangers of getting the Gospel wrong one way or another.  People try to add works (baptism and/or good deeds) to faith (like Catholics, the Judaizers, etc.), or people may claim to be believers yet do not have any signs of a living faith that others can see.
Then there are people who want to wrongfully take at least partial credit for what God alone does.
This chapter is corrective of those wrong views.

I love to hear James Phillipps sing (having watched him via Grace Community Church live-streaming), and I have discovered a video from 7 years ago that has a song from Psalm 23.
Please pray for James.
He's been going through difficult times.

James Phillipps - Psalm 23 from Poemas de Barro on Vimeo.

Monday, June 11, 2018

MacArthur's Life Testimony, The Bible's Trustworthiness, & Gospel Tract Tips For Doctor Appointments

I came across John MacArthur's life testimony online the other week, and though I had heard some of the things before, I found it fascinating.  You can listen to or read it for yourself.
(It is not the same as the video that Tim Challies put out recently.)

Do we have the Word of God today?
Don Green answers this question on The Truth Pulpit.

Perhaps you have already been placing tracts at different locations.
If you have some good tracts, medical offices are places where many people do get bored while waiting.
I have seen people pick up a tract, so I know that some do get viewed (though someone may toss them).
I have not used tracts from the site that the video below mentions.
I recommend carefully reading the texts of tracts on any tract site and selecting only the ones that line up best with Scripture.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

From Death To Life - A Book Review - Part 1

Allen Nelson IV is a pastor at Perryville Second Baptist in Arkansas.
He recently had a book published entitled
From Death to Life; How Salvation Works.
Though not mentioned specifically in the book, my nephew Josh was one of the people who critiqued the book before it was complete.
I have been gifted a version of the book, but the review (which I plan to do in parts since I'm generally not a fast reader) is my own.

I'm going to try to give my thoughts as I read the book.

From Death to Life is corrective of a wrong understanding that many people have of salvation.  The wrong view is a decision based view that doesn't produce a transformation.
The author uses a bit of imagination of a Biblical event in Chapter 1 (which I tend to be very nervous about), but he rightfully puts an emphasis on Scriptural authority in the rest of the chapter.

As I read chapter 2, he points out how churches attempt to get people into the church by something other than the Gospel.  I've seen some of the kinds of things he's talking about firsthand.
I love some of the colorful choice of words he uses.
"The beautiful diamond of the gospel has been wrapped in toilet paper in the ridiculous attempt to make it more enticing." - Allen Nelson IV
He further continues on in chapter 2 about people being lulled into false assurance and professions.
Yes, I've made it through 2 chapters today.

I hope to continue the book and add more parts to my review, but I may do other posts between segments.
You can find the book and see other reviews HERE.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Wake Up Ireland!

On May 25, Ireland is going to have a vote that will either mean the extermination of a lot of little human lives, or it will mean that the taking of the lives of babies will still be illegal and they will be treated as precious.
Yes, Ireland is one of the places in the world where the little human lives growing in the womb are actually treated as what they are...humans that have equal value to the mother.
Both lives should be treated equal.
Now some people are trying to dehumanize the children and to do away with the 8th amendment to the Irish Constitution.

America has murdered millions of her children because of the selfishness of those who refuse to behave as loving mothers and fathers should...desiring to nurture and protect their children and grandchildren (in cases where grandparents are involved in pushing for abortion) no matter how the child was conceived or the disability of the child or what inconvenience the child may bring.

In America, they dehumanize the child and pretend that the separate human life that God is creating in the womb is only an object less than human and is mere property and a part of the woman's body (which is a lie-  as the child has his or her own DNA and develops his or her own heart beat and little fingers and toes and brain, etc. which a non-human never will).
People act like the mother is a slave for being with child and then they treat the baby as worse than a slave by destroying  his or her life and denying the growing baby the love and life support the child was meant to have a right to.

Some think that when you mention God in the matter of abortion that you've lost the argument, but the truth is quite the opposite.
Stealing, murder, lying, rape, and all manner of terrible acts are known to be wrong because God exists and is the Creator of all life and His character is the standard.
The Lord has the perfect right over every single person and thing that exists though people rebel and refuse to acknowledge Him.
When people suppress the truth in unrighteousness, then God gives people over to depravity and that only means that things will get worse.

The downward spiral and the culture of death will go further and further downhill. 
People are killed for being disabled or even for not being the gender preferred. 
The elderly are killed and people are allowed to have others help them kill themselves, or hospitals and courts determine whose life is worthy.
Experiments can be done to embryos or other people who are not deemed worthy.
These types of things and more have happened in various places (many of them in the U.S.).
This is where dehumanization leads.

Christians, please pray for Ireland, and please do what you can to encourage your Irish friends to vote no and to save the 8th.

Wake up, Ireland, and don't fall into the degradation of guilt of other nations!

Finding Forgiveness in Christ..

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Thoughts On Looking For A Pastor

There are so many things to think about when considering pastors and churches.

I want a man (yes, that is a Biblical requirement for an elder) that holds to the Gospel of Scripture, loves God, holds to the 5 Solas, the Biblical doctrines of grace, doesn't hold to heresy, doesn't permit women to teach or exercise authority in the church, holds to believers' baptism,  and hopefully he will normally teach expositionally.  He should be able to handle the Word of God accurately (though no pastor will always get everything perfectly right and neither do I always get everything right).
I would like him to care about modesty (teaching Biblical principles and the wife's clothing being a good example...and this isn't about wearing a legalistic uniform).
I want a shepherd that protects the flock from error, and loves and serves the sheep.  
The pastor should meet all of the qualifications of an elder found in Scripture.
Not all of the things I've mentioned are just the responsibility of one man, and I do believe in a plurality of male leadership.
There are so many factors, and so I'm sharing three articles that have some of those other issues (including some that I've mentioned).

Thus Sayeth the Pastor: the Nature and Limits of Pastoral Authority   - Austin Duncan

What To Look For in a Shepherd - Jeremiah Johnson

When I look for a shepherd, I do not want a man who is divorced and remarried.
He cannot be devoted to his first wife, and if there was immorality on the man's part then that is certainly adultery.   
The man can be accused of not being above reproach.  If he had children, he cannot manage his household well from a distance.
I do not believe in remarriage in any case (Mark 10:10-11), though I've heard the opposing arguments.
A pastor/elder should be an exemplary example to the flock.

Asking a perspective pastor about his beliefs on some of all of these things and asking who are his favorite authors can give some ideas of what he believes.

While this was tweaked a bit from what Steve Lawson said at The Master's Seminary commencement (and in no way implies an endorsement by anyone of my blog post), I thought I'd share the following.

What with brain fog and health issues of various kinds (including pain), things are so limited for me in that I often feel I can barely make it sitting through a church service in person. 
My hands are really acting up again more as well.
I know some may disagree with some of this post, but I pray it will edify someone, and that it was worth the pain and tingling typing causes.

Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 1:13 NASB

Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.
1 Timothy 4:16 NASB

Monday, April 30, 2018

Depravity & Election

I hold to the Biblical doctrines of grace, and a guy that I follow on social media is doing videos explaining TULIP.
I haven't listened to him extensively, but I have seen some good things from him.
I've also seen the next video he did which was on Unconditional Election.
It is exciting to see and share some of the nuggets that I run across.
People get social media fatigue and disillusionment, but there are blessings and friendships.

Those who argue against God's election argue with Scripture.
There are also many who just don't understand how things in Scripture fit together.
Some people say that Calvinists believe things that most do not.
There are some Arminians who actually do seem to think that they are sovereign in their salvation, but many people do believe in God's sovereignty and are inconsistent.
Are you a closet Calvinist without realizing it?

Friday, April 27, 2018

A Message to the UK General Medical Council Regarding Alfie Evans

To the UK General Medical Council,

In recent times, I have seen an alarming trend in the healthcare system in Britain.
Parents of those who may be deemed terminal by hospitals are not allowed to seek care from those outside the country.
Decisions are wrested away from parents who want to have alternative care for their children outside the socialized medical system.
It is a shame and embarrassment to the British healthcare system to try to effect euthanasia by taking away the necessities of life for the most vulnerable of British citizens.
God is the Creator of human life, and even those who may die should receive nutrition, oxygen, and water.
Life support does not add life to those who are already dead, and those who are alive are not comfortable without those necessities.
It is the taking of a human life to remove them, and God takes that very seriously.
It is unethical.
In this most recent case with Alfie Evans, the courts and hospital have beaten down parents who truly were fighting for the best of the child.
Yes, the parents who love Alfie should have every right to have Alfie moved to an Italian hospital or whatever hospital offers them hope.
True dignity is respecting the image-bearer of God, and that includes Alfie.
Your healthcare system would make people in many countries never want to move to or even visit for fear that they too will be held hostage if they should end up in a "vegetative" condition.
Even a brain-damaged child or adult has a life worth living, and Alfie has been able to breathe (something that any medical expert would know means that the child is not dead). 
 You can even learn that searching on Google.
Alfie is an Italian citizen, and it looks very bad that the health system there will not allow him to seek care from a country that has granted him rights to have medical attention that isn't end of life euthanasia.
Please have the hospitals reverse this.  Your medical care has lost the respect of the world.
You are failing the most vulnerable of your citizens.

(My Name)