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Wednesday, October 2, 2019

The Problem of Evil

We live in fallen & cursed world because of sin, but Heaven will not be so.

Recently in social media someone asked about why there is evil in this world.
The person asked about Lucifer's sinning, and if he could sin, couldn't we in Heaven?
These types of questions get me searching things out...sometimes from things that I have shared in the past from others!
My responses may not always be direct answers, but I hope that they are helpful in some way.

God uses secondary causes. He is not the chargeable cause of evil, but He foreordains all things.
(I think that this was from Mike Riccardi.)

Evil serves God's purpose.
We have a God who is sovereign over evil.
He is not victimized by the problem of evil.
His Son the second Adam will resolve evil and bring satisfactory judgment.

(This was from listening to Abner Chou.)

What Joseph's brothers meant for evil (putting him in a pit and selling him into bondage), God meant for good. 
Job's suffering was also something that God purposed for his ultimate good. 
The same is true of all believers.

"God continually upholds His entire creation and sovereignly works in absolutely everything that happens and thus directs all creatures and events to accomplish His purposes."
- Don Green (Truth Community Church)

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We will not sin anymore in our resurrected bodies in Heaven.
I can't tell you why Lucifer wanted to exalt himself, but rest assured there will be no more of that after the final judgment.

Also, there will be no more death for believers.

“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
Matthew 25:34 NASB

for they cannot even die anymore, because they are like angels, and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.
Luke 20:36

Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.
1 John 3:2 NASB

There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him;
Revelation 22:3 NASB

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The unbeliever is enslaved to sin. Only in Christ is there freedom. Christians are being conformed into the image of Christ. 

"For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, inasmuch as we, having put it on, will not be found naked. For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life. Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge"
2 Corinthians 5:1-5 NASB

Thursday, September 26, 2019

On Loan from the Lord, Social Justice's Threat, & "When I Am Afraid"

On Loan from the Lord...

One of the times I watched a graduation of The Master's Seminary (streaming it), a name of a man was mentioned, but this was different than the reading of the other names of those who were receiving diplomas.  
This man had gone to be with the Lord.
He left a family behind, and his wife (widow) has written a book that she hopes will be an encouragement to others.  It is scheduled to be out on Kindle on September 27, 2019.

It is already available in paperback:
On Loan from the Lord: A Memoir of the Life and Ministry of J.D. Seibert - by Erika Seibert


The Threat of "Social Justice"
Earlier this month, Darrell Harrison (a man who works at GTY and is in the Podcasting world) spoke on the subject of social justice.  "Social Justice" seems to be a popular fad even in churches these days.  He explained why it is a threat to the church, and how the church should respond.
You can watch it HERE.

"When I Am Afraid" - This is a new song out that was shared with me, and I am passing it along to my blog readers.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Truth Matters Conference Streamed & John MacArthur on Willingness to Fight

Truth Matters Conference Streaming!

The Truth Matters Conference (on the Sufficiency of Scripture) at Grace Community Church in California is October 16-18, 2019.
They just shared that it will be live-streamed!
I'll try to get a link to share later.

Update:
For now I would recommend to check out the link Truth Matters for the conference live-stream info. (starting Wednesday) & schedule (or possibly HERE & log in).

Here is the first session's time:
Wednesday, October 16, 2019
John MacArthur
10 AM Pacific / 1 PM Eastern / 6 PM BST / 3 AM (Oct. 17 AEST) / 6 AM (Oct 17 NZDT)



Willingness to Fight

On September 17, 2019, John MacArthur spoke at The Master's Seminary Chapel.
He talked about battles.
"It's not enough to take a stand where there's no battle. Where the battle is, is where you demonstrate your faithfulness." - John MacArthur

“Contending For the Faith” (Jude 1-4) by Dr. John MacArthur - TMS Chapel - September 17, 2019 from The Master's Seminary on Vimeo.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Encouraging Messages Not to Miss & Cuteness for Your Day

DIVINE PROVIDENCE

"God continually upholds His entire creation and sovereignly works in absolutely everything that happens and thus directs all creatures and events to accomplish His purposes."  
Pastor Don Green of Truth Community Church, in the Cincinnati area of Ohio, has recently finished delivering up some really encouraging sermons about the doctrine of Divine providence.
If you are a Christian going through difficult times, this series is helpful.

God Over All             God Over Evil           God Over You      

Providence: The Will and the Way


These were my Tweets from listening to one of the above messages Don Green gave:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5 NASB

Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips. Part of Job 2:10 NASB

God is sovereign. He may bring adversity to sanctify believers & wean affections from the world.

Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:10 NASB

The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil. Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 NASB

We should not twist the doctrine of God's providence/Sovereign control to justify sin.

Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, “ If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” James 4:14-15 NASB

We should give our plans to God & trust Him for the outcome. God may thwart your plans...even good ones. Your plans are subject to the providence of God.

The mind of man plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps. Proverbs 16:9 NASB

Do we trust the providence of God no matter what...even when His plans are different than ours?

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:6-7 NASB

And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 NASB

Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him For the help of His presence. Psalm 42:5 NASB

Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God. Psalm 42:11 NASB

in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 NASB



CUTENESS FOR YOUR DAY



Posted by Michelle Figueroa-Cardenas on Friday, July 13, 2018

Friday, August 30, 2019

Testimony of a Pastor & Lordship Salvation Explained

Testimony of a Pastor

The following is the testimony of Nate Pickowicz who was kind enough to write a blog post for me a few years back.

I've also read a couple of books he's written (Reviving New England & Why We're Protestant).
 (I don't know the people who did the video.)




Lordship Salvation Explained

In recent times, I've come across people online who are against "Lordship Salvation."
This video interview of Phil Johnson about it should be helpful to those who do not truly understand what it is and what it is not.
I've not listened to this podcast before, but this episode was worth hearing.
I recommend starting about 5 minutes in:

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

A Strange Journey (Personal)

Early this week, we got a ride from my brother to a town less than an hour away.
We had appointments for two of us in my family, and we were to spend the night for our miserable backs to recover for the trip back.

The first thing that went wrong was that our GPS navigation device kept trying to send us to a street that was not where we were attempting to go at all.  After a while, it was finally discovered that somehow it had changed to assimilated driving or some such nonsense.  How?  I do not know.

Later a light was blinking.  It's possible it was due to having too much in the back, but I'm not sure if anything was really open.

Well, we made it to a place to eat before the first appointment.  Everyone else had gotten their food and I was feeling like fainting without any.  Then they let us know my soup wasn't ready, and it would be 10-15 more minutes.  They brought me a croissant.  When the soup came, it was lukewarm.  I ate it that way anyway.

When we left the place, the back of our vehicle wouldn't open at first. 
We tried to discover what was wrong.  I thought maybe something inside was keeping it closed.  Anyway, eventually we got it open to be able to have the wheelchair & walker stored in it.

After two people were dropped off at the hotel, I had to go along for the ride to the first appointment (since we didn't know how long it would be).  My back was miserable sitting in a wheelchair though I did try to elevate my feet for awhile at one point.  Thankfully, we got out in time to make it to my early check in at the next place.

On to my appointment.  We had to wait quite awhile for that (past the appointment time).  It was one of those nerve conduction tests where they shock & prick you which left me with a couple of bleeding spots that were bandaged.

We picked up food (I stayed reclining in the vehicle) and went back to the hotel.  Well, one of the fast food places had forgotten to fill part of the order, so a couple of people went back to get that.

Here is the last bit I'll share.  Two people were planning to sleep on a sofa bed. 
After they were laying there for a bit, we heard calls for help. 
The foot of the bed was rising up like it was trying to shut back up (though it had been fully opened).  A people eating sofa bed? 
It reminded me of an old comedy movie!

Yesterday something started happening on my face that scared me and set me into tears..tears for what was happening and tears for our situation. 
My Dad encouraged me, though our situation hasn't changed.

I'd appreciate prayer for that I will not be anxious and depressed and also that God will help us through and provide help (and healing if it's His will).

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

William Cowper's Struggles (Plus Some of His Poetry Set to Music)

I was looking for hymns by William Cowper yesterday, and I ended up by reading more about his life.
"There is a Fountain Filled with Blood" and "God Moves in a Mysterious Way" are some of the lyrics you may be familiar with of the hymns he wrote.

I had heard some about Cowper's life in the past, but I didn't remember a lot of it.
His mother reportedly died when he was 6.
He made it through schooling to be a lawyer, and he fell in love with his cousin whom he was not allowed to marry.

The stress of trying to get a clerkship position in the House of Lords broke him.
He made three attempts on his life. 
He ended up in a "Insanorum" where he reportedly converted to Evangelicalism (which means he became a Christian).

He had the influence of some good friends in his life, and he seemed to improve for awhile and be encouraged spiritually.
He also sat under the teaching of John Newton and collaborated with him in the writing of hymns.
One online biography tried to make it sound as though what they call Newton's "despondence" was a bad atmosphere for Cowper, but something else I read makes it pretty clear that claim on that biography was utter nonsense.
Some of the critics are likely anti-Calvinist (as though Newton's Calvinism caused Cowper to have further mental problems).
Cowper was reportedly Calvinistic before meeting Newton, and some things that he wrote make it sound like Newton was just the opposite of a bad influence on him.
He was really an encouragement.
I too believe in the Biblical doctrines which many label "Calvinism."

One site mentioned that William's brother died a year before he lapsed into another time of mental instability.
That bout seemed to have ended the idea of his marrying the widow (Mary Unwin) who nursed him.  He was living with her family before she was a widow and continued in her care until she needed care herself.

 He had fears that he was going to go to Hell and had nightmares and delusionally thought God had commanded him to kill himself.
He improved and was encouraged by Mary to write as well as another widow encouraged his writing.

Mary became ill and paralyzed (this is what I read anyway) and died, and Cowper became despondent again after that until he died of dropsy.
I read that his nephew reported that shortly before he passed on that his sad face took on " a look of wonder and inexpressible delight."  

I found a poem of William Cowper's set to music in my searching.
Perhaps some of the most encouraging people may be the ones who need the most comfort from God.