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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Do You Believe Hell Is Eternal?

God is Holy & pure & there is no darkness in Him. 

This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.
1 John 1:5 NASB


It is fully just for God to punish for eternity (Jude 1:7; Hebrews 6:2; Matthew 25:46). 
Every one of us deserves His wrath. The wonder is that He chooses to save any of us wretched rebellious sinners. We are all guilty (Romans 3:10-20).

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:23 NASB

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
Romans 1:18 NASB

The problem is that some want to project their own ideas of what is fair onto God by thinking that eternal punishment isn't fair. 
That is making an idol and actually cheapening who God is - to His being less holy than He is. If murdering a man deserves death (and it does), then how much more are we guilty when our sin is against God Himself? 

Some may question that Hell will have fire, but I won't give up the fact that Hell has fire & brimstone. When the plain sense makes sense, we need not seek any other sense.
Even in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16:23-24, the man in Hades was in torment and wanting coolness on his tongue due to there being fire.

"Outer darkness" or "black darkness" which is also mentioned in scripture likely refers to being away from/abandoned by God (a kind of spiritual darkness) and judgment because otherwise there is a very consistent description in Scripture of there being fire & torment (and not just in a parable or allegorical setting).

The question is, do people believe in the authority of Scripture? 
Do they believe Sola Scriptura (if someone professes faith in Christ)? 
The Scripture is clear that Hell is as eternal as Heaven. 
Give up the eternality of Hell and you give up the eternality of Heaven.

Scripture is God's Word and is always true, so whether you believe in Hell or not, it still exists.
Every professing believer should examine the Scriptures to see if their church is actually teaching what the Scripture says (about Hell, the Gospel, Creation, etc.).


“If your eye causes you to stumble, throw it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, than, having two eyes, to be cast into hell, where THEIR WORM DOES NOT DIE, AND THE FIRE IS NOT QUENCHED.
Mark 9:47-48

And these will go away into eternal punishment; but the righteous into eternal life."
Matthew 25:46


These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,
2 Thessalonians 1:9 NASB

Eternal punishment=Eternal destruction

God's wrath is just, but He loved enough to send His Son to die on a cross & take on the sins of any who repent & trust Christ & His death for them. 
Christ Jesus experienced the wrath of God and died shedding His blood. 
He did this as an atonement for those who were His enemies, so that they might be brought near and have His righteousness laid to their account, and they then become forgiven adopted children to receive an eternal inheritance with Jesus (the Son of God/God the Son). It is a mercy undeserved.
Those who receive the Lord receive the Spirit (God is one yet He is revealed in Three distinct Persons - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). 

He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
2 Corinthians 5:21 NASB

All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.
Isaiah 53:6 NASB

Monday, October 16, 2017

TMSDay Highlights, Anxious Christians, Nightingale Music

#TMSDay Highlights

On October 10th, The Master's Seminary had an online event where people could watch classes, a Q & A, Chapel, etc. (live-streaming).
I loved it!
I shared about it in a previous post.
The Q & A had Nathan Busenitz asking questions of John MacArthur that people had posted online.
Well, you can actually watch that, the chapel, & the faculty discussion by going HERE.

For The Anxious Christian

Do you have a tendency to be anxious?
I do.
My family heard some messages by Don Green the past couple of Sundays, and he explains how Jesus dealt with anxiety.
We probably need to hear them again.
Don Green reminds us of a part of God's character that some of us need to remind ourselves of over and over.
I recommend listening to or watching these!

Why Are You So Worried?

From Anxiety to Rest


Music To Enjoy


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

An Upcoming Hymns of Grace Album • Excitement Rising

I was watching the live-streaming from The Master's Seminary this week and heard the recording of men singing before and between sessions.
Later I saw them posting on the stream about an upcoming album.
This album should be well-received.
There is something special about hearing a group of men singing worship music!
I know that the men who have attended the conferences enjoy singing together.
I searched and found the song they were playing online.
While this isn't the version from the upcoming album, you can see the lyrics of the song they were playing for #TMSDay!



I want to thank The Master's Seminary for blessing many of us with a sample of teaching from the seminary as well as Q & A sessions. 
I have been blessed in the past with pastors who either taught at or who graduated from The Master's Seminary. 
I hope that we may get a pastor from there in my area of Tennessee in the future.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Standing Up In The Face Of Danger - Las Vegas Shooting

They stood up. They protected.  They went into the face of danger.
The police in Las Vegas acted like good soldiers in a time of horror.
Some protest the police and/or bend their knee to complain about this country and authorities (instead of giving thanksgiving for their blessings).
While the police draw from the same fallen human race as the rest of us, most of them will risk their lives to save the necks of the people of this country.

When I heard about the police standing up and risking their lives, it moved me.
We are so stirred up by heroic efforts of humans to save others and rightfully so.
Yet, it reminded me of something our family has been reading.
Does the prisoner in war love the man who, at the risk of his own life, breaks through the enemies lines, rescues him and sets him free?  Does the drowning sailor love the man who plunges into the sea, dives after him, catches him by the hair of his head and by a mighty effort saves him from a watery grave?  A very child can answer such questions as these.  Just in the same way, and upon the same principles, a true Christian loves Jesus Christ.  - J.C. Ryle (from the book "Holiness") 
I struggle with whether I love Christ like that, but when I think about it that way - it reminds me how thankful I should be to Christ and how it should make me love Him like that.
I feel so wretched that I don't love Him the way I want to.
His death means more than even heroic policemen, soldiers, or firemen.
He died for the sins of those who were His enemies.
He chose to rescue sinful humans by taking their sins on Himself to suffer the punishment for them by dying - shedding His blood for them on a cross.
His perfect righteousness is placed on those to whom He gives life to - to whom He grants repentance and faith in Him.
And He is also fully God as well as fully man!

How little I can rely on my feelings and my own thoughts.
No matter how I feel, I am His.  He has made me want Him, and I won't give up even though I have to keep fighting my own thinking and the doubts due to my own feelings and thoughts.

Do you love Christ?  Are you His?

GOSPEL

Friday, September 22, 2017

A Fitting Ending & Beginning! • A County Donegal Mystery • Part 6

Joelle had been in Ireland several weeks already, and while she was there she was able to spend quite a bit of time with the church family. 
One of the men that she met at church was named Brandon. 
He was actually planning to go to the U.S. very soon to attend The Master's Seminary! 
His desire was to come back to Ireland and be a part of a church plant. 
Joelle loved the idea, and the two began to get acquainted. 
She knew that she didn't have a lot of time left before she was scheduled to head back to the U.S., so they spent quite a bit of time together.

The news of her ancestry finally came back. 
Yes, she was related to James and Jane Russell!
She would have a share in the inheritance of the ring, although it might be a small portion.
The letter that was found in the Bible at the crypt was enough of an inheritance for her.

This is what it said.

Dearest Eliza and John,

My dearest desire for you is to love and serve the Lord all of your days.
Read His Word dear ones, because there you will find the truth to get you through the darkest of times as it has me.  
It is far more precious and valuable than any jewels I can leave you, though the love of dear James in giving me the gift of the ring is a sweet memory.
Beyond the inheritance of these jewels, you have been deeded some land near this church.
The deed is enclosed.  

Aunt Jane.

Joelle dearly wished that the property could have a church built on it that taught the Word of God accurately, but she would have to wait for the inheritance to be settled to see if that was possible.

Before she left to head back to the U.S., Brandon proposed marriage to Joelle, and she accepted!
They planned to marry in the U.S. shortly before he would go on to seminary.

The rest of Joelle's family had decided to stay in Tennessee and start over.
They would move near Maryville where there was a good church that they could be involved with.

Joelle would one day be able to go back to Ireland and serve the Lord with her husband and see the friends that she had grown to love.
She had a rich heritage, and one day she hoped that many people in Ireland would hear the Gospel and turn to Christ.
The God who is Sovereign over storms and over us all can still change hearts, and He uses His Word and those who proclaim it!
What had started out as a nightmare with a hurricane had become a blessing that had surely worked for the good of Joelle, Brandon, and for Ireland!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

A Rich Heritage • A County Donegal Mystery • Part 5

The next day Joelle was so excited to attend the Bible Study and Prayer group in the garden.
She was welcomed and cared for, and people even prayed for those affected by the hurricanes and earthquakes in other parts of the world.
They were going through a portion of Matthew 5 that week.
She followed along, reading from her NASB translation.

Later on that day, she searched out her Mc Intyre ancestry, and she discovered an Eliza and John were the parents of her ancestor who came to the U.S. sometime before 1880.  A DNA sample might prove whether she was actually related to James & Jane Russell.

On the weekend, the family obliged her by going back out to the old Dunlewey church which was near the "Poisoned Glen."
There were differing stories as to why it was called that, but whatever the reason, it was rather intriguing.

Once they got to the church, she walked through the opening and tried to imagine how a jeweled ring could ever be discovered there.
The family found a place to picnic, and they discussed how they could go about finding out about the ring.  It was a lovely day, and Joelle felt at peace.


Weeks went by, and finally, they were rewarded with hearing that permission was given to search for the ring.
Meanwhile, Joelle had a DNA sample taken to see if she could be related to the Russells.
She knew that soon she would have to go back to the U.S., but she had hopes that she would learn about the ring and her heritage before leaving.

They carefully found a way to get into the crypt beneath the church ruins.
The coffin where James was buried was discovered, and an old rusted metal box was found above it.
Joelle was notified, and quickly she and her host family went out to the church again to see what was inside.
An old Bible and a jewelry box were indeed found!
There inside was the beautiful diamond and emerald ring!

The Bible was carefully opened, and Joelle noticed that it was well-worn.  Could James have truly loved reading God's Word?  Was he actually a true believer?  She would like to hope so.
An envelope fell out.  It was addressed to John and Eliza Mc Intyre!
What did it say?  Was this her heritage?
She hoped so.  She now loved Ireland and its people.
She loved the family who had taken her in.
Would Ireland become her new home, or would she go back to America with a new appreciation for both her heritage and her wider spiritual family of brothers and sisters who would inherit the Kingdom of Heaven?

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

A Surprising Discovery • A County Donegal Mystery ♦ Part 4

Joelle set down the intriguing letter she had found and picked up the book she had discovered it in.
She looked in the front of the book for a name. There it was!
It was inscribed to an Eliza Jane Russell in 1847.

1847?!  Jane Russell was the name of the lady who had the Dunlewy church built in honor of her husband James!
Joelle had just visited the old church ruin the other day!
James was supposed to be buried under where the church was. 
Before James' death, he had been a landlord for the estate.
Jane could very well be the aunt of Eliza Jane!

Why, the Great Famine in Ireland was at its worst in 1847 when Eliza received this old book!
Joelle had read a little about the famine. 
Many people had left the country even before that time while others died of illness and starvation during it.
She had also read that some of what could have been eaten by the people of Ireland had been exported instead.
It was a terrible time, and some of those who left died in the ships never making it to their destinations.

Joelle wondered if Jane had been a help for those still struggling after the very worst of that era (following her husband's death in 1849) by her employment of the people to get the marble and blue quartzite.
People were also able to prepare bricks locally for the church.

Could the ring that Jane had written about in the letter still be hidden away?
She really must find out if the Gaelic held any more of a clue as to where it could have been placed.
She looked for Briona and asked her if she could read and translate the postscript of the letter into English. 
She would be more accurate than an online translator.

It said, "Faoi marmar agus cloch, ós chionn chroí mo ghrá gheal, aimseoidh tú bosca taisce."

Here is what she learned that it meant in English:
Under marble & stone above the heart of my dear one, a box of treasures you will find.

She would have to go and explore the old church again, and she would likely need permission and cooperation from those in authority to see about searching for the ring (if they agreed that it was likely the right place and person).

Meanwhile, she would search out her own ancestry to see if she could be related to John and Eliza Mc Intyre!

(This is what the Dunlewy Church ruin looks like from above.)

Monday, September 18, 2017

HIdden Jewels? • A County Donegal Mystery • Part 3

Joelle was able to read most of the letter she had discovered in the old book despite its fading and age.

My Dearest Niece Eliza,

How time has flown since your father and I played in the gardens of each others' homes.
And now his daughter is grown and about to be wed.
I dearly appreciated how you lovingly ministered to me after my dear husband passed away.
I'll never forget your gentle compassion and kindness.

I am elated you have found the man of your dreams, the man God prepared to be your husband!
Soon you will be Mrs. John Mc Intyre.
Thank you for the invitation to your wedding.

I regret I shall not be able to attend due to a recent decline in health, but I want to tell you of a special wedding gift for you & your descendants should you ever be in great need (above and beyond the gift I plan to send along for you wedding reception). 
The special gift is an exquisitely lovely ring I could never bear to wear, as my husband (your uncle) died before he could give it to me for our anniversary.
It has an emerald just the shade of your beautiful eyes and is surrounded by diamonds.
I hid it in a place close to my husband's heart.

I hope you and your husband-to-be will always look to Christ in your marriage and that you will be as happily married as my husband & I were.

Affectionately,
Aunt Jane

Joelle saw a postscript written in another language.  She guessed it must be Gaelic.
She would have to ask her new friends what it meant.

It was very interesting that Eliza's future husband's surname was the same as Joelle's.
Perhaps she should look further into her genealogy.  Could she be related?

(This portion of the story has been contributed mostly by my sister TJT.)

Saturday, September 16, 2017

A Mysterious Letter • A County Donegal Mystery • Part 2

Joelle awoke the next morning eager to head to a car boot sale with Briona, the wife and mother of the family that she was staying with in Killult.
She had never gone before to a car boot sale - at least not by that name.
It was a beautiful day, and the two ladies enjoyed getting better acquainted on the scenic drive.
At the sale, Joelle discovered an old box of books which she purchased that day.
Joelle & Briona had a bite to eat before heading back to the cottage in Killult that day.

Joelle loved the vistas from the home's gardens.  There was a view of a bay of the Atlantic ocean in back of the property, and another location on site was lush with greenery.  It was where a Bible study was held each week.
She looked forward to that, and she was grateful that she was with a brother and sister in Christ at this home.
She explored the garden and enjoyed the calm serenity.
She had not forgotten all of her concerns about a future place to live, but she quietly prayed and did not let it destroy her present enjoyment.
She watched again as the sun set that evening, only this time she watched the gorgeous hues over the bay waters in back of the cottage.  She was so thankful to be here.

The next day it began to rain,  so after breakfast and reading her Bible, she looked over the books which she had purchased the previous day.
She spied a folded yellowed paper in one of the books.
Curiously, she opened the book and carefully pulled it out.
The year on the paper was 1852, and excitement tingled inside of her.
The writing was faded, and she held it up to the light to see if she could read it.

More next time, Lord-willing!

Friday, September 15, 2017

The Adventure Begins • A Visit To Mt Errigal • A County Donegal Mystery • Pt. 1

There was a pink glow as the sun set on Mt. Errigal in County Donegal of Ireland.
Joelle turned around and hurried to the car of her host family.
Joelle had been surprised to be sent to Ireland for a visit after her family home had been destroyed by flooding after a hurricane in the U.S.
The rest of her family (parents and younger siblings) were crowded into the small house of an aunt in Dandridge, TN.
Joelle, at age 19,  was both excited and frightened to be off on an adventurous journey all by herself.
Thankfully, the host family had taken excellent care of her from the time they saw her at the airport.
They included her in everything, and she was thankful to be treated to a visit to Dunlewey Church and Mt. Errigal this very day.
The marble and quartz of the old church ruin and the fresh-water lake and Seven Sisters mountain chain were fascinating....especially with the history surrounding them.

(I might continue this story another time, or perhaps someone else will guest write the next segment.  We shall see! The setting for this story beginning is from an online acquaintance in Ireland.  Thank you to Tom!)

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Encouragement In Fires, Floods, Hurricanes, & Other Tragedies

Hurricanes, floods, fires, and tragedies seem to abound...and perhaps you may be able to add something else that you are facing in your home or family.

Charles Spurgeon gave a sermon when many in his congregation were faced with terrible loss.
Yes, there were hurricanes, shipwrecks, and tragedies in his day.
He also faced depression after someone caused a stampede at the church by yelling "fire" at one point in his life.
There were some deaths & injuries from that.
His theme for the message I'm sharing was God's sovereignty at one of these times (the loss of a ship), and he touched on laws of nature He uses to rule that He can choose to suspend or not to suspend (and providence).

 Here are a few quotes that I want to encourage you with.

He reigneth in the calm summer's day, and gives us the precious fruits of harvest, but He is equally present and regnant in the hurricane which destroys, or the blight which desolates. His providence speeds the ship to its desired haven, but it is equally His providence which sinks the barque and its mariners to the bottom of the sea.  - Charles Spurgeon
If not a sparrow falleth to the ground without our Father, we are sure that no great calamity can befall us apart from Him. He is not far from us in our deepest sorrow, and however we may trace a calamity to the carelessness or the mistake of men, these are but the second causes, and we see behind all mere detail the permit of the Lord.                     - Charles Spurgeon
God hath appointed all things, and His people are safe everywhere, whether they live or die.  - Charles Spurgeon
To read that whole sermon Click HERE.
Great is the peril of the ocean, but there are also dangers on the hind, and at, any moment we also may be summoned to appear before our God.
Since this cannot be questioned, let; each prudent man foresee the evil and prepare himself for it. - Charles Spurgeon
To see more of what he shared after a hurricane, Click HERE.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Hurricane Harvey - Helping Those Affected

Like many of you, I've been following the news about the flooding that has been happening in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

This storm has been devastating to many.
One person that I follow on social media had tornadoes not far from his home before the flooding began, and another had water starting to enter his family's home and has now been evacuated.
Many people have lost their homes, but they are grateful for their lives being saved.
Heroic efforts are being made to rescue people, and even civilians are pitching in.

Sadly, there have been reports of some looters and even some of the rescuers have had their lives put in danger by criminal fakes.

God is still Sovereign even when things look like they are falling apart.
There is no "Mother Nature" that controls things.
That is an idol that those who reject the true God like to give credit to.

I want to share some from what a pastor (Don Green) said last Sunday that we as Christians need to remind ourselves of in trying times, and then I will share a link to a place that you can give to help those affected by the flooding.

Find your security & confidence in the provisions of God rather than what you have on hand.
If you want to glorify God in your life, start by being content & trusting God no matter what.
When you wonder what's going to happen, remember the fullness of what Christ did.
Think true thoughts. Don't feed your anxiety.
If God has been generous with the salvation of our souls, He's generous to provide for us (what we need) in this life.
Think high & lofty & good thoughts about God. You will never trust enough in His abundant love because it surpasses understanding.

Click on the image above to find a trustworthy organization that is helping people.

For those who know someone who needs help, there are a couple of map sites to put the addresses of those who need rescuing on (aside from official numbers and sites that should be contacted).
People can try to connect others with help online, but Christians need to also remember to pray.
God is a very present help in time of trouble.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

I Shall Again Praise Him

We've been going through times of testing physically in our family, and I feel like a worn out wet dish rag with my own poor physical health.
I'm concerned for the one family member who has to play nurse and cook for us as well.
I was encouraged today to remember to desire God's glory & will foremost over my own.
I have not been doing well.  My spring has sprung.

There are so many Christians suffering out there for their faith as well as physically.
I know that I'm not alone in suffering, and I admit that I keep heading back to Psalms instead of Job for encouragement and hope.
I get little glimpses of God's mercy by reminders that encourage me for short times.
I need frequent reminders.

Sunday is an extra blessing though I am not up to leaving home....again.
I miss the days when we were able to make it to church, but I'm blessed by Truth Community Church & Grace Community Church live-streams.
It's not the same I know, but it is refreshing when you have not been feeling well.
That seems to be most of the time for a long time.

Today, I was reminded again of verses about hoping in God with a song sung by an online acquaintance named Edward LaRow.
I'm thankful he shared it, as I'm very familiar with the verses.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Why We're Protestant - Hot Off The Press

Why We're Protestant
The author of Reviving New England (Nate Pickowicz - a pastor & church planter in New Hampshire) has another new book just released which examines the 5 Solas.
It looks like something my readers might want to check out!
I reviewed his first book HERE (part 1 of my review).

Friday, July 28, 2017

Transgenders In The Military • Medical Stories

Response To "Transgenders" In The Military

Recently someone on Facebook asked how to respond to friends with gentleness and respect ...basically when they are defending having "transgenders" in the military.

This was my response:

God created male and female, and so there is no such thing as a transgendered person. 
Wanting to be something you're not cannot change what God made you. 
Transgenderism is a deception, and it breeds distrust and may cause many relational problems. I also believe that men & women shouldn't be out there together as soldiers, and furthermore, as a Christian, I don't see women on the battlefield as being something God desires. 
Women were not made the same as men no matter how much they desire to be like men and no matter how capable they are in many ways. 
Soldiers shouldn't entangle themselves in the affairs of everyday life, and mixing genders and gender confusion is a distraction from the real goal of fighting the enemy. Sadly, many affairs go on in the military as it is, and putting someone created by God as a female in the midst of males...or a male in the midst of females....increases the danger of immoral relationships distracting from what people should be about.

(I borrowed from 2 Timothy 2:4.)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Medical Stories & Gospel Tracts

I've been in medical buildings quite a lot lately with pain.
There are so many others out there suffering.

In the ER, I heard a man describing how a lady got dragged by her car.

I listened outside a doctor's office to a lady who was suffering, but she didn't know what all was wrong.

I heard a man who came into the doctor's office who had part of his hospital care denied by Medicare.
He was an old man, and I felt so sorry for him.  He was getting bills for thousands of dollars, and he hadn't wanted to be kept at the hospital.  
A doctor had wanted him to stay.  It seems that he can't afford to pay the bill.
I wished I could help. He was talking to the ladies at the check-in.

When I was waiting at the lab for an x-ray, a worker came out and told a couple waiting that the lady of the couple needed to go to the ER.  
Apparently, earlier tests had come back and shown something.
All I could do was pray.

God knows all of these things are going on.
It is good that we have been reading a section of a book recently on Jesus being The Ruler Of The Waves.

I placed Gospel tracts at some places I went, and I watched as the lady my sister talked with began to read one.  
I hope & pray that others will read the tracts.
These people in trouble need the Gospel.

Update: The tract that the lady picked up and started to read has still been there when I've been back to that waiting room (more than once).  
I saw another person pick it up and start to read it the last time that
I was there!
I hope this encourages other Christians to find ways to spread the Gospel!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Go Where The Fish Are • Prayer Requests From Canada

Guest Post By Joshua Mills

He Shall Have Dominion Also From Sea To Sea” (Psalm 72:8)

I want to begin this article with a brief overview of Canadian history. 
In 1867, Sir Samuel Leonard Tilley, a Christian and founding Father of Confederation, was inspired by his biblical convictions to call Canada a “dominion”, after Psalm 72:8. 
The name, “Dominion of Canada”, was used to recognize the rule and reign of Jesus Christ over this great land from sea to sea.  
However, now one-hundred and fifty years later, things have progressively changed to our disliking.  Changes in policies, laws, and new curriculums have been established by the government to support their liberal agenda and world view.  But this does not worry me!  We have a firm confidence as Christians for the future.  We know that God is the Sovereign One reigning on His throne! 
“He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings”, all for his Sovereign purposes (Daniel 2:21).

Therefore, for the remaining part of this article, I would like to highlight God’s work in Canada. 

For the past year or so I have had the privilege of establishing a local street outreach ministry birthed out of the local church.  
Growing up in Canada I have never received a tract in my hand from a stranger, nor have I ever heard the gospel proclaimed freely outside church walls. This is wrong! If unnumbered souls are dying and spending an eternity in Hell, then we must go where they are!  Case closed.  
We must go where the fish are! We must bring the Gospel to them. A Fishermen can only practice fishing in his own bath-tub for so long before he must go where the fish are.  
This parallels with the Christian!  We are commanded by Scripture to enter the Highways and byways, where the fish are, and compel people to come in (Luke 14:23).

Out of this burden to see the Gospel go forth in our Nation I entered the streets to find some fish. Soon enough, the Lord answered my prayers and connected me with a few brothers who had a weekly Saturday afternoon outreach downtown Toronto. 
For a few months, I regularly attended this outreach, but the commute was far. 
As time went on, I gained a greater burden for the souls in my City.  As far as I know, there has been zero gospel street ministry done in this city in the past. 
Therefore, it was time to get something started!  I found two young guys (fifteen and seventeen years of age) who were zealous to serve the Lord in evangelism.  We decided to try going downtown one night and see if we could spark up some conversations.  Providentially speaking, we bumped into two guys who have been handing out tracts downtown for about a year or so through their local church (one of them being an Elder at the church they attend). 
Thankfully the Lord brought us brothers who were faithful to the Word of God and shared the same Biblical convictions with us.  One of the brothers was trained in Biblical evangelism through The Cross Current ministries (they were trained through Ray Comfort and Paul Washer in Evangelism). Our American brothers and sisters have been a tremendous blessing to our ministry!

From this point on, the hearts of God’s people were stirred to see young men going out weekly to tell of Christ.  Each week we began to see a new people wanting to serve in this area. 
Currently, a year or so later, we now have on average 10-15 different people out with us weekly sharing the Glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ downtown Burlington. 
Through the ministry, The Cross Current, there has also been evangelism teams set up in Waterloo, London, and Ottawa, Ontario.  
These groups from local churches go out weekly and hand out tracts, converse, and preach the Word of God in the streets.  On average, we hand out about 200-300 tracts per week and have many Christ-Centred conversations. 
Though it is hard to see fruit in the ministry, since we most likely will not see these people again, we have had stories told of fruit produced by Gods grace through the Proclamation of His Word. 
Praise God!

It is a unique time to be a Canadian, and I am very excited for the future!  We have seen a huge geo-political shift in our country, but this movement was a movement done by the Sovereign hand of God! 
You may be asking, “what kind of people do we often come across when evangelizing?  
In many cases, we come across those who believe that they are “good enough” through their good works to go to Heaven.  Therefore, we must always preach the law to them and show them the Character of God, the depravity of man, and the hope of the Gospel. 
Additionally, most of these people are refugees from Islamic countries who are willing and eager to talk with us.  Numerous times we have talked for hours with Muslim friends, and they end up taking the Word of God (the Bible) home with them to read more. 

To conclude, on one hand, this nation seems like it is spinning down into destruction. But on the other hand, we have seen the hand of God stirring the souls of men. 
The church in Canada is being awakened to the urgent call of the Great Commission. The people of God are beginning to feel the urgency to go out to their neighbour and tell them of Christ, to go out onto the street and herald the gospel!  It is a unique time to be a Canadian. 
This is only a brief and insufficient highlight of what God is doing in Canada and globally for His glory!

Continue to pray for this work. 
Pray that God will be glorified primarily, and that souls will be won to Christ through evangelistic efforts across Canada and around the Globe! 
Pray specifically for more labourers in Canada for the Harvest field! 
It is my prayer and heart's desire to see a group of evangelists in every major city in Canada, heralding the Gospel on a weekly basis. 
We can not miss the opportunity ahead of us!

To God be the Glory,

Joshua

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Oregon Passes "Free" Abortions Murder Bill

Oregon is now willing to pay for the murder of children in their mothers' wombs at all costs.
They are willing to offer abortions on demand for free whether you are rich or poor or criminally in the country.
Yes, Oregon is proud of her evil behavior.
See story HERE.

God is not blind to this evil.  Those who live within her borders that are Christians must be horrified that once again Oregon is leading the way in aiding and abetting murder.
All intentional abortion is murder whether it is done by a "doctor" or by medicine intended to prevent a baby from being able to survive.
Oregon also led the way to a culture of death with assisted suicide...taking suffering and depressed people and allowing them to make a deadly murderous decision.

People who support abortion claim they want every child to be wanted.  You don't make every child wanted by murdering those that exist already in the womb.  You are just letting everybody know that you don't want the child that is already being formed and made in the image of God.   Trying to do everything you can to avoid the responsibility that comes with intimacy is not something that should be lauded.  Denying the baby in the womb his or her humanity doesn't cut it.  
Denial doesn't undo the fact that a human life is at stake.

Sadly the rebelliousness and hard-heartedness of Oregon is only a reflection of the evil that is in the hearts of men who want no part of the God who created them.
I'm thankful that there are some in Oregon like Pastor Chuck O'Neal (and others) who are willing to go to the gates of evil and proclaim the Gospel in hopes that God will rescue and save souls and lives.

People who rush to have their babies killed or whatever other licentious acts they involve themselves in are blind in their sin, and they need the light of the Gospel of Christ.
They need the Spirit to convict them and they need to hear the law of God to see their need for the Gospel.

There is a conference in Oregon in August of this year (2017) where people can go to learn about how to witness the Gospel to cults as well as going out to an abortion clinic and other places to proclaim the Gospel.
To learn more about the conference (Reformation Fire) go HERE.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

"Remember The Prisoners" • Prayer Request

Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body. 
Hebrews 13:2 NASB

In 2007 Alimujiang Yimiti had his business shut down, and in 2008 he was arrested.
He is a former Muslim who had professed faith in Christ and wanted others to know Christ.
His heart apparently was to reach the Uyghur in China with the Gospel, and this was not acceptable to some.  Sadly, he was then charged with “illegally providing state secrets to foreign nationals.”
He received a 15-year sentence, yet it would seem that it really was all due to his desiring to see others have faith in Christ.
See more info. HERE

This man has been in jail many years now.
Christians, please pray for the family as well as this man, and pray that the government will overturn this sentence and set him free early.
Please pray that God will continue to strengthen this family and that God will bring good out of this wrong.

Please watch the following videos.



Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Don't Host The Wolves & Careful Companionships

What does the Bible say about hospitality to false teachers and giving people a platform to speak their false religion to believers?

Based on 2 John 10:7-11, we can see that those who come with a wrong teaching of who Christ is should not be given a greeting. This was written to a lady whose house hosted a church.

John MacArthur interprets this to mean not letting them into the house (see about halfway down). Declaring & Defending The Deity of Christ

On the other side, we see Paul and the other apostles taking the Gospel to synagogues and other public places (like Mars Hill) not within a church. Paul reasoned with people whom he was brought before. I don't see believers ever encouraged to bring false teachers into a church of believers to allow them to share what they believe up front (even with the motive of evangelizing the false teacher or to educate the Christians).

In the Old Testament, I see how the prophets of Baal were treated in 1 Kings 18.
Elijah mocked them. 
Yes, people who served idols were not treated like those who genuinely listen to hear the truth proclaimed. 
They were shown up as false to the people who were already being deceived by them.

Letting a wolf into a church (who we know has the motive to steal and influence weak flock members) is not wise.
Yes, I know that people can be confused and influenced by false religions.
On the other side, an evangelist or preacher going to speak to a primarily pagan audience to proclaim the Gospel is a different matter altogether.
This series by Nathan Busenitz is an example of how you can educate Christians how to evangelize and to spot false teachers.

We are to love our enemies, yet we are to guard our hearts with all diligence. We are to proclaim the Gospel and make disciples, but our intimate friends should be those who will help us grow and sharpen us in the faith. We don't want intimate friends who will encourage us to love the world, but we are to be lights in the world and imitate Christ.

Do not be deceived: "Bad company corrupts good morals."
1 Corinthians 15:33 NASB

He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm.
Proverbs 13:20 NASB

How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night. 
Psalm 1:1-2 NASB

Discretion will guard you, 
Understanding will watch over you, 
To deliver you from the way of evil, 
From the man who speaks perverse things; 
From those who leave the paths of uprightness 
To walk in the ways of darkness; 
Who delight in doing evil 
And rejoice in the perversity of evil; 
Proverbs 2:11-14 NASB

Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you,
2 Corinthians 6:17 ESV

Additional sermons on being equally yoked (by Mike Riccardi)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Christian Encouragement & A Court Appeal - Mike Stockwell Speaks

Mike Stockwell was arrested along with other evangelists in Bristol, England in July of 2016.
The court basically considers the Scripture to be an offense, and Mike Stockwell and Mike Overd were convicted.
On June 28th, 2017, once again these men are scheduled to be back in court.
Christians, please pray not only that the convictions will be overturned (which included a fine & restrictions), but that these men will be able to glorify God no matter the outcome.

For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
1 Corinthians 1:18 NASB

Mike Stockwell explained in a recent message how we can rest in our sufferings & have peace in our trials.
The first 10 minutes or so of the following message gives an explanation of what the men went through in the U.K. (and there were 4 of them who were originally arrested).
If you are going through any kind of suffering - whether persecution, physical suffering or losing a loved one, I believe this message can be helpful.



UPDATE!  On June 29, 2017, Mike Stockwell (of the U.S.A.) and Mike Overd (of the U.K.) were acquitted in court in Bristol, United Kingdom! Christian Concern's Facebook Update

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

All Saints - Another Movie To Skip

This week I saw that there is a movie coming out this summer that is by Affirm Films (which is under Sony) called All Saints.

I was very concerned when the preview had the guy claiming he thought God told him something, though later a guy talked about being sure the voice they heard was God and not their own. 
After looking up the story, I wouldn't be surprised if the guy decided that the message really was from God.

I'm not a continuationist, and anything that someone claims to be from God should be questioned. 
When someone claims God told them things that aren't found in Scripture I cringe.
The Scripture is complete.

The following are some links that explain well why we should be careful about saying "God told me..." and the like:

"Follow God’s Will (and Never Mind the Mystery)" by Travis Allen 

Please Stop Saying — 'God Told Me' by Josh Buice

"Are Mental impressions Divine Revelation?" by John MacArthur 

I was also suspicious at first that the movie might be Roman Catholic due to the title of it, and the preview had the "pastor" wearing a white collar.
I researched some more about what kind of church this movie was about, and I saw that the church is in Smyrna, Tennessee.
It turned out that All Saints is an Episcopal church, and the "priest" talked about has recently moved to another church (of the same type).
Funny how the movie tries to use the term "Pastor"  or "Reverend" disguising what kind of church this really is.
The Episcopal Church has compromised the truth in various ways, and they also have accepted immorality in the U.S. not only in their congregations but in their leadership,
It is really another branch of the Anglican Church in England which most solid Christians have left.
I was not pleased.
This Is An Episcopal Position.
The Episcopals also follow some Roman Catholic-like traditions...the Eucharist, Lent, etc.

Sadly, "Fireproof The Movie" has a Facebook page that shared about the All Saints movie, and my reply to the movie's trailer I saw on my social media feed was this:

"We need not look for extrabiblical revelation from God.  People looking for God to speak outside of His Word is what leads churches like the Episcopalian church to accept homosexuals as part of the church and into leadership. This goes against Scripture.  The Bible is God's Word, and we need to obey it.  It is sufficient and inerrant.  Our feelings & impressions can lie to us, but Scripture never does."

I plan to skip watching this movie.  
We need to show some discernment, and we shouldn't assume everything that might label itself Christian truly is Christian.

Friday, June 9, 2017

God Moves In A Mysterious Way - Cowper Lyrics With A New Tune

William Cowper knew what it was like to feel very low, and he wrote some very encouraging words that I want to share with you.
It is sad the way his life ended, but if you are feeling low (and I get that way more in recent times) and are a Christian....remind yourself that God does have His purposes.  Don't give up.
No matter what you are feeling, look to the Lord for hope and endurance.
He won't give up on His children, and we must not give up on trusting His purposes.
He knows what it is like to suffer.  No matter what our circumstances, we should not tell God we know better than Him by giving up fighting our spiritual battles.
Dear suffering Christian, God does care.
You may have a bad attitude like I get, and you may struggle constantly.
Thankfully God is patient.
Don't give up though your faith seems fragile.
Pray that God will increase your faith and help you to endure.
That is what I must do, and I hope you will be encouraged to continue to fight to draw near to God.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Radical Prayer Message • Hank Hanegraaff & Eastern Orthodoxy • Uplifting Worship Music

A Radical Message On Prayer

This past Sunday my family heard a message on prayer that was different than many others heard in the past.
No, this doesn't mean that it was unscriptural just because it was different than what a lot of people teach.
So many people focus on the amount of time spent in prayer, style, or having self-imposed regulations to improve prayer life.

The fundamental problem with our approach to prayer is not that we're not doing enough ...but that we need to think differently about it.  DG

I would encourage others to take the time to listen to the sermon!
This message on prayer may radically change your thinking!

Prayer: An Invitation To Intimacy


Coming This Sunday Night


I was excited to see this message announced on the Grace Community Facebook page:

"The Bible's Answer to Hank Hanegraaff and Eastern Orthodoxy"
Nathan Busenitz
Selected Scriptures

This is something that John MacArthur has addressed a bit before (as well as some other people have addressed it), but I believe that a lot of us have not learned much about what Eastern Orthodoxy is.
More of us know why Roman Catholicism doesn't line up with Scripture, although sadly many have not been taught well even about that!

Please watch it if you can!
Live-streaming should be Sunday, June 4th, 2017 at 6 PM Pacific / 9 PM Eastern.



Worship Music: 

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

In Need of Prayer

There are so many people out there going through suffering and pain and trials of various kinds.
Today I want to share a short list of some people that have been on my mind in recent times.

I would like to encourage Christians to pray.

Ben is in the hospital.  He has had a serious infection issue.  

Jordyn has suffered excruciating pain.  It has put off her being able to go to college.

Abby who had a pole go through the car windshield into her head while driving late last year.
She has been working hard to improve.

Mike Stockwell & Mike Overd are street preachers convicted in the U.K. for proclaiming the truth.  They are appealing their convictions.
I think that this may take place in June, although I'm not sure whether the timing will stay as planned.

Just so you know:
I'm going through my own health trials.  Thank you to any fellow Christians who pray for me & my family.
Over the years, things have gone downhill.

May God work in us to grow us closer to Him through these trials.
He has His plans.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Reformation Still Needed

Many are celebrating 500 years since Martin Luther posted (nailed to a door) a calling out of the non-Biblical practices of the Roman Catholic church with his 95 theses.
Sadly, many are still being deceived by Roman Catholics.
They still have another "gospel."

The churches of today now have additional deceptions that are equally dangerous.
Linked below are a few examples.

Prosperity preaching 

The heresy of Bill Johnson of Bethel Church 
(NAR - an example of false teaching, practice, & prophecy)

Acceptance of Immorality - What Is God's Plan? (GTY)

Mysticism, women taking leadership in the church, and contextualization are all wreaking havoc on the church.

Reformation is still needed, but then the Biblical Gospel is also needed.
If you don't have the Bible as your ultimate source of authority as the Word of God (and not just a self-help guidebook that can be interpreted by your own worldview), and if you don't accept Christ as the head of His church...you will have a mess.
The Bible must be rightly divided!

Shocking Bible verses that many who are being led astray do not seem to know. 

Friday, May 19, 2017

The Faithful Witness • A Prayer Request

Week after week a faithful witness makes his way to an abortuary in Mission Hills in southern California.
He declares the Gospel and pleads for the lives of babies.
He faithfully witnesses even to the man who is performing the heinous acts (Jack Dym) in hopes that he too might repent and turn to Christ and find forgiveness and peace with God.
Others have joined this Gospel warrior in evangelizing on a difficult mission field.

Some of the people who need the Gospel at the "clinic" are actually others who are there desiring to save the lives of babies.
This man who is proclaiming the Gospel knows where some of them are coming from.
He also was once a Roman Catholic, but God's grace and mercy led him to the true Gospel found in God's Word.
All true Christians are meant to be missionaries, and not all will receive any notice or reward on earth for faithful service.
The Christian doesn't gain salvation by obedience, and the accolades of man aren't what we should be seeking.
Yet, some who do labor diligently in hard places where not all can or will go still need encouragement and the prayers of brothers and sisters in Christ.
Don is one such man.
Please pray for God to use him and that other Christians will continue to join him.
Please pray that souls will be saved by the power of God through the Gospel of Christ and that the lives of the little babies will be saved.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Are We Justified By Faith Or Works Or Both?

Roman Catholics & the Eastern Orthodox church believe that works are a part of justification.
The Eastern Orthodox church says that justification is by faith & works.
Roman Catholics believe same.
Both have a false gospel.
The Bible says that those who teach a false gospel are to be cursed (Galatians 1:9).
This is serious.

Here are just a couple of the sources where the EOC & Roman Catholics get it wrong:

Eastern Orthodox
Decree 13

We believe a man to be not simply justified through faith alone, but through faith which works through love, that is to say, through faith and works.  But [the idea] that faith can fulfill the function of a hand that lays hold on the righteousness which is in Christ, and can then apply it unto us for salvation, we know to be far from all Orthodoxy.  For faith so understood would be possible in all, and so none could miss salvation, which is obviously false.  But on the contrary, we rather believe that it is not the correlative of faith, but the faith which is in us, justifies through works, with Christ.  But we regard works not as witnesses certifying our calling, but as being fruits in themselves, through which faith becomes efficacious, and as in themselves meriting, through the Divine promises {cf. 2 Corinthians 5:10} that each of the Faithful may receive what is done through his own body, whether it be good or bad.
Roman Catholics
Council of Trent, Canons on Justification
CANON XXIV.-If any one saith, that the justice received is not preserved and also increased before God through good works; but that the said works are merely the fruits and signs of Justification obtained, but not a cause of the increase thereof; let him be anathema.
.

Many Roman Catholics cite James 2:24 as their authority for their view - regardless that the Bible has so many passages and individual verses that show that their understanding of that passage is incorrect. The overwhelming evidence of justification by faith alone could make a head swim by finding them all.

I realize that it can be confusing as to what James meant, because at first, it may seem to contradict so many other portions of Scripture.

I have been reading through the book Holiness by J.C. Ryle, and something he said really stood out to me.
"We are frequently told that a man is "justified by faith, without the works of the law," by Paul.  But not once are we told that we are "sanctified by faith, without the deeds of the law."  On the contrary, we are expressly told by James, that the faith whereby we are visibly and demonstratively justified before man, is a faith which "if it has not works is dead, being alone." (James 2:17.)  I may be told, in reply, that no one of course means to disparage "works" as an essential part of a holy life. It would be well, however, to make this more plain than many seem to make it in these days."  - J.C. Ryle
James 2:24 is in a context that is demonstrating that a living faith will produce works that prove to men that our faith is a real faith and not a said faith.
That particular verse in James is speaking of a different kind of justification that is before man & not the being declared righteous by faith kind of justification before God.
Many many verses make it clear that we cannot be justified before God by our works.
Romans 4, Romans 5:1, Ephesian 2:8-10, & Romans 3:28 are examples.
Plus, Galatians warns against those who were trying to add the works of the law back in.
.  
Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?  Galatians 3:3 NASB

Works are the fruit of a living faith, but they don't make the faith efficacious.
Faith is a gift of God - not of works.
Forgiveness of sins is not a result of our works either.
Unlike what the EOC teaches, works are witnesses to a living faith & have to do with sanctification.
Works can't add a thing to what Christ did on the cross...not physical baptism, church, or communion, etc.
Works are evidence of a life being transformed by the Holy Spirit.
We don't keep ourselves saved or help make ourselves declared righteous by works.
Justification and sanctification go together, but they are also distinct.
A true Christian is given the desire to obey Christ and to fight against sinful desires.
"The only righteousness in which we can appear before God is the righteousness of another — even the perfect righteousness of our Substitute and Representative, Jesus Christ the Lord.
His work, and not our work — is our only title to Heaven.
This is a truth which we should be ready to die to maintain."
- J.C. Ryle

"Justification is the reckoning and counting a man to be righteous for the sake of another, even Jesus Christ the Lord.
Sanctification is the actual making a man inwardly righteous, though it may be in a very feeble degree."   - J.C. Ryle
Justification is the act of God for us and is not easily discerned by others.
Sanctification is the work of God within us and cannot be hidden in its outward manifestation from the eyes of men.   - J.C. Ryle
J.C. Ryle quotes are from:
https://www.gracegems.org/Ryle/holiness1.htm
https://www.gracegems.org/Ryle/holiness3.htm

Added Food For Thought For Christians: 
Created For Good Works - Voice of Reason Podcast

Saturday, May 6, 2017

A Response To Criticism of The Police

While police are sinners like the rest of us, God has placed them in authority. 

Rudeness by an officer doesn't excuse disobedience. 
Jesus was reviled, and yet He didn't revile in return. 

Have you ever had only seconds to make a decision that could save a life? 
The police have to make these decisions.
God has placed people in authority...even those that aren't believers. 
Sometimes they mess up, but we should be careful about how readily we judge guilt.

There are Christian police officers out there as well.

You know what is rude? Today a young child was told by his dad that a Christian cop was "the bad people."
How do you think that makes him feel?

These guys often are willing to put their lives in danger for you, but how much thanks do they get?

Bible on submission:
1 Peter 2:13-20
Romans 13
We are to pray for leaders:
1 Timothy 2:1-2


Saturday, April 29, 2017

Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Coptics - Are Any of These Christian Groups?

I have had quite a bit of discussion with Roman Catholics this past week, but in recent times the Eastern Orthodox Church has also been mentioned due to Hank Hanegraaff's joining one.
I used to listen to him many years ago.  He was off in some areas back then, but now the truth has been made evident of where he now stands by his joinng the EOC.
In addition, violent attacks on Coptic churches have brought them into the news and to the public's attention in recent times as well.

Are any of them really part of the true church as Scripture defines it?
They would all claim to be, but....

Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Coptic churches all require works in addition to faith in order to be truly saved.  
This is not the Gospel found in Scripture. 

The Pharisees & Judaizers fell under the same type of error.  
The Pharisees added traditions of men and legalism.  
The Judaizers much like the groups I'm writing about were a faith plus works group, and Paul opposed Peter when he gave into that sort of thing.
Galatians 5:4 talks about people trying to be perfected by law.
While Catholics think that trying to add good deeds to being saved & adding the law are different, I now ask how so?  
Salvation is not as a result of works...of any kind!

The Bible demonstrates we are saved by faith apart from the works of the Law.
Galatians 2:21; Romans 10:4; Galatians 2:16; Romans 11:6; Romans 4:5; Galatians 3:5-6; Philippians. 3:9; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5-6; Romans 5:1

The Bible teaches we are saved by faith which produces works. 
(See Philippians 2:13 & Ephesians 2:10.)
God prepared works for the believer, but we don't add one smidgeon to the work Christ has done.
There is an eternal difference between trusting in faith plus works & trusting in Christ's work alone.

Lest you think that I believe that a person can have faith without works, I do believe that faith without works is dead.
When James 2:21 talks about justification, he is talking about the justification (the visible evidence of a living faith) before man.
Otherwise, the Bible would contradict itself (which it never does).
Faith is demonstrable to other people by seeing the fruit of faith.
True faith is obedient.
Works will be judged, but it won't be for the purpose of gaining entrance to Heaven or time off from a mythological place called Purgatory. 

Sanctification is something that starts at conversion, and sanctification is a process nd a work of the Spirit.
Holiness is something that Christians grow in, but we can't manufacture it.









You cannot distinguish truth from error without Scripture  (2 Timothy 3:16; Proverbs 30:5; Hebrews 4:12).

Monday, April 24, 2017

Introduction To Jeff & Why You Should Care

It was a number of years ago I first saw a video of Jeff Rose preaching.
I think it was while watching Living Waters' "On The Box" program.
I remember at some point in the past number of years looking up about Jeremiah Cry Ministries for the first time.
Since then, I learned that Jeremiah Cry was leading evangelism conferences for street preachers and other believers who might support street evangelism (as well as going out to evangelize themselves).
Some of my online buddies were or are friends with Jeff, so I have some clue as to what he is about.

Recently, I've also been made aware that the church Jeff & his family moved to be under in Texas folded, and they are in need of a new church to support them (and funds to help them).
I know what it's like to have a church not last or even split, and I know what it's like to be dependent on donations to live.
God always has provided for us one way or another, even if my faith has been weak.
I would request believers to pray that God will provide for the Rose family.

Hearing Jeff's testimony has given me an additional piece of the puzzle about who he is - showing where he came from.
I've never met Jeff personally, although one person in my family did get a brief chance to meet him.
I have heard his preaching a little bit online, however, and he has joined up with others whom I have gotten acquainted with online over the years.
Open Air preaching began in the Old Testament into the New  It continued with people like George Whitefield, etc. in later times. God does use it.  It's not the only form of evangelism, but it is an important one - going out into the highways and byways.

Here is Jeff's testimony.

 

If you want to learn more about Jeremiah Cry go HERE.

If you want to see the fundraiser about them, go HERE.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Thrown Against The Rock Of Ages

Sometimes I find things that surprise me. They probably shouldn't, but they do.
Today I searched and found some songs by an acquaintance I met online.
I was impressed not only with her talent, but I was impressed by the song lyrics.

I've decided to share one song that is from a quote of Charles Spurgeon.
It has lyrics that remind us that we should welcome even the trials that God brings into our lives, because they are His tools to bring us to Him.
He is our hope!


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Modesty Revisited

How should Christian women dress?
Is it okay to wear whatever one likes regardless of how it affects others?

Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments, 
1 Timothy 2:9 ESV 

The Bible tells Christians women to have proper clothing.
Other translations say "respectable" or "modest".
It also says "modestly and discreetly".
Other translations say "with shamefacedness and sobriety" or "with modesty and self-control".

Clearly, Christian women are not to be showing off their wealth or themselves by what they wear. They are to be known for doing good deeds (1 Timothy 2:10).

In Proverbs 7 there is warning about an adulterous woman, and guess how she is dressed?

And behold, the woman meets him, dressed as a prostitute, wily of heart. 
Proverbs 7:10 ESV 

Yes, there is such a thing as dressing in a seductive way.
In this case, the woman is intentionally trying to seduce the man.

Are there cases where women can be dressed seductively without trying to get a man to commit adultery?
Yes, but sadly many Christian women want to abdicate responsibility for dressing in a way that draws the wrong kind of attention to themselves.
Surely men do need to grow spiritually, but does that mean that Christian women have no responsibility?
No!

As a ring of gold in a swine's snout So is a beautiful woman who lacks discretion.
Proverbs 11:22 NASB

Let me tell you, men's eyes are drawn to where lines are.
When you have a top that shows just a little...yes, they notice.
When your shirt doesn't meet your lower clothing...they notice.
When your clothes are snug and reveal your figure...they notice.
Yes, godly men will want to look away, but you are putting temptation in their path.

If Bathsheba had gone out to take a bath intentionally for David to see her, she would be responsible for her part in being a temptation.
(Let that be a lesson to ladies to be careful.)
Christian men can be tempted.
They should look away and flee like Joseph did with Potiphar's wife, but that doesn't excuse Christian women to dress inappropriately.
Women, if you are on a diet, do you want your friends to intentionally put boxes of chocolate or your favorite food right in front of you?
Would that be sacrificial love?

Men need to pursue Christ, to flee youthful lusts, to love the Lord, to make no provision for the flesh, to be satisfied and content, but ladies ...
When Christian men tell you that certain clothing entices lust, don't callously tell them, "That's your problem!"

We are responsible to not be stumbling blocks to other believers.
We are responsible to love our brothers.
Christian women are responsible to dress modestly and discreetly.
God made men to naturally be attracted to women (which should bring about a marriage and faithfulness and possibly children), and Christian women should be the last ones to dress or act in ways which cause a man to have to battle sinful desires for a woman who is not their spouse (or entice them to lust when they are not married).
Christian men should also not dress or act in ways to sinfully entice women to sin either.

The following 1-day poll I did is not scientific, but I hope that it will give some Christian women (who actually care) a heads up on this issue.

Friday, April 14, 2017

My Argument Against "Natural Theology"

Our own human reasoning will never bring us to salvation. 
God created our minds, but our reasoning is naturally fallen and darkened by sin. 
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. 
God makes us able to know things, and the only way to be saved is by special revelation found in God's Word. 

God has made Himself clearly known as God through what has been made.
The natural mind suppresses what truth we have been given, and hearts are darkened.
What we see is filtered through wrong worldviews.
If people are already without excuse (Romans 1:20), why do we try to argue someone into believing what God has already made known to them (and they have suppressed it)? 
God doesn't need a lawyer to prove to the sinner that He exists. 
If God has already made His divine nature and eternal power known, we don't need to act like He didn't.  We do that too often.

When a Christian gives the Gospel, they should declare the truth of God's special revelation found in His Word.   
It is enough.
In Acts 17, Paul didn't try to argue people into believing that God exists. 
He declared God - proclaiming Him for who He is!
 
Salvation comes by grace through faith as a gift from God...not through our own human wisdom or intellect. 
People can get into all kinds of false views by using their own reason instead of Scripture.
God uses the Gospel found in His Word to save people (Romans 10:13-15; Romans 1:16; 1 Corinthians 1:18).

I'm not saying that God doesn't use our minds to learn about Him.
He is the necessary pre-condition for our being able to really understanding anything!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Tie-Breaking Vote By Mike Pence

Late last month, Vice-President Mike Pence cast a tie-breaking vote undoing former President Obama's terrible attempt to attempt to make states fund Planned "Parenthood."

Sadly, two GOP Senators voted against overturning Obama's appalling decision (which actually was overstepping his role as President I believe).
One Senator who voted to overturn Obama's decision came back to vote after having had back surgery.
See One News Now article.
We can celebrate this small victory, but babies continue to be murdered.

The fact that murder is legal in many countries such as ours is an appalling fact.
This kind of evil is not new.
Whether it's Christians, the Jews, the aged, the infirmed, or in the case of preborn babies or infants...the unwanted by some, people have determined that murder is okay by their own standards rather than God's.
Their hearts are darkened as they have suppressed the truth and elevated idolatry.
They have been given over to wickedness.
Planned Murderhood is a symptom of a sick fallen world that calls evil good and good evil.
They are not the only ones who participate in the murder of preborn human babies, though I would rejoice if they were completely defunded.
Yes, I am able to rejoice in small victories, even though I can still be unhappy that any murder still is legal.

I would love to see abortion criminalized, and yet we can see from history that evil keeps popping up its ugly head.
Sin is celebrated and treated as though it's a right anymore in the U.S.
I know this is not just true in America.

We can participate in crafting legislation and voting for life, but Christians must also trust in God's sovereignty.  He judges nations.  We must warn of judgment for those who do not repent.
We must proclaim the Gospel.  We must grow in holiness and faithfulness to God and His Word.
We must pray.
One place the Gospel can be proclaimed is near abortion clinics, but it isn't the only place.
Sometimes God is at work saving souls and even lives, and we must not despair.

One day justice will be done.  The nations will be judged, but God uses His redeemed to proclaim His truth to the unsaved.  There will be some who are saved.
Tears will be wiped away.  There will be no more sin, and His people will rejoice forever.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Only One Way To God

A lot of people who went to church when they were young eventually drift away.
They become calloused and seemingly inoculated against the truth of Scripture.
Some of these individuals decide to completely deny God exists rather than believe the Gospel.
You may have met some of these people online or in person.
Some turn to false religions, while some create their own hybrid religion.
They'd rather believe in a works-based religion, or make up a religion where there are no expectations of them.
They are serving a created idol.
Some who once actually professed faith in Christ never truly heard or understood the Biblical Gospel at church.
Still, others heard and understood the true Gospel, yet they chose to love sin.

People are all about feeling comfortable and good about themselves, but the problem for them is that absolute truth exists whether or not they like it.
Satan wants people comfortable on the way to Hell.
There is only one way to be saved from God's wrath, and that is through Jesus Christ.
People can't create another way no matter how hard they try. Christ is the door.
There is only one way to God, and that way is narrow.