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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.