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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Canada Jails a Church Building & Pastors Are Detained in Finland

GraceLife Church in Canada
Many people are aware of what's been happening to GraceLife Church in Alberta, Canada, and how authorities have had fences put around the church to try to keep people out.
That will not stop the church (and has not), but it is persecution despite those who don't seem to realize it.  When Costco is full, and the churches are told they can only have 15% (ignoring Scripture), something is wrong.  This is what I might say to someone who is arguing Romans 13 means the government can endlessly shut the churches (for more than a year).
If the government told you to lie, would you do it?  
Daniel prayed openly, the apostles kept on preaching, people would not bow to Baal.

This was from last Sunday that I listened to (when it was finally uploaded):

Sadly, many want to insult churches that are meeting, and call them a cult or lawbreakers.
These people are likely some of the most law-abiding, loving toward police, respectful people you would meet. 
(When it snows in Canada, do you want them freezing outside?)
GraceLife is a church with a godly pastor who attended The Master's Seminary.
He is standing up for truth, and do you want to be known for attacking some of God's people (especially those who claim to be Christians)?

Many also are aware that John MacArthur read a letter from Pastor James Coates this past Sunday at Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, CA.

Grace Community has been experiencing it's own court battles (although yesterday I read that some restrictions on location and numbers of people are no longer being applied to churches due to a Supreme Court ruling).
They had already postponed the hearing for John / the church.

I have also been watching a guy named Devin Davis who attends GraceLife Church in Canada streaming online, and his patience, peace-making, and giving people the Gospel during these times has been admirable.
You can see God is working through him, James Coates, and others from the church during these hard times.
Devin is human (not sinless), but I really was glad to see his being such a great testimony there in Canada.  I hope he continues whenever he is able!
By the way, the person who moved the fence (or people) were not GraceLife people, but they got carried away in the moment I believe.  GraceLife was not a part of that.

Pastors Detained in Finland
Today, I watched this video about pastors who were detained in Finland.
Yes, these things are happening around the world, and people need to be made aware about it.
Please watch this and share it:

Christians, please be praying for & sharing about these situations.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Essential Scriptures, Fighting Sin with Scripture, & James Coates Interview

Essential Scriptures

There is a book that is scheduled to come out on July 6, 2021 that I was excited to read about!  

It has the Scripture verses undergirding doctrines right in the book.  I tend not to look up a lot of the Bible references when they are simply listed in a book (so many of them), and this would have the verses right there in front of my nose (though I still will need glasses to read them well).

The Essential Scriptures: A Handbook of Key Texts for Key Doctrines by Kevin Zuber

Fighting Sin with Scripture

John MacArthur recently put out a blog post for TMU students that encourages learning Scripture to fight sin.  I have found that verses and prayer have helped me in the past in overcoming a sinful habit.  My mind may be rather foggy for learning now, but I have recently started trying again to go over some verses of Romans 5.  

Someone recently pointed out (not in the article) that if Christians are jailed (and they may not always give people Bibles), then knowing Scripture in your mind will be especially valuable. 

Fight Sin with Scripture by John MacArthur

James Coates Interview

For those who have not already seen this interview that a lady did of James Coates (and I know many of you have), I am putting it here for people to watch.  It was emotionally moving and also encouraging.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

James Coates Update & New Books of Note

 Here is a video of James Coates up front at GraceLife Church in the Edmonton area of Alberta, Canada.

It was the first Sunday after his being released from jail for holding wonderful.

Books of Note

There are a couple of new books of note that I'd like to mention this week.

One is a handbook on essential Christian doctrine.  It seems like it is somewhat of a shorter version of my Biblical Doctrine book that I am still reading.  It would be a good one for someone to give to others!

You may have heard people throw around the letters "CRT" & use the words "Social Justice" a lot lately.
What is going on, and why should you be concerned? 
Voddie Baucham is a man who grew up in the L.A. area, and he is also black.
He has written a book about the way people respond to events.
It is a book about how people see things, and how they should view things Biblically.

Monday, March 22, 2021

Pastor James Coates Freed & a Message on Gospel Courage

Pastor James Coates in Alberta, Canada has been released from jail! 

I saw a photo of him hugging his family, and I'm updating with the video!
 I have read the $1.500 fine the judge decided to tack on (instead of the $100) was considered paid by the time James spent in jail (which seems to mean that he doesn't owe any money). 
From what I have also read, I believe there will still be a trial/court date in May on a lesser charge.
This could help put more of a challenge - questioning the science behind the public health order demands which seems to make the RCMP (or whoever is making these "health" restrictions) think they can violate the Charter freedoms there in Canada. 
I am happy that James is out, and I'm especially glad that his family will have him home again (as well as the church will have their pastor back). 
It is to the shame of the government there that they overstepped their God-given authority.
The leaders in Canada, the U.S., China, and around the world need to turn to Christ instead of trying to persecute His people.
Yes, they may use other excuses, but they are wrong when they place their will over what Scripture teaches.

To Help You Understand
Nathan Busenitz at Grace Community Church in California preached a message recently that sheds light on why James would do what he did and what the apostles in the early church did when they were told not to preach. He also addressed persecution this last Sunday night.

Here is the message Nathan Busenitz preached a week ago Sunday:

Here is the next message:

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

LSB Online, State of the Church Live-Stream, & Psalm 23 Hymn

Legacy Standard Bible
They already have the New Testament, Psalms, & Proverbs available to read online!
I'm excited about this new translation in which they worked so hard to focus on accuracy and consistency rather than simply readability.
You can find it HERE.

The State of the Church Live-Stream is scheduled for Wednesday, March 3, 2021.
The speakers scheduled are John MacArthur & Steven Lawson.
The first session starts at 10 AM Pacific (1 PM Eastern & 6 PM GMT) with John MacArthur.
The second session is a Q & A with John which is at 1 PM Pacific (4 PM Eastern & 9 PM GMT).
The third session with Steve Lawson is at 3 PM Pacific (6 PM Eastern & 11 PM GMT).
The final session (fourth) is with John MacArthur at 5 PM Pacific (8 PM Eastern & 1 AM GMT).
You should be able to watch it HERE during the time scheduled.

The Lord is My Shepherd (Psalm 23)
I've heard this song in recent times, and it's worth sharing.
It's also in the Hymns of Grace hymnal!

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Stand Up for Pastor James Coates - In Jail in Canada for His Beliefs

 Pastor James Coates is a Master's Seminary graduate who was recently put into jail in Alberta, Canada for holding normal church services.  He is awaiting a trial date last I heard.

They were trying to put such restrictions on the the church that hardly anybody would have been able to go with their arbitrary rules. 15% attendance is ridiculous, and the church doesn't belong to the government.

Some are arguing that this is not persecution, but that is not true.  He is being ill treated for his beliefs which is what persecution is.  This is something that Christians can expect in this world, but we in the west have gotten used to having a lot more freedom than some other countries have.

The Bible tells us that we are to rejoice in suffering.  Yes, James is suffering for the sake of Christ really, and he like others before him has shown the courage of conviction.

So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name. 
And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.  
Acts 5:41-42 NASB

This pastor and church are holding to their convictions, and they were making it a condition that he would not preach at the church in order to be released.  He was sneakily shuffled off to jail basically shackled on his way there (not currently), and he's in isolation for awhile due to the COVID quarantine.  He has a family.  This is a real man with real convictions who is following his conscience as a Christian.  He's the real deal.

Christians, please pray for him to continue to be strong and have joy and peace, and please advocate for his freedom.  Thankfully, he does have a Bible with him.  

Here are a couple of people that someone shared that you can contact:

Mike Lake

Mark Smith

This was the e-mail I sent to one of the government officials in Canada (minus my personal information):

The Honorable Mike Lake,

I have learned that a pastor named James Coates was put in jail for holding church.
I am an American citizen, but I am very familiar with the seminary James went to as I used to attend the church that is connected with it many years ago (and some family still does). I am now in Tennessee.

The church is not a business to be treated as such. It belongs to Christ and not the government.
Does not Canada allow freedom to worship God without government restrictions?
If your hospitals are not currently overwhelmed, then that excuse is out the window.
Here in America, many of us know that COVID-19 is not an automatic death sentence.
The amount of people who die is low enough to the level that it is not at all like what was called the Spanish flu from many years ago.
In Tennessee, the churches have no enforced restrictions on them. There are only recommendations.
Our governor recognizes our 1rst amendment rights more than other governors, and the lockdowns in places like California have not made things better there than they are here.

Restrictions actually increase things like suicide, unemployment, and makes it more likely for people to have time to commit crimes or riot.

Most importantly though, GraceLife Edmonton is trying to obey God when the Bible says not to forsake the assembling of yourselves together... The people should be able to make their own decisions. I have heard that like here, these rules have not been made actual laws. So, how can you let them treat them like they are? The government is meant for the punishment of evildoers, and going to church isn't bad behavior. It seems that Christianity is being criminalized, and what they are doing to people by fining & arresting them is actually going to crowd the prisons with good godly citizens who are doing what God has called them to.

Please free James Coates and don't allow them to harass the churches or imprison people for what they believe.
They are not to be hated or feared just because they follow the Bible and aren't panicked.
Christians are some of the most law abiding citizens you will ever know, and they are showing the most love speaking truth.
You can listen to his last sermon here, and see what he has to say.


Saturday, February 13, 2021

Evangelism & Discernment - Conference Highlights

I'm back on here again to share about some some messages and music that I heard when streaming the Truth & Life Conference the other week.

The first message was by John MacArthur on evangelism and was one of the two I thought was especially good.  I wish that I had taken notes!  
Update: Watch it HERE!

Costi did the second session.  I believe that one was also on evangelism.
You can watch it HERE.

The third session was also Costi Hinn (who turned away from the lifestyle and beliefs of his uncle Benny), and he gave a good warning about false teaching (deceptions).  Getting the Gospel almost right is all wrong.
"If you want to please God, don't mess with His message." - Costi Hinn
Costi also warned about the dangers of churches using music from heretics at the conference saying, "Why borrow from Beelzebub?"

I saw one person commenting about how that message was one of the best they'd heard.
Certainly, people do need to hear messages on discernment.
Watch it HERE.

Sam Horn spoke the second day finishing off the conference.

The most memorable song (for me) that Shane & Shane led was sung as a prayer.
The only thing that I avoid when singing this song is the part they added about us crowning Jesus.
I know there are a lot of hymns that say "Crown Him," but I struggle with the concept of in what way do we as humans really crown the God of the universe?  
Well, that's me.  I'm sure people mean it in a figurative sense.  
I still liked the song.