Archives For Christians

Points To Ponder

If someone were to pole 10 people on defining the term discipleship you will be hard-pressed to get the same definition. In fact, you might leave more confused. I have noticed, over the years, the same thing with the term faith. A word often spoken about in Christian circles everywhere. Faith, however, is a word that can be one of the most difficult to define for many Believers. Greg Gilbert affirms this when he says, “Faith is one of those words that’s been misused for so long that most people have no idea what it really means. Ask someone on the street to describe faith, and while you might get some respectful-sounding words, the heart of the matter will most likely be that faith is belief in the ridiculous against all evidence.” To be fair to those who are outside of the faith they shouldn’t have to provide an exact definition of faith (much less a Biblical one). We as Believers know far too well that our faith isn’t belief in the ridiculous, yet why do we struggle so much to define what is such a cornerstone to our faith?

So, for the record, “What is Faith?” And/or, “How would we/you define it?”

If you consider yourself a Bible-believing Christian, a follower of Jesus whose chief aim is to glorify God and enjoy him forever, there are important questions I hope you will consider before picking up your flag and cheering on the sexual revolution. These questions aren’t meant to be snarky or merely rhetorical. They are sincere, if pointed, questions that I hope will cause my brothers and sisters with the new rainbow themed avatars to slow down and think about the flag you’re flying.

Your church is broken because it’s made up of broken people, including yourself. Abandoning the local church is only acceptable under a few extreme circumstances. Other than in certain circumstances, the people of God have the responsibility to sacrificially love their local churches as Jesus has.

If anyone has the right to abandon the adulterous, idolatrous bride called “Church,” it’s God, and he hasn’t, so we need to be careful how quick we are to bail when the going gets tough.

Here are three bad reasons to leave the local church:

Writing to Timothy, his son in the ministry, Paul balanced warning and instruction. Paul reminded his protégé to continue engaging God’s Word like he had done since childhood. Paul emphasized that the Bible was inspired by God to equip Christ’s followers for their work.

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In the book The Trellis and the Vine, Colin Marshall & Tony Payne write the following about every Christian being a missionary.

They write, “The Christian without a missionary heart is an anomaly.”

Just in case you don’t know, dictionary.com defines “anomaly” as the following: a deviation from the common rule, type, arrangement, or form. someone or something that is abnormal or incongruous, or does not fit in.

Both of these gentleman are arguing that there is no difference between a Christian and a missionary and I could not agree with them any more. It is every Christians responsibility to help spread the gospel and HIS glory to the ends of the earth – whether across the street or around the world.

They continue, “The missionary heart will be seen in all kinds of ways:”

  • In prayers for the lost, in making sure our behavior offends no-one, in gospel conversations with friends, and in making every effort to save some. We are slaves without rights, even though we are free ( 2 Corinthians 4:5 | Philemon 2:7 ).
  • Disciples are called to a distinctive, ‘salty’ lifestyle characterized by good deeds and righteousness. By living this way we shine as lights in the world, attracting praise not to ourselves but to God our Father ( Matthew 5:13-16 ).
  • We are called to pray for the bold proclamation of the gospel in the world ( Col 4:2-3 ).
  • Our conversations with outsiders should be gracious yet provocative, giving appropriate answers to the questions that are prompted by our way of life ( Col 4:5-6 ).
  • The sound doctrine of the gospel produces a radical Christian way of life that gives no grounds for slander, and makes the teaching of the gospel attractive to the world ( Titus 2:1-10 ).
  • Like God’s chosen people Israel, Christians both corporately and privately are to make God known to the nations by declaring his mercies in the gospel and by living a holy life ( I Peter 2:9-12 | 3:1-2 ).
  • Even in the midst of persecution, believer are to surrender to the lordship of Christ and gently give a defense of the hope we have in the gospel ( I Peter 3:15 ).

“We have to conclude that a Christian with no passion for the lost is in series need of self-examination and repentance”.

“It is very striking that Paul calls upon ordinary believers in Corinth to be imitators of him, as he is of Christ. And this imitation is not in some general sense, but in actively seeking the salvation of others. They are not to seek their own advantage “but that of many, that they may be saved” ( I Corinthians 10:33 ).

They finish with this awesome statement:

“Their whole aim was to be the glory of God in the salvation of others”.

Points to Ponder:

  • How are you using your life for Christ?
  • Are you a Christian anomaly?
  • How are you shining the light of Jesus to this world?

Points To Ponder

“Pastor John, do you believe there is a difference between film nudity versus pornography? I know many Christians who are against porn, but they have no issue watching movies or TV shows that show graphic nudity.” A young woman named Emily recently e-mailed this question to the Ask Pastor John inbox.

A day later, Adam e-mailed to ask: “Pastor John, what would you say to a Christian who watches the cable TV show Game of Thrones?” This is a television series rated TV-MA, and has become rather infamous for its explicit nudity and sex scenes, and for graphic scenes of rape and sexual violence against women. Game of Thrones is now the most popular series in HBO history, with an average audience of 18.4 million viewers.

What follows is a slightly edited transcript of John Piper’s response in today’s episode of Ask Pastor John.

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Secularists are attacking a major Christian ministry for telling children they are sinners, as reported by Christian Today. Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) has been evangelizing children for more than 75 years through various means, the most notable being its Good News Clubs, which normally meet in homes, community centers, and schools. Another famous CEF program is the Wordless Book, a booklet that shares the salvation message using the colors black, red, white, gold, and green.

More than ever, many secularists are deliberately and aggressively targeting our children and Christian ministries that teach the truth of God’s Word to children—and for a reason! They are going after the hearts and minds of this and coming generations, and if they continue to do so successfully, they’ll win the culture.

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Looking for the top Bible Apps for Study, Fun and Devotions? We assembled a short top 10 list of Bible Apps for IOS & Android devices that will help you grow in knowledge of the Word of God. You can take God’s Word wherever you go and make a daily effort to spend time with Him.

Check out the 10 Apps…

It’s been a while since I’ve seen MTV, but I was flabbergasted. I could not believe the sensuality and decadence I witnessed. Gail and I finally had to turn it off. We just couldn’t take it any more.

As I thought about my experience later, it made me sad. I am the father of five daughters. So perhaps I’m just a little overly sensitive. But I was shocked at the complete absence of modesty, the ridicule of virginity, and the latent misogyny displayed by Russell Brand and many of the artists themselves.

One of the few redeeming moments in the evening was when Jordin Sparks, referring to Brand’s contempt for chastity, said,

I just have one thing to say about promise rings: It’s not bad to wear a promise ring, because not everybody, guy or girl, wants to be a slut.”

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Points To Ponder

Should We Pray for Revival? – desiringGod.org

Ours is not the first generation to recognize the spiritual declension among us, or to see the need for God to awaken his church and touch our land. From the saints of the Old Testament to leaders in our time, prayer for revival has marked believers who understand the need for the Spirit surpasses our ability and intelligence.

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 3 in 4 in U.S. Still See the Bible as Word of God – Gallup.com

PRINCETON, NJ — Twenty-eight percent of Americans believe the Bible is the actual word of God and that it should be taken literally. This is somewhat below the 38% to 40% seen in the late 1970s, and near the all-time low of 27% reached in 2001 and 2009. But about half of Americans continue to say the Bible is the inspired word of God, not to be taken literally — meaning a combined 75% believe the Bible is in some way connected to God. About one in five Americans view the Bible in purely secular terms — as ancient fables, legends, history, and precepts written by man — which is up from 13% in 1976.

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7 Biblical Tests for Christians and Music – TheExchange.com

Christians disagree about music style as much as any other issue in the body of Christ. More than likely, you’ve experienced this firsthand. As I’ve already written, conflicts over music have been common through out church history. Christians have listened to and enjoyed all of kinds of music. But should they?

In seeking to determine what is the right music for a church, it’s important that we use biblical principles in our evaluation. That’s not always easy—the Bible doesn’t contain music notes. God never gives us His musical preferences.
While it may be difficult, I do believe it’s possible to evaluate musical preferences using God’s word. The following seven tests each relate to biblical principles that we can apply to our music to determine its suitability.

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Salvation Before the Cross – Answers In Genesis

How were people saved before Jesus Christ died on the Cross? The answer is easy, once you realize that nothing happens by chance—the solution was already in place even before the world began.

The Bible record presents two dominant themes: promise and fulfillment. Over and again we see God promising and then, true to His word, fulfilling. Even at the very beginning, when the fall of man first brought sin and death into the world, God graciously promised that one day Christ would step into history, as a “lamb . . . foreordained before the foundation of the world” (1 Peter 1:19–20), to shed His blood to save a fallen humanity.

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GREAT RESOURCE – Proverbial Thought (Amazon.com)

Proverbial Thought is a collection of commentary and personal reflection on the wisdom of each and every individual proverb through the entire book of Proverbs. However, the commentary and personal reflection contained in this work are in no way exhaustive. For that matter, even if we were to attempt to plumb the depths of Proverbs, “the world itself could not contain the books that should be written” (John 21:25). It is up to you, the reader, how to use this book (and the ones to follow). You could use it as a devotional, reading an entry a day as you seek to start your day in the wisdom of the Lord. You could use it as an additional commentary as you study God’s Word for a lesson or sermon. You could even use it to gain insight into that occasionally difficult passage that has you stumped. But no matter how you use it, always make sure to first ask the Holy Spirit for enlightenment when you study Scripture.