A Front Row View Of The Church
Thankfulness Can be Short Lived… - Sun, 30 Nov 2014
Well, Thanksgiving has come and gone for another year.I hope everyone paused a few moments to reflect upon the blessings we’ve been given.I’m thankful every day (not just one day) for a roof over my head,a warm house,plenty to eat,and a good job to go to every day. I am very much aware that compared […]
Christ, and Christ Alone….. - Mon, 24 Nov 2014
I’ve been reading and thinking quite a bit lately about the single most important “thing” in this life,and most certainly the life to come. This “thing”,for lack of a better term, is “Salvation”. “Salvation”. No matter how you describe what happens at the end of this life,every Christian has this hope within them that by […]
“You’ve Never Seen This One….” - Fri, 21 Nov 2014
That’s what someone told me last night as I was watching the sunset on the beach. I had just commented to a lady who worked at the restaurant and had stopped working to gaze at the sun setting that it seemed kind of silly for a bunch of grownups to be so excited about watching […]
Challies Dot Com
Weekend A La Carte (December 20) - Sat, 20 Dec 2014
There are some good Kindle deals today, including: Don’t Give Up, Don’t Give In by Louis Zamperini ($3.99); Desperate by Sarah Mae & Sally Clarkson ($2.99); Boring by Michael Kelley ($0.99); Connected by Erin Davis ($2.99); The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel ($2.99); The Lion and the Lamb by Andreas Kostenberger ($2.99).
The 9Marks blog has some good Advice for a New Elder.
Thanks to Logos for sponsoring the blog this week with their article 3 Easy Ways to Get Logos 6 (and Special Gifts!). Sponsors help cover the costs associated with hosting and maintaining this site.
This probably won’t be a shock, but family-friendly TV isn’t so family-friendly.
Capitol Hill Baptist Church just released some sweet congregational singing they recorded while honoring Mark and Connie Dever for 20 years of service there.
Looking at the mess that is Sony right now, this editorial says it well: The Media Fiddles While Sony Burns.
For the next two weeks there will be no quote graphics. They will return in January. So enjoy this last one until 2015!
Had any other condition been better for you than the one you are in, Divine Love would have put you there. —C.H. Spurgeon
Lightning Strikes Car After Church Robbery? - Fri, 19 Dec 2014
This article will be quick. I caught a glimpse of a Facebook video that is being shared by many concerning a supposed lightning strike that hit a car that was involved in a chase after robbing a church. Here is the video: Seems pretty plausible doesn’t it? Not really. And I will show you why […]
Jeremiah’s Lament - Thu, 18 Dec 2014
Jeremiah’s Lament What In The World Is Going On? – Reviewed by Stuart L. Brogden` Once more, a “Christian” book touts its status on the New York Times and USA Today Best Seller’s list. Each time I read such a book, I try to find out why worldings would find the book so interesting. This […]
Are we Christians? Or are we worldlings? - Mon, 15 Dec 2014
Are we Christians? Or are we worldlings? (Horatius Bonar, “Self-Denial Christianity”) “Woe to those who are at ease in Zion!” Amos 6:1 What do we say to . . . our self-indulgence, our spiritual sloth, our love of ease, our avoidance of hardship, our luxury, our pampering of the body, our costly feasts, our silken […]
Do Not Be Surprised
Born to Die - Fri, 19 Dec 2014
by John MacArthur
That first Christmas, earth was oblivious to the significance of a simple birth in a quiet town. But heaven wasn’t. The holy angels waited in anticipation to break forth in praise and worship and adoration at the birth of the newborn Christ. This Child’s birth meant deliverance for mankind. The angel told Joseph: “He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).
Unlike Isaac, who ascended the mountain unaware he was to be the sacrifice, Jesus descended from heaven in full awareness of what the Father had in store for Him. Scripture records for us what may have been a farewell message Jesus gave just prior to His incarnation.
When He comes into the world, He says, “Sacrifice and offering You have not desired, but a body You have prepared for Me; in whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You have taken no pleasure.” Then I said, “Behold, I have come . . . to do Your will, O God.” (Hebrews 10:5-7)
That passage of Scripture gives us a remarkable look at the heart of the Savior before His birth. He knew He was entering the world to be the final and ultimate sacrifice for sin. His body had been divinely prepared by God specifically for that purpose. Jesus was going to die for the sins of the world, and He knew it. Moreover, He was doing it willingly. That was the whole point of the incarnation.
The important issue of Christmas is not so much that Jesus came, but why He came. There was no salvation in His birth. Nor did the sinless way He lived His life have any redemptive force of its own. His example, as flawless as it was, could not rescue men from their sins. Even His teaching, the greatest truth ever revealed to man, could not save us from our sins. There was a price to be paid for our sins. Someone had to die. Only Jesus could do it.
Jesus came to earth, of course, to reveal God to mankind. He came to teach truth. He came to fulfill the Law. He came to offer His kingdom. He came to show us how to live. He came to reveal God’s love. He came to bring peace. He came to heal the sick. He came to minister to the needy.
But all those reasons are incidental to His ultimate purpose. He could have done them all without being born as a human. He could have simply appeared—like the angel of the Lord often did in the Old Testament—and accomplished everything in the list above, without actually becoming a man. But He had one more reason for coming: He came to die.
Here’s a side to the Christmas story that isn’t often told: Those soft little hands, fashioned by the Holy Spirit in Mary’s womb, were made so that nails might be driven through them. Those baby feet, pink and unable to walk, would one day stagger up a dusty hill to be nailed to a cross. That sweet infant’s head with sparkling eyes and eager mouth was formed so that someday men might force a crown of thorns onto it. That tender body, warm and soft, wrapped in swaddling clothes, would one day be ripped open by a spear.
Jesus was born to die.
Don’t think I’m trying to put a damper on your Christmas spirit. Far from it—for Jesus’ death, though devised and carried out by men with evil intentions, was in no sense a tragedy. In fact, it represents the greatest victory over evil anyone has ever accomplished.
The author of Hebrews illustrates how the full story of His birth includes His sacrificial death:
But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone. For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings. . . . Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. (Hebrews 2:9-10, 14-15)
It’s appropriate to commemorate the birth of Christ. But don’t make the mistake of leaving Him as a baby in a manger. Keep in mind that His birth was just the first step in God’s glorious plan of redemption. Remember that it’s the triumph of Christ’s sacrificial death that gives meaning to His humble birth. You can’t truly celebrate one without the other.
(Adapted from The Miracle of Christmas.)
Ligonier Ministries Blog
Expose of the (not so) Holy Ghost Movie with Tim Wirth and Sandy Simpson - Tue, 11 Nov 2014
I watched this video about a week ago and the memories of the things I had once been involved with brought me to tears. These are the exact things that I was personally a part of and have been speaking … Continue reading
Prayer Needed - Sun, 12 Oct 2014
Originally posted on Possessing the Treasure:
I received the following email from my brother-in-law this morning. 10/09/14 Thursday 6:39 P.M. Prayer Request from Dan and Marilyn Wilson Missionaries who are in the areas that are being attacked by ISIS are…
1 John 4 How Well Are We Learning? – - Sat, 16 Aug 2014
Have you ever read another person’s words and thought to yourself “I could have written that”? Well, here we are… This is all very reminiscent of when I was in the open, honest and upfront titled “new age ‘christian’ church”. … Continue reading
Overview of Jacob’s Latest Book “HARPAZO: The Intra-Seal Rapture of the Church” - Wed, 03 Dec 2014
Jacob’s latest book, titled “HARPAZO: The Intra-Seal Rapture of the Church” has been a work in progress for more than three years. It is no secret that Jacob’s technology and typing skills are so marginal that it gives us hope that he’s human after all, so we have come up with a system tailored to [...]
HARPAZO: The Intra-Seal Rapture of the Church is Now Available! - Wed, 03 Dec 2014
United States – Harpazo is now available for $25.00. Please click here to place your order. UK – The UK price is £17.00 plus 15% shipping & postage. orders to: Moriel PO Box 201 Maidenhead UK SL6 9FB (credit & debit card orders by telephone 01628 532 006) Australia & New Zealand - Australia’s books are [...]
Moriel South Africa Missions Report November 2014 - Wed, 03 Dec 2014
Mount of Olives Mission Moriel South Africa PO BOX 793 Swellendam 6740, Western Cape, South Africa Email: email@example.com Cell: 0823739297 Web site http://www.morielmissions.org.za/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MorielMissions Dear Friends and family, We hope that we find you all well in walking close with our Great God and King. Prudence and I have just returned from a UK visit where we took [...]
Possessing The Treasure
Responding to false accusers biblically - Sat, 20 Dec 2014
by Mike Ratliff 11 “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:11-12 NASB) Christian apologetics […]
Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy- laden, and I will give you rest - Thu, 18 Dec 2014
by Mike Ratliff 37 Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “ If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water. ’” 39 […]
Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? - Thu, 18 Dec 2014
by Mike Ratliff 1 The Pharisees and Sadducees came up, and testing Jesus, they asked Him to show them a sign from heaven. 2 But He replied to them, “ When it is evening, you say, ‘ It will be fair weather, for the sky is red. ’ 3 And in the morning, ‘ There […]
One sent forth - Sun, 21 Dec 2014
Your weekly dose of Spurgeon
The PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from the lifetime of works from the Prince of Preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon. The following excerpt is from the New Park Street Pulpit, sermon number 57, "The incarnation and birth of Christ."“Out of thee,” saith Jehovah, speaking by the mouth of Micah, “out of thee shall he come forth unto me.”
What if Jesus came? Did not his Father send Him? If he were made a child, did not the Holy Spirit beget Him? If he spoke wondrously, did not his Father pour grace into his lips that he might be an able minister of the new covenant? If his Father did forsake him when he drank the bitter cup of gall, did he not still love him still? and did he not, by-and-by, after three days, raise him from the dead, and at last receive him up on high, leading captivity captive?
Ah! beloved, he who knoweth the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost as he should know them, never setteth one before another; he is not more thankful to one than the other; he sees them at Bethlehem, at Gethsemane, and on Calvary, all equally engaged in the work of salvation.
“He shall come forth unto me.” O Christian, hast thou put thy confidence in the man Christ Jesus? Hast thou placed your reliance solely on him? And art thou united with him? Then believe that thou are united unto the God of heaven; since to the man, Christ Jesus thou art brother, and holdest closest fellowship, thou art linked thereby with God the Eternal, and “the Ancient of days” is thy Father and thy friend! “He shall come forth unto me.”
Did you never see the depth of love there was in the heart of Jehovah, when God the Father equipped His Son for the great enterprise of mercy? There had been a sad day in Heaven once before, when Satan fell, and dragged with him a third of the stars of Heaven, and when the Son of God launching from his great right hand the Omnipotent thunders, dashed the rebellious crew to the pit of Perdition; but if we could conceive a grief in Heaven, that must have been a sadder day, when the Son of the Most High left his Father’s bosom, where he had lain from before all worlds.
“Go,” saith the Father, “and thy Father’s blessing on thy head!” Then comes the unrobing. How do angels crowd around to see the Son of God take off his robes! He laid aside his crown; he said, “My Father, I am Lord over all, blessed forever, but I will lay my crown aside, and be as mortal men are.”
He strips himself of his bright vest of glory; “Father,” he says, “I will wear a robe of clay, just such as men wear.” Then he takes off all those jewels wherewith he was glorified; he lays aside his starry mantles and robes of light, to dress himself in the simple garments of the peasant of Galilee. What a solemn disrobing that must have been!
And next, can you picture the dismissal! The angels attend the Saviour through the streets, until they approach the doors; when an angel cries, “Lift up your heads, O ye gates, and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting doors, and let the king of glory through!”
Oh! methinks the angels must have wept when they lost the company of Jesus—when the Sun of Heaven bereaved them of all its light! But they went after Him. They descended with him; and when his spirit entered into flesh, and he became a babe, he was attended by that mighty host of angels, who after they had been with him to Bethlehem’s manger, and seen him safely laid on His mother’s breast—in their journey upwards appeared to the shepherds and told them that he was born King of the Jews.
The Father sent Him! Contemplate that subject. Let your soul get hold of it, and in every period of his life think that he suffered what the Father willed; that every step of his life was marked with the approval of the great I AM.
Let every thought that you have of Jesus be also connected with the eternal, ever-blessed God; for “He,” saith Jehovah, “shall come forth to Me.” Who sent him, then? The answer is, his Father!
Sola Dei Gloria
Missionaries With Home Field Advantage: “Why Muslims Are Converting to Christ in the Face of ISIS Atrocities” - Sun, 21 Dec 2014
A Christian prays with a Muslim refugee in the Middle East who arrived at an undisclosed country with his children – and nothing else. Atrocities by the Islamic State (ISIS) are softening the hearts of Muslims to Christianity, and evangelistic techniques and technologies are proving effective, but locally-based missionaries say the main reason for the […]
Inside the mind of a Zionist Christian - Sat, 20 Dec 2014
I see this type of wrong-thinking every day. Wanted to share just one typical comment; this one happens to have been posted at Charisma. The Jews are God’s chosen people, this does not mean they get to heaven via a backdoor as there is no other name (than Jesus) by which man can be saved. […]
Zionist Christians’ war on the true meaning of Christmas - Thu, 18 Dec 2014
“The rhetoric of Christian Zionists consistently places loyalty to the modern state of Israel above the example and teachings of the Jesus born in Bethlehem whose birth Christmas celebrates. It’s time to stop calling such groups Christian Zionists and instead use the term Zionist Christians, to more accurately reflect their priorities” I agree with the […]
Christmas: Something Greater than the Temple is Here - Fri, 19 Dec 2014
“And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” – John 1:14 - Over the past two weeks, I’ve been considering Christmas according to John, as John gives us a fresh, theological look into the significance […]
Sorrow, Depression, and the Holidays - Thu, 18 Dec 2014
Depression and discouragement are not respecters of the holidays. For many reasons, the normal sorrow of life can reach a highpoint this time of year for some. It may be a reminder that we are without a loved one. It may be financial stress, or loss, in a time where the pressure is to purchase. […]
Christmas and Controversy - Wed, 17 Dec 2014
Mention “Christmas” and “controversy” together in the same sentence, and most evangelicals will assume you’re talking about Santa Claus, Christmas trees, or the secularization of the winter holiday season. But, from a historical perspective, a much more significant controversy surrounded Christmas for the first five centuries of church history; and its effects still linger in […]
The Watchman’s Bagpipes