Thursday, March 29, 2007

On Loving Those You Argue Against - Francis Schaeffer

"As I seek to do this [show a person the logical conclusions of his false presuppositions], I need to remind myself constantly that this is not a game I am playing. If I begin to enjoy it as a kind of intellectual exercise, then I am cruel and can expect no real spiritual results. As I push the man off his false balance, he must be able to feel that I care for him. Otherwise I will only end up destroying him, and the cruelty and ugliness of it all will destroy me as well. Merely to be abstract and cold is to show that I do not really believe this person to be created in God’s image and therefore one of my kind. Pushing him towards the logic of his presuppositions is going to cause him pain; therefore, I must not push any further than I need to."

-Francis Schaeffer, The God Who Is There-

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Jesus, Draw Me Ever Nearer

Jesus draw me ever nearer
As I labour through the storm.
You have called me to this passage,
and I'll follow, though I'm worn.

May this journey bring a blessing,
May I rise on wings of faith;
And at the end of my heart's testing,
With Your likeness let me wake.

Jesus guide me through the tempest;
Keep my spirit staid and sure.
When the midnight meets the morning,
Let me love You even more.

Let the treasures of the trial
Form within me as I go -
And at the end of this long passage,
Let me leave them at Your throne.

-"Jesus Draw Me Ever Nearer"-
Music by Keith Getty;
Words by Margaret Becker


Contentment - William S. Plummer

"What shadows we are--and what shadows we pursue!"

"Humility is the mother of contentment."

"Those who realize that they deserve nothing, will be content with anything."

"When we become lifted up with pride, and think we deserve something good at God's hands--it is impossible to satisfy us. But with the humble is wisdom, quietness, gentleness and contentment. He who expects nothing, because he deserves nothing, is sure to be satisfied with the treatment he receives at God's hands. The proud man is like a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke. He is turbulent and fiery. He alienates friends; he makes enemies. He has much trouble and sorrow--where the humble man passes quietly along. Pride and contentment do not go together. Neither do contentment and carnal ambition.

"Do you seek great things for yourself? Seek them not!" (Jeremiah 45:5)

Our actual needs are not many; but the ambitious create a thousand desires and demands, which are hard, if not impossible to meet. He who is carnally ambitious, will not be content with whatever he gains, because each elevation widens his horizon, and gives him a view of something else which he greatly longs for. And so he is tossed from vanity to vanity--a stranger to solid peace.

Are you ambitious for the things of this world?Then you are your own tormentor!

-William Plummer-


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Is God Better Than Sex?

Friday, March 16, 2007

The Church's Undoing - David Wells

"For it is certainly the case that the Word of God, read or preached, has the power to enter the innermost crevices of a person’s being, to shine light in unwanted places, to explode the myths and deceits by which fallen life sustains itself, and to bring that person face to face with the eternal God. It is this biblical Word which God uses to bring repentance, to excite faith, to give new life, to sustain that life once given, to correct, nurture, and guide the Church (Jer. 23:23; II Tim. 3:16; Heb. 4:12; Jas. 1:18). The biblical Word is self-authenticating under the power of the Holy Spirit. This Word of God is the means by which God accomplishes his saving work in his people, and this is a work that no evangelist and no preacher can do. This is why the dearth of serious, sustained biblical preaching in the Church today is a serious matter. When the Church loses the Word of God it loses the very means by which God does his work. In its absence, therefore, a script is being written, however unwittingly, for the Church’s undoing, not in one cataclysmic moment, but in a slow, inexorable slide made up of piece by tiny piece of daily dereliction."

David F. Wells – Above all Earthly Pow’rs


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Abraham's Bosom???

A friend and I were discussing the idea of Abraham's bosom; the idea that there was a holding tank in hell or for believers until Christ died on the cross. He believes there was, and I do not. This discussion is not of ultimate importance in Christianity, because either way you believe on this issue you are still a Christian. But we still want to line our lives up with what is actually true and not just what we think is true, so the topic does warrant our study to some degree.

The following is a verse that he wanted me to address and then you will see my response.

What about acts 2:31????? "that his soul was NOT LEFT in Hades.

I love that verse because it shows me that I won't be left in the grave either... (What a promise!!!) Neither will my body see corruption (parallelism).

When we read it in light of verse 27 we see David making the same praise. He knew that he would not see ultimate corruption because God would not leave him in the grave. (See v. 29 and 30 also)

Basically, Death has no power over the believer because of Christ and His resurrection.

When we look at verse 24 we see that the thrust of this passage has to do with the bodily resurrection of Christ, (dealing more with the state of His body than His soul) and knowing that the Greek word "Hades" can also mean "grave". The context seems to be speaking of the body in the grave.

Rock on :-)


I am not looking for a debate on this topic since I won't have a lot of time to put into the discussion, but what are your thoughts. I also realize that the key issues on this topic deal with whether or not the story of Lazarus and the Rich man is a parable or an actual event that took place, and the interpretation of 1 Peter 3:19. Are there any other verses you use in discussing your understanding of this issue?



Thursday, March 08, 2007

The Meaning of Misery: Sin Is Horrific - John Piper

For the creation was subjected to vanity, not of its own will, but by reason of him who subjected it, in hope. Rom 8:20

...The meaning of all the misery in the world is that sin is horrific. All natural evil is a statement about the horror of moral evil. If you see a suffering in the world that is unspeakably horrible, let it make you shudder at how unspeakably horrible sin is against an infinitely holy God. The meaning of futility and the meaning of corruption and the meaning of our groaning is that sin – falling short of the glory of God – is ghastly, hideous, repulsive beyond imagination.

Unless you have some sense of the infinite holiness of God and the unspeakable outrage of sin against this God, you will inevitably see the futility and suffering of the universe as an overreaction. But in fact the point of our miseries, our futility, our corruption, our groaning is to teach us the horror of sin. And the preciousness of redemption and hope.

So let me sum up what we have seen and then relate it to our personal suffering. Three ways Paul puts our sufferings in a global context.

-First, he shows that the futility and corruption and groaning of the world is a judicial decree of God, not just a fluke or a law of nature. God subjected the creation to futility.

-Second, he shows that this subjection includes all history from the fall to the coming of Christ. There is no period of history that escaped or will escape from this decree of futility. But it is temporary. It had a beginning (verse 20), and it will have an end (verse 21 – "the creation will be set free from his slavery to corruption").

-Third, he shows us that all creation, not just part of it, is involved in the futility. Verse 22: "The whole creation groans."

All of this global context Paul tells us because he wants to help us understand our situation and endure our sufferings with faith and hope. We will focus on the hope next week. But notice in closing the personal point of this global vision of suffering. Verse 23 brings it down out our personal situation. "And not only this [that is, not only does the whole creation groan], but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves." I stop there. I know the next phrases are full of hope.

I will glory in them next week. But let us be helped this week by the realism of Paul about our present situation. We too groan. Do you see the point now of the global vision? The point is that we are a part of it. Even we who have the down payment of our inheritance. Even we who have a sovereign God who works all things together for our good. Even we who are the bride of Christ. Even we for whom God gave his only begotten Son. Yes, even we groan under the curse of creation.
-John Piper-


Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Burdens and Rest

“Oh That I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. Psalms 55:6

David found himself again at the foot of the Lord crying out in restlessness for deliverance. Rest is what he was seeking, and as he longs for this rest he cries out for a means of escape. This world gives us plenty of opportunity to cry out in the same manner. Whether it be our toil that daily besets us, family problems, illnesses, or the frequent visits of our own failures, rest is elusive. The Lord said take my yoke upon you and I will give you rest. It’s amazing how a burden can bring rest. We see this in Genesis when Jacob is blessing his sons and he says...

Issachar is a strong donkey
Lying down between two burdens;
He saw that rest was good,
And that the land was pleasant;
He bowed his shoulder to bear a burden
And became a band of servants.

Issachar and the tribe that came from him were of the working class. They see that rest is good and they bowed their shoulder to bear a burden. We too should follow their lead, realizing that rest is good and that it is found in becoming servants.

Christ took upon Himself all of our wrath, shame and sin. He bore on the cross the true burden of our sin, we simply bear the light burden of living in a sinful world as His children. The wrath that was inflicted on Christ caused God to turn away from Him. There is no greater place of despair, and no rest could be found in that moment. We as people of God bear such a light burden in comparison. In this world we may suffer shame, disease, and struggle with our own sinfulness. Which may cause us to despair but this is a light burden to bear because our condemnation comes to us from within ourselves or other people, but never from God.

As you seek rest today do it by bowing your shoulder to the yolk of Christ, and become His servant. As you toil, labor, and deal with the issues of this sinful world, rest in the knowledge that He has bourn the real burden. Rest also in the knowledge that when you have on the yolk of Christ, redemption is certain. Redemption from this world, and redemption from your own sinful nature, and we will one day see Him face to face and enter our true place of rest.

-Doug Eaton-

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Greg Koukl on the Lost Tomb of Jesus

Here are some good thoughts on "The Lost Tomb" by Greg Koukl over at Stand to Reason.

- Scholars have known about these tombs for over 25 years. There’s a reason they haven’t taken these names seriously. Only three have any direct biblical significance: Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. And that cluster of names is statistically unremarkable. In fact, it would be odd if a family with those three names was not found in a tomb together, given their common use (there are at least four ossuaries discovered inscribed “Jesus, son of Joseph,” and one in four women were named Mary, so it’s even money that one of these tombs would have that combination). And connection of Jesus to any of the other names? Wild speculation. So what you have here is a creative guessing game.

- The entire argument is based on the statistical significance of the names in a cluster. If Jesus was married, and if Jesus was married to a woman named Mariamne, and if Mariamne was also a nickname for Mary Magdalene, and if Jesus had a brother named Matthew, and if Jesus had a son named Judas, and if the now-famous James ossuary belonged to James the brother of Jesus, then you’d have all the members of Jesus’ family together in one tomb. But that’s a lot of “ifs.

- Even though this is called the “Jesus Family Tomb,” there is no hard evidence that any of these so-called “family members” is even related. The only DNA testing that’s been done—between Jesus and Mariamne—came up negative. Let me repeat that: The DNA test came up negative. That is fact. The rest is speculation.

- The documentary claims, “Jesus and Mary were married, as the DNA evidence suggests.” This is nonsense. Think about it. How can DNA evidence suggest someone is married? DNA can’t “suggest” anything about legal relationships, only biological ones. In this case, the DNA evidence showed Jesus and Mary were not related by a mother, not that they were husband and wife. The truth is, she could have been married to any one of the males in the tomb, or to none of them for that matter. The DNA “suggests” nothing.

- The researchers claim they’re just trying to connect the dots? Fair enough. But why connect the dots the way they did? I’ll tell you why. Because it tells their story. There are many other legitimate ways to connect those same dots—some much more probable than the way the documentary connects them, but won’t give the story they’re promoting. But, of course, that wouldn’t create breaking news, would it?

- Jesus’ family was a poor family from Nazareth, not a middle- to upper-class family from Jerusalem. So this tomb is the wrong kind of tomb located in the wrong city.

-The documentary claims Jesus spoke in codes. This is false. Jesus spoke in parables, like many of the teachers of His day, not in codes that needed to be deciphered. They say Mary Magdalene was Jesus’ most trusted apostle. But you have to wait 400 years before this evidence pops up in any alleged historical record. They said that Jesus’ family members were executed because He was a pretender to throne of Israel. This is pure fiction. Notice what this accomplishes, though. All of these little exaggerations and inaccuracies make an unlikely tale sound more plausible when, on its own unembellished merits, it is not.

-What we have here are two different characterizations of what happened to the body of Jesus of Nazareth 2,000 years ago. One is based on artifacts—the ossuaries—and one is based on documents—the historical records of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter and Paul. Now granted, these kinds of things are not entirely exact science, but all things being equal, which do you think gives us more precise information, bone boxes or written records? The written records, obviously.

-The claim of Jesus’ resurrection, was part of the earliest, most primitive testimony regarding Jesus. And it was made by those very same people that the documentary suggests knew Jesus’ bones were actually secretly buried in Jerusalem. Why would so many of them die for this lie when they knew it was a lie? It doesn’t add up. But that’s what you must believe if you take seriously the conclusions of this documentary.


Monday, March 05, 2007

The Bible vs. The Book of Mormon

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Southern Seminary Sermons MP3

Here is the link for he Spring 2007 chapel services for Southern Seminary.

Spring 2007 Chapel Services for SBTS

I highly recommend the first one on the list by Al Mohler on desiring to know nothing except Christ crucified. It's a good message for preachers and teachers of the Gospel.

God Bless,


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Wonder at Your Adoption - Spurgeon

“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God.” 1 John 3:1,2

“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us.” Consider who we were, and what we feel ourselves to be even now when corruption is powerful in us, and you will wonder at our adoption. Yet we are called “the sons of God.” What a high relationship is that of a son, and what privileges it brings! What care and tenderness the son expects from his father, and what love the father feels towards the son! But all that, and more than that, we now have through Christ. As for the temporary drawback of suffering with the elder brother, this we accept as an honour: “Therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.” We are content to be unknown with him in his humiliation, for we are to be exalted with him. “Beloved, now are we the sons of God.” That is easy to read, but it is not so easy to feel. How is it with your heart this morning? Are you in the lowest depths of sorrow? Does corruption rise within your spirit, and grace seem like a poor spark trampled under foot? Does your faith almost fail you? Fear not, it is neither your graces nor feelings on which you are to live: you must live simply by faith on Christ. With all these things against us, now—in the very depths of our sorrow, wherever we may be—now, as much in the valley as on the mountain, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God.” “Ah, but,” you say, “see how I am arrayed! my graces are not bright; my righteousness does not shine with apparent glory.” But read the next: “It doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him.” The Holy Spirit shall purify our minds, and divine power shall refine our bodies, then shall we see him as he is.

-Charles Spurgeon-

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Friday, March 02, 2007

The Lost Tomb of Jesus; Found?

Here is a good article showing some major flaws with James Cameron's lost tomb. Just in case someone was concerned.

The Lost Tomb of Jesus, by Gary Habermas

God Bless,



Thursday, March 01, 2007

A Different Kind of Fear

Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27

There seems to be plenty to fear in this life, and many people tend to live with fears that plague them from time to time. Some of the common fears involve our family, our employment, and our reputation. It is possible to live our lives in constant fear. Scripture tells us on many occasions not to fear, but on another occasion we are told to fear the Lord.

There is a different kind of fear that will make you fearless. Many of God’s great saints have gone through times which shook them with such great fear that they felt paralyzed. It is in those times that we learn that Christ is everything. Facing dark nights when we feel that God has forsaken us has a way of breaking all that encumbers the heart and turns its focus to the only one who can help. These are the times when we look and see our sinful hearts in all their depravity. When we go through one of these times, there is nothing that we will not surrender to God because we know without Him we have nothing. It is in these times where our boldest prayers are offered. We are willing to say, Lord, take everything from me if I am not in your will, my reputation, my job, even my family if necessary. There is only one thing that will satisfy me, and that is to know I am right with you. Spurgeon gives a great example of this when he states, "If a man is in this position you can lay the wealth of India at his feet and he'll say take it away, what use is that to me."

When a person goes through a time like this and comes out on the other side, that person is changed, and many times the Lord left everything intact, the reputation, the job, and the family, but at the same time the Lord has taken them from him. The fears that once tormented are gone because this person has seen the greatest truth, that he is Christ's and Christ is sovereign. This freedom emboldens the man do and say things that he once could not because of his fears. It gives him the ability to take a stand for Christ no matter what the cost. We see this in John Bunyan being able to spend years in prison without denying Christ, or Luther to stand before the powers of Rome and say, “Here I stand, I can do no other.” They had been through times where their sins tormented them, and during those times they saw the worthlessness of everything in comparison to Christ.

There is a great picture of this in the movie "The Four Feathers". The main character is in a group of military friends who are told they will be going to battle. He is afraid so he resigns. From this, four of his closest friends each give him a feather signifying that he is a coward. Seeing the result of his decision he heads off to Saudi Arabia to find this group and redeem his cowardly act. The things he faces make going to war pale in comparison. In the midst of his ordeal a man says to him "why did you not go to war?" His reply is "I was afraid". The man who asked the question began to laugh out loud and says "you afraid? I found you half dead in the middle of the desert by yourself." To which his response is "it's a different kind of fear".

It's a different kind of fear to fear the Lord. Not the kind of fear that will cause you to run away, but a fear that will cause you to run to Him and stand strong. In finding this fear all encumbrances of fear begin to break. Praise God for teaching our hearts to fear.

When I cling to earthly things
Within my heart, fear pulls the strings
Lord, all these things, take if you must
For in your Love, I'll place my trust.

-Doug Eaton-

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