Thursday, January 29, 2009

Gospel Distractions

'Not all distractions to the Gospel seem like distractions. Sometimes they may even seem helpful."

(Sorry about the audio, it is a new camera and I am still working out the settings)

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The Significance of the Triumphal Entry

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

An Important Message About Sharing the Gospel From Penn of Penn and Teller (an atheist)

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She is Selling Her Virginity, But What Will it Cost Her?

This news is buzzing about a 22 year-old woman who is selling her virginity online. Natalie Dylan (a pseudo-name) has decided to sell her virginity to pay for graduate school. The amazing thing is that the bids are coming in, and they are coming in high. One bid has allegedly come in for 3.7 million and some people are thinking that this is pretty good deal for her. What she could earn is far more than what she needs for grad school, but one question that does not seem to be floating around is, “What will it cost her?”

The first thing that should be noted is that, virginity, which is often taken for granted, seems to still hold value in this culture. There seems to be something innate in us that knows that sexual purity is something of value. This is proven by the fact that if this woman was simply selling sex, then she would earn a small sum of money hardly worth the forfeiture, and most people would simply call her a prostitute and move on, but because she is a virgin, the level of curiosity has spiked. As you scan the news, you see reporters struggle with how to respond. The reports seem to contain a mix of blessings and cursings, as the moral sentiments of many have been thrown into confusion over this matter. After all, society, especially Hollywood, seems to glory in cheap sex and promiscuity on one hand, but now the wrench that has been thrown into the system is virginity, and we seem to be having trouble with articulating our thoughts. We know it will cost her something, but what exactly is it?

Scripture is clear that marriage is a sacred institution and that the marriage bed is to be undefiled. When we act outside of God’s plan for marriage and sexuality, we are defiling the marriage bed, even if we are not married. The reason for this is that we are treating contemptuously what should be honored. When we rebel against God’s plan for marriage we are simply saying, “No, I will not honor marriage in the way it is intended.” To top it off, we are proclaiming to the world, and God himself, that we have a different plan for sexuality and marriage that we think is better than God’s. And all of us have done this to some degree, for even to lust after someone is to commit the sin in our hearts.

When it comes to this young lady, not only is she defiling what God has ordained as one of the greatest blessings of life, but she is selling it for profit. Much like Esau selling his birthright for a bowl of stew, the temporary blessings may seem worth it, but unfortunately the consequences far exceed any temporary satisfaction that may be found.

All of the commands of God are for our benefit. Because God is good, all of his commands are good. In accordance with this, the Westminster Larger Catechism answers the question, “what is the chief end of man” with the profound scriptural answer of, “to glorify God and enjoy him forever.” So often we find ourselves looking for pleasure and enjoyment because there is a longing in our hearts that desires to filled, but the only ultimate source of pleasure is God himself. Whenever we seek our fulfillment outside the revealed will of God, we eventually find ourselves more frustrated than when we began. We begin to wonder like Solomon in Ecclesiastes if all is vain. The more we feed on this world apart from seeking God, the more futile our existence becomes.

We must remember that it is possible to gain the whole world and lose our souls. This young lady may be able to attend the graduate school of her choice without financial aid, buy a house, and even put a little away for the future, but in the long run it will send her further down a path of destruction. She will find herself, sometime in the future, regretting her decision, as this public offer of prostitution follows her the rest of her life. There will undoubtedly be times when she will want this behind her. She will try to hide it from those she does not want to know, and even if she succeeds it will never leave her as she wonders if the secret will come out. The pain of living with suppressed guilt is never worth the pleasure that the sin gave us. Ultimately, what it will cost her is the very thing she is seeking. She is seeking satisfaction in some aspect of her life and thinks this will bring it to her, but in the long run will bring her more ruin than benefit as do all acts outside of God’s loving plan. And the sad part is that many are so blinded by this world that they never find their way home.

Some of you may already be there. You have run headlong into sin and wonder if there is any hope for you to return to the purity and innocence you once had. You may wonder if there is any hope of removing this burden from your life and conscience as you have grown weary from the guilt that came with your choices.

There is hope, and the truth is that Christ was speaking to you when he said, “Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Christ Jesus came to this earth and lived the sinless life that the rest of us have failed to live. In failing to live this righteous life, we have not merely fallen into sin as if it were and accident, but we have willingly run headlong into it. That sin requires the punishment of a just God, and the punishment that is demanded is death. But this same Christ who lived the sinless life came to die for those who will trust him, and He bore the burden of our guilt. Upon the cross, God the Father poured out upon Him the wrath that we deserved, and all who have faith in Him and His work are in Christ, and His righteousness is counted as ours. When God looks at us, He sees Christ’s righteousness and calls us His children. He promises from that point that He will never leave us nor forsake us, and that he will bring us home with him and make us co-heirs with Christ in the inheritance that he so rightly deserves and we most certainly do not. But for all those who reject Christ, they will have to bear the punishment of their own sins and will not be with the father in heaven, but will suffer eternity in hell. Even if they had gained the whole world they will have still lost their souls.

My prayer for this young lady is that she will not go through with it, and that whatever she is seeking, she will find in Christ who is able not only to forgive the sin of selling her virginity through prostitution, but also all her sins that have led her to this point. My prayer is that she, and all who are carrying the burden of their sins, will repent and place their faith in Christ and experience the times of refreshing that come to those who do so. Just like the author of this article and every other Christian had to do with our sins, we handed them over and found our rest in Christ. After all, we are all sinners in need of a Savior.


If you are a Christian and still find yourself plagued with the “Haunting Effects of Sin” then the video devotion below is for you. Our Savior can heal even that.

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Monday, January 19, 2009

The Cross: Divine Justice Satisfied

"He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree." 1 Peter 2:24

Certainly the whole punishment of body and soul which was
due unto us--Christ our Redeemer suffered. Our blessed Savior
bore all the sins of the elect. He suffered the whole punishment
which was due unto us--which we would have endured, if He had
not atoned for our sins. He felt the anguish of soul, and horror
of God's wrath--and in soul, experienced the torments of hell
for us--and sustained them and vanquished them!

All the pains, torments, curse, and wrath which were due to
the elect--fell on Christ, until divine justice was fully satisfied.
Though Christ did not suffer eternal death for sinners--yet He
suffered that which was equivalent, and therefore the justice
of God is wholly appeased by His death. Christ's infinite
excellency and glory, made His short sufferings to be of
infinite worth, and equivalent to our everlasting sufferings.

Jesus suffered that which was necessary for our redemption,
namely--that torment of hell which we had deserved, and
which the justice of God required that He should endure for
our redemption. He endured that bitter pain which we
deserved to suffer eternally.

Christ, by His death . . .
satisfied divine justice,
pacified divine wrath,
brought in an everlasting righteousness, and
accomplished the eternal salvation of His people!

(Thomas Brooks, "The Golden Key to Open Hidden Treasures")

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

How Should We Pray: A Look at the Lord's Prayer

This is a short look at how Christ taught us to pray.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Obama, Machiavelli, and the Bible - Vishal Mangalwadi

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

When Deep Calls to Deep: Thoughts for Struggling Christians

This is a short video devotion which looks at the times of deep sorrow in the Christian life. It focuses primarily on Psalm 42 and 43.

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Friday, January 09, 2009

Oh Men of God, Arise

Oh men of God arise,
awake from slumber's night,
shake off sin's drowsiness
and rouse yourself to fight.
Run from vain this distraction,
keep your vision clear;
cast out all fleshly stowaways,
refuse to harbor fear.

Oh men of God arise,
take up your sword and shield.
Your foe has no defense
against the power they wield.
Christ has gained the victory
the outcome is assured,
Satan is defeated
by the power of God's word.

Oh men of God arise
and face the eastern skies,
for Christ will soon descend
with lightning in his eyes.
Then our ancient foe long vanquished
will meet his rightful end,
and sin's dark night of terror
will never fall again.

Lift up the cup of holiness,
drink long and take your fill.
Oh men of God arise
to carry out, to carry out God's will.
Oh men of God arise
to carry out, to carry out God's will.

Steve Green - From the album, "The Letter"

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Thursday, January 08, 2009

Frustrations at Work and Rest in Christ.

What was God's purpose in adding frustration to our labors after the fall.

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Monday, January 05, 2009

Christianity and Liberalism - J. Gresham Machen - Radio Show.

Below is the link and description to the most recent episode of the Radio show. In it we discussed J. Gresham Machen's book, "Christianity and liberalism." This show can also be downloaded as a podcast from Itunes.

Christianity and Liberalism in the thought of J. Gresham Machen on audio click link for audio

In 1923 Gresham Machen wrote a little book called “Christianity and Liberalism” that is if anything much more important today than when written. Every prophetic word therein has come to pass in our generation. Sometimes it’s hard to see how what the Church does and thinks today is recognizable as “Christianity”, from the theological form to the inevitable political expression. Are Christianity and Liberalism reconcilable? Does the Church actually understand where its current fad of ideas were born? Were we more thoughtful we might think that two faiths, in one Church, will not stand. This is a time for decision. “A house divided…” as the scriptures teach. Where do you stand? Tune in with the team and special guests Pastor Paul Viggiano of Branch of Hope Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Torrance California, and Doug Eaton of the Ist Southern Baptist Church of Downey California, hosted by Christopher Neiswonger, as we ask the hard question, Christianity and Liberalism: Can both survive?

“In my little book, Christianity and Liberalism, 1923, I tried to show that the issue in the Church of the present day is not between two varieties of the same religion, but, at bottom, between two essentially different types of thought and life. There is much interlocking of the branches, but the two tendencies, Modernism and supernaturalism, or (otherwise designated) non-doctrinal religion and historic Christianity, spring from different roots. In particular, I tried to show that Christianity is not a “life,” as distinguished from a doctrine, and not a life that has doctrine as its changing symbolic expression, but that–exactly the other way around–it is a life founded on a doctrine. (From “Christianity in Conflict,” an autobiographical essay on Machen’s life and works).”

Christianity and Liberalism in the thought of J. Gresham Machen on audio