The Heavens Declare the Glory of God, the Firmament the Work of His Hand

The Heavens Declare the Glory of God, the Firmament the Work of His Hand

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Monday, August 31, 2009

Why Must Everything Change?
By: Jan Markell

The false teachings among some prominent church leaders have no end nor seemingly does the race to unify all religions. My thanks to Mark Tooley of the Institute for Religion and Democracy, World Net Daily, and author Joel Richardson for some background here. Fasten your seat belt because now we have Christians observing Ramadan. This goes miles beyond Muslim-Christian dialogue, which is bad enough. This is actually giving respectability to those who killed 3,000 innocent Americans who are even more on our mind in this season of 9/11. Once again, I have to ask, where is the outrage?

Emergent Church leader Brian McLaren is fasting during the Islamic Ramadan but is he fasting so that Muslims would come to salvation in Jesus Christ alone? And Tooley asks, "Would McLaren organize a similar fast on behalf of persecuted Christians and other victims of radical Islam? Or would that be too culturally confrontational for the post-modern evangelical who has shunned his conservative past and prefers creating common ground that creates alliances for the Left?"

McLaren says: "Ramadan is the Muslim holy month of fasting for spiritual renewal and purification. It commemorates the month during which Muslims believe Mohammed received the Quran through divine revelation, and it calls Muslims to self-control, sacrificial generosity, and solidarity with the poor, diligent reading of the Quran and intensified prayer."

He continues, "But as Christians, we want to come close to our Muslim neighbors and to share this important part of life with them."

Here we go honoring Islam again, just as they did in 2007 and 2008 with "A Common Word Between Us and You." Today's bunch of short-on-discernment leaders now observing Ramadan prove my point: Slippery slopes go only one way -- down -- and never turn around. And please tell me as an evangelical, what is it we will learn from Islam?

McLaren states, "We, as Christians, humbly seek to join Muslims in this observance of Ramadan as a God-honoring expression of peace, fellowship, and neighborliness. Each of us will have at least one Muslim friend who will serve as our partner in the fast. These friends welcome us in the same spirit of peace, fellowship, and neighborliness." None of that counts for eternity, Brian.
It stretches credulity to watch the religious Left continue to forge unholy alliances with some who are sworn enemies of the gospel and who are burning down Christian villages around the world and cutting off the heads of other Christians. And they will continue to do the same until they hear and respond to the "good news" of Jesus Christ, which is not the purpose of the Christian Ramadan effort! Yet an underlying motive with all such efforts is to declare the God of Christianity and the god of Islam as the same. If you get nothing else, remember that when such words come out of the pulpit in your church and renounce it!

Some are asking if we don't have a virtual endorsement of Islam by liberal Christianity today with a few evangelicals thrown in for good measure. Signers say, "Peaceful relations between Muslims and Christians stand as one of the central challenges of this century." If you hear one of them say this, challenge them with, "No, saving the lost while there is time is the central challenge and that won't happen by joining with Muslims during Ramadan." Author Joel Richardson, who has been on my radio program "Understanding the Times" on several occasions, asks the right question: "Is such an 'observance' actually tantamount to an endorsement of Islam?"

In McLaren's recent book, "Everything Must Change," he suggests that evangelicals must turn Left to be relevant and atone for past myopia. Many of us are grieved that churches have taken his advice, and the advice of other church leaders with skewed ideas or theology and have thus destroyed evangelicalism as we once knew it.

But it's not just all about unity! McLaren believes that evangelical support for Israel is an obstacle to interfaith harmony. While largely unwilling to criticize radical Islam by name, he has condemned the "terrible, deadly, distorted, yet popular theologies associated with Christian Zionism that create bigotry and prejudice against Muslims." He urged Christian Zionists to bravely abandon their prejudice, just as white segregationists had to shed theirs 50 years ago.

Mark Tooley concludes appropriately by saying, "McLaren's interfaith ritual just further evinces the Left's chronic misunderstanding that all cultural and international conflict can be remedied through apologies, folk songs, Western guilt, and flamboyant sentimentality."
That "old-time religion" we once loved is evaporating because guys like Brian McLaren and his Emergent buddies have convinced people that "everything must change."

The one-world religion is literally on the horizon. Look over a fence and you will see it approaching.

Friday, August 21, 2009

No Scar?
By: Amy Carmichael

"For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake." Philippians 1:29

Hast thou no scar?

No hidden scar on foot, or side, or hand?

I hear thee sung as mighty in the land; I hear them hail thy bright, ascendant star.

Hast thou no scar?

Hast thou no wound?

Yet I was wounded by the archers; spent,
Leaned Me against a tree to die; and rent
By ravening beasts that compassed Me, I swooned.

Hast thou no wound? No wound? No scar?

Yet, as the Master shall the servant be,
And piercèd are the feet that follow Me.
But thine are whole; can he have followed far - Who hast not wound or scar?

Amy Carmichael, Missionary to orphans in India.

She suffered much -- and bore much eternal fruit.

In the 1920s, Amy rescued hundreds of orphaned children -- especially little girls that would be dedicated to Hindu gods for use in sexual temple rituals. By God's wonderful grace, some had miraculously escaped from such pagan slavery and were led to the Irish "mother" who lovingly cared for each child God sent her.

In 1931 she prayed, “God, please do with me whatever you want. Do anything that will help me to serve you better.”

That same day, she fell, suffering fractures that would cripple her for the rest of her life. Not one to be discouraged or bitter when faced with pain or persecution, Amy now had the opportunity to demonstrate God's faithfulness before a much larger "host" of witnesses.

While her growing children had continual freedom to enter her bedroom and share their hearts with their beloved "mother," she now had the quiet times that allowed her to write books, poems, and letters that were translated and shared around the world.

"Great is Thy faithfulness," O Lord!

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Dumbing Down of the Church
By: M.E. Townsend

In the early 1900’s, Germans were taught the Bible could not be trusted, but human reasoning could. Higher Criticism, rationalization, liberal philosophy filled the hearts and minds of the German populace paving the way for Hitler and the Holocaust – man’s inhumanity to man.

Dr. David Breese explains how this was possible:

“The initial effect of German rationalization upon a Christian culture was on the schools, churches, and scholarship of Europe…Even so, religion still continued in Europe. There were still large churches, burning candles, beautiful choirs, lovely stained glass windows, congregations…all of that was still there…The Bible was only empty pages written by men who were now dead, rather than revelation of the living God. European Christianity was destroyed from within while still possessing the external form by which it had been known for centuries…the leaders quoted everything but the Bible and preached everything but the gospel, and reality was gone…It was because of religious liberalize that Europe lost its soul.”

As we see the dumbing down of the church in America we cannot help but see a parallel emerge.

The church in America has exchanged Diving morality for moral relativism, and secular humanism, allowing pansies in the pulpit while politically correct congregants sit as paupers in the pews. “Christians” have become willing participants of complacency and passivity instead of warring powerhouses of truth with a Holy boldness of intolerance to compromise and accommodate.

“Woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation, Woe to you who are full, for you shall hunger. Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.”
Luke 6:24-25

Just as in Germany immediately preceding Hitler’ reign, the German people allowed false teaching to impact German culture. In order to regain national pride, financial abundance and stability they resolved to go along with the message and the means proposed by Hitler.

The masses followed blindly -

“For certain men have crept in unnoticed…ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny the only LORD God and our LORD Jesus the Christ.” Jude 4

- while the remnant stood strong.

Albert Einstein exiled from Germany for being Jewish noted:

“Being a lover of freedom, when the Nazi revolution came I looked to the universities to defend it, knowing that they had always boasted of the devotion to the cause of truth; but no, the universities were immediately silenced. Then I looked to the great editors of the newspapers, whose flaming editorials in the days gone by had proclaimed their love of freedom; but they, like the universities, were silenced in a few short weeks. Only the church stood squarely across the path of Hitler’s campaign for suppressing truth. I never had any special interest in the church before, but now I feel a great affection and admiration for it because the church alone had the courage and persistence to stand for intellectual and moral freedom. I am forced to confess that what I once despised I now praise unreservedly.”

“But I say, did Israel not know. First Moses says: I will provoke you to jealousy by those who are not a nation, I will anger you be a foolish nation.” Romans 10:19

Stand strong child of God. Provoke to jealousy those who do not know our LORD.

“Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong…” I Corinthians 16:13

This can be our finest hour church – be brave, stand strong!

[Thanks to Brannon Howse for the wealth of information and superb research found in his WorldView Weekend Digest which led to the writing of this article. To God be the glory.!!..]

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Missing It
by: Oswald Chambers

"And they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said to them, 'Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. "So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way of punishing them, because of the people, since they all glorified God for what had been done." Acts 4:18-21

"...much of what is called Christianity today is not the Christianity of the New Testament; it is distinctly different.... Jesus is not the fountainhead of modern Christianity. He is scarcely thought about. Christian preachers, Sunday School teachers, religious books, all without any apology patronize Jesus Christ and put Him on one side.

"We have to learn that to stand true to Jesus Christ's point of view means ostracism -- the ostracism that was brought on Him. Most of us know nothing whatever about it.

"The modern view looks upon human nature as pathetic; men and women are poor ignorant babes in the wood who have lost themselves. Jesus the Christ's view is totally different. He does not look on men and women as babes in the wood, but as sinners who need saving, and the modern mind detests His view.

"Our Lord's teaching is based on something we violently hate, namely His doctrine of sin; we do not believe it unless we have had a radical dealing with God on the line of His teaching.

"Remember that a disciple is committed to much more than belief in Jesus, he is committed to His Lord's view of the world, of men, of God and of sin."

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Unrighteous Shall Not Inherit
By David Servant

Do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God. I Corinthians 6:9-10

Jesus foretold it:

“Many will say to Me on that day, LORD, LORD, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles? And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.” Matthew 7:22-23
Jesus obviously revealed only the climax of a much longer story, but from this short segment, we can deduce other tragic details.

First, we can safely assume that the arguing we just read of the many who stand before Jesus is their final defense. They obviously had already been denied entrance into the heavenly kingdom. Now, with hearts beating wildly and minds spinning, they make their last desperate attempt to convince the LORD of His error.

To debate with God! How outrageous! What could drive a person to be so insane as to hope he might win such a dispute? Only pure desperation. Like a drowning man who grasps at anything, these panicked people pathetically hope to change the decree of the unchanging One.
What was going through their minds when they heard His decree for the first time? He was their Savior, or so they thought. They loved Him, or so they thought. They had been looking forward to this day for a long time, expecting to hear Him say, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave...enter into the joy of your master’. Matthew 25:21

They had served Him in ministry, experiencing the flow of His power, or so they thought. They had been on the cutting edge of Christianity, prophesying, casting out demons, and performing acts that they considered to be miraculous. It would be safe to assume they had studied parts of the Bible, attended church, and perhaps even attended special seminars on spiritual warfare?

Now, marveling at His glory and filled with joyful anticipation, they listen intently as He is about to speak. Every word will be more precious than gold. Time stands still. Eternity has begun.

His voice breaks the silence: “You are denied entrance into My kingdom.”

Did He really say what I think I just heard Him say? Surely not, this could not be. This is my LORD and Savior. “LORD, I must be so excited that my hearing has gone bad. Could You repeat what You just said?”

Again, He speaks. “You are denied entrance into My kingdom.”

"What? No! No! No! This cannot be happening. LORD, I am a Christian! I am Your own! I belong to the family of God! I accepted You as my Savior! I have gone to church for years. LORD, You must be mistaken! Somehow, there has been a misunderstanding! I believed in You! You are supposed to let me in!"

“You were deceived because you ignored much of what I said through the writings of Paul and Peter, James, John and Jude. I repeatedly forewarned you of this. I said,

Not everyone who says to Me, LORD, LORD, will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven” Matthew 7:21

“You did not do the will of My Father while you were on the earth, proving that you did not truly believe in Me. Sin was your practice.”

LORD, LORD, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?

“Your prophecy was not inspired by My Holy Spirit, but from your own mind. Much of what you prophesied contradicted My Word. The demons you thought you cast out of your fellow false Christians did not exist. You were trying to deal with their sin by blaming it on a demon, when what they needed was repentance, faith and the new birth. The miracles you thought you performed were a sham. You accumulated teachers who told you what you wanted to hear. They proclaimed a false grace, misleading you into thinking you could get into heaven without holiness. You thought you were saved, but you were not. I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.”

Will such a scene as I have just described actually occur?

There is no doubt that it will. Although I have obviously added some details to what has been foretold in Matthew 7:21-23, nevertheless, those standing before Jesus one day will be many people who have called Him LORD, who have been involved in ministry, and who expect to enter heaven. Yet, shockingly, they will be denied entrance.

Now, rather than later is the time for self-examination.

Now, rather than later is the time to change! Later it will be too late.

You may be saying: “But, I am certain I am not deceived!” Do you realize that is what every deceived person would claim? Deceived people do not realize they are deceived otherwise; they would no longer be deceived.

Better to say, “LORD, am I being deceived, I want to know. NOW!”

Consider what Scripture says, and as we do, examine ourselves to see if we are truly in the faith. II Corinthians 13:5