We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer
Therefore let God-inspired Scripture decide between us; and on whichever side be found doctrines in harmony with the word of God, in favor of that side will be cast the vote of truth. --Basil of Caesarea
Once you learn to discern, there's no going back. You will begin to spot the lie everywhere it appears.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service. 1 Timothy 1:12

Monday, December 10, 2018

We Don't Need Relevant Churches

Today, there is so much talk about how to make our church services more culturally relevant, especially to the unconverted. However effective this might be in drawing "seekers," it was not so in the early church. Their services equipped the saints to be witnesses wherever they found themselves. The church meeting collectively on Sunday will not win the world, nor will more seminars on church growth; rather, what we need are more equipped individuals who share their faith in hospitals, banks, factories, warehouses, office buildings, and neighborhoods.

Erwin W. Lutzer, The Church in Babylon: Heeding the Call to Be a Light in the Darkness, pg.272

Saturday, December 8, 2018

What Prosperity Has Produced

Years of prosperity here in America have produced a younger generation that is not as loyal as their parents to their church and Christian ministries. Many are less likely to object to degrading movies, alternate sexual lifestyles, and various doctrinal compromises. Such people have bought into the self-absorbed culture in which we live. Take a good look at American culture, and you are essentially looking at our "church culture." 

Erwin W. Lutzer, The Church in Babylon: Heeding the Call to Be a Light in the Darkness, pg.256

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Beware of the Bad and/or Ugly in the Church

Not all which claims to be a church of Christ is, nor are all who proclaim to be teaching Christ really teaching Christ.  Here are some more good examples of aberrations, apostasies, and even heresies to watch out for, and to protect yourself and others against.

Why is this man still a deacon, and why has he not been excommunicated? The Catholic Church needs to police its leaders.

Catholic leaders keep proving their religion is of the devilAnd again.

The burden of the heresy of purgatory for Roman Catholics can get quite bizarre.

Interfaith dialog” with Muslims just lets THEM undermine Christianity and our country.  Even Erwin Lutzer, in his book, The Church in Babylon, cites Muslims themselves making this claim!

James White — WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?!?!?

The Bible says we are to obey the laws of the land, but that doesn’t seem to matter to the Catholic Church as their Jesuits are doing their best to assist illegal immigrant invasion into the USA.  If the Church doesn’t support this, then where is the denouncement from the Pope? Because the Pope himself is against national borders. (Just another example of the RCC NOT being a church of Christ.)

Andy Stanley is trying to sell a new book to finance his false teaching. The book, of course, is also false teaching. BEWARE!

William Lane Craig is usually a pretty good apologist for the Christian faith, but when it comes to Genesis, find an apologist who accepts God at his Word.

Good examination of false teacher Sarah Young and her books.

Be sure to miss this event — it is a cornucopia of false teachers!

And they call themselves a “Christian” college!

Lauren Daigle — Another Christian entertainer who doesn’t want to offend with the truth.

These “ministers” are nothing but Satan’s wolves leading people to hell.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Personal Bible Notes: Matthew

Refer to my 9/25/18 post about the margin notes in my Bible, and why I decided to share them on this blog. 

1:16: Differs from Lk.3 by having Jacob as father vs Heli. Heli died childless and Jacob had Levirate marriage to Heli’s wife, so Jacob was natural father, Heli was legal father.

1:18: KJV says “with child” vs “pregnant - pre-born IS a child.
1:25 “until”: Means Joseph DID have relations with her after Jesus was born.

2:11 “Entering the house.” Joseph, Mary, Jesus still in Bethlehem. After going to Jerusalem for the circumcision and purification, perhaps they returned to the same house where Jesus was born.

4:9: Matt. 28:18 proves this was a lie.

5:1 “disciples”: sermon on the mount is to disciples, not leaders of government.
5:2 ff: The Beatitudes are descriptive, not prescriptive.
5:3 “poor in spirit”: Acknowledge helplessness before God.
5:4-9: About the future kingdom, not current status. It is an O.T. sermon with some N.T. crossover.
5:9 “peacemakers”: Those who actively intervene to make peace.
5:48 “Be perfect”: Be perfect in love.

6:1 “seen by them”: theater, put on a show.
6:26 “Look”: Look with perception.

7:1: Do not judge hypocritically—see v.5.
7:15: Judge the “fruit” of false prophets/teachers.
7:27: The storms, etc, are judgments of God.

8:5 ff: Note that the centurion is not rebuked for being in the military.
8:17: The reason Jesus drove out demons and healed the sick.
8:23-27: Did they recognize God’s actions in Ps.107?

10:1: Shows the authority of the apostles!
10:10: Paying for teaching is right & proper.

11:22: Degrees of punishment in hell.
11:28 “rest”: Is salvation, contradicting TULIP
11:29-30: Is service. Cf. Matt.23:4.

12:5:  Because of service to God.
12:8: Claim to divinity. See Lev.19:3
12:29 “possessions”: Demons. Strong man is satan. Jesus binds the strong man.
12:46, 47: Jesus’ brothers—not cousins, etc.

13:37-43: Believers and unbelievers are together until the end; believers are not harvested (“raptured”) first.
13:55: Jesus’ brothers and sisters, not cousins, etc.

16:18 “this rock”: The rock is Peter’s answer to the question.
16:19: “will give” the keys to Peter, not given now.
16:19: “keys”: Are the “keys” knowledge? Or authority?

17:27 “coin”: Twice what is needed for the tax of one. Jesus is the son of the King of the temple and does not pay temple tax. God “pays” the tax. Peter is also a “son” of the King and the tax is for both.
18:18: Jesus gave the “keys” to all the apostles, not just to Peter.

19: 5 “joined”: Cemented.
19:13-15: Heaven is for children.
19:18-19: Note that “do not covet” was not listed; Jesus exposed that one.

22:45: Jesus is God as David’s Lord, and man as David’s son.

23:4: Cf. Matt. 11:30
23:5 “phylacteries”: Taking Deut. 6:8 literally. 
23:5 “tassels”: Num. 15:38-39.

24:3: Two separate questions. 1) When will they happen? 2) what is the sign of His coming?
24:26-27: Jesus will not come invisibly (as JW say) but will come plainly and open.
24:30-31: The rapture.

27:32ff: Best calculations is that it took place 3 April A.D.33
27:37 “Above His head”: Above head, not above hands. Must be a cross.

28:20: We are to observe—obey—everything Jesus commanded and taught.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Be a Light Without Fear

My fellow brothers and sisters, we need to get over our fear of being called bigots, intolerant, or racists, and make it perfectly clear to both church and society that no Christian can truly follow Christ and endorse self-harm (as in gender reassignment surgery) and same-sex relationships. We cannot show a godly love for our neighbor if our silence is interpreted as submission to Satan's objective of destroying God's temple. Let me repeat, it is better to be accused of being harsh than it is to tell lies with hushed tons of compassion, love, care, and thoughtfulness.

Erwin W. Lutzer, The Church in Babylon: Heeding the Call to Be a Light in the Darkness, pg.213

Saturday, December 1, 2018

New Age Spirituality

What is so attractive about New Age spirituality? At last people have a god who agrees with them about everything! They want a god who does not embarrass them; a god who thinks just like they do. They want a theology that diminishes the horrors of sin and magnifies how good we as human beings actually are! Self-salvation has many forms and is very attractive. We want a god who is as broadminded as we are.

Erwin W. Lutzer, The Church in Babylon: Heeding the Call to Be a Light in the Darkness, pg.208

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

A Cowardly Ignorant Pharisee

There is a person who remains "anonymous" in his comments (I'm assuming male) so he can remain a coward hidden behind his comments. Of course since they are all ad hominem attacks, they don't get published.

It seems he has to post the same, or similar, comment almost every time I post a citation from some theologian.  He says I should have "less books, more Bible," suggesting that citing anything but Scripture is wrong.

This attitude demonstrates Mr. Anonymous' abject ignorance; apparently he thinks sermons/commentaries are worthless for learning anything.  I'm sure he also sees himself as an authority on what the Bible teaches.  What's even more humorous, demonstrating more ignorance, is that he is a KJV Onlyer. In Jesus day Mr. Anonymous would be a Pharisee.

So Mr. Anonymous, you may as well quit commenting. You won't get published and all I do is laugh at your foolishness whenever I see such comments.

When the Gospel Becomes Hostage to "Tolerance"

The empty churches of Europe testify to what happens when the clear gospel witness becomes beholden to political correctness, submission to culture, and a willingness to unite with other religions under the banner of tolerance and love.

Erwin W. Lutzer, The Church in Babylon: Heeding the Call to Be a Light in the Darkness, pg.189-190

Monday, November 26, 2018

Do Not Conform to This World

Anyone can be a non-conformist for nonconformity's sake. ... What we are ultimately called to is more than non-conformity; we are called to transformation. We notice that the words conform and transform both contain the same root form. The only difference between the words is found in the prefixes. The prefix con means "with." To conform, then, is to be "with the structures or forms." In our culture a conformist is someone who is "with it." A nonconformist may be regarded as someone who is "out of it." If the goal of the Christian is to be "out of it," then I am afraid we have been all too successful. 

The prefix trans means "across" or "beyond." When we are called to be transformed, it means that we are to rise above the forms and the structures of this world. We are not to follow the world's lead but to cut across it and rise above it to a higher calling and style. This is a call to transcendent excellence, not a call to sloppy "out-of-it-ness." Christians who give themselves as living sacrifices and offer their worship in this way are people with a high standard of discipline. They are not satisfied with superficial forms of righteousness. The “saints” are called to a rigorous pursuit of the kingdom of God. They are called to depth in their spiritual understanding.

The key method Paul underscores as the means to the transformed life is by the “renewal of the mind.” This means nothing more and nothing less than education. Serious education. In-depth education. Disciplined education in the things of God. It will call for a mastery of the Word of God. We need to be people whose lives have changed because our minds have changed.

True transformation comes by gaining a new understanding of God, ourselves, and the world. What we are after ultimately is to be conformed to the image of Christ. We are to be like Jesus, thought not in the sense that we can ever gain deity. We are not god-men. But our humanity is to mirror and reflect the perfect humanity of Jesus. A tall order! To be conformed to Jesus, we must first begin to think as Jesus did. We need the “mind of Christ.” We need to value the things he values and despise the things He despises. We need to have the same priorities He has. We need to consider weighty the things that He considers weighty. That cannot happen without a mastery of His Word. The key to spiritual growth is in-depth Christian education that requires a serious level of sacrifice. 

That is the call to excellence we have received. We are not to be like the rest of the world, content to live our lives with a superficial understanding of God. We are to grow dissatisfied with spiritual milk and hunger after spiritual meat. To be a saint means to be separated. But it means more than that. The saint also is to be involved in a vital process of sanctification. We are to be purified daily in the growing pursuit of holiness. If we are justified, we must also be sanctified.

R.C. Sproul, The Holiness of God, pg.163-164