The Impact of Christian Love

23 06 2015

A believer in Christ is following the beat of a different drummer. The culture in which I live has never seen anything like the reaction of the family and church to the murderer of their loved ones. My attempts at love pales in comparison. The testimonies at the arraignment of Dylann Roof are an undeniable proof that Jesus lives and love is His most becoming characteristic in the lives of His followers.  Pastor Dave

EDITOR’S NOTE: What an incredibly powerful testimony of God’s love and forgiveness the people of Charleston are showing the world! It’s obviously having a great impact on secular media who expected the worst, and instead, found themselves covering the message of the Gospel being lived out in front of them. Thank you Charleston. -Aimee Herd, BCN.

 





If This Is Such A Grievous Sin, Jesus Would Have Mentioned It

16 06 2015
Image result for jesus preaching

A post at Stand Up For The Truth describes the efforts of “progressive Christians” to “use the Bible to promote abortion”. It describes the effort among pro-choice “Christians” to establish the beginning of life at the point when the baby takes his or her first breath (rather than at the point of conception). The post cites an article on The Christian Left Blog (entitled, “The Bible Tells Us When A Fetus Becomes A Living Being”) making a case for life starting when a baby takes its first breath. I’ve already discussed the problems with such a view in a prior post, but I was struck by the final line in the Christian Left blog post:

“In the end, if abortion was such a grievous sin Jesus would have mentioned it.  He said nothing.”

I’ve heard this kind of argument many times over the past few years, applied to any number of behaviors that people are trying to justify or reconcile with the Christian Scriptures. I bet you’ve heard this kind of statement as well. “Jesus said nothing about homosexuality in all of his sermons to his disciples and the masses. If it’s such a big deal, Jesus would have preached on it.” There are many variations of this kind of argument, but all of them seem to miss the point. Jesus’ apparent “silence” on abortion or homosexuality do not result in God’s approval or affirmation of such behavior for the following reasons:

Jesus Agreed:
Jesus already acknowledged the fact that he was in complete agreement with the teaching of the Old Testament unless he specifically delineated a new line of instruction. He did not “come to abolish the Law or the Prophets… but to fulfill them” (Matthew 5:17)

Jesus Observed:
Jesus was a dedicated, devout and observant Jew. You want to know what he thought about homosexuality or abortion? Simple; just look at what other devout, observant Jews would have said. They most certainly would have affirmed the Old Testament teaching (like the teaching on homosexuality found in Leviticus 18:20 and 20:13)

Jesus Said More:
We also know that the gospel writers didn’t capture all of Jesus’ teaching on any of these topics. John said that “there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written” (John 21:25). Don’t be so sure that Jesus didn’t actually teach against these behaviors.

Jesus Said Less:
But none of this really matters if you stop and think about it. Are we truly going to take the position that any behavior that Jesus did not specifically condemn is therefore allowable and approved by God? Really? How about bestiality? How about pedophilia? Jesus never said anything about these behaviors; you might say that Jesus said a lot less than he could have! Does this mean these behaviors are morally virtuous? Few would agree with that idea.

There are many things that Jesus “said nothing” about. This means very little, however, when you really stop and think about it. As Christians, we need to consider the entire counsel of God before we determine whether or not God’s Word approves or condemns a particular behavior.





What does the Sign on the Cross Really Say?

7 06 2015
I found an interesting website called, “Defending Inerrancy”. More than ever, we need to know how to respond to the ones who attack the Bible for the sake of those who may be listening.  Pastor Dave
 
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: 1 Peter 3:15
Image result for inscription on the cross

Problem: The wording of the accusation above Christ’s head on the cross is rendered differently in each Gospel account.

Matthew: “This is Jesus the king of the Jews” (27:37).

Mark: “The king of the Jews” (15:26).

Luke: “This is the king of the Jews” (23:38).

John: “Jesus of Nazareth, the king of the Jews” (19:19).

Solution: While there is a difference in what is omitted, the important phrase, “the king of the Jews,” is identical in all four Gospels. The differences can be accounted for in different ways.

First, John 19:20 says, “Then many of the Jews read this title, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin.” So then, there are at least three different languages in which the sign above Christ’s head was written. Some of the differences may come from it being rendered in different languages.

Further, it is possible that each Gospel only gives part of the complete statement as follows:

Matthew: “This is Jesus [of Nazareth] the king of the Jews.”

Mark: “[This is Jesus of Nazareth] the king of the Jews.”

Luke: “This is [Jesus of Nazareth] the king of the Jews.”

John: “[This is] Jesus of Nazareth the king of the Jews.”

Thus, the whole statement may have read “This is Jesus of Nazareth, the king of the Jews.” In this case, each Gospel is giving the essential part (“the king of the Jews”), but no Gospel is giving the whole inscription. But neither is any Gospel contradicting what the other Gospels say. The accounts are divergent and mutually complementary, not contradictory.


This excerpt is from When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992). © 2014 Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Click he





Precious People

18 05 2015

I have this quote taken from the 365 Day Devotional Commentary that I use. I have it above a picture of the Junior High teens from last year’s camp. I am so blessed to have committed to me precious things and precious people. I can’t seem to download the picture, I will try to add it later…

Pastor Dave

“The closer we are to the Lord, the more likely He is to commit precious things and precious people to our care. Let’s love Him deeply, that we might be privileged to serve our Lord as John served Christ.”

This quote is from the same source. I do not always like what it says, but it has seen me through some tough times. It is  life, where the rubber meets the road.

“Sometimes God wants us to remain where we are and trust him through the dry times in our lives”.





The Satisfaction of Calvary

2 05 2015

Isaiah 53:1-12

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Isaiah 53 is the John 3:16 of the Old Testament, one of the clearest pictures of Calvary in all the Bible that describes what went on there physically and spiritually. It is the most quoted OT chapter in the NT, being quoted or referred to 85x.

He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. 

Isaiah 53:11

“What does it take to satisfy you anyway?” It is question you may have asked at one time or other. Maybe it is aquestion reserved for someone in whom you are frustrated. Of Course, some people can never be satisfied…

• Alexander the Great was not satisfied, even when he had completely subdued the nations of the known world. He wept because there were no more worlds to conquer, almost made it to India. At age of 32 in Bagdad, Iraq- many believe was alcohol poisoning.
• Napoleon, French General in the early 1800’s and product of the French Revolution, spread fear and havoc over all of Europe. He could never be satisfied. But 200 years ago on June 18th, He was bested in the country of Belgium at a place called Waterloo.
• Hitler could not be satisfied and it took the combined armies of the world to stop him.
• In Bible, Pharaoh could never be satisfied no matter how much the 10 plagues hindered, kept on demanding more and more from the Jews, even their lives.
• Proverbs 30:15-16: The horse leech hath two daughters, crying, Give, give. There are three things that are never satisfied, yea, four things say not, It is enough: The grave; and the barren womb; the earth that is not filled with water; and the fire that saith not, It is enough.

But what about God? Is He ever satisfied? Is it up to us to do our best so that God would be satisfied enough with us to let us into heaven? How much is enough? What does it take to satisfy God? The answer is shocking, I’m not sure I understand it all. Isaiah 53:10a, tells us, “Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him”. This is the same one who said at the  baptism of His only begotten Son: “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased”. Here, it pleased the Lord to bruise Him! It does not mean the Father is some kind of sadist who derives pleasure through the physical or mental pain of others? No, it means it was a part of His plan and He was pleased that all was going according to plan. It is part of God’s plan of redemption and it “pleased the Lord to bruise Him”. To “bruise” means to to beat or crush; but God was not satisfied until He saw the travail of His soul (v.11). The word “travail”means to wear away.

God saw the kiss of betrayal, was not satisfied. He saw the mockery of a trail and the travesty of justice against His Son, but was not satisfied. He saw the crown of thorns, scourging, jeering crowd, spittle, nails, and the pain. He heard the words “My God ,My God, why hast thou forsaken Me”,  but was still not satisfied. He saw the 6 torturous hours of agony and knew His Son would reject the pain relief that was offered, but was not satisfied. Now he was pleased with all of that (not happy about it). He was pleased because the prophecies of Isaiah 53 and many others are going according to plan. God was satisfied only when the soul of Jesus was wearing away, moments before departing from this life when Jesus cried out, ”It is finished”. THEN- God was satisfied

The finished work of Calvary is what satisfies God!

What an act of pride or rebellion when we say that there is something we can do to satisfy a holy God enough to make it to heaven! No, 10,000x no! It is only the finished work of Calvary that satisfies!





Easter Invocation

2 04 2015

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Our Father, creator of all and author of life; we worship you. We rejoice today because of the resurrection. The tears of Good Friday were turned to astonishment on that Sunday morning when the empty tomb was discovered. Since that day, the empty tomb has given us hope that we serve a risen Savior and that through Him comes life abundantly here on Earth and life eternal in Heaven. We praise you for the power of the resurrection that changed our mourning into dancing. Even our grief and sorrow are given a song in the night through the joy unspeakable that comes because He lives. We are promised that “joy cometh in the morning”, especially as we remember Resurrection morning. We praise you dear God of all mercy, who has let us see through the eyes of the witnesses of the risen Christ, that we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
We pray that others come to the cross and confess Christ as their sin-bearer. Then we pray that they walk away from the empty tomb, rejoicing in the reality of their new life in Christ. We pray for other churches who celebrate with us in our city, state, nation, and around the world. We may differ in worship style, music, language, and culture; but as one body we declare, “He is risen indeed”. We pray for a freshness and newness at this church. Resurrect us from the deadness of indifference, laxity, love of ease, and materialism. Fill us with your presence; baptize us with life, love, and unity.





Hell’s Gates

30 03 2015

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A drunken man staggered up to a New York policeman and asked how to find a night club called “Hell’s Gate.”
“See that steeple over there?” asked the policeman. “That’s the steeple of Calvary Church. Just keep going past Calvary and you’ll come to Hell’s Gate.”
See: John 19:17-19; 1 Corinthians 1:18; Philippians 3:18-19
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Calvary

Only found in Luke 23:33, the Latin name Calvaria, which was used as a translation of the Greek word Kranion, by which the Hebrew word Gulgoleth was interpreted, “the place of a skull.”
It probably took this name from its shape, being a hillock or low, rounded, bare elevation somewhat in the form of a human skull. It is nowhere in Scripture called a “hill.” The crucifixion of our Lord took place outside the city walls (Hebrews 13:11-13) and near the public thoroughfare. “This thing was not done in a corner.”
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