Christian Research Network http://christianresearchnetwork.org Current issues in the church Thu, 05 Mar 2015 12:01:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Justification, law, and grace http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2015/03/05/justification-law-and-grace/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2015/03/05/justification-law-and-grace/#comments Thu, 05 Mar 2015 12:01:49 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=58367 Continue reading ]]>

For all of us have become like one who is unclean,
And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment;
And all of us wither like a leaf,
And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.

Isaiah 64:6, NASB

Since the inception of this ministry, I have been approached by many concerned people who are convinced that they have sinned one too many times and have forfeited their salvation. They were being continually antagonized about their sin by a voice within. In every case, after some careful questioning, I learned that each of them have been part of a church or denomination whose doctrine of justification is a blend of grace and law, faith and works. Also, as I attempted to explain that justification is by faith alone according to the grace of God, each of them responded in disbelief and that usually ended the conversation. When I tried to share with them that the unregenerate are not troubled by their sin this way it fell on deaf ears. This has always been one of the most heartbreaking aspects of ministering like this. It has left me, at times, very frustrated and angry at those false teachers, those wolves in sheep’s clothing out there, whose false doctrines have left their followers spiritually confused, hurt, and unable to grasp the truth.

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Pride, self-deception, and humility http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2015/03/04/pride-self-deception-and-humility/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2015/03/04/pride-self-deception-and-humility/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 08:32:24 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=58363 Continue reading ]]>

“The arrogance of your heart has deceived you,
You who live in the clefts of the rock,
In the loftiness of your dwelling place,
Who say in your heart,
‘Who will bring me down to earth?’

Obadiah 1:3, NASB

Adapted from a sermon by Charles Spurgeon titled Self-Deceived.

Human pride is incredibly deceitful. It can so deceive its host that he or she may well believe they are the truly humble. It is true of all proud people, for pride is self-deceit. Some reading this may be proud. In fact, it is those who believe they have no pride who are most likely the proudest of all. Those who are proud of their humility are proud indeed.

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Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2015/03/03/therefore-brothers-be-all-the-more-diligent-to-make-your-calling-and-election-sure/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2015/03/03/therefore-brothers-be-all-the-more-diligent-to-make-your-calling-and-election-sure/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 08:38:14 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=58348 Continue reading ]]>

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. 2 Peter 1:3–4, ESV

We have spent a large amount of time lately looking at forms of “Christianity” that are really forms of apostasy or heresy. We have also compared their false beliefs with those of other aberrant forms of our faith, such as the Emergent movement and “liberal Christianity.” There are others to be sure, but what has been amazing is how they all do the same thing. They elevate man and demote God. They teach salvation by works instead of by grace through faith as a gift from God.

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Finding God’s will is no deep dark secret – part 2 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2015/03/03/finding-gods-will-is-no-deep-dark-secret-part-2/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2015/03/03/finding-gods-will-is-no-deep-dark-secret-part-2/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 08:37:16 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=58317 Continue reading ]]> In part 1 of this series, CRN contributor Marsha West asked the following questions: Is it possible for a Christian to know God’s will and not have to agonize over it? Should a Christian (a) make a decision without first spending hours in prayer, asking God to reveal His will? (b) avoid making a decision until he or she has a “peace about it”? (c) wait for a “sign” from God? (d) consult a psychic or a Ouija board to seek God’s guidance? In part 2 Marsha answers these questions. View article →

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Andy Stanley: even if you don’t believe that Jesus is the Son of God, you will have a better life by following his teachings http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2015/03/03/andy-stanley-even-if-you-dont-believe-that-jesus-is-the-son-of-god-you-will-have-a-better-life-by-following-his-teachings/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2015/03/03/andy-stanley-even-if-you-dont-believe-that-jesus-is-the-son-of-god-you-will-have-a-better-life-by-following-his-teachings/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 08:33:18 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=58346 Continue reading ]]> There are concerns about the path popular seeker-friendly pastor Andy Stanley is taking. Stand Up For The Truth writes:

When we compare some of Andy Stanley’s teachings lately to Scripture, we’re seeing some discrepancies. We encourage you to do the comparative work for yourself (as the Bereans did), listening carefully to what all teachers teach.

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ISIS releases 19 Christians; hundreds remain captive http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2015/03/03/isis-releases-19-christians-hundreds-remain-captive/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2015/03/03/isis-releases-19-christians-hundreds-remain-captive/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 08:31:22 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=58342 Continue reading ]]> Christian Headlines reports that terrorist group ISIS has purportedly set standards for themselves. By releasing 19 people they kidnapped, they can get credibility “by showing that they follow rules and that they have some kind of transparent process that follows their particular implementation of Sharia law.”

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Big bang blunder: scientists retract alleged proof of universe origin http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2015/03/03/big-bang-blunder-scientists-retract-alleged-proof-of-universe-origin/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2015/03/03/big-bang-blunder-scientists-retract-alleged-proof-of-universe-origin/#comments Tue, 03 Mar 2015 08:29:18 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=58339 Continue reading ]]> According to the Christian News Network, in less than a year after astronomers announced that they had proof of the universe beginnings, those same astronomers have retracted their claims. We now learn that the findings were not proof of the Big Bang after all and that the astronomers’ conclusions were incorrect.

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We must resolve in our hearts to proclaim the whole counsel of God’s truth, in season and out of season http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2015/03/02/we-must-resolve-in-our-hearts-to-proclaim-the-whole-counsel-of-gods-truth-in-season-and-out-of-season/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2015/03/02/we-must-resolve-in-our-hearts-to-proclaim-the-whole-counsel-of-gods-truth-in-season-and-out-of-season/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 13:21:17 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=58324 Continue reading ]]>

When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Is this you, you troubler of Israel?” He said, “I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father’s house have, because you have forsaken the commandments of the Lord and you have followed the Baals. Now then send and gather to me all Israel at Mount Carmel, together with 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of the Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.” 1 Kings 18:17–19, NASB

There was a time when the English and American cultures were decidedly “Christian.” Those days are long gone. Whatever it is that God is doing through this, the remnant of genuine believers within the visible Church must awaken and become prepared for what is coming. We cannot be complacent any longer. Why? No matter where we turn, we either encounter growing apostasy within the visible Church or neo-pagans, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, or New Agers being included in the “many ways to God.” Atheism is gaining ground all over the Western World.

The Christian world view is no longer prevalent in the West. It is under attack from every direction. What should be astounding to us, however, is that what is replacing it is highly irrational. It claims tolerance yet will not tolerate Christians having a say in anything. Personally, I see these trends as the beginnings of a very hostile environment for the uncompromising Christian. While that may be something we look to with foreboding, I believe it is going to be used by God to cleanse His Church in preparation for the return of her Bridegroom.

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Jesus and His betrayer http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2015/03/02/jesus-and-his-betrayer/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2015/03/02/jesus-and-his-betrayer/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 13:18:30 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=58322 Continue reading ]]>

Jesus said to him, “The one having been bathed does not have need except to wash his feet, but is wholly clean, and you are clean, but not all.” For He knew the one betraying Him, therefore, He said, “Not all are clean.” John 13:10–11, translated from the NA28 Greek text

λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς· ὁ λελουμένος οὐκ ἔχει χρείαν εἰ μὴ τοὺς πόδας νίψασθαι, ἀλλʼ ἔστιν καθαρὸς ὅλος· καὶ ὑμεῖς καθαροί ἐστε, ἀλλʼ οὐχὶ πάντες. ᾔδει γὰρ τὸν παραδιδόντα αὐτόν· διὰ τοῦτο εἶπεν ὅτι οὐχὶ πάντες καθαροί ἐστε. John 13:10–11, NA28

We have been discussing the rampant apostasy in the “visible church.” While it seems that is is much worse now than it as ever been, let us never forget that the genuine Church has been infiltrated and mixed together with unbelievers, heretics, and apostates from the very beginning. In the passage above we see that one of the our Lord’s own chosen disciples, one of the 12, would betray Him. However, in John 13:18 our also makes it clear that this betrayal would fulfill Old Testament prophecies about an insider betraying Him.

I do not speak of all of you. I know the ones I have chosen; but it is that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘He who eats My bread has lifted up his heel against Me.’ John 13:18, NASB

Now, we enter that part of John’s account of our Lord’s last Passover Feast in which His betrayer is sent away to do his deed. In contrast, our Lord reveals that those who truly belong to Him follow the commandment from God to love one another. Then He reveals to Peter that, even though Peter declares that he would rather die than leave the Lord, he will deny that he even knows Jesus three times this very night. Let us take a closer look.

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Presbyterian Church USA under heat for meeting Hezbollah http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2015/03/02/presbyterian-church-usa-under-heat-for-meeting-hezbollah/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2015/03/02/presbyterian-church-usa-under-heat-for-meeting-hezbollah/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 13:14:07 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=58319 Continue reading ]]> According to the Israeli National News:

In response to the Presbyterian Church USA’s (PCUSA) decision to divest from American companies doing business with Israel, Shurat Hadin (Israel Law Center) filed a whistleblower action against the organization with the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) over meetings PCUSA held with Hezbollah terrorists.

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