Christian Research Network http://christianresearchnetwork.org Current issues in the church Fri, 19 Dec 2014 09:10:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/12/19/come-to-me-all-who-are-weary-and-heavy-laden-and-i-will-give-you-rest/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/12/19/come-to-me-all-who-are-weary-and-heavy-laden-and-i-will-give-you-rest/#comments Fri, 19 Dec 2014 09:10:23 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=57672 Continue reading ]]>

Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. John 7:37–39, NASB

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. “Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matthew 5:3–12, NASB

Hell is real. All who do not repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ will spend eternity there. Those who repent and believe are those who ‘come to Jesus to drink.’ They believe as the Holy Spirit is poured out on them to the point that their lives are taken over by Him. Those who do will never experience hell. Instead, they come to Jesus and find rest for their souls. Those who do this are poor in spirit. They mourn for their sins. They are not proud, but meek. In their growing godliness they hunger and thirst for Christ’s righteousness to become manifest in them. They become more and more Christlike, therefore, they take on His character. They show mercy as He does. They become more and more pure of heart. They remove themselves from seeking their own. Instead, they become those who live to bring others to their Lord. Conversely, this holy and separate life does not cause them to find peace in the world. No, instead they are persecuted for righteousness sake.

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LGBTQ “future pastors” to train, plan for the pulpit http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/12/19/lgbtq-future-pastors-to-train-plan-for-the-pulpit/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/12/19/lgbtq-future-pastors-to-train-plan-for-the-pulpit/#comments Fri, 19 Dec 2014 09:07:54 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=57670 Continue reading ]]> Amy Spreeman, co-host of Stand Up For The Truth, writes:

More evidence that our visible churches are soon going to be lead by homosexual pastors and pastrixes. Coming soon to Indiana, more than 50 LGBTQ pastors-in-training will meet to strategize and plan for what they hope will be future jobs behind the pulpit. At a retreat center this summer, a group of more than 50 “future pastors” have signed up to become an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

The retreat was established nine years ago by Presbyterian Welcome, a New York City-based non-profit working for LGBTQ inclusion in the church and beyond.

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Pakistani court orders arrest of Muslim clerics after mob kills couple accused of blasphemy http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/12/19/pakistani-court-orders-arrest-of-muslim-clerics-after-mob-kills-couple-accused-of-blasphemy/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/12/19/pakistani-court-orders-arrest-of-muslim-clerics-after-mob-kills-couple-accused-of-blasphemy/#comments Fri, 19 Dec 2014 09:02:34 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=57629 Continue reading ]]> Christian News Network reports:

The Supreme Court of Pakistan has ordered the arrest of two Muslim clerics for inciting a mob who killed a couple last month after being falsely accused of desecrating the Koran. Five police officials who failed to protect the couple have also been required to face disciplinary action.

As previously reported, Shama Bibi, 28, and Shahzad Masih, 32, were burnt to ashes after they were encircled by the mob who had been informed over mosque loudspeakers that the couple had been found guilty of blasphemy against Islam.

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Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/12/18/do-you-not-know-that-a-little-leaven-leavens-the-whole-lump/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/12/18/do-you-not-know-that-a-little-leaven-leavens-the-whole-lump/#comments Thu, 18 Dec 2014 08:08:42 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=57663 Continue reading ]]>

The Pharisees and Sadducees came up, and testing Jesus, they asked Him to show them a sign from heaven. But He replied to them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘There will be a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times? An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and a sign will not be given it, except the sign of Jonah.” And He left them and went away. And the disciples came to the other side of the sea, but they had forgotten to bring any bread. And Jesus said to them, “Watch out and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” They began to discuss this among themselves, saying, “He said that because we did not bring any bread.” But Jesus, aware of this, said, “You men of little faith, why do you discuss among yourselves that you have no bread? Do you not yet understand or remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets full you picked up? Or the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many large baskets full you picked up? How is it that you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread? But beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” Then they understood that He did not say to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees. Matthew 16:1–12, NASB

The Church in our time did not descend suddenly into the level of apostasy we see all around us now. No, it actually began many generations ago when Christian leaders who compromised God’s Truth were tolerated or not dealt with through Church discipline as instructed in God’s Word. With each compromise comes a bit more heart hardening and a dullness of Spirit in their churches so that eventually true Biblical discernment becomes rare. Those who have not compromised are the minority while those who are walking in spiritual darkness view them as divisive, self-righteous, and judgmental. Why? These with discernment stand firm and rebuke those who teach what is not Biblical as if it is the truth while teaching against Biblical truth as if it is false.

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Jesus Christ’s Authority http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/12/17/jesus-christs-authority/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/12/17/jesus-christs-authority/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 07:47:04 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=57659 Continue reading ]]>

But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated. When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful. And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:16–20, NASB

Jesus Christ is Lord of all of each of His people. Christians do not make Him Lord in order to be saved because He is Lord. Those who claim to be Christians, but refuse His Lordship, are not genuine Christians. That is very sobering isn’t it? It is supposed to be. Those are Jesus Christ’s own words about the nature of those who are and aren’t His disciples. There are some in the pulpit these days who treat Jesus as if He is just an add on their ministries. Several years ago I wrote a piece on evangelism and how it is God working through His people to do this work. The direction is Him working through us instead of us working and including God. However, I received one comment that stated what a “neat thing” it was when we included God in our evangelistic efforts. That bothers me to this day. Sigh…

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Our Lord’s parousia http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/12/16/our-lords-parousia/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/12/16/our-lords-parousia/#comments Tue, 16 Dec 2014 09:31:35 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=57653 Continue reading ]]>

For who is our hope or joy or crown of exultation? Is it not even you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming? For you are our glory and joy. 1 Thessalonians 2:19–20, NASB

In my biblical research in order to answer the claims of Universalists, I have found that much of their “doctrine” comes from a mishandling of sacred Scripture, especially those passages dealing with the state of the dead in Christ and the identity of those who meet the Lord in the air at his παρουσια or parousia or arrival or coming or presence. In this post we will look at 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18 and attempt to unpack Paul’s statement about our Lord’s παρουσια.

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Wisdom from the Holy Spirit http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/12/15/wisdom-from-the-holy-spirit/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/12/15/wisdom-from-the-holy-spirit/#comments Mon, 15 Dec 2014 11:47:09 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=57648 Continue reading ]]>

For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear, Nor has the eye seen a God besides You, Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him. Isaiah 64:4, NASB

Definition from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary:

Main Entry: ec·u·men·i·cal
Pronunciation: \ˌe-kyə-ˈme-ni-kəl, -kyü-\
Function: adjective
Etymology: Late Latin oecumenicus, from Late Greek oikoumenikos, from Greek oikoumenē the inhabited world, from feminine of oikoumenos, present passive participle of oikein to inhabit, from oikos house
Date: circa 1587
1 : worldwide or general in extent, influence, or application 2 a : of, relating to, or representing the whole of a body of churches b : promoting or tending toward worldwide Christian unity or cooperation
ec·u·men·i·cal·ly \-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Ecumenicalism is just a word. However, in these last days it has come to mean much more than the ‘promoting or tending tending toward worldwide Christian unity or cooperation’ that we see in the dictionary definition. To the ecumenicists, it states that Christianity is the same regardless of definition of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, that is not even mentioned. Instead, they focus on calling those who attempt to emulate Christ’s humanism or good works their brothers. This has to be the case, because those who come together as “one” to stand against certain political or cultural issues actually claim to hold to doctrines that are mutually exclusive. However, as we see with the the recent actions of Rick Warren with his declaration that the Pope is the “Pope of all Christians,” for example, the ecumenicists are willing to overlook these differences as if they are negotiable.

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The privileges of the Lord’s sheep http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/12/14/the-privileges-of-the-lords-sheep/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/12/14/the-privileges-of-the-lords-sheep/#comments Sun, 14 Dec 2014 12:57:15 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=57644 Continue reading ]]>

So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. John 10:7–9, NASB

On this blog we spend quite a bit of time looking at doctrine, heresies, apostasy, et cetera, but not enough time looking at the incredible privileges Christians have and why they have them. We must obey our Lord in standing firm against the forces of darkness, but we should also take the time to reflect on who we really are in Christ. The mind of Christ includes this my brethren and we should not neglect it. Why? It is as we learn the truth of who we are in Christ that we also gain the right perspective of God and His sovereignty.

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Judgement is coming http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/12/12/judgement-is-coming/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/12/12/judgement-is-coming/#comments Fri, 12 Dec 2014 10:03:56 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=57640 Continue reading ]]>

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. 2 Corinthians 5:10, NASB

So He said, “A nobleman went to a distant country to receive a kingdom for himself, and then return. And he called ten of his slaves, and gave them ten minas and said to them, ‘Do business with this until I come back.’ But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to reign over us.’ When he returned, after receiving the kingdom, he ordered that these slaves, to whom he had given the money, be called to him so that he might know what business they had done.” Luke 19:12–15, NASB

“I tell you that to everyone who has, more shall be given, but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. But these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them in my presence.” Luke 19:26–27, NASB

If God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ are honestly portrayed as we read in sacred Scripture the vast majority, those whose hearts are overrun by relativism, will stiffen their necks in rejection. However, when a smiling, culturally “relevant” preacher repackages the Holy Trinity and Christianity into a “product” that sells then that ministry will become huge. Book deals and speaking engagements deluge this new superstar of a religion that seems to exist only to speak what people want to hear. That is one reason the cup of God’s wrath is filling in preparation for His impending judgement.

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Fight the spiritual forces of wickedness – and win! http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/12/11/fight-the-spiritual-forces-of-wickedness-and-win/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/12/11/fight-the-spiritual-forces-of-wickedness-and-win/#comments Thu, 11 Dec 2014 21:26:31 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=57627 Continue reading ]]> CRN correspondent Marsha West reminds us that there’s a spiritual battle raging in the invisible realm between the forces of good and evil. In his letter to the Ephesian church, the Apostle Paul explains what Christians must do to protect themselves against the “fiery darts” of the evil one. But many Christians are unfamiliar with the armor of God, and are going about their daily lives unprotected. As a result, they’re getting pummeled by Satan and his demons. Marsha describes each piece of armor, explains its importance, and makes the case as to why believers must “put on the whole armor of God” everyday.

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