The Associated Press writes:
Should children have the right to ask for their own deaths?
In Belgium, where euthanasia is now legal for people over the age of 18, the government is considering extending it to children – something that no other country has done. The same bill would offer the right to die to adults with early dementia.
Christian News Network reports:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced this week that he plans to bring the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) up for a vote by Thanksgiving.
The bill, introduced earlier this year by Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon, seeks to protect homosexuals and those who prefer to identify as the opposite gender in the workplace, and bars employers from discriminating based on sexuality and gender identity.
According to Christian News Network:
A former Pentagon official who pushed for the repeal of the U.S. military’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy has been named the next president of the Boy Scouts of America.
Robert Gates served as the Secretary of Defense under then-President George W. Bush beginning in 2006 and stayed on board for part of Barack Obama’s first term. Prior to his appointment, he served 26 years in the CIA–his latter years as Director of Central Intelligence.
11 May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:11–14, ESV
We live in a time of deep deception. Even genuine Christians can be deceived if they are not exceedingly careful. It is imperative that, even though we must remain in the world for a time, we must not be of it. The Church has been under heavy attack since Acts 2. It is a wise and discerning thing for us to understand that God uses this to purify, cleanse, and teach the Church. It is as we address heresy that doctrine is developed or our understanding of God and His ways becomes more defined for us.
The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe. Proverbs 29:25, ESV
Our enemy is pretty smart. He has been around long enough that he believes he knows us. He knows that lost people are enslaved to him via their sin nature. He knows that the little flock, our Lord’s sheep, may be new creations via the washing of regeneration, but they still have their flesh and a deep, overwhelming need to be fulfilled. Their salvation has changed them so they now have the ability to be fulfilled in God the more they take on Christ’s character. Our enemy, on the other hand, does all he can to neutralize those sheep by attacking them in innumerable ways so that they walk according their flesh instead of according to the Spirit.
Satan has always wanted to be God. He caused a war in Heaven by attempting to usurp God’s throne for himself. Ever since, he has been hard at work attempting to fool people into believing that he is God or at least driving a wedge between people and the Living God by enticing them to be gods unto themselves through their self-will.
Now that the long awaited Strange Fire conference (16–18 October 2013) has wrapped up at John MacArthur’s Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, CA, the Sola Sisters have a few thoughts on the conference overall and also on Mark Driscoll shameless gatecrashing publicity stunt.
34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36 And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. 37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 34 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Matthew 10:34–39, ESV
God is sovereign. God is a Covenant God who has not relinquished any of His sovereignty nor has He left His people’s eternal status up to their fickle, fallen natures. However, those God saves are truly saved. Their hearts are regenerate. They are eternally His. None of eternal security is in their hands. Instead, they are held in His capable and omnipotent hands.
I was involved in a discussion the other day with someone who claimed that it was impossible for a person to be both a Baptist and Reformed in their Theology. I got involved because I saw no sense to what he was saying in the discussion group. When I assured him that I was a Baptist, but not Dispensational he said that was a contradiction in terms. It was then that I went after his presuppositions. His presupposition was that only those in the Covenant and given a mark of that Covenant, which was reference to their infant baptism, and no one else, could be a member of the New Covenant. I then challenged his understanding of believer’s baptism throughout the book of Acts of Jewish and Gentile believers. He then said they were believers not disciples. His theology stated that a person could be a disciple and not be a genuine believer. I disagreed saying that a genuine disciple was a genuine believer while all false disciples were also false believers. This is where we came to the crux of the disagreement. I went to the Greek in Great Commission and our Lord’s statement about the true cost of Discipleship in Luke 14:25-33. It was then that he claimed that using the Greek meant nothing and I then accused him of playing word games insisting that just because of false disciples such as Judas meant that the term “disciple” was nearly meaningless. That ended the discussion. I doubt if there will be another.
However, we do know that believers are called to role of reconciliation, forgiveness, loving our enemies, and turning the other cheek by being Spirit-filled. Also, the genuinely humble believer will not be timid, but bold.
Part of being bold because of the moving of the Holy Spirit within us is to proclaim the truth even if it takes the form of a rebuke. We are told to love our enemies, but we must not have unity with professing believers who are mired in heresy. On the other hand, those in apostasy must be rebuked in love with the goal of restoring them to fellowship and unity within God’s truth.
Much of the Bible is prophetic in nature. A large part of those prophecies take the form of God rebuking His people for their apostasy as well as declaring His coming judgment upon the world for their rebellion against Him and His ways.
One such prophet was Ezekiel. His book opens with him witnessing the glory of God in a magnificent vision. His account of it in Ezekiel 1 is utterly amazing. It is obvious that when he wrote it that he was struggling to describe the indescribable. In v26-28 Ezekiel describes his reaction to seeing this.
8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8–9, ESV
14 “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write:‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation. 15 “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. Revelation 3:14–16, ESV
We live in an evil day. When “cultural relevance” carries more weight within the leadership of a church than conformity to the revealed Word of God then it should grieve those who know the Lord and are known by Him. All around us are examples of “churches” that would best be described as “Laodicean,” that is, people-centered rather than God-centered. “Laodicean churches” are always “lukewarm” and a word study of Revelation 3:14–22 makes it clear that a professing believer who is “lukewarm” is actually a “temporary christian,” not a genuine disciple of our Lord Jesus at all. In fact, this lukewarmness is so disgusting to our Lord that he tells them that he will “spit” them out of his mouth.
What is the marker of this lukewarmness? It is as I said, lukewarm “professing christians” are “man-centered” rather than God-centered. They go out of their way to never offend anyone about anything for instance. As we have said many times here at Possessing the Treasure, there are only two religions in the whole world. There is genuine Christianity, which is based entirely in God’s Sovereignty and consists of those whom He elected, called, justified, sanctified, adopted, and glorified. Then there are all other religions, which are based entirely in the sovereignty of Man’s Free Will. Which are those who are “lukewarm” and those who are “hot”?
Brent Bozell, President of the Media Research Center, describes the ways in which Hollywood continues to promote homosexuality. He points out that radical homosexual and lesbian activists insist on indoctrinating young children with “gay” propaganda through movies and TV. The problem, says Bozell, is that “Gay characters never face any real opposition to the gay agenda on these so-called ‘inclusive’ programs.” He begins:
The media elites glowed as they reported a judge had forced New Jersey to become the 14th state to honor and celebrate the “gay marriage” concept. When homosexuals marry in Hoboken, the gay left will be — should be — thanking Hollywood.
1 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. 2 Timothy 4:1–5, ESV
The proponents of the seeker-sensitive church growth model may very well have had good intentions when through it was spawned the rise of contemporary mega-churches such as Willow Creek and Saddleback Valley Baptist and their clones. The focus was outreach to the unchurched. While that appears to be a proper function of the New Testament Church one of the model’s fundamental components is actually an antithesis of the clear instruction to Church leaders found in God’s Word. That component is pragmatism.
1 Hezekiah began to reign when he was twenty-five years old, and he reigned twenty- nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abijah the daughter of Zechariah. 2 And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, according to all that David his father had done. 3 In the first year of his reign, in the first month, he opened the doors of the house of the Lord and repaired them. 4 He brought in the priests and the Levites and assembled them in the square on the east 5 and said to them, “Hear me, Levites! Now consecrate yourselves, and consecrate the house of the Lord, the God of your fathers, and carry out the filth from the Holy Place. 6 For our fathers have been unfaithful and have done what was evil in the sight of the Lord our God. They have forsaken him and have turned away their faces from the habitation of the Lord and turned their backs. 7 They also shut the doors of the vestibule and put out the lamps and have not burned incense or offered burnt offerings in the Holy Place to the God of Israel.
2 Chronicles 29:1–7, ESV
We must admit that the spiritual condition of the 21st Century Church in this country and in most of the West is generally or mostly apostate. Thankfully, God always has His remnant of faithful believers even in the worst apostate periods. Over the last several years as I have posted on the topics of righteousness, repentance, sanctification, Antinomianism, and the nature of salvation, the resistance to some of these teachings has, at times, been quite eye-opening. There are some who see any call to walk righteously as hypocritical because they associate it with self-righteousness. Is walking in right behaviour hypocritical?
2 May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 3 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, 4 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 1:2–4, ESV
The root of most heresies springs from those who profess Christ as Saviour, but who believe in various ways that what the Christian receives at Salvation is not sufficient. Something else must be added in order for the Christian to enter into a fuller relationship with God or to go deeper into the things of God. Some even go so far as to say that unless certain things are added to salvation then it is not complete and, therefore, void. A good example of this is found in the book of Galatians. Some Judiazers had entered the churches Paul and planted in Galatia. They were teaching that salvation was indeed by Christ, but it was not complete unless the converts also were circumcised and kept the Law of Moses.
And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. 1 Thessalonians 5:14, ESV
I totally agree with Dr. John MacArthur’s assessment of the spiritual status of the United States of America in which he stated that we are in the process of being abandoned by God. Why is God doing this? Our leaders, which which include those in all levels of the government as well as religious leaders have, for the most part abandoned God. They have turned away from a Christian Worldview and have pursued a secular, humanistic worldview in its place. As we read in Romans 1:32, God gives people over to their false gods. This, in turn, causes deep spiritual blindness that only God can take away. As a result of a nation being given over like this this causes those who do hold to a Christian Worldview and who do pursue the holiness of God in their lives to find themselves at odds with every fabric of their society.
Life News posted this piece by Matt Yonke, who writes for the Pro-Life Action League:
Sometimes praying outside the abortion mill can be a tiring and thankless work. Sometimes it seems like you spent an hour outside, often in the freezing cold or burning heat, for nothing.
But even when we see no immediate fruit of our efforts, the world is watching. And sometimes, the simple act of standing in prayer outside the abortion facility has effects we don’t hear about for years, if ever.
According to Christian News Network:
The discovery of a fossilized mosquito has led some scientists to question the presumed age of ancient fossils and rock layers.
The National Academy of Sciences recently published a journal article written by a team of five American and European scientists. The 5-page paper details the recent discovery of a well-preserved, fossilized mosquito in northwestern Montana’s Kishenehn Formation. Remarkably, the fossil appears to contain traces of preserved blood—a feature that the discoverers describe as both “rare” and “unique.”
οὕτως γὰρ ἠγάπησεν ὁ θεὸς τὸν κόσμον, ὥστε τὸν υἱὸν τὸν μονογενῆ ἔδωκεν, ἵνα πᾶς ὁ πιστεύων εἰς αὐτὸν μὴ ἀπόληται ἀλλʼ ἔχῃ ζωὴν αἰώνιον John 3:16, NA28
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16, ESV
ὥσπερ γὰρ τὸ σῶμα χωρὶς πνεύματος νεκρόν ἐστιν, οὕτως καὶ ἡ πίστις χωρὶς ἔργων νεκρά ἐστιν, James 2:26, NA28
For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead. James 2:26, ESV
There is no more dramatic contrast between two words than those describing what are alive and those describing what are dead. For instance, in James 2:14-26 James describes the difference between living faith, which is saving faith, and dead faith, which does not save. In v26 the first occurrence of “dead” translates the Greek adjective νεκρόν (nekron), the Nominative, Singular, Neuter case of νεκρός (nekros), which speaks of a dead body or corpse. The second occurrence of “dead” translates the Greek adjective νεκρά (nekra), the Nominative, Singular, Feminine case of νεκρός. What James is describing is a false faith that is as dead as a dead body. The ultimate contrast is to take that which is the state of death compared to the state of eternal life, which our Lord described in John 3:16.
Apprising Ministries shares a devotional teaching by Martin Luther.
Christian News Network reports:
A Christian judge in Washington was recently reprimanded by the state Judicial Conduct Commission for refusing to officiate same-sex ‘weddings.’
Thurston County Superior Court Judge Gary Tabor had made met with court employees following last year’s election, which legalized the practice in Washington, and informed his colleagues that he did not feel comfortable with performing homosexual ceremonies. An attendee of the meeting leaked Tabor’s comments to reporters, who in turned contacted the judge for further explanation.
According to Christian News Network:
Voters in the state of Colorado are set to vote on a ballot initiative that would declare the unborn as persons as a mother who lost her baby in a tragic accident last year is seeking justice for other children just like her son.
As previously reported, Heather Surovick was heading home from her final prenatal appointment in July 2012 when she was struck by a drunk driver—who had been charged with DUI four other times.
When she woke up in the hospital hours later, Surovick was informed that her son Brady, who was days from being born, weighing in at 8 pounds, 2 ounces, died in the accident.