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Archive for July, 2015

Good Reads

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Here are three good reads:

“Bruce Jenner, Gay Marriage, and Planned Parenthood: The Self-Deification of a Nation” by Mike Riccardi.

“God Will Give You More Than You Can Handle” by Mitch Chase.

“Sin is the Only Bad Word Left” by Melissa Edgington.

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Russell Moore said of this book: “Every Christian should read this book.” He’s absolutely right. Kevin DeYoung has written a tremendous book dealing with a very timely and important topic. The first part of the book looks at the Scriptural passages dealing with homosexuality. In the second part, objections are answered. As Christians, we need to be able to think through the issue biblically and clearly, and then be able to articulate it to the world. I’ve never been disappointed with what DeYoung has written, and this book is no exception. Toole lege!

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throne

This morning I had the privilege of preaching on John 7:14-24. Here is a summary of my sermon in one sentence: Following Jesus involves not judging according to appearance and judging with based on a right standard.

You’ll notice that I took down the previous “Sermon in a Sentence” post. When I search for images to go along with what I’ve written, I try to be as careful as I can about the origin of the image. Well, I wasn’t as careful as I should have been the image depicting Jesus teaching people. It came from a source I don’t trust or recommend (the Mormons) and portrays an event and period in the life of Jesus that did not happen (coming to America and ministering to native Americans). Please accept my apologies for not paying close enough attention and posting something potentially misleading. Kris Ritton deserves a huge tip of the hat for pointing it out. Thanks, Kris!

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Comments from J.C. Ryle that didn’t make it into my sermon last Sunday.

The theme of John 7:1-13 is the question “Who is Jesus Christ?” Jesus’ biological brothers didn’t yet believe that He was the Messiah, the Son of God, and they offered Him some unsolicited “career advice” that reeked of the world. One of the things Jesus said to them in response, “The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it, that its deeds are evil” (7:7).

These words reveal one of those secret principles which influence men in their treatment of Christ. They help to explain that deadly enmity with which many during the Lord’s earthly ministry regarded Him and His Gospel. It was not so much the high doctrines which He preached, as the high standard of practice which He proclaimed, which gave offence. It was not even His claim to be received the Messiah which men disliked so much, as His witness against the wickedness of their lives. In short, they could have tolerated His opinions if He would only have spared their sins.

The principle, we may be sure, is one of universal application. It is at work now just as much as it was eighteen hundred years ago. The real cause of many people’s dislike to the Gospel is the holiness of living which it demands. Teach abstract doctrines only, and few will find  any fault. Denounce the fashionable sins of the day, and call on men to repent and walk consistently with God, and thousands at once will be offended. The true reason why many profess to be infidels, and abuse Christianity, is the witness that Christianity bears against their own bad lives. Like Ahab, they hate it, ‘because it does not prophesy good concerning them, but evil’ (1 Kings 22:8).”

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Greg Koukl, through his organization Stand To Reason and radio program, has been a long-distance teacher of mine for many years. He exemplifies clear-thinking Christianity. Many of us back away from conversations with others about the Lord and Christianity because we’re not sure how to answer the questions people may have – we’re afraid we’ll botch it. Koukl doesn’t give a list of answers, but what he does give are tactics we can all use as we converse with others. In other words, he provides a big-picture game plan we can follow. The “Columbo” tactic Koukl develops can be used in any conversation, and is a way of thinking through any issue. In addition, Koukl presents a number of flawed arguments that can be recognized in others and avoided ourselves. This is an excellent book that could be studied by groups as well as individuals. Tolle lege!

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teaching

This morning, I had the privilege of preaching on John 7:1-13. Here is a summary of my sermon in one sentence: We must not answer the question “Who is Jesus Christ?” with open hostility, according tot he world’s way of thinking and acting, or with confusion, but rather by falling on our knees and worshiping Him ans Lord and God.

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John-6_68

This morning I had the privilege of preaching on John 6:60-71. The following is a summary of my sermon in one sentence: Staying faithful to Jesus involves being a real disciple (not a false one), realizing the foolishness and futility of leaving Him, and persevering.

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The year 1776 was a critical one in the American revolution. Few realize how close we were losing. However, that same year was the turning point in our battle for independence from King George of Britain. McCullough, a top-flight historian, gives us a military history of that important year. As a good writer and storyteller, McCullough makes it come alive. Definitely worth the time. (In case you’re interested, there are nearly fifty pages of footnotes!)

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“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Heb. 13:5; Deut. 31:6).

In Daniel Defoe’s book Robinson Crusoe, a man (Crusoe) has been shipwrecked on a desert island. His first weeks and months were filled with finding food to eat, building shelter, and protecting himself from animals and humans (if there were other humans on the island).

In time, because of some of the things that happened to him, he began to consider his own sins and his relationship with God and Christ. From the shipwreck, he took a Bible and read it, which led him to faith in Jesus Christ.

Crusoe, in Defoe’s story, spent twenty-eight years on the island. during that time, his loneliness, lostness, and seemingly hopeless circumstances weighed very heavily on his heart.

As I walked about, either on my hunting or for viewing the country, the anguish of my soul at my condition would break out upon me on a sudden, and my very heart would die within me to think of the woods, the mountains, the deserts I was in; and how I was a prisoner locked up with the eternal bars and bolts of the ocean, in an uninhabited wilderness, without redemption. In the midst of the greatest composures of my mind this would break out upon me like a storm and make me wring my hands and weep like a child.

One morning, being very sad, I opened the Bible upon these words, “I will never, never leave thee, nor forsake thee”: immediately it occurred that these words were to me; why else should they be directed in such a manner, just as the moment when I was mourning over my condition, as one forsaken of God and man? “Well then,” I said, “if God does not forsake me; seeing on the other hand, if I had all the world and should lose the favour and blessing and God, there would be comparison in the loss?

From this moment I began to conclude in my mind that it was possible for me to be more happy in this forsaken, solitary condition than it was probable I should ever have been in any other particular state in the world.

The Triune God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – is with us! We have His Word on it. Daniel Defoe understood it, and may we understand it, too.

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This morning I had the privilege of preaching on John 6:52-59. Here is a summary of my sermon in one sentence: Amidst the perplexity of those who heard Him, Jesus promised that true spiritual, and eternal, life comes only through Him, the bread of life.

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