Friday, August 19, 2011

What should the attraction be?

The best attraction is the gospel in its purity... Rely implicitly upon the old, old gospel. You need no other nets when you fish for men; those your Master has given you are strong enough for the great fishes, and have meshes fine enough to hold the little ones. Spread these nets and no others, and you need not fear the fulfillment of His Word, "I will make you fishers of men." CHS

Redeem the Time

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Taste and see that the Lord is good.

This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
(Psalms 34:6-8)

"Other religions do not claim to have an infallible verbal revelation from an all-knowing personal God" Greg Bahnsen - Christianity in a League of Its Own

Christianity is unique. There are some sects or cults that attempt to copy Christianity while adding their own devilish twist on what God has relieved in the holy Scriptures. Christianity alone teaches that we are justified before God by Grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. All other religions say that we either do not need salvation or that we can merit our salvation at least in part by what we do. Christianity says that we are counted righteous by faith in Christ's perfect work apart from any meritorious works of our own. That is indeed good news for people like us. Taste indeed and see that the Lord is good!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Did Constantine decide the contents of the Bible at the Council of Nicea in 325 AD?

We speak every so often to people who make the claim that the contents of the Bible were decided or changed by the Emperor Constantine at the Council of Nicea. Here is an article by Dr. James R. White addressing the issue of what really happened at Nicea. I hope it will be instructive to you.

What Really Happened at Nicea? by James R. White

The Council of Nicea is often misrepresented by cults and other religious movements. The actual concern of the council was clearly and unambiguously the relationship between the Father and the Son. Is Christ a creature, or true God? The council said He was true God. Yet, the opponents of the deity of Christ did not simply give up after the council’s decision. In fact, they almost succeeded in overturning the Nicene affirmation of Christ’s deity. But faithful Christians like Athanasius continued to defend the truth, and in the end, truth triumphed over error.

Link to the article.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

St Patrick - The Confessions

The Confessions of St Patrick – (probably written about 450 AD)

1. I, Patrick, a sinner, a most simple countryman, the least of all the faithful and most contemptible to many ….. I was at that time about sixteen years of age. I did not, indeed, know the true God; and I was taken into captivity in Ireland with many thousands of people, according to our deserts, for quite drawn away from God, we did not keep his precepts, nor were we obedient to our priests who used to remind us of our salvation. And the Lord brought down on us the fury of his being and scattered us among many nations, even to the ends of the earth, where I, in my smallness, am now to be found among foreigners.
2. And there the Lord opened my mind to an awareness of my unbelief, in order that …. I might remember my transgressions and turn with all my heart to the Lord my God, who had regard for my insignificance and pitied my youth and ignorance. And he watched over me before I knew him and before I learned sense or even distinguished between good and evil, and he protected me, and consoled me as a father would his son.

7. I am not ignorant of what is said of my Lord in the Psalm: ‘You destroy those who speak a lie.’ And again: ‘A lying mouth deals death to the soul.’ And likewise the Lord says in the Gospel: ‘On the day of judgment men shall render account for every idle word they utter.’

In context the Son of God said that people will give account for every careless or idle word that they speak against the Holy Spirit who is the Spirit of truth. For he says, by your words (for the truth) you will be justified, and by your words (against the truth) you will be condemned” (Mat 12:31-37)

The Apostle Paul wrote that the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. (Rom 1:18)

The writer of Proverbs tells us that lying lips are an abomination to the Lord (Prov 12:22) and that the Lord hates a lying tongue. (Prov 6:17)

David as Patrick quoted says, “You destroy all those who speak lies” (Ps 5:6)

John says in Revelation that, “the cowardly, the faithless… those who are idolaters, and all liars, will have their place in the lake that burns with fire…." (Rev 21:8)

Timothy says that the Law is laid down not for the righteous but for liars. (I Tim 1:8-10)

The question is why is the God, that St Patrick served so concerned about the truth about Himself that he would threaten people who do not love it with eternal justice?

Think of it this way, there may be some lies that you can easily overlook but lies against your character and against your good name cannot be ignored. These kinds of lies are called slander in their spoken form and libel in their written form. They are so serious that they are actionable in our legal system. You can take someone to court and win damages against them because they have done harm to your reputation.

So what if a person makes slanderous accusations against the Creator of the universe? Do you think that would be a serious offense? How bad of a liar is someone who makes false allegations against the Spirit of truth Himself? You see the apostle Paul makes it clear in his letter to the Romans that everyone is aware of God. No one has the excuse of ignorance because God has made his eternal power and divine nature plain to all people ever since the creation of the world in the things that are made. So we are without excuse because even though we are aware of God we are all guilty of failing to honor God as they should. We have all at some time in our lives loved other things more than God and worshiped and served the creation rather than the Creator. As John Piper has so aptly put it “God is infinitely worthy of our admiration, loyalty and respect” therefore “failure to love Him is not trivial it is treason”. And because God is holy, righteous and just, He cannot overlook our suppression of the truth. People will be called to account on the Day of Judgment for every careless word that they have spoken against God's character and name. And our very words will either justify us or condemn us on that day.

And that is why God sent his Son into the world to save sinful suppressors of the truth like me. And as St. Patrick said, to open my mind to an awareness of my unbelief, in order that …. I might remember my transgressions and turn with all my heart to the Lord my God.

Jesus came into the world 2000 years ago. Being fully God and fully man he lived a perfectly righteous life. He loved God perfectly as we all should love him and he perfectly loved his neighbor as himself. And 30 to 33 years into his earthly life He voluntarily went to a criminal’s death on the cross taking the full measure of God’s wrath that His people rightly deserved upon Himself. On the third day he rose from the grave, as he had promised, demonstrating that he was truly the unique Son of God and the Savior of the world.

God has commanded all people everywhere to repent and trust in Christ alone to save them from the coming judgment. In order to truly begin to love God you need a deep-seated change of heart and mind which results in a drastic change of direction like that which St Patrick experienced. If you have not yet received the gift of repentance and faith, it is our prayer that our gracious God and Savior will raise you out of death to life through faith in Christ alone. If you love the God of truth we pray that he will empower you to continue to grow in love for the truth about Him and in your willingness to speak the truth in love to others.

Check out the rest of St Patrick’s work here: