If ever folks doubted the Bible’s accuracy, they need only read2 Timothy 4:3 and know for a fact we are living in those times Paul wrote about.
60% of adults under 40 say Jesus isn’t only way to salvation; equal to Buddha, Muhammad
Survey shows pluralistic worldview expanding rapidly among American Christians
More than 60% of born again Christians in America between the ages of 18 and 39 believe that Buddha, Muhammad, and Jesus are all valid paths to salvation and over 30% say they either believe that Jesus sinned just like other people when He lived on Earth or aren’t sure, according to a new study.
There’s a “striking decline” in evangelical religious beliefs and practices over the last 10 years, as the number of self-proclaimed believers to hold these beliefs has increased by nearly 25%, says Probe Ministries in a statement announcing the results of its Religious Views & Practices Survey…
CONTEXT: 1The first three chapters of Ephesians are doctrinal, the last three are practical. Chapter 3 begins the transition from a Christian understanding of salvation, grace, and the power of Christ into a practical guide for Christian living. To make the transition, in this chapter, Paul refers to his own calling by God and prays for the spiritual strength of the Ephesian church. Chapter 3 speaks about the mystery of Christ revealed (Ephesians 3:1–13). The second part of this chapter emphasizes Paul’s prayer for spiritual strength and ends the first half of his letter (Ephesians 3:14–21).
Many of you know I love the old Puritan pastors and theologians. There is something about the simplicity of their writings (yes the old language can be a difficult read at first) that makes it relevant today. Thomas Brooks is one such person and his quote:
Now, Christians, the more great and glorious things you expect from God, as the downfall of antichrist, the conversion of the Jews, the conquest of the nations to Christ, the breaking of all yokes, the new Jerusalem’s coming down from above, the extraordinary pouring out of the Spirit, and a more general union among all saints, the more holy, yea, the more eminently holy in all your ways and actings it becomes you to be. –
Thomas Brooks, The Crown and Glory of Christianity, 1662, CompleteWorks, 1867, p. 444
has always struck me as very compelling. What is it we expect from God or maybe better put what is it we should expect from God?
Many modern theologies claim that we can expect or even demand of God our hearts desires, quoting Ps 37:4 and running with it. Of course, as someone who is a stickler for CONTEXT, this is a false and dangerous doctrine. Others in the same vain claim if only you have enough faith that God will grant all your petitions. Again they use John 16:23 grossly out of context to draw their absurd conclusion and false doctrine.
First, it is right to have expectations of God, Psalm 65:5 because all who live in the fear of the Lord (are His chosen) He has made promises to Prov 23:18. Secondly, anything and everything we expect of God must be BIBLICAL. I have never found an admonition in the Bible against praying BIG or having the expectation that God can answer BIG prayers. Praying for the healing of a loved one from Cancer for example does happen. Praying for a new Caddilac but only being able to afford a Chevy, on the other hand, does not mean you lack faith, it means you lack finances.
The greatest expectation of all can be found in Romans 8:19-21 (AMP)For [even the whole] creation [all nature] waits eagerly for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration and futility, not willingly [because of some intentional fault on its part], but by the will of Him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will also be freed from its bondage to decay [and gain entrance] into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
As I noted yesterday, I had outpatient back surgery in an attempt to relieve some of this ongoing back pain. We pray for BIG results and accept what God gives. There is a team of folks from Mission M25 doing a 4CPR 4 Corners Prayer Rideriding motorcycles touching the 4 corners of the US Praying for our Nation (BIG Thing).
There are so many more BIG things, as Thomas Manton mentioned that Christians need be in prayer for especially, ‘the downfall of antichrist(s), the conversion of the Jews, the conquest of the nations to Christ, and a pouring out of the Spirit in America, and a more general union among all saints.’
Before I get into the topic of today, yesterday’s post on 2 Corinthians 6:2, was the precursor to Paul’s teaching on what a ministry should be 2 Corinthians 6:3-10. Of course, the bible has much more to say about what the makeup of church leaders, ministers, teachers, deacons, etc., should be.
It also has much to say about False Teachings or Teachers. The KJV Bible onlinefor instance has 17 verses listed while the Open Bible has nearly 100 listings. My point in this is to make it clear that the Holy Spirit (the author of the Bible) wanted to be sure we knew there would be many of those opposed to sound biblical doctrine who would arise and try and lead folks astray.
Four of my favorite verses on the subject are1 Timothy 6:3-5, 2 Timothy 3:5, 2 Timothy 4:3-4, 1 John 2:18-25. Again in reading these, it is plain that many a false teacher is wandering around just waiting for the gullible follower. What is most disturbing is John’s warning that they will be known to us for they will claim to be “religious folks” that is they believe the bible but their actions deny that truth. Or maybe worse we will know for certain they have come out of the “church” and are now spreading false doctrines.
J.C. Ryle, the Anglican theologian of the 19th Century wrote about EightSymptoms of False Doctrine: (and those who spout it)
Many things combine to make the present inroad of false doctrine peculiarly dangerous.
There is an undeniable zeal in some of the teachers of error: their ‘earnestness’ makes many think they must be right.
There is a great appearance of learning and theological knowledge: many fancy that such clever and intellectual men must surely be safe guides.
There is a general tendency to free thought and free inquiry in these latter days: many like to prove their independence of judgment, by believing novelties.
There is a wide-spread desire to appear charitable and liberal-minded: many seem half ashamed of saying that anybody can be in the wrong.
There is a quantity of half-truth taught by the modern false teachers: they are incessantly using Scriptural terms and phrases in an unscriptural sense.
There is a morbid craving in the public mind for a more sensuous, ceremonial, sensational, showy worship: men are impatient of inward, invisible heart-work.
There is a silly readiness in every direction to believe everybody who talks cleverly, lovingly and earnestly, and a determination to forget that Satan often masquerades himself as an angel of light’ (2 Cor. 11:14).
There is a widespread ‘gullibility’ among professing Christians: every heretic who tells his story plausibly is sure to be believed, and everybody who doubts him is called a persecutor and a narrow-minded man.
All these things are peculiar symptoms of our times. I defy any observing person to deny them. They tend to make the assaults of false doctrine in our day peculiarly dangerous. They make it more than ever needful to cry aloud, ‘Do not be carried away!’
From J. C. Ryle’s Warnings to the Churches [Banner of Truth, 1967], ‘Divers and Strange Doctrines’, pages 76-77, with slight editing.
Heavenly Father, there are so many false teachings and doctrines of demons that are flooding mainline churches today, and I pray that You would give me discernment and protection from all those, (whether knowingly or unknowingly) who are distorting the word of truth and the gospel of grace.
Give me wisdom and understanding as I read Your Word, so that I may be enabled to discern what is biblical truth and what is a distortion of that truth. Father, Your Word tells us that in the last days there will come times of great difficulty, where love will wear thin and people will be become proud and arrogant, abusive and unholy, having an outward appearance of godliness but denying the truth of the gospel. Protect me I pray, and all those I love from being influenced by such evil distortions, and keep us under Your promised protection, by Your grace.
Protect our hearts and minds from all those who distort the truth, and keep us all covered in the love of God, and protected by the blood of Christ, as we wait for His any day return. He alone is able to keep us from stumbling and to present us blameless before the presence of His glory with great joy. In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen
Answer:When a Christian utters the phrase all things work together for good, he or she is referring to a portion of one of the most quoted, claimed verses in the New Testament, Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Or, as the KJV translates it, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
God works all things together for good—both His good and our good. As God is glorified, His people benefit.
In Romans 8, Paul contrasts a life lived in selfish pursuits (the flesh) and one lived in league with, or in accordance with, God (the Spirit). He impresses upon readers that our sovereign God is all-knowing, all-wise, and all-powerful.
Those who love God can trust His goodness, His power, and His will to work out all things for our good. We journey together with Him.
The promise that God works all things together for good does not mean that all things, taken by themselves, are good. Some things and events are decidedly bad. But God is able to work them together for good. He sees the big picture; He has a master plan.
Neither does the promise that God works all things together for good mean we will acquire all that we want or desire. Romans 8:28 is about God’s goodness and our confidence that His plan will work out as He sees fit. Since His plan is always good, Christians can take confidence that, no matter our circumstances or environments, God is active and will conclude things according to His good and wise design. With this knowledge we can learn to be content (see Philippians 4:11).
The fact that God works all things together for good means God’s plan will not be thwarted. In fact, we are part of His plan, having been “called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). When we trust God and His way, we can be sure that He is active and powerful on our behalf (see Ephesians 3:20).
God knows the future, and His desires will be accomplished. “I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please’” (Isaiah 46:10). Even when things seem chaotic and out of control, God is still in charge. We sometimes worry about what’s happening to us because we do not know what is best for us. But God does.
The principle of God working all things together for good is well illustrated in the Old Testament account of Joseph’s life. Early in Joseph’s life, Joseph’s jealous brothers sold him into slavery. In Egypt, Joseph rises to a position of responsibility. Then, he is unjustly imprisoned and forgotten about by his friends. God gifts him the ability to interpret dreams, and through that ability Joseph is once again raised to a place of honor and power. When drought forces Joseph’s brothers to seek food elsewhere, they travel to Egypt and encounter Joseph, who eventually saves them from starvation and grants them a livelihood in his new land.
Throughout his life, Joseph trusted God no matter his good or bad circumstances. Joseph experienced plenty of bad things: kidnapping, slavery, false accusations, wrongful imprisonment, rejection, and famine. But in the end God brought things to a wonderful, life-affirming conclusion. God blessed Joseph’s entire family through those painful circumstances and through Joseph’s faith. (You can read about Joseph’s life beginning in Genesis 37.)
Paul’s life is another testament to how God works all things together for good. Paul suffered shipwrecks, beatings, imprisonment, murder attempts, temporary blindness, and more—all within God’s plan to spread the gospel (see Acts 9:16and2 Corinthians 11:24–27). Through it all, God was steadfastly working to bring about good and glorious results.
After promising that God works all things together for our good, Romans 8 concludes with the wonderful fact that God trumps everything that comes against Him and those who belong to Him. The Christian is assured that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? . . . No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:35–39). God’s love is everlasting, and His wisdom is infinite. It doesn’t matter who or what attempts to thwart God’s plan; no one and nothing can. God will work all things together for the good of those who love Him. Our decision to align our will with God’s and to always trust Him will be rewarded.