Reflections on the Cancel Culture

In this 3 Part series (so far at least) Dr. Tom Nettles, uses his over 40 years experience as a historical theologian to look at the current cultural trend of the “Cancel Culture.”  He does so from a Biblical and SBC point of view, I feel pointing out the unbiblical and dangerous path this is leading the Nation and many evangelical down. – Mike


 

There is One Lawgiver: Reflections on the Cancel Culture

There is One Lawgiver: Reflections on the Cancel Culture

The suggestion has been made that we should say farewell to Jonathan Edwards in light of his having purchased a slave named Venus. A serious call also has been issued to remove memorabilia of James P. Boyce and the three men who helped found the first Southern Baptist Seminary. Those suggestions prompted a line of thought about our aptitude to dismiss the value of brothers and sisters in Christ.

It is not very easy—in fact, it is not possible—to say “farewell” to any person in the history of the world. God has created them all and each will have an eternity immediately proceeding from God’s judgment—his perfectly impartial, absolutely just judgment in which every mouth will be stopped and the whole world held guilty before God (Romans 3:19, 23). Only those who by faith have been united with Jesus Christ in his perfect righteousness culminating in his propitiatory death will be granted, by grace, eternal life. The rest will depart into eternal torment with the devil and his angels. Seeing that an eternity awaits every person in which each will be a vessel of glory either of justice and wrath or justice and grace, we cannot wish them away. Seeing that in sin there is no difference, we cannot point to others and imply by our attempt to dismiss them, “I am better than they.”…

READ MORE Part I
Part IIEdwards in the Hands of Social Justice
PART III, Removing Names: Deep Cleansing?

 

Daily Devotional – Couch Potato Christian

There are two types of “Christians” in the world, one hears God’s Word and says that’s nice let me sleep on it, the other says that’s great let me take action because of it. 

Are you a DHaggiaoer or Couch Potato Christian (CPC)  

Aberdeen tops Scottish couch potato league table | HeraldScotland


CONTEXT:

First I must admit I was a little surprised at the amount of content I found when I googled “Couch Potato Christian.”  There are many articles and even a few books on the subject. 

So today instead of focusing on one text I am going to use two to explain what I mean by “Couch Potato Christian” and why God does not look favorably upon said people. 

Wednesday's Word ~ Haggai 1 – Michelle Lesley

AMP and RVR 1960

Haggai begins with the Lord speaking to Haggai and asking a simple question; how is it you people live so comfortably yet my temple is in ruins? ‘ The chapter goes on to say that the Israelites have lived a life of excesses but have nothing to show for it. They are lazy and indulgent. 

Compare them to what James says a true believer should be: 

22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. James 1:22

AMP and RVR 1960

James makes it clear a true hearer of God’s Word, consistently and actively proves his love and obedience by actively pursuing or doing what they have heard. They go about having God work through them for His glory.  In other words, no CPC’s here, they, no matter their limitations (Physical, mental, financial, etc.) will be about God’s work.


COMPARISON: 

Spiritual Couch Potato Christian’s (SCPC’s) will always take the easy way out:

They will be silent on important issues: Abortion, LGBT, Religious Freedom, to name a few yielding to the popular (worldly) thought of the day 

Play the Swiss Card (Neutrality) trying to claim Jesus never took sides: Of course they have not read the Bible, or skipped the GOSPELS when Jesus cleanses the temple, curses (Woe unto you) the Pharisees and Scribes, and so on. 

They are Unwilling to fight the “Good Fight” Somewhere online I saw the term Spiritual Pacifists and it makes sense, those unwilling to Armor Up daily and get in the fight, are just that pacifist and pretty much useless in God’s Army. 

The Doer Christian: Can never be silenced: 

Refuses to be silent on important issues: Will always Obey God rather than man. 

Follows Jesus example of Good Works no matter the consequence: We were saved to with a Holy calling not to sit idly by and let the world happen around us. 

Shares the Good News: Man’s first duty is to Love God and Glorify Him forever. Inherent in that is obedience to God’s commands none of which is more important than the spreading of the Gospel this is never a burden for a true Christian. 


APPLICATION:

We are not calling into question here anyone’s “salvation” although the bible certainly does say we will know you by your fruit. Granted it is specifically speaking of false teachers and the like, but bearing fruit is applicable to all “Christians.”

So the question remains what type of Christian are you? 

ᐈ Funny couch potato stock pictures, Royalty Free couch potato ...

 

 

One who cheers from the comfort of your comfortable couch? 

 

Pray James 1:26-27 | Pray Scripture.org

 

 

 

Or an Fruit Bearing “Christian” not afraid to put your Faith in Action

 

 


Related Posts:

DO IT!

Failing to Do It!

 

Daily Devotional – God’s Wrath

THE REALITY OF GOD'S WRATH – Romans 1:18-20 | Mission Venture ...

AMP and RVR 1960

 


CONTEXT:

This may seem like an ugly devotional to start the week but sometimes life is ugly and better to be forewarned than forlorn. 

In v.1-17 Paul expounds upon the excellency of the Gospel to the church at Rome. Culminating in his final two sentences (verses) that explain the Gospel; “…is the power of God for salvation…)”

Paul having described the greatness and Glory of the “Good News” changes themes to the darker side and reminds folks the reason God had to send His only begotten Son as a sacrificial lamb, to die on a cross for everyone’s sin

There are consequences for one’s sin and unbelief. 

 


BREAKDOWN:

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; – God is Holy and as such can not overlook sin. His wrath, His complete and utter disgust against all unrighteousness has been revealed from the beginning.  

19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. –  God puts the truth in all men, even those who deny Him.

20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: – The day will come for all men to stand before their creator and at that time the maximum effective range of their excuses will be ZERO METERS! God will say I gave you plenty of opportunities and you continued to deny me. God’s attributes, His power in creation, His wisdom, goodness, mercy (the list goes on) being continually on display and available for all to see and know.

 


 APPLICATION:

Far to often today God’s wrath is downplayed or takes a back burner so to speak in churches. But with more than 600 references in the bible one would think the opposite would be true. 

I do not often quote C.S. Lewis but this is a good one:

“God is the only comfort, He is also the supreme terror: the thing we most need and the thing we most want to hide from. He is our only possible ally, and we have made ourselves His enemies. Some talk as if meeting the gaze of absolute goodness would be fun. They need to think again. They are still only playing with religion. Goodness is either the great safety or the great danger–according the way you react to it. And we have reacted the wrong way.”

Folks seem to think that God’s wrath and anger (the second holds such a negative connotation in modern times) are similar, they are not! Anger in the modern sense usually refers to sudden uncontrolled outbursts. God’s Wrath in the biblical sense refers to the Righteous Punishment for a Crime (Sin)

Everyone (at least most everyone) has heard or read Romans 3:23 ‘all have sinned and fell short of God’s glory’ God has to deal with His Righteous Wrath towards our wayward (sinful) actions. Hence Christ’s propitiation at Calvary and the Gospel. 

Are you forewarned or forlorn? God puts before you this day the Gospel message or His wrath. 

Foolish Preaching

18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18

Porque la palabra de la cruz es locura a los que se pierden; pero a los que se salvan, esto es, a nosotros, es poder de Dios. (RVR 1960)


CONTEXT:

Again depending upon which modern translation or version of the bible you use it may have headings that separate sections with themes. The CSB and ESV for example divide Chapter 1 as follows:

v.1-3 –    Greeting

v.4-9 –    Thanksgiving

v.10-17 – Divisions at Corinth

v.18-25 – Christ the Power and Wisdom of God (ESV goes v.18-31)

v.26-31 – Boasting only in the Lord (CSB only)

In v.10-16 Paul speaks about the infighting among the immature church at Corinth. Urging them to unify in the name of Christ and not Apollos, Cephas or himself. 

The defining statement of this section (v.10-17) can be found in the last verse 17:

For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.

In setting up verse 18, Paul makes 4 points here in verse 17 that can not be ignored:

1. God did not send him to baptize: Some pastors/churches feel the more folks they baptize the more bodies the add to the roles the more they are doing their job. They place a priority on this over all else. But does this agree with the bible? While the Great Commission  does call for Baptism of Truly converted believers, there is a process many skip over before that.  

2. God did send him to preach: In this specific case Paul is arguing from Ephesians 4:11  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; No where does it say and some He gave baptizers :).  Paul understood his duty was to preach and teach the undefiled Gospel Message. The Holy Word of God without error or reservation.

About 2 months before COVID-19 broke, spoke with a Pastor who related how they had about a dozen folks come forward on an alter call this past Sunday and they planned on having a BIG baptismal  ceremony the following Sunday. I remember thinking, seriously what happened to the command to “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:” you are telling me they got that all figured out already? I have been a diligently studying the bible daily for well over 20 years and do not nearly have it. 

3. His preaching was not of his own wisdom: Paul was not to EVER preach in his own wisdom. I can’t recall the number of times I have heard something like ‘I do not need to study, or I do not need any training I will let the Holy Spirit guide me.’  HOGWASH, Paul who wrote most 2/3 of the New Testament, was an Old Testament scholar prior to becoming a Christian and then went and studied for three more years 34 A.D. Travels to Arabia and remains there (Gal 1:17) to 37 A.D. Returns to Damascus then exits the city for safety (Gal 1:17; Acts 9:20-25; 2 Cor 11:32-33)  Goes up to Jerusalem (Acts 9:26-29; Gal 1:18). 

4. So that the Cross of Christ would be glorified: While Paul certainly had to “take up His cross daily” Luke 9:23his preaching was NEVER about himself, it was always Christ centered and Christ glorifying. 


BREAKDOWN: 

For the preaching of the cross: Again it is Christ’s Cross that must be preach, boldly and without error. Note from v.17 above that God does not demand fancy “wisdom words” the AMP version uses “clever and eloquent speech” what is important is that a CLEAR, and FULL doctrine of Salvation The Complete Gospel Message is preached and taught

is to them that perish foolishness; it is to be taught knowing that some will reject it. In fact the Greek word here used for fool has its root where we get our English word MORON. Someone who is completely mindless and incapable of making a right decision. To them those who preach and teach the “True authentic” Gospel look like idiots.  

One of the biggest oppositions to covenant theology heard is that God has ordain who will be saved so why bother evangelizing and preach at all? Because the bible makes it clear man, apart from Christ is a fool and no man even in Christ and distinguish whom God will effectually call to His kingdom with His amazing Grace. 

but unto us which are saved it is the power of God: To those being saved the Cross is truly powerful for it changes ones life forever 2 Corinthians 5:17

To those of us who are saved, the preaching [and teaching] of the Gospel, has a similar effect. We are driven by Paul’s words in Romans 10 

13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

To us the Good News of Christ’s Blood Atonement at Calvary, His life, death, resurrection is power. Again we are like Paul from Romans 1:15-16 AMP So, for my part, I am ready and eager to preach the gospel… 16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation [from His wrath and punishment] to everyone who believes [in Christ as Savior], to the Jew first and also to the Greek.


APPLICATION:

Not matter what others think of us we like Paul should never be ashamed of the Good News of Christ. We should take every opportunity to share the Gospel message, but also like Paul being able to do so not in our own wisdom but through careful and diligent study 2 Timothy 2:15 AMP  Study and do your best to present yourself to God approved, a workman [tested by trial] who has no reason to be ashamed, accurately handling and skillfully teaching the word of truth.

 

 

Failing to Do It!

Logos.com

 y al que sabe hacer lo bueno, y no lo hace, le es pecado. (RVR 1960) 

 

In yesterday’s devotional I used a verse from the book of Ezra (10:4) to expound on the differences between the worldly “Just Do It” and the Godly “Do It” callings. 

Today in our text we are going to look at another verse, this time from the New Testament that requires people to “Do It!”


Context:

Our text closes out Chapter 4 of the Epistle of James. Depending on what version/translation you have there may be a heading describing the theme of the closing verses (v.13-17) like:

CSB: Our Will and God’s Will

ESV: Boasting About Tomorrow

NKJV: Do Not Boast About Tomorrow

AMP: Things to Avoid (Note title for whole chapter) 

The AMP version title is a good overview of the Chapter that consists of differences between worldly sinful knowledge/wisdom and heavenly/Godly knowledge/wisdom. 

In verses 13-16 we I think a combination of the CSB and either the ESV or NKJV titles work best. A simplified breakdown shows that James is using the example of lethargic lazy people v.13, who will gladly put off today that which can be done tomorrow. He points out that in our finite minds we do not know the future v.14, What is your life? calling life nothing more than a mist or vapor. 

Verse 15 maybe one of the greatest advice lines ever written: Instead [of being that lethargic lazy fool] you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” Instead v.16 you boast in your self glory.


BREAKDOWN:

 So –  A very powerful directive two letter word. Meaning considering all I have said before this, the only logical conclusion we can draw from it is…

whoever knows – while some will argue this is applicable only to believers I must whole heartily disagree. I would look to Romans 1:18-20 that declares all mankind is without excuses 

the right thing to do – man knows that which is right he chooses that which is evil. Romans 1:32 Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. This is not passive religiosity or spirituality, Christianity forbids and abhors that. God requires His chosen to be passionate and active in their faith. 

Earlier in James 1:22 we see this also But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

and fails to do it, – “Do It,” I hope by now it is clear that the “It” is any actionable “good” that can be done, that we are called to do for the glory of God.  James also makes it clear that Failing to Do It has serious consequences… 

for him it is sin. – Sin, for the unbeliever it is the rejection of the Gospel. For the believer it is the toe hold, Satan needs to keep you from carrying out the Great Commission to share the Good News of Christ. Failing to be doers of the word, being Sunday Pew Christians shows God how much you value His son’s sacrifice for your sins. That is why James says knowing and not acting is sin. Of course we all know the consequence or wages for sin (Romans 6:23) is eternal death.


Application: 

It is far to simple to be that nod your head in the pew on Sunday believer and go back to being in the world Monday through Saturday person. The problem is Christ never called us to a life of ease, He called us to a life of servitude. It is not good enough to know what is and hate what is evil and bad in the world. We are obligated and have a responsibility to do what we know is good. 

What are you doing for the Kingdom today? 

Evangelism vs. Witnessing

Logos.com

sino santificad a Dios el Señor en vuestros corazones, y estad siempre preparados para presentar defensa con mansedumbre y reverencia ante todo el que os demande razón de la esperanza que hay en vosotros; (RVR 1960)

There was a time when I was a very immature believer, that I thought all I needed to do was share my personal testimony and that was enough to fulfill the Great Commission. I did not understand there was a difference between Evangelism and Witnessing.   

Websters 1828 Dictionary helps by defining them as:

EVAN’GELISM, n. The promulgation (openly declaring) of the gospel.

WITNESSING, ppr. Seeing in persons; bearing testimony; giving evidence.

Evangelism is the open declaration of the Gospel, ‘Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection and then the call people to trust in Him alone.’ Nothing more nothing less it is the pure Gospel message of Christ alone.

Witnessing however will often encompass Evangelism in that many times we use our personal testimony, as our main text suggests, to make way for the pure Gospel message. Sharing you personal testimony with someone on its own however is not Evangelism. We can also “Witness” to others by living our lives in a Godly manner. Once again however this is not Evangelism. 

Evangelism ALWAYS requires the sharing of the pure undefiled Gospel Message as a stand alone proclamation.

Here are my “Go To” Gospel Verses: John 3:16-17,Romans 3:23-25,Rom 5:8, Rom 10:9-10, 1Cor 15:1-8, 


Other Resources:

Witnessing vs. Evangelism

Defining Evangelism

Defining Evangelism

Evangelism and the Gospel

What does 1 Peter 3:15 mean?

John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible

 

 

John MacArthur on Anxiety and God’s Sovereignty

It should be clear by now that unchecked anxiety isn’t good for you. It’s a sin expressly forbidden by the Lord, so there is the spiritual cost to consider. But it’s also harmful to your health, your productivity, and your relationships. It wreaks havoc throughout your life, and as we saw yesterday, it strangles your mind.

READ MORE


  Here are the rest of the articles in the series in ascending order:

Divine Sovereignty and Human Responsibility 

God’s Sovereignty in Salvation

God’s Unimpeachable Sovereignty

God’s Sovereignty and Our Gospel Responsibility

Overwhelmed by Anxiety?

Worn Out by Worry

Christianity’s Messages

If you read the bible you know that within it’s pages there are found many messages. Another way of putting it is there are lots of topics. Some of the most searched include:

Double click on the picture to link to the site

COMFORT

However no message or topic is greater than that of Christ and His Triumph over the Grave

1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;

3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures. 1 Corinthians 15:1, 3-4

Now brothers and sisters, let me remind you [once again] of the good news [of salvation] which I preached to you, which you welcomed and accepted and on which you stand [by faith]. By this faith you are saved [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, and set apart for His purpose], if you hold firmly to the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain [just superficially and without complete commitment]. For I passed on to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to [that which] the Scriptures [foretold], and that He was buried, and that He was [bodily] raised on the third day according to [that which] the Scriptures [foretold], 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 (AMP)

 Además os declaro, hermanos, el evangelio que os he predicado, el cual también recibisteis, en el cual también perseveráis; por el cual asimismo, si retenéis la palabra que os he predicado, sois salvos, si no creísteis en vano. Porque primeramente os he enseñado lo que asimismo recibí: Que Cristo murió por nuestros pecados, conforme a las Escrituras; y que fue sepultado, y que resucitó al tercer día, conforme a las Escrituras; (RVR 1960)

  1. I want you to note ____ things from this passage: 
  2. Christianity is Good News
  3. This Good News of Christ must be preached
  4. The Good news of Christ must be welcomed and accepted by Faith Alone
  5. It is by Faith Alone we are saved, unless our conversion was false
  6. Preaching MUST include  (at a minimum) Christ’s death, burial and resurrection for our sins’s 

That is the complete Gospel in a nutshell and you cannot have a portion of it without the whole. The question is what message are you listening to today? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pandemic, Meet The Resurrection

Pandemic, Meet The Resurrection

He is risen. That is the Christian confession. We worship the triune God. We do so in Spirit and in truth. We do so in resurrection hope. For our God and Father “make[s] springs gush forth in the valleys; they flow between the hills; they give drink to every beast of the field; the wild donkeys quench their thirst. Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell; they sing among the branches. From [the Almighty’s] lofty abode [He] water[s] the mountains; the earth is satisfied with the fruit of [His] work” (Psalm 104:10-13).

Christians are people of the resurrection. And our resurrection lifestyle shines all the more brightly when everyone around us fears pandemic, tyranny, and death. Why don’t we fear? Because our Father feeds cedar trees with rivers. He gives blue jays a place to nest. He molds the high mountains for the wild goats. He makes the dark so the mice can creep about the forest floor. And He gives resurrection for us, His children.

CONTINUE READING

 

Wages of Sin

The Book of Romans is often described as an explanation of the Old Testament in the Light of Christ. The Gospel and the Righteousness of God are its main themes. In an effort to make clear these themes man’s sin nature is clearly expressed throughout. Probably the most famous or oft quoted is Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned…”

That leaves a conundrum, for a Righteous God can not have sinful servants running around they must be punished. What is the penalty for this sinfulness? 

23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23

Reina-Valera 1960 (RVR1960)

Porque la paga del pecado es muerte, mas la dádiva de Dios es vida eterna en Cristo Jesús Señor nuestro.

Note that God is not such a “hardcase” that He leaves no man with no way out. There is an escape from Eternal Damnation, it is called Salvation in Christ alone, through Faith in Him Alone to the Glory of God Alone. 

Is the Holy Spirit tugging on your heart strings? Answer God’s call Repent of your sins and make Christ not only the savior of your life but Lord of your life today.