27 August 2007

John MacArthur and the Emerging Movement

DR. JOHN MACARTHUR SPEAKS ON BRIAN MCLAREN AND THE EMERGING CHURCH

This piece below is from an interview on The Way of the Master Radio featuring Dr. John MacArthur reacting to sound clips from Guru Brian McLaren.
Dr. MacArthur covers how the actual Gospel is terribly twisted into a repainted and reimagined social gospel by leaders in the neo-liberal cult of the Emergent Church like Rob Bell and Doug Pagitt and Erwin McManus.

At its rotten root this serpentine movement of the Emergent Church is an attack on the Word of God and the doctrines of grace. And the bottom line here, and someone needs to say this publicly, is either the aforementioned men are Christians or men like myself and Dr. John MacArthur are. Here this clearly: Our messages are diametrically opposed.
What Dr. MacArthur covers here is also contained in an excellent 10 CD set called “Spiritual Terrorism”:
Everywhere in the world, biblical truth is under attack. What may surprise you is that the most devastating assault isn’t coming from outside the church--it’s coming from spiritual terrorists within the church.
On the surface these terrorists look, act, and sound like everyone else. In their comfortable concealment they raise doubts about God’s Word, undermine its authority, and create chaos that, left unchecked, destroys churches (Grace To You).

Apprising Ministries highly recommends this series which is a very indepth exposition of the Book of Jude and forms the basis of Dr. MacArthur’s book The Truth War. I’m pleased to tell you in the Lord that it’s been in my CD player non-stop for a month!

From the Heart of John Piper

John Piper - A Problem with the Infomercial Gospel in New Evangelicalism

Published September 5th, 2007 by Editor in Rick Warren, Megachurches, Purpose Driven, Seeker Sensitive, New Evangelicalism

In this short video clip John Piper uncovers the faulty reasoning behind today’s infomercial gospel preached by new breed pastors like Rick Warren, his disciple Perry Noble and then his disciple Steven Furtick. Piper says this kind of centered on the perceived needs and wants of the unchurched has resulted in false converts who "don’t seem to understand what receiving Christ even means”:

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Veggie were did you go wrong?

Rethinking Veggie Tales by Cathy Mickels

My good friend and author Cathy Mickels wrote this piece back in 2002 about the Veggie Tales videos and their message regarding Scripture. She articulates my concerns far better than I have done today with my brief post. Cathy’s book on youth ministry was endorsed by John MacArthur for good reason. She sees Veggie Tales not as an isolated thing, as many of my critics on this issue do. She and I both see these things as part of the larger context of the evangelical meltdown. And contrary to some of those who have defended the sacred vegetables, for many children this is all they ever do get of Bible teaching in their homes. At Elmbrook Church here in the Milwaukee area, they even had the dancing vegetables on “stage”. I only wish we could get Christians as riled up defending the Scriptures as they do defending dancing cartoon veggies.

Comments(17) Posted on August 30, 2007 by Ingrid

Do you abide in Christ

Mother Theresa; We Hardly Knew Ye
Published August 24th, 2007 by Editor in General News, Catholicism, Deception

We know that anytime Mother Thersa gets critiqued there is an outcry, as it is commonly viewed, by some, as the equivilent of killing a baby seal. However we are sorry to say that this is what happens when we "idolize" any person. The RCC practice of living vicariously through the "super-spiritual" is not biblical, which is why it is accepted so readily by the rest of the world.
This from Time/CNN

Preach My Word

A Call for Unfaithful Pastors to Repent!

Published August 20th, 2007 by Editor in General
Enough is enough! There is an plague of pastors in the church who refuse to do their Biblical duty and preach God’s word, preach sound doctrine and make disciples who are grounded in God’s word.
These pastors would rather be relevant, popular, purpose-driven, seeker-sensitive, hip, kewl, or emergent than do their Biblical duty.
It is time to call these men out and call them to repentance.

Here is a link to a web-page written by Chris Rosebrough of Extreme Theology that you can send to those pastors who refuse to do their Biblical duty. Please take the time to pass it on to those pastors who need to repent and get back to preaching God’s Word and Christ Crucified for sinners.

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18 August 2007

Who Do You say that I'AM?


Why do I Believe the Bible is the word of God? This is a question that every believer never thought he or she would have to answer. Not only has this topic brought such controversy among non-believers of all generations but it’s also happening today among evangelicals. We can understand the position of the nonbelievers because the truth of the word of God has been blinded to them and the only way to ‘see’ is to come into the light of Jesus Christ (Eph 4:18), but it is particularly saddening to see this doubt among born again Christians.
This fact shouldn’t need defending, or better yet, even be brought up among fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. But, the question remains: Is the Bible the complete living, breathing, word of God? The obvious answer to this question is YES! With the word of God as the base, it will be demonstrated that there are no contradictions or errors in the Bible because Heb 4:12 tells us "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart". This is God’s divine revelation for the whole world to read.
Some liberal, so-called believers, say God’s word is not inspired. D.L. Moody had the right idea when speaking of the possibility of man’s wisdom being the source of the inspiration of the Bible. He said "It is easier for me to have faith in the Bible than to have faith in D.L. Moody, for Moody has fooled me lots of times". Is the word His divine revelation? Yes. We see all through scripture God communicating in many different ways: as He did with Adam (Gen 3:9), through the use of prophets (1 Sam 3:4), in dreams (Gen 20:3), and visions (Isa 6), even through historical events such as creation itself (Gen1:1), and the flood (Gen 7:1-24), and the use of angels (Dan 9:20-21, Luke 2:10-11). These are only a few examples of God’s complete divine revelation. The Bible is a reliable picture of God’s plan which has been revealed to the human race. The word of God is full of history and His truth concerning Himself (Dan 4:35). It’s a book about His holiness and sovereignty (1 Sam 2:2, Job 42:2, Rom 8:28). The Bible is singularly God-centered in focus. It has to do with God and how all things relate back to God. Because it comes from God and speaks with the authority of God, there is a tone of greatness and seriousness in the Book that is unlike anything else. There is another controversy among people over the Bible: Is the Bible the inspired word of God? The answer to this is undoubtedly, YES! 2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us "All scripture (the key word being all!) is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works". The Bible is fully inspired which means God actually ‘breathed’ all scripture! The Bible itself assumes inspiration and frequently claims inspiration: there are over 3,800 claims of "thus saith the Lord". This should not be a debate among believers. The words on the pages of scripture are the supernatural workings of the Holy Spirit who chose godly men with their individual personalities and writing styles to pen the pages of scripture. The Bible is the final authority of God, not man (Ps 119:160, John 17:17). Even though these men were imperfect, God used them in a mighty way to show God’s glory and majesty (Deut 28:58, Ps 19:1, Hab 2:14). It is our responsibility to humble ourselves and believe. We need to accept by faith the method that God chose to reveal to us His truth. Though inspiration is beyond our finite minds, it is clear that the human authors were not left to their own wisdom, but it was God’s breathing the words through them which was the Source of inspiration (1 Pet 1:20-21). How do we get the Bible to survive all these years through generation after generation without distorting the original transcripts? The answer is simply God’s divine sovereignty. God once again, in His divine plan, chose to preserve His word by using godly men to translate the original manuscripts of the Old and New Testament writers. The seventy two scholars who translated the Old Testament from Hebrew to Greek put together the Septuagint (200 BC), Jerome a man who translated the Bible into Latin from the original Hebrew and Greek (400 AD), and Tyndale who was used by God to translate the Bible into English (1525), are all examples of these godly men. It has even continued into more modern days such as translations commonly used today; versions like the King James (1611), NASB version (1971), and the ESV version (2001). God will continue to preserve His word throughout all ages as we are so firmly reminded in Isaiah 40:8 "The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever".
We serve an amazing God, who will always stand the test of time because He is infinite and holy and will display His glory to all generations from the past, to the present and into eternity. We were created in His image; we were created to display His glory to the lost world who were and continue to be slaves to sin (Eph 4:18, Rom 2:5). We were not created to question His authority or His sovereignty. This is a topic of discussion that should never happen among Christendom. Lord forgive us for our pride and the arrogance of people to debate the validity of Your Holy Word (John 1:1). By calling the Bible into question, we would be thinking ourselves smarter than God and denying that the Bible could be divinely inspired. This would be a clear indication that we don’t believe the Bible, and ultimately don’t believe God or all He represents (Rev 19:13, 1 John 1:1). If a person were to keep this prideful view until his or her death bed, they would be eternally separated from a God who created them, gave them life, and most of all gave them His Word so that they could grow and learn the truths of our Lord and Saviour, the only One who can forgive you of sin (John 14:6).
We need to trust and have faith in the written word of God, to desire the pure milk of the word which is displaying His glory (1 Pet 2:2), love and trust those truths and put them on your heart because it is the heart He sees. (1 Sam 16:7) "But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart". (Rev 22:19) And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city , and from the things which are written in this book. Lord we are thankful for your grace and mercy toward us as Your Word teaches us all we need to know about Christ-likeness. A.W. Tozer couldn’t be any bolder in his statement when he said "The Word of God well understood and religiously obeyed is the shortest route to spiritual perfection. And we must not select a few favorite passages to the exclusion of others. Nothing less than a whole Bible can make a whole Christian." So my question for you is: What are you?

A Must See

http://www.godtube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=c3e67286080500df36a9 I have two words "simply amazing

Prayerful Hymn

A Prayerful Hymn Regarding False Teachers

O Lord, look down from Heaven, beholdAnd let Thy pity waken:How few are we within Thy fold,Thy saints by men forsaken!True faith seems quenched on every hand,Men suffer not Thy Word to stand;Dark times have us o’ertaken.
With fraud which they themselves inventThy truth they have confounded;Their hearts are not with one consentOn Thy pure doctrine grounded.While they parade with outward show,They lead the people to and fro,In error’s maze astounded.
May God root out all heresyAnd of false teachers rid usWho proudly say: “Now, where is heThat shall our speech forbid us?By right or might we shall prevail;What we determine cannot fail;We own no lord and master.”
Therefore saith God, “I must arise,The poor My help are needing;To Me ascend My people’s cries,And I have heard their pleading.For them My saving Word shall fightAnd fearlessly and sharply smite,The poor with might defending.”
As silver tried by fire is pureFrom all adulteration,So through God’s Word shall men endureEach trial and temptation.Its light beams brighter through the cross,And, purified from human dross,It shines through every nation.
Thy truth defend, O God, and stayThis evil generation;And from the error of their wayKeep Thine own congregation.The wicked everywhere aboundAnd would Thy little flock confound;But Thou art our Salvation.
–Dr. Martin Luther - 1524

Entertainment versus Preaching

John MacArthur says . . . " There seems almost no limit to what modern church leaders will do to entice people who aren't interested in worship and preaching. Too many have bought the notion that the church must win people by offering an alternative form of entertainment. Just how far will the church go in competing with Hollywood? A large church in the southwestern United States has installed a half-million dollar special-effects system that can produce smoke, fire, sparks, and laser lights in the auditorium. The church sent staff members to study live special effects at Bally's Casino in Las Vegas. The pastor ended one service by ascending to "heaven" via invisible wires that drew him up out of sight while the choir and orchestra added a musical accompaniment to the smoke, fire, and light show. It was just a typical Sunday show for that pastor: "He packs his church with such special effects as ... cranking up a chain saw and toppling a tree to make a point ... the biggest Fourth of July fireworks display in town and a Christmas service with a rented elephant, kangaroo and zebra. The Christmas show features 100 clowns with gifts for the congregation's children."Shenanigans like that would have been the stuff of Spurgeon's worst nightmares. And even Tozer could not have foreseen the extreme to which evangelicals would go in paying homage to the great god Entertainment. "

Fought the Good Fight

Hello, My Father Just Died By Pastor John Piper

The big hospital clock in room 4326 of Greenville Memorial Hospital said, with both hands straight up, midnight. Daddy had just taken his last breath. My watch said 12:01, March 6, 2007. I had slept a little since his last morphine shot at ten. One ear sleeping, one on the breathing. At 11:45, I awoke. The breaths were coming more frequently and were very shallow. I will not sleep again, I thought. For ten minutes, I prayed aloud into his left ear with Bible texts and pleadings to Jesus to come and take him. I had made this case before, and this time felt an unusual sense of partnership with Daddy as I pressed on the Lord to relieve this warrior of his burden. I finished and lay down. Good. Thank you, Lord. It will not be long. And, grace upon grace, hundreds of prayers are being answered: He is not choking. The gurgling that threatened to spill over and drown him in the afternoon had sunk deep, and now there was simple clear air, shorter and shorter. I listened from where I lay next to him on a foldout chair. That's it. I rose and waited. Will he breathe again? Nothing. Fifteen or twenty seconds, and then a gasp. I was told to expect these false endings. But it was not false. The gasp was the first of two. But no more breaths. I waited, watching. No facial expressions. His face had frozen in place hours before. One more jerk. That was all. Perhaps an eyebrow twitch a moment later. Nothing more. I stroked his forehead and sang, My gracious Master and My God Assist me to proclaim To spread through all the earth abroad The honors of thy name. Daddy, how many thousands awaited you because of your proclamation of the great gospel. You were faithful. You kept the faith, finished the race, fought the fight. "Make friends for yourselves with unrighteous mammon that they might receive you into eternal habitations." I watched, wondering if there could be other reflexes. I combed his hair. He always wore a tie. The indignities of death are many, but we tried to minimize them. Keep the covers straight. Pull the gown up around his neck so it looks like a sharp turtleneck. Tuck the gappy shoulder slits down behind so they don't show. Use a wet washcloth to keep the secretions from crusting in the eyelashes. And by all means, keep his hair combed. So now I straightened his bedding and combed his hair and wiped his eyes and put the mouth moisturizer on his lips and tried to close his mouth. His mouth would not stay closed. It had been set in that position from hours and hours of strained breathing. But he was neat. A strong, dignified face. I called my sister Beverly first, then Noël. Tearfully we gave thanks. Get a good night's rest. I will take care of things here with the doctor and the nurses and the mortuary arrangements. I will gather all our things and take them back to the motel. "I wish I had been there," Beverly lamented. Yes. That is good. But don't let that feeling dominate now. In the days to come, you will look back with enormous gratitude for the hundreds of hours you gave serving Daddy. It is my turn to be blessed. The nurse came to give him his scheduled morphine shot. As she walked toward me I said, "He won't need that any more." "Is he gone?" "Yes. And thank you so much for your ministry to him." "I will notify the doctor so he can come and verify. I will leave you alone." "Yes, thank you." The doctor in his green frock came at 12:40 and listened with his stethoscope to four different places on Daddy's chest. Then he pulled back the sheet and said, "I must apply some pain stimuli to his nail base to see if he reacts. Then he used his flashlight to test Daddy's eyes. "The nurse supervisor will come and get the information we need about the mortuary." Thank you. Alone again, I felt his cheeks. Finally cool after the fevered and flushed fight. I felt his nose, as though I were blind. Then I felt mine. I thought, very soon my nose will be like your nose. It is already like your nose. The nurse came. No thank you, an autopsy will not be necessary. Mackey Mortuary on Century Drive. My name is John, his son. My cell phone is . . . . "You may stay as long as you like." Thank you. I will be leaving soon. Now I just look at him. Nothing has changed in his face here in the darkness of this dim light. Just no movement. But I have watched his chest so long—even now, was that a slight rise and fall? No, surely not. It's like sailing on the sea for days. On the land the waves still roll. He has four-day's beard and dark eyes. I lift an eyelid to see him eye to eye. They are dilated. Thank you, Daddy. Thank you for sixty-one years of faithfulness to me. I am simply looking into his face now. Thank you. You were a good father. You never put me down. Discipline, yes. Spankings, yes. But you never scorned me. You never treated me with contempt. You never spoke of my future with hopelessness in your voice. You believed God's hand was on me. You approved of my ministry. You prayed for me. Everyday. That may be the biggest change in these new days: Daddy is no longer praying for me. I look you in the face and promise you with all my heart: Never will I forsake your gospel. O how you believed in hell and heaven and Christ and cross and blood and righteousness and faith and salvation and the Holy Spirit and the life of holiness and love. I rededicate myself, Daddy, to serve your great and glorious Lord Jesus with all my heart and with all my strength. You have not lived in vain. Your life goes on in thousands. I am glad to be one. I kissed him on his cold cheek and on his forehead. I love you, Daddy. Thank you. It was 12:55 as I walked out of room 4326. Just before the elevators on the fourth floor in the lounge, a young man in his twenties was sitting alone listening to his iPod with headphones. I paused. Then I walked toward him. He stopped his music. Hello, my father just died. One of the greatest tributes I could pay to him is to ask you, Are you ready to meet God? "Yes, Sir." That would make my father very happy. You know Jesus is the only way? "Yes, Sir." Good. Thank you for letting me talk to you. As I drove out of the parking lot, I stopped. The moon was a day past full. It was cold—for Greenville. I looked at this great hospital. Thank you, Lord, for this hospital. I will probably never lay eyes on it again.

Preach the Word in Season and out of Season

Jeremiah the Weeping Prophet
By Mike Andrews


The churches today are full of people who don’t care or don’t want to listen to men preaching God’s Word. 2Tim 4:3 "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". The church today is not much different than the times of the prophets who were preaching repentance and pleading for the nation of Israel to return back to God. Jeremiah, also known as the "weeping prophet", was the writer of the two Old Testament books Jeremiah and Lamentations. He was an ambassador sent by God to the house of Israel. Jer 7:3 "Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Amend your ways and your deeds, and I will let you dwell in this place."
Jeremiah didn’t volunteer to become a preacher of the Word. The office for this (being a prophet) was reserved for those who were divinely called. Jeremiah was one of those privileged men; he was divinely given a high calling by God. Jer 1:5 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations." He was a prophet who had the daunting task of warning the nation Judah of God’s impending judgement. Jeremiah had to preach to a nation that was worshipping other gods, living sinfully and disobediently before God, listening to many false teachings and, as seen in Jeremiah 17:9, their hearts were wicked and deceitful. Jeremiah’s life reflected his preaching. His passion and concern for the nation was always evident at the beginning of the messages that the Lord gave him. Many times Jereimah would cry over Jerusalem Lam 3:48-49 "my eyes flow with rivers of tears because of the destruction of the daughter of my people. "My eyes will flow without ceasing, without respite" This verse emphasizes the greatness of his grief and troubled heart at the afflictions of his people, and shows the vast amount of tears he shed on their account. Here the prophet is speaking his own words (not part of a prophetic message from God), expressing the anguish of he felt in his soul, and the flood of tears he shed. Unfortunately, our churches today are lacking men like Jeremiah who are passionate, showing their love for others through their preaching. They need a deep desire of restoration for the congregation so they can grow spiritually and understand the importance of obedience and reverence before a holy and perfect God. Jeremiah’s tears also serve as a reminder of the utter hopelessness of a person without God.
Preachers today need to follow the example of great Biblical men of the past like Ezekiel, Isaiah, Daniel and Jeremiah when it comes to dealing with people and their salvation. Jeremiah concentrated on the current problems as he labored to turn the nation back from the point of no return. John MacArthur said "Jeremiah’s life, his calling, and his experiences all combine to give a picture of God’s planning and purpose to carry out His will". May the men of God in our churches today consider carefully what Paul said to Timothy in 2Tim 4:-2 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: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. Just preach My Word! Richard Baxter says "I preached as never sure to preach again, and as a dying man to dying men."

Pilgrim's Progress Movie

New Pilgrim’s Progress Movie

Published August 9th, 2007 by Mike Ratliff in Pilgrim's Progress
There is a new movie based on John Bunyan’s great allegory, The Pilgrim’s Progress, that is nearing the end of post production. It is called "Pilgrim’s Progress - The Journey to Heaven." Here is a link to the movie website. Watch the trailer. I don’t know how well it will portray our spiritual journey, but I intend to see it when it is released and will post a review.

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The Emerging Apostasy

Brian McLaren of the Emerging Church is an Apostate and a Liar
Published August 9th, 2007 by Ken Silva
in Emerging Church, Brian McLaren, Apostasy


…guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called "knowledge" – which some have professed and thus gone astray from the faith… (1 Timothy 6:20-21)
From a "May/June 2007" interview with Brian McLaren at The Wittenburg Door:
DOOR: Could you elaborate on the spiritual breakdown you had in the early ’90s, which led to the A New Kind of Christian trilogy?
MCLAREN: In the early and mid-’90s, I starting doubting the systematic theologies I’d inherited. I didn’t know you were allowed to believe in God outside of a prescribed systematic theology. So, I had to go through kind of a deconstruction and reconstruction. The process was really scary, because I had no guarantees. I remember reaching a very low point and thinking, "I’m either going to have to be dishonest and pretend that I still believe in a theological system that doesn’t work for me anymore or I’m going to be honest about my doubts and questions." I kept thinking, "I might lose my whole faith," but I couldn’t squelch the honest questions that kept arising. I think this is one of the agonies of these things, you don’t know how they’re going to turn out. It’s a very high-risk thing but you don’t have any choice if you’re trying to be honest. I think you have to do it—doubting and questioning as an act of faith, as strange as that may seem.
DOOR: How did you get through this?
MCLAREN: It sounds trite, but I kept praying. I stayed close to God. I didn’t let my doubts about ideas pertaining to God drive me away from the God who was always far above and beyond my best ideas of God, not to mention my worst ones.
Well Brian, I have a couple of questions for you: I have also "kept praying," and I have "stayed close to God"; and the one true and living God of the Bible, "Who was always far above" has led me to believe that you are an apostate and a liar. So where do we go now Brian? Which of our existential and subjective experience is actually from God? How would we know?
But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good. (1 Thessalonians 5:21)

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The Lesser Known

It All Began with Men Who Fought for the Truth!


When we think of the Reformation today, we think of the separation between born again evangelicals and the Roman Catholic church. We think of saved by grace through faith and the Catholic's view of saved by works and the church of Rome. But there was so much more to it. We had Martin Luther nailing his 95 Theses of Contention to the church of Rome which began a major turn for the church of Jesus Christ. People started reading the Bible for themselves. The people began to turn to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ instead of the Pope. Luther, Zwingli, and Calvin were great men who took a stand for the truth, even if it meant losing their lives for that truth. However, if we look back, even before Luther, we get a glimpse of a man who we would call a 'lesser known' proponent of the Reformation because he wasn't there to see the separation of the Catholics and the beginning of the Protestant church; his name is John Huss.John died for doing what he thought was best for the church - standing for the Word of God (Matt 10:22) "and you will be hated by all for My name's sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved". He was a man who knew the truth and was willing to die for it. I think what stands out the most to me about John and his faith in Christ, is that he studied the scriptures and became aware of the unbiblical rules and traditions of the Catholic church. (Act 17:11) "Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so". He started to question the authority of the papal rule and the church of Rome which, at this time, was causing commotion among the bishops of Rome. He continued to preach in the Bethlehem chapel with boldness, and became bolder and bolder in his accusations against the Church. He was a man who knew the importance of conveying the truth to all people. After all books and valuable manuscripts of Wycliffe were burned, and Huss and his followers were put under the ban, the church of Rome was still very upset with John's voice claiming salvation by faith alone. The church of Rome called him a heretic and he was to face persecution for his interpretation of the Scriptures. On June 5, 1415, John Huss was tried for the first time, and for that purpose was transferred to the Franciscan monastery, where he spent the last weeks of his life. After his time there, he was sentenced to die by burning. Huss was led into the church where he was called a heretic. He protested loudly several times, and when his appeal to Christ was rejected as heresy, John said, "O God and Lord, now the council condemns even thine own act and thine own law as heresy, since thou thyself didst lay thy cause before thy Father as the just judge, as an example for us, whenever we are sorely oppressed." After his cry to God, he was sent into the courtyard to face his death. It was a death for standing firm for the Word of God (2Tim 4:5-7) "As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." John was asked to recant, but he would not for he had done nothing wrong, and went on to say to his executioner "God is my witness that I have never taught that of which I have been accused by false witnesses. In the truth of the Gospel which I have written, taught, and preached I will die to-day with gladness." John Huss died for his faith a slow and painful death by fire. This is something I hope I will never go through, but also something for which I should be prepared. As George Whitefield says "We must all have the spirit of martyrdom, though we may not all die martyrs". We need to stop and thank men like John Huss and Wycliffe for their determination to expound the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. As a result of their perseverance, one hundred years later, a man named Martin Luther would be born to continue the legacy that John Huss had begun - the Reformation.By Mike Andrews

Spiritual Joy Begins Here

6 main ingredients to having spiritual joy
1. Joy is a gift from God (Ps 16:11) You make known to me the path of life; in Your presence there is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
2. God grants Joy to those who believe the Gospel (John 15:11) These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
3. Joy is produced by God the Holy Spirit (Rom 14:17) For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
4. Joy is experienced most fully as believers receive and obey God's Word (Jer 15:16) Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by Your name, O LORD, God of hosts.
5. Joy is deepened through trials (1 Thess 1:6) And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit,6.
Believer's joy is made complete when they set their hope on the glory of Heaven. (Rom 12:12) Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.Joy in Christian life has a :A. Thankful heartB. Prayerful heartC. Desiring heartD. Joyful heart
Andrew Murray says "Our love to God is measured by our everyday fellowship with others and the love it displays." And when your heart is joyful, your confidence grows in the knowledge of Jesus Christ and your fellowship with one another.So Ask yourself?
1. Is your heart full of the Lord?
2. Are you completely satisfied in Him?
3. Does He being you reason to rejoice?

Proclaiming the Truth

Persecution Among Christians
By Mike Andrews

We live in a world that is so full of sin and unrighteousness that they have become blinded to what is going on around them because of their selfishness. We are a world of people who accept all types of religions but hate Christianity and anything that deals with Christ Jesus. If you say to someone who is lost in sin or who is a worshipper of a false god, that the Jesus is the only way to attain eternal life (John 14:6), those people would look at you with hate and resentment and say "you are so narrow-minded".If today's world could only see past their blindness and see the lives of people who stand for the Gospel of Christ. They need to know about those who die and are persecuted in so many ways each year for their faith in China and around the world in areas that are heavily populated with Muslims or other false faiths.Its one thing to say you are a Christian, but it is a serious matter when you are willing to die or take the punishment for Christ. The world hates righteousness and will fight against it. There has been and will be persecution against Christians. For example, Jim Elliot and his co-workers, Stephen in Acts 7, James in Acts 12, Peter and Paul everywhere they went, and most of all our Lord and Savior at the cross of Calvary. All these events may be tragic, but they all happened under the control of a sovereign God. Isaiah says in the 41st chapter "Fear not for I am with you; be not dismayed for I am your God...." (verse 10). John Piper writes "that suffering lies at the heart of what it means to be a Christian and do missions". John is telling us that this is the heart of the Gospel; we need to be a people who’s faith sustains them through persecution (1Cor 1:27). When persecution comes our way, it usually has a way of weeding out the false believer and leaving only the true Christian, because most false believers will leave the faith when persecution sets in. The importance of trusting only God and not yourself is one thing that every true believer can learn during trying times. We must have an attitude like Christ. The Bible teaches that persecution is inevitable for every single believer. 2 Tim 3:12 tells us that we must be humble and Christ-like when being persecuted. We must stand strong as the great men and women of times past have. Persecuted believers should use the occasion to witness to people as Paul and Silas did with the Philippian Jailer while they were in prison as told in the book of Acts. The wonderful outcome of that great story of salvation affected not only the guard but his whole family.We are Christians who were saved by grace by a holy and perfect God who saw fit to send His Son to die, not only for my sins, but also for the sins of those who persecute us. We need to always remember what Paul said in the book of Romans in the eighth chapter "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". He died a horrible death and rose on the third day so that we could have eternal life and be spared the eternal torment we all deserve. The least we could do as believers, for our LORD, when we are faced with persecution is to "...all have the spirit of martyrdom, though we may not all die martyrs". George Whitefield
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by Pastor Mike Andrews
8/18/07