What the Bible says about light and seed

The True Light "In him, (the Lord Jesus) was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world,…the world didn’t recognize him." John 1:4,9.

The Good Seed and the Weeds “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seeds in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. Matthew 13:24,25.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Wrath Of God - Jack Kelley


wrathofgod
Reblogged fromhttp://gracethrufaith.com/end-times-prophecy/the-wrath-of-god/

A Feature Article by Jack Kelley

Nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea (Luke 21:25).
They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?” (Rev. 6:16-17).
I saw in heaven another great and marvelous sign: seven angels with the seven last plagues—last, because with them God’s wrath is completed (Rev. 15:1).


For 20 centuries various forms of the phrase “Wrath of God” brought one image to mind and that was the period of end times judgments that immediately precede the 2nd Coming. But lately it has begun to mean different things to different people. At the same time phrases like the Wrath of the Lamb, the Wrath of Man, and the Wrath of Satan have also crept into the discussion. In addition, some have begun speaking of a period of judgment they call the Wrath of God which is not mentioned in the Bible. They say it comes right after the 2nd Coming. Others have even said the Wrath of God refers to the eternal punishment that follows the Millennium.

So What Is The Wrath Of God?

From the Revelation quotes above we can see that it’s a period of judgment that begins during the seal judgments of Rev. 6 and ends with the bowl judgments of Rev. 16-18. When some form of this phrase appears in the New Testament it’s almost always in reference to the end time judgments.

If that’s the case what are these other so-called periods of wrath we hear about?
The Wrath of the Lamb comes from Rev. 6:16. The very next verse, Rev. 6:17, tells us it’s also God’s Wrath which makes sense because in John 10:30 Jesus said, “I and the Father are one.”

The Wrath of Man is a phrase that doesn’t appear in the Bible, but some commentators have used it to describe what has traditionally been called the first four Seal Judgments of Rev. 6, also known as the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Again, this is part of God’s wrath. The four horsemen symbolize the initial appearance of the anti-Christ and his efforts to gain control of the world through conquest (Rev. 6:2).

The Wrath of Satan comes from the King James version of Rev. 12:12 where Satan is described as having great wrath because he’s been kicked out of heaven and knows he has only a short period of time to accomplish his goal of conquering Earth. His expulsion from heaven will happen at the beginning of the Great Tribulation, shortly before the Bowl judgments that complete God’s Wrath are unleashed against him and his followers. So you see, Satan is not the author of this final series of judgments but is their target. The Greek word used of Satan’s wrath is “thymos” and while it sometimes refers to God’s wrath as well, “orge” is the word most frequently used in connection with God’s Wrath. The difference between the two words as they’re used here is that God’s wrath is the origin of judgment while Satan’s wrath is the reaction to judgment.

The judgments that immediately follow the 2nd coming are described in Matt. 24:45-25:46. They will determine who among the survivors of the Great Tribulation will be welcomed into the Millennial Kingdom on Earth. All unbelieving survivors will be taken off the planet at that time. The 2nd Coming, the judgments of Matt. 24-25 and preparations for the Kingdom Age will be completed in the first 75 days from the end of the Great Tribulation (Daniel 12:12) which are never referred to as the time of God’s Wrath.

The same is true of the Great White Throne judgment of Rev. 20:11-15. At the end of the Millennium the unbelieving dead from all ages will be gathered for their final judgment. Anyone whose name is not found in the Book of Life will be thrown into the Lake of Fire for eternal punishment. The Lake of Fire is never referred to as God’s Wrath.

From these and other passages we can safely conclude that New Testament references to God’s Wrath overwhelmingly describe a specific period of judgment upon the post rapture world, beginning early in Daniel’s 70th Week and ending just before the 2nd Coming. His Wrath consists of three named sets of judgments and and possibly an additional one that’s unnamed.

Three Sets Of Judgments

The first set of named judgments is called the Seal judgments because they occur as Jesus opens seven seals on a scroll the Father will hand Him. They’re described in Rev. 6 as a period of time beginning with the perception that peace has come to Earth and ending with the realization that God’s Wrath has begun. In writing about this time Paul said, “When people are saying ‘peace and safety’ destruction will come upon them suddenly, like labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape” (1 Thes. 5:3). The first six Seal Judgments will bring war, famine, plague and death to 1/4th of the world along with massive martyring of post rapture believers.

The seventh Seal is not a judgment in and of itself but introduces the second named series, called the Trumpet Judgments (Rev. 8:4-9:21). As seven angels blow their trumpets in turn, the sound of each trumpet will introduce another judgment. This series of judgments will combine natural with supernatural attacks upon humanity and by the time they’re finished a third of the earth’s forests and fields will be ablaze, a third of the sea creatures will have died, a third of Earth’s water supply will have been contaminated, and a third of the people who survived the seal judgments will have died.

After the sixth Trumpet judgment an unnamed event will be visited upon the Earth. At a signal from a mighty angel seven thunders will speak, and although John was forbidden from telling us what they will say, scholars speculate that it might be an unannounced judgment of some kind (Rev. 10:1-4).

The blowing of the 7th Trumpet will announce the commencement of the Lord’s reign over Planet Earth (Rev. 11:15-18). War in Heaven will result in the permanent expulsion of Satan and his angels (Rev. 12:7-12). Having been confined to Earth, Satan will indwell his man, the anti-Christ, and will cause him to announce from the Temple in Israel that he is God (2 Thes. 2:4). Jesus said this will kick off the Great Tribulation, the worst disaster the world ever has or ever will suffer. He warned the Jewish people who will be living in Israel at the time to immediately flee for their lives (Matt. 24:15-21).

This will take place in the middle of Daniel’s 70th Week and at this point the full force of God’s wrath will be loosed upon Satan and his followers in the final series of judgments (Rev. 16-18). They’re called the Bowl judgments because they’re symbolized by angels pouring out seven bowls of God’s Wrath upon the Earth. The power of these judgments and the devastation they cause is beyond description. Jesus was correct in saying that if He didn’t stop them at the appointed time, not a single human being would survive (Matt. 24:22).

I believe one effect of these judgments will be to complete the demolition phase of the Earth’s restoration, which Jesus spoke of in Matt. 19:28, Peter confirmed in Acts 3:21 and John described in Rev. 21:1. For example Revelation 16:16-21 speaks of the worst earthquake the world has ever experienced causing every mountain to fall down, islands to disappear, and the cities of the nations to be destroyed, while 100 lb. hailstones bombard the Earth. Believe me when I say you wouldn’t wish this on your worst enemy.
Much of the world’s remaining population will die during this time, but because of it the Earth will be ready for restoration to the condition it was in when Adam was created. This will happen at the time of the 2nd Coming (Acts 3:21).

What About Us?

Paul made it clear that the Church will not be present on Earth during any of this time of judgment. In 1 Thes. 1:10 he wrote that Jesus will rescue us from the coming wrath. (The Greek word translated from in this verse refers to both the time and place of the coming wrath, so we won’t be present when it happens and we won’t be present where it happens.)  He will do this because God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thes. 5:9).

If you believe you’re a sinner, but that God sent His Son to die for your sins, and if you’ve accepted His death as having paid their full penalty, then you won’t have to face any of these judgments. One day soon, you’ll disappear with the rest of us and will be in Heaven with the Lord while all this is happening on Earth.

You’ll see that your decision to believe in what the Lord did for you was the defining moment of your life and you will understand that it made you into one of the world’s ultimate winners. You’ll realize this is what God always intended for you to do and you’ll know why the Heavenly Host is erupting into joyous celebration as you come into the presence of the Lord. If you listen carefully you can almost hear the footsteps of the Messiah. 09-28-13

Saturday, September 28, 2013

The narrow gate and narrow road. Bible Qs and As

Reblogged from Gracethrufaith
Q. About Matt. 7:13-17: "Enter through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road which leads to life, and only a few find it". Many people seem to interpret this to mean we have to add our own effort to the salvation equation by "walking the straight and narrow" as they say.

A. I'm convinced that the narrow way to salvation is by faith alone. Every other way requires the maintenance of some kind of behavioral standard in addition to belief. In other words faith plus human effort.

It's true that the Holy Spirit will manifest changes in the life of all believers, but our salvation is not held hostage to this happening. Paul said we were included in Christ when we heard the gospel of our salvation and believed it (Ephesians 1:13-14). At that time God Himself set His seal of ownership on us and put His Spirit in our hearts as a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance (2 Cor. 1:21-22).

Those who believe they have to maintain some arbitrary performance levels in order to earn or keep something that the Lord gave His life to make free have denied the sufficiency of God's grace and joined the throngs on the broad road who are trying to earn their way to salvation through human effort.

To me walking the straight and narrow means recognizing that we have nothing God needs and can do nothing to make ourselves worthy to stand before Him. We can only believe and receive what He has done for us, and dedicate our lives to finding a way of expressing our gratitude for it.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Friday, September 27, 2013

Biblical exhortation, and the modern Silence of the Pulpits

"I exhort you!" "I beseech you!' We read those biblical phrases a lot. So. What do they mean?

That is what this blog essay is about.

"Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching." (1 Timothy 4:13)

Paul is urging Timothy to be bold and stay strong. Timothy was a pastor. However, exhortation is not only for pastors. Gills Exposition says of the verse,

"Exhortation" intends the stirring up of believers to the exercise of grace, and the discharge of duty; and is a considerable part of the work of the ministry, and on which a minister of Christ should much insist; -

Mike Ratliffe on the same verse
What is exhortation? In 1 Timothy 4:13, the word I translated as “exhortation” is the noun παρακλήσει, which is the Dative, Singular form of παράκλησις or paraklēsis, which refers to an “admonition or encouragement for the purpose of strengthening and establishing the believer in the faith (Romans 15:4; Philippians 2:1; Hebrews 12:5; 13:22). Technically, an exhortation is the application of the exposition of scripture. It challenges God’s people to obey the truth of God’s Word and warns them of the consequences of not doing so.

The pastor exhorts the believer, and the believer exhorts the believer. As a matter of fact, some believers have been given the gift of exhortation!

"Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness." (Romans 12:6-8).

GotQuestions explains the gift of exhortation,

"The gift of exhortation is a person’s unique ability to encourage and edify others. This person delights in finding Scriptures that apply to a situation and teaching others how to apply them. People with this gift are often involved in teaching, counseling, and discipleship training ministries within the church. Exhorters are among the first to find believers who are floundering in their faith. They come alongside the weaker ones to encourage, confront, if necessary, and model victorious living.

Jesus exhorted and John the Baptist exhorted. Their first words and the main thrust of their ministries were to tell people to repent. Believers should exhort people to repent, whether you have the gift of exhortation or not. It is what Jesus came to do, seek the repentant and save the lost. As His ambassadors it is what we are here to do.

GotQuestions again, "Regardless of our primary gifts, all Christians should desire to become better at exhortation to build up those who are weaker, encourage those who lead, and strengthen the Body of Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:14; 2 Corinthians 1:4)."

So what else should we exhort about? --Peter also exhorted to people that they should repent. (Acts 2:38).
--John exhorted to people about truth. (3 John 4).
--James exhorted people to good works in Christ (James 2:17-18)

So if pastors are urged to exhort, and believers with the gift are urged to exhort, and believers without the gift are urged to exhort, why isn't the church exhorting?

Christians are being persecuted everywhere! Chased, hunted, killed, and churches burned! Here is a snippet from an article called The Silence of the Pulpits

If you are even slightly awake about the world news today, it is no surprise that Christians are being killed, raped, and brutalized throughout the Islamic world.  However, there is a place where you can go to  escape the dreadful and relentless details of Christian annihilation by Islam.  You can just go to church.  ...
The principal reason public opinion hasn't been galvanized around the persecution of Christians is that the various church leaderships either ignore or dance around the issue. If churches don't speak up forcefully, then it is unrealistic to expect the world's democratic governments to do the same.And so the response found in nearly every church to the murder of Christians is...wait for it...complete silence.  Not a mention or reference to it, or to the brutality against Christians that happens almost every day in the Islamic world.  This is not a passive silence, because if you try to change it, you will fail.  The silence is an active, working conspiracy that goes throughout nearly all of Christendom."

The article's author goes on to propose that the reason for the silence means one must examine the who the people are doing the persecuting, and since facts are the enemy today, they don't like speaking about the fact that Muslims are doing the killing. (ans why are Muslims doing this Christian-killing? They hate Jesus).

If we are supposed to exhort unto the truth in opposition to false doctrine, as John modeled for us, then why is there a deafening silence from evangelicals?

John MacArthur on the Deafening Silence of Evangelicals
"There is a widespread reluctance in the evangelical community to offer strong, biblical critique in response to theological error. And the glut of unrestrained charismatic teaching serves as a glaring example of that. Theological pacifism has inadvertently given license to many false teachers. They have free reign to misrepresent the Holy Spirit and mislead the people of God by proclaiming their imaginings as direct revelation from the Lord. Believers cannot sit and watch as such blasphemy poisons the minds of people looking for the truth."

No, a person is not being humble and gentle when they remain silent and do not exhort when they should.

Bill Muehlenberg said in his essay "The Sin of Remaining Silent – and Doing Nothing"
"Remaining silent and inactive about evil when we have a chance to make a difference is not just cowardly, but sinful. We are called to be proactive in promoting that which is good and resisting that which is evil. Apathy, fence-sitting and refusal to engage are not options for the biblical Christian."

If a sister is reading a book you know for a fact to be thoroughly permeated with false doctrine, will you sit still and say nothing? If a precious brother says he is a Christian but refuses to go to church to hear the word and worship Him, will you let it go? If you are a pastor and you know for sure that a member is watching porn, or engaged in adultery, should you exhort that brother or sister to repent? Yes you should.

Paul told Titus that as an elder he should encourage those who are in sound doctrine to continue and refute those who contradict. (Titus 1:9)

Exhort with all due love to the brethren and others! Stay strong and speak up. Exhort!!

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Further reading

This is an excellent and practical essay on street preaching.  found it helpful even though I am not a street preacher. It's a practical treatise on engaging with people in exhortation.

Thoughts on street preaching

What the Bible says about speaking up

Paul, Timothy, And The End Times

old-jerusalem

A Bible Study  by Jack Kelley

Paul’s letters to Timothy are the instructions from a mentor to a young pastor, one of the first ever, and contain advice on what to do and how to do it, as well as what not to do. It’s the kind of thing you’d expect given the relationship.
But for no apparent reason Paul tucked several warnings about the end times into various places in his instructions. These are things Paul knew Timothy wouldn’t have to deal with because he clearly described them as characteristics of the Latter Days. We’ll take them each in turn.

1 Timothy 4:1-2

The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.
When I read this one I always think of certain televangelists who espouse a perversion of the prosperity gospel. They know what they’re teaching is a compilation of half truths and outright lies, so in effect they’re twisting God’s word to steal from their followers. And without the least bit of shame they enjoy the lifestyles of the rich and famous at the expense of their contributors who, according to some reports, come primarily from the bottom 25% of the economic scale.

Taking advantage of their followers’ lack of Bible knowledge and misguided desire for a more abundant life , these predators foist one get rich quick scheme after another on their desperate flocks, bilking them out of the few discretionary dollars they have and leaving them worse off in the bargain. And they do it in the name of God. It makes you wonder what He’ll say to them come judgment time.

But the prosperity teachers aren’t the only ones in this category. There are others who teach things they know are contrary to what the Bible says. Some of these things come under the heading of conditional salvation, grace plus works, partial rapture, and other false teaching that can steal the joy of your salvation and rob you of your certainty. Their objective is to imprison you within boundaries of rules they themselves can’t follow. Read Colossians 2:8-23 for Paul’s opinion on these modern day legalists.

Then there are those who either treat the prophecies of our time as if they were already accomplished in history, or as if they’re never going to be accomplished because they’re all allegorical. These teachers also know what they’re saying can’t be reconciled with Scripture, but they ask you to believe it anyway, trusting in their superior intellect or advanced education instead of your own common sense. They take passages that can be clearly understood just as they’re written by anyone with an average intellect and make them hopelessly confusing by violating the rules of context, re-defining terms, and making that which is real into something symbolic.

2 Timothy 3:1-5

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God – having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.
Just as you become convinced that Paul is describing the unbelieving world in our time and are vigorously nodding your head in agreement, he says that these people have a form of godliness but deny its power. Then you realize he was writing about those believers in name only, who spend 6 ½ days each week living lives indistinguishable from unbelievers, grabbing all they can get from our material world by any means necessary while contributing little or nothing to the work of the Kingdom. These people lead two lives, the one they’re serious about, and the one that’s just for show. Guess which is which.
Paul was not blind to the behavior of these people, nor was this the only time he warned us to stay from them. Listen to what he told the Corinthians.
I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people – not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat (1 Cor. 5:9-11).

Notice he said “anyone who calls himself a brother” instead of “anyone who is a brother.” I think he was doubting that someone who behaves in this manner could have been saved in the first place.

2 Timothy 4:3-4

For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
Here the focus is on the emerging church movement in all its various forms. In business schools, students learn to develop strategies based on a driving force. One such driving force is the market. A market driven strategy requires the business enterprise to focus on what they perceive to be the wants and needs of their target customers and adapt themselves to meet these needs in a more effective way.

Correctly predicting the growing demand for a religious organization that could meet the needs of a self centered, self sufficient generation, the leaders of the emerging church movement developed such a strategy. They took the focus off God and put it on the congregation. Entertainment replaced worship, philosophy replaced theology, and good works replaced victorious living.

Borrowing a phrase from Dominion Theology they began calling it “bringing Heaven to Earth” to make it sound more appealing to their idealistic target market. Little do their followers realize that for believers, these good works will be burned up in the fire (1 Cor. 3:14-15), and for unbelievers they’ll be woefully insufficient for entry into the kingdom (John 3:3). God has His own strategy for bringing Heaven to Earth and it doesn’t include the emerging church. Commenting on their works in his letter to Laodicea, Jesus said, “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” (Rev. 3:15-16) They’re excited about the great entertainment, the stimulating talk, and the good works, but not about the Lord.

Irrespective of that, both the seats and the coffers soon filled, signs that their market driven strategy was working, and for many the emerging church was soon the place to be. This was especially true for those who had become bored with traditional Church and wanted a place where they could feel good and do good with no messages about sin and salvation to convict them. The gospel was not missed in its absence.

Besides, “All of our attempts to define the right form of the Gospel are just human interpretations,” the movement’s leaders claim. “We must avoid a naive or excessive confidence in any telling of the Gospel story, since no articulation of the gospel today can presume to be exactly identical to the original meaning Christ and the apostles proclaimed.” In a sense, they’re saying since its impossible to know what the Gospel story really is we shouldn’t put too much faith in it.

Learning about the rapidly approaching End Times and the need to be ready for it has also been skipped. Instead, the “excessive” study of prophecy is called a distraction from the real work of the Church. These things were done by design, since the goal is to have non-believers make up at least half of their congregations. The market is much bigger that way and the non-believers help move the believers away from theological absolutes, like the need to be born again and the importance of prophecy.

In the next verse of His letter Jesus offered additional criticism. “You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.” (Rev. 3:17) His letter to the Church in Laodicea contains no commendation for their works and offers no escape from the end times judgments, just a plea to be allowed back into their midst (Rev. 3:20).

But Wait There’s More

Over fourteen years earlier in his second letter to the Thessalonians Paul had first warned us about the apostasy of the latter days, calling it one of the signs that would mark the end of the age. In 2 Thes. 2:1 Paul began to address their questions about two events, the (2nd) coming of our Lord, and our being gathered to Him (the rapture). He was responding to information they had received saying the day of the Lord had already come. He told them not to worry because several things had to happen first.

Paul didn’t go into things like the regathering of Israel, the beginning of Daniel’s 70th Week, or the building of a Temple. Israel had not been dispersed yet, and the Second Temple was still standing. He focused on events that are more gentile in nature.

A careful reading of 2 Thes. 2:3-8 shows the order in which he said these things would take place. He said the apostasy would happen first (verse 3), then the rapture of the Church when the Holy Spirit is taken out of the way (verse 7), and finally the revealing of the anti-Christ followed by the 2nd Coming (verse 8). (If you don’t read this passage carefully, you could become confused by Paul’s mention of the anti-Christ in verses 3-4. But verse 8 clearly places the official unveiling of the anti-Christ after the removal of the Holy Spirit.) Even a casual observation shows that we’re well into the time of the first sign.

What should be our reaction to this? First is to remember that God’s Word said this would happen so there’s no point in bemoaning the fact that it’s happening. Instead we should be encouraged to know the end of the Age is getting closer. Jesus said the true Church would become weaker and less influential as the end approaches (Rev. 3:8). As the world moves further and further from God, those of us who follow Him will naturally feel less comfortable and be less welcome here.

If you live in the United States, stop confusing your country with your church. No believer outside the US makes this mistake, and the fact is the Church has neither a home nor a land on Earth. Our citizenship is in Heaven (Phil. 3:20) and we look for a city whose architect and builder is God (Hebr. 11:10).

No matter where we live in the world we have to remember that we’re aliens here and our visit is about over. Soon we’ll be going home where we belong.

In the mean time we have to stop depending on organized religion to meet our needs. In some places the Church is being forced underground. In others we’re going willingly. But either way the gulf between religion and the Church is growing wider by the day.

If you can’t find a God worshiping, Bible teaching church where you live, don’t settle for what you can get. Gather a small group of like minded believers and worship at home. Paul and Timothy didn’t have a huge bureaucracy behind them. They didn’t have million dollar buildings or professionally designed programs. They didn’t even have the New Testament. Yet they found a way to worship God, and to help others do the same.
Stop supporting groups who are trying to bring Heaven to Earth and start sending your treasure to Heaven. I could tell you stories all day along about what God can do with a hand full of people He can trust. Ask the Lord to identify a need for you to meet in His name and then work in His strength to meet it. Apart from Him nothing you do has any value to the Kingdom (John 15:5).

Dig into prophecy. It’s the single biggest topic in the Bible and more is written about our life and times than any other period in history. Know what you believe and why you believe it.

Do these things and you can make the time we have left the most rewarding and enjoyable time you’ve ever known. You can almost hear the Footsteps Of The Messiah. 03-26-11

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Dear President Rouhani, Jesus Christ loves you. But judgment is coming, the Bible warns in Jeremiah 49:34-39. Let me explain.

 Reblogged from  flashtrafficblog.wordpress.com
In Uncategorized on September 26, 2013 at 3:17 pm God loves you, President Rouhani, but you must repent. Time may be short.

Dear President Rouhani,
While you are here in the United States, I would like to take a moment to share with you two very important truths:

First, the Bible makes clear that God loves all the people of the world, including the people of Iran.
The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob loves Persians. Jesus Christ loves you. He loves all Muslims. He wants to forgive you and your people and save you and adopt you and your family into His family to be His children and to go to heaven forever and ever.
The Lord Jesus Christ said, “For God so loves the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16). 

Anyone who truly repents and receives Christ by faith as Savior and Lord will be saved. “But as many as received Him [Christ], to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.” (John 1:12)
This is the Gospel, the good news.

Second, the Bible also warns that judgment is coming to the Iranian regime in the last days.
Speaking of “Elam,” an ancient name for the nation we know today as Iran, the prophet Jeremiah wrote: “That which came as the word of the Lord to Jeremiah the prophet concerning Elam, at the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, saying: ’Thus says the Lord of hosts, “Behold, I am going to break the bow of Elam, the finest of their might.  I will bring upon Elam the four winds from the four ends of heaven, and will scatter them to all these winds; and there will be no nation to which the outcasts of Elam will not go.  So I will shatter Elam before their enemies and before those who seek their lives; and I will bring calamity upon them, even My fierce anger,” declares the Lord, “And I will send out the sword after them Until I have consumed them. Then I will set My throne in Elam and destroy out of it king and princes,” declares the Lord. But it will come about in the last days that I will restore the fortunes of Elam,” declares the Lord.’” (Jeremiah 49:34-39)

The prophet tells us that there is coming a day when the Lord will have “fierce anger” against “the king and princes” of Iran and “will bring calamity upon them.”
When will this judgment come? I cannot say for certain.

But in the name of Jesus Christ, I urge you to take these and all the Scriptures to heart. I implore you embrace God’s love, repent of your sins, and receive Christ as Savior and Lord by faith.

More Iranians have left Islam and come to faith in Christ since 1979 than at any time in the last 14 centuries. More than one million Iranian Muslims have become Christians in the last three decades.

I pray that you will become one of them. Time may be short. Do not delay.
“Behold, now is ‘the acceptable time,’ behold, now is ‘the Day of Salvation,’” says the Bible. (2 Corinthians 6:2)

I recently gave an address explaining God’s love for the people of Iran, and explaining the prophecy of Jeremiah 49 concerning the people of Elam (Iran). My prayer is that you will take time to listen to it to understand the prophecy and its implications more fully.
My family and I are praying for you, President Rouhani. Many Christians are, as well.

Rouhani's 3-part strategy to beguile the world & buy enough time to build a nuclear arsenal.

Rouhani's 3-part strategy to beguile the world & buy enough time to build a nuclear arsenal.

A quick note: 3 million views

Reblogged from Elizabeth Prata´s the-end-time.blogspot.com               
 
Thank you readers! I am so grateful for the readership and the comments here. Last night this blog passed 3 million views. That means in some way or another 3 million people came in contact with the themes of Jesus, His name, of the concepts of redemption, holiness, the Spirit, lawlessness, or salvation. It is also a lot to be accountable to Jesus for in me handling the Word...
I began a secular blog in 2006, because that was the thing to do back then. It is called The Quiet Life, based on the verse from 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12. As I went along though, my new position of justified before Christ and increasingly sanctified in Him prompted me to discuss more of Him. I also felt a burden for being a witness to the last days and the fervor and discernment that comes along with that.

So in 2009 I started this blog, devoted exclusively to encouraging the saints, teaching how to discern, and warning of the last moments of the last days. For Christians, I hope that the writing here would accomplish those goals, and that we would all strive to live a higher standard of living for Christ, including myself! For non-Christians I pray that the words here and the links here and the comments in discussions here would shed light on your sins and your need for Jesus. I won't know the level of my obedience or disobedience until I get there, or what the Spirit has done through me, but in any case, I try to work for Christ all day, all the time.

Speaking of work for Christ, I am working at the County Fair tonight in our church's Snack Shack booth. The Fair is huge around here so it will be crowded even if it rains (which it is supposed to). If you think of it, would you kindly pray for hearts to be prepared ahead of them coming the booth? I'll be saying James 5:8 a lot as well as Mark 1:15. I guess I am not a believer in 'relational evangelism'. If 'Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand' was the very first ministry words Jesus our King said, (Mt 4:17) and good enough for John the Baptist, the greatest man who ever lived, (Matthew 11:11) then those verses are good enough for me to open with. But I am not bold so I'll need prayers to help me. :)

Thank you for reading and your comments and encouraging me through your talents and time and prayers. I'll be writing here until the Spirit says stop, I die, or we are raptured!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Honey Launderers: Uncovering the Largest Food Fraud in U.S. History

This week on 'The Hal Lindsey Report'

 - Hal Lindsey - www.hallindsey.com
 
To understand God's plan for the world, it is vital to understand what, at first, may seem like a dry subject - covenants. In the Bible, God makes two kinds of covenants with human beings - conditional and unconditional. A conditional covenant is predicated on God saying to man, "If you will." An unconditional covenant is predicated on God saying to man, "I will." 

Conditional covenants are like the contracts we humans make among ourselves. "If you give me a certain amount of money, then I will give you a car." God makes conditional covenants, too. He made one with Israel through Moses. In Exodus 19, He said, "If you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation." 

Did they obey His voice and keep His covenant? No. God offered them a deal, but they didn't fulfill their part of the bargain. Does God then have to fulfill His part? No. A conditional covenant means, "If you do this, then I'll do that." 

But God also made unconditional covenants. In an unconditional covenant, God simply says, "I will." Period. Once such a covenant goes into effect, there are no conditions that have to be fulfilled by human beings. 

God's covenant with Abraham - what theologians call "The Abrahamic Covenant" - is an unconditional covenant. Through the years God reiterates it and expands it, but He never changes the unconditional nature of it. Indeed, He cannot change it or He would be a liar and the Bible says in Titus 1:2 and elsewhere, "God... cannot lie." 

To add other conditions later would be like moving the goal posts just as the football team is about to score a touchdown. It wouldn't be honest. God is not tricky. He's trustworthy. Once the covenant went into effect, nothing could change it. Later, God would reiterate the covenant and expand on it, but He never changed the nature of it, nor did He add conditions to it. 

Those who claim He did, have a fundamental problem. They're saying that God lied.
Psalm 105 says, "He has remembered His covenant forever, The word which He commanded to a thousand generations, The covenant which He made with Abraham, And His oath to Isaac. And then He confirmed it to Jacob for a statute, To Israel as an everlasting covenant, Saying, 'To you will I give the land of Canaan As the portion of your inheritance.'" 

This verse calls it a "covenant forever" and "an everlasting covenant." If it depended on frail human beings, the Word of God could not call it "everlasting" because somewhere along the line human beings fail, as Israel proved again and again.

The Abrahamic Covenant is one of the great dividing lines of scripture. Disbelieving it won't change God's Word, but it will change a person in profound ways. Among other things, he won't understand what's going on in the world. 

Because this is an unconditional covenant, it cannot end. It remains in effect today and forever. That makes it fundamental to Bible prophecy. Whatever else happens, you can bet the farm that God will keep His covenant with Abraham. 

So if you want to look into the future, or have a better understanding of the present, look at the things God promised to Abraham. He expressed them in a series of direct and implied "I will" statements. "I will make you a great nation. I will bless you. I will make your name great. I will make you a blessing. I will bless those who bless you. I will curse those who curse you. Through you, I will bless all the families of the earth." 

Romans 11:1 succinctly asks and answers the most pertinent point. "Has God cast away His people? Certainly not!" That's just one of many New Testament passages refuting "replacement theology" and affirming that God's covenant with Abraham is still in effect.

Not only does this covenant help us understand what's happening in the Middle East right now, it is foundational to the central meaning of all the Bible's teaching - from the identity and purpose of Jesus, to "salvation by faith alone," to Christ's coming to set up a literal thousand year kingdom on earth, to Christ's secretly snatching up all believers to heaven before the great Tribulation begins. 

Tune in this week as I discuss "The Covenant."
Don't miss this week's Report on TBN, Daystar, CPM Network, The Word Network, various local stations, www.hallindsey.com or www.hischannel.com .

Time to teach these hooligans some manners

Time to teach these hooligans some manners

Monday, September 9, 2013

Former Spanish Foreign Minister Foresees 'European' Peace for Israel

Former Spanish Foreign Minister Foresees 'European' Peace for Israel

The Jot

The Jot

What Must We Do to Have Eternal Life?

What Must We Do to Have Eternal Life?

Like a headline ripped from The Copper Scroll novel: "Gold treasure trove unearthed at base of Temple Mount"

Like a headline ripped from The Copper Scroll novel: "Gold treasure trove unearthed at base of Temple Mount"

Answering Muslims: A Short Guide to the Middle East

Answering Muslims: A Short Guide to the Middle East

The Rich Man And Lazarus - Gracethrufaith

The Rich Man And Lazarus - Gracethrufaith

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Americans losing homes for unpaid tax bills as little as $44.

Americans losing homes for unpaid tax bills as little as $44.

False teachers and contending instead of tolerating


Reblogged from Elizabeth Prata the-end-time.blogspot.com   

Jesus said that one way we will be able to tell it is the end times is that false teachers will come. It has been the end time since He ascended and the latter days will end when He returns, but nonetheless, He also said that the end will come like a flood, and will be like birth pains. In other words, from the beginning of the period to the end, things will get worse and worse:
"Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived." (2 Timothy 3:13)

Actually, when the disciples asked about the signs of the end of the age, the first sign Jesus gave was that there will be deception:

photo credit: delete08 via photopin cc

"As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?” And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray." (Matthew 24:3-5).

When Paul wrote to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:1, Paul said that 'dangerous times will come'. That was a prophecy. John MacArthur expounds on the verses:
"The word "times" is the word "seasons" or epochs. And the picture here is the idea that during the period of the church age there will be seasons when the church is under great danger in perilous perilous condition. This is primarily due to the encroachment on the church of false teachers and false doctrine. Verse 13 says, "Evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived."
Evil men, impostors who come into the church rising from within become a tremendous danger to the church. False teachers and their product, false doctrine, and their converts, false Christians, are inevitable in the life of the church and exceedingly dangerous. We look at the church today and we know we're in dangerous times. The church as we speak of it in the largest sense, Christianity or Christendom, is mixed up with all kinds of things. It is literally filled with false teachers propagating false doctrine being believed by false converts or false Christians. The church is filled with men and women who deny Scripture in their theology, who deny Scripture in their living.
The church tolerates that false teaching, tolerates that ungodly living. Even in some cases justifies it quite as it did in Ephesus where Timothy was when he received this letter from Paul. Only today it's far worse than it was then because evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse and worse as you come closer to the coming of Christ.
We are 2,000 years nearer the coming of our Lord than the church at Ephesus and we then have to suffer the accumulation of deceit and false teaching through all of those centuries that is now encroaching upon the church today."
The word 'accumulation' is a great way to put it. Not only has false teaching accumulated, more is coming in every day, in greater force and in greater number.
photo credit: PhotKing ♛ via photopin cc

Therefore, we know by the word of God that we are living in dangerous times and what is causing the danger is false doctrine. It is causing persecution from without and contentions from within. We usually think of danger as things like machine guns or unbalanced madmen, but in reality false teaching is a machine gun that kills just as surely as bullets do, and it is brought by unbalanced madmen who can't think straight (Ephesians 4:17 and Romans 1:21).

With the fact of coming flood of false doctrine established, let's turn to Jude for a moment. Jude 1:3 says says what to do about it,

"Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 1:3)

Jude wrote that though he had other plans for his letter's content, something had arisen which changed his mind. He used very strong language to indicate that his intent had been changed and he must now address a different topic. Various translations use the word

--necessary
--compelled
--must
--needful

When Jude uses the word compelled or necessary, or must, he is using the Greek word anankēn, a root of anagke. This word means literally to "compress or to press tight. In human terms it indicates a compelling need requiring immediate action, i.e. in a pressing situation. The definition also means it calls for timely help, i.e. strong force needed to accomplish something compulsory or absolutely required." (Strong's)

Gills Exposition says of the verse, "by the "faith" is meant the doctrine of faith, in which sense it is used whenever faith is said to be preached, obeyed, departed, or erred from, or denied, or made shipwreck of, or when exhortations are made to stand fast, and continue in it

Jude found it necessary to warn the brethren to take action regarding the existing evils in the Church. Jude used the strongest terms possible to urge them to fight for the faith. By faith, Jude means doctrine.

photo credit: Icky Pic via photopin cc
Yet we are living in strange times. Just as false doctrine is permeating everywhere, we are told to tolerate it. Just as people of the faith are littering the sea of the church in shipwrecks, we are told to step over them as they lay gasping and dying, so as not to offend them.

Jude did not say, "I planned to write to you about our common salvation but I see that false doctrine is coming in. If you think of it, would you address this? If you get a chance? Either way. But if someone makes a charge of intolerance or says that you are not loving by doing this, back off immediately and pray for forgiveness for your offense."

Jude did not say, "There may be a false thing we need to take care of, but that's for later. First, witness to the people by your actions, not your words, so they will see you're not a hypocrite. Then after a few years when you've established a relationship based on common interests and mutual trust, mention to them delicately, without naming names! that sometimes false doctrine comes in. If you feel led. Or not."

Brethren, it is obvious that addressing false doctrine is a must. Jude said to contend. Contending is contentious. That's a fact. I'm not saying to BE contentious. But there is emotional and spiritual turmoil associated with combating false doctrine.

This is because people who gravitate to false doctrine are deceived, and no one likes to be told they are being deceived. There is intellectual pride there which must be dealt with by the person, and sometimes they get angry at you for exposing this to them. People who follow false teachers do so because the teacher's teaching is comforting them in their flesh, and excising the flesh is always painful. (2 Timothy 2:17, Mark 9:47). People cling to false teaching because they like it. No one enjoys being told that something they like is bad for them. They have already invested too much, and their pride, comfort, personal reputation etc.  is now tied into it.

photo credit: remuz [Jack The Ripper] via photopin cc
What does contending look like in practical terms? If you have a conversation with someone and they mention they enjoy watching Joyce Meyer, the person should be told that Joyce Meyer is a false teacher preaching heresy. If you have all the facts at your disposal, perhaps you can tell them this immediately. But more likely it is better to draw back, pray, gather the facts of why she is false and also why it is important to tell the person she is false, and take her aside at another time. This is what Priscilla and Aquila did for Apollos. (Acts 18:24-28). He was a brother, he just had some facts wrong.

John Ed Mathison writes,

They took him aside!
"How do you deal with people when they have made a mistake and obviously you know how to help them? Knowing what to do is sometimes not as important as how we do it. In Acts 18:24 there was an interesting man by the name of Apollos who had become a convert to the Christian faith. He became a fervent disciple. He desired to teach and share his faith. His enthusiasm seemed to outrun the grounding of his intellectual understanding of God’s truth. He began to make a few errors. How do you handle somebody who is in error? It is easy to confront the person in front of a lot of people and make yourself look good by showing them their faults. Sometimes the practice is to go to somebody and tell them what someone else is doing wrong, without confronting the person who is actually making the mistake. Some people simply “pray about it.” Some people criticize the errors in an indirect manner. Priscilla and Aquila did the right thing. The Bible says “They took him aside and explained the way of God more accurately.” (Acts 18:26) They didn’t embarrass him. They didn’t pull rank on him. They took him aside in order to be helpful to him."

Paul took another tack. When Peter was engaged in false doctrine and had done nothing to refute it, Paul opposed Peter to his face. (Galatians 2:11-14). Paul waded into the fray, willing to take the pain of conflict in contending with Peter, in order to defend the truth of the gospel. You see the emergency portion of the verse, "even Barnabas was led astray." (Galatians 2:13). Failure to confront false doctrine means others get hurt! In the Galatians situation, Jews and Gentiles were split! Peter was passive, not leading in the authority of his office! Confusion, not unity, reined! And poor Barnabas was being led away by satan.

Roger R. Nicole said of contending for the faith in his article "How to deal with those who differ from me" (.pdf here), "We are called upon by the Lord to contend earnestly for the faith (Jude 3). That does not necessarily involve being contentious; but it does involve avoiding compromise, standing forth for what we believe, standing forth for the truth of God—without welching at any particular moment."

Ultimately, it is up to you to do your part. This means:

--reading the bible so you know when false doctrine comes in the first place
--staying prayed up so your relationship with Jesus is fresh and alive
--loving others enough to risk emotional turmoil when contending for the faith
--honoring Jesus by being a good soldier and fighting the good fight

It's up to you also to decide whether to confront privately or publicly. I've done both as different cases arose. The bible shows us several ways to contend and therefore all are correct, but not all are equally applicable to each situation. How you contend is between you and the Holy Spirit, but it must be done. Paul and Jude made no bones about that.

Dan Rocha photo
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Further reading:

How to contend for the faith (2-min video)

The Berean Call: What does it mean to earnestly contend for the faith? 

The Christian Courier advises in their article, "Contend Earnestly for the Faith"
"Contending Is Not Contentiousness. There are some who have yet to learn the difference between contending for the faith and being contentious for the faith. Contending for the faith is a balanced proclamation and defense of the fundamental elements of gospel truth, whereas contentiousness is a wrangling disposition that generates ill will over inconsequential matters." More at the link
Jesus said that one way we will be able to tell it is the end times is that false teachers will come. It has been the end time since He ascended and the latter days will end when He returns, but nonetheless, He also said that the end will come like a flood, and will be like birth pains. In other words, from the beginning of the period to the end, things will get worse and worse:

"Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived." (2 Timothy 3:13)

Actually, when the disciples asked about the signs of the end of the age, the first sign Jesus gave was that there will be deception:
photo credit: delete08 via photopin cc

"As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?” And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray." (Matthew 24:3-5).

When Paul wrote to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:1, Paul said that 'dangerous times will come'. That was a prophecy. John MacArthur expounds on the verses:
"The word "times" is the word "seasons" or epochs. And the picture here is the idea that during the period of the church age there will be seasons when the church is under great danger in perilous perilous condition. This is primarily due to the encroachment on the church of false teachers and false doctrine. Verse 13 says, "Evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived."
Evil men, impostors who come into the church rising from within become a tremendous danger to the church. False teachers and their product, false doctrine, and their converts, false Christians, are inevitable in the life of the church and exceedingly dangerous. We look at the church today and we know we're in dangerous times. The church as we speak of it in the largest sense, Christianity or Christendom, is mixed up with all kinds of things. It is literally filled with false teachers propagating false doctrine being believed by false converts or false Christians. The church is filled with men and women who deny Scripture in their theology, who deny Scripture in their living.
The church tolerates that false teaching, tolerates that ungodly living. Even in some cases justifies it quite as it did in Ephesus where Timothy was when he received this letter from Paul. Only today it's far worse than it was then because evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse and worse as you come closer to the coming of Christ.
We are 2,000 years nearer the coming of our Lord than the church at Ephesus and we then have to suffer the accumulation of deceit and false teaching through all of those centuries that is now encroaching upon the church today."
The word 'accumulation' is a great way to put it. Not only has false teaching accumulated, more is coming in every day, in greater force and in greater number.
photo credit: PhotKing ♛ via photopin cc

Therefore, we know by the word of God that we are living in dangerous times and what is causing the danger is false doctrine. It is causing persecution from without and contentions from within. We usually think of danger as things like machine guns or unbalanced madmen, but in reality false teaching is a machine gun that kills just as surely as bullets do, and it is brought by unbalanced madmen who can't think straight (Ephesians 4:17 and Romans 1:21).

With the fact of coming flood of false doctrine established, let's turn to Jude for a moment. Jude 1:3 says says what to do about it,

"Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 1:3)

Jude wrote that though he had other plans for his letter's content, something had arisen which changed his mind. He used very strong language to indicate that his intent had been changed and he must now address a different topic. Various translations use the word

--necessary
--compelled
--must
--needful

When Jude uses the word compelled or necessary, or must, he is using the Greek word anankēn, a root of anagke. This word means literally to "compress or to press tight. In human terms it indicates a compelling need requiring immediate action, i.e. in a pressing situation. The definition also means it calls for timely help, i.e. strong force needed to accomplish something compulsory or absolutely required." (Strong's)

Gills Exposition says of the verse, "by the "faith" is meant the doctrine of faith, in which sense it is used whenever faith is said to be preached, obeyed, departed, or erred from, or denied, or made shipwreck of, or when exhortations are made to stand fast, and continue in it

Jude found it necessary to warn the brethren to take action regarding the existing evils in the Church. Jude used the strongest terms possible to urge them to fight for the faith. By faith, Jude means doctrine.

photo credit: Icky Pic via photopin cc
Yet we are living in strange times. Just as false doctrine is permeating everywhere, we are told to tolerate it. Just as people of the faith are littering the sea of the church in shipwrecks, we are told to step over them as they lay gasping and dying, so as not to offend them.

Jude did not say, "I planned to write to you about our common salvation but I see that false doctrine is coming in. If you think of it, would you address this? If you get a chance? Either way. But if someone makes a charge of intolerance or says that you are not loving by doing this, back off immediately and pray for forgiveness for your offense."

Jude did not say, "There may be a false thing we need to take care of, but that's for later. First, witness to the people by your actions, not your words, so they will see you're not a hypocrite. Then after a few years when you've established a relationship based on common interests and mutual trust, mention to them delicately, without naming names! that sometimes false doctrine comes in. If you feel led. Or not."

Brethren, it is obvious that addressing false doctrine is a must. Jude said to contend. Contending is contentious. That's a fact. I'm not saying to BE contentious. But there is emotional and spiritual turmoil associated with combating false doctrine.

This is because people who gravitate to false doctrine are deceived, and no one likes to be told they are being deceived. There is intellectual pride there which must be dealt with by the person, and sometimes they get angry at you for exposing this to them. People who follow false teachers do so because the teacher's teaching is comforting them in their flesh, and excising the flesh is always painful. (2 Timothy 2:17, Mark 9:47). People cling to false teaching because they like it. No one enjoys being told that something they like is bad for them. They have already invested too much, and their pride, comfort, personal reputation etc.  is now tied into it.

photo credit: remuz [Jack The Ripper] via photopin cc
What does contending look like in practical terms? If you have a conversation with someone and they mention they enjoy watching Joyce Meyer, the person should be told that Joyce Meyer is a false teacher preaching heresy. If you have all the facts at your disposal, perhaps you can tell them this immediately. But more likely it is better to draw back, pray, gather the facts of why she is false and also why it is important to tell the person she is false, and take her aside at another time. This is what Priscilla and Aquila did for Apollos. (Acts 18:24-28). He was a brother, he just had some facts wrong.

John Ed Mathison writes,

They took him aside!
"How do you deal with people when they have made a mistake and obviously you know how to help them? Knowing what to do is sometimes not as important as how we do it. In Acts 18:24 there was an interesting man by the name of Apollos who had become a convert to the Christian faith. He became a fervent disciple. He desired to teach and share his faith. His enthusiasm seemed to outrun the grounding of his intellectual understanding of God’s truth. He began to make a few errors. How do you handle somebody who is in error? It is easy to confront the person in front of a lot of people and make yourself look good by showing them their faults. Sometimes the practice is to go to somebody and tell them what someone else is doing wrong, without confronting the person who is actually making the mistake. Some people simply “pray about it.” Some people criticize the errors in an indirect manner. Priscilla and Aquila did the right thing. The Bible says “They took him aside and explained the way of God more accurately.” (Acts 18:26) They didn’t embarrass him. They didn’t pull rank on him. They took him aside in order to be helpful to him."

Paul took another tack. When Peter was engaged in false doctrine and had done nothing to refute it, Paul opposed Peter to his face. (Galatians 2:11-14). Paul waded into the fray, willing to take the pain of conflict in contending with Peter, in order to defend the truth of the gospel. You see the emergency portion of the verse, "even Barnabas was led astray." (Galatians 2:13). Failure to confront false doctrine means others get hurt! In the Galatians situation, Jews and Gentiles were split! Peter was passive, not leading in the authority of his office! Confusion, not unity, reined! And poor Barnabas was being led away by satan.

Roger R. Nicole said of contending for the faith in his article "How to deal with those who differ from me" (.pdf here), "We are called upon by the Lord to contend earnestly for the faith (Jude 3). That does not necessarily involve being contentious; but it does involve avoiding compromise, standing forth for what we believe, standing forth for the truth of God—without welching at any particular moment."

Ultimately, it is up to you to do your part. This means:

--reading the bible so you know when false doctrine comes in the first place
--staying prayed up so your relationship with Jesus is fresh and alive
--loving others enough to risk emotional turmoil when contending for the faith
--honoring Jesus by being a good soldier and fighting the good fight

It's up to you also to decide whether to confront privately or publicly. I've done both as different cases arose. The bible shows us several ways to contend and therefore all are correct, but not all are equally applicable to each situation. How you contend is between you and the Holy Spirit, but it must be done. Paul and Jude made no bones about that.

Dan Rocha photo
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Further reading:

How to contend for the faith (2-min video)

The Berean Call: What does it mean to earnestly contend for the faith? 

The Christian Courier advises in their article, "Contend Earnestly for the Faith"
"Contending Is Not Contentiousness. There are some who have yet to learn the difference between contending for the faith and being contentious for the faith. Contending for the faith is a balanced proclamation and defense of the fundamental elements of gospel truth, whereas contentiousness is a wrangling disposition that generates ill will over inconsequential matters." More at the link
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