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Showing posts from 2008

MEASURING THE CHURCH

by James Cymbala

Have you noticed that whenever you ask a fellow Christian these days about his or her church, the subject invariably goes to attendance. Question: "Tell me about your church. How is the Lord's work coming along there?" Answer: "Well be had three hundred on Sunday, I'd say."
When I ask pastors the same question, I get the same answer—plus two others: "Membership is at five-fifty, we have just finished a new education wing, and our gross income this year will top out at about four hundred thousand." Attendance, buildings, and cash. A-B-C: The new holy trinity.
Such a thing would never have happened in Peter and Paul's day. For one thing, they had no buildings to call their own. They met in people's homes,in public courtyards, sometimes even in caves. As for a budget, they seemed to have dispensed most of their funds in helping the poor.
How large was the attendance in the Antioch church? Berea? Phillipi? Rome? We…

THE TERMS OF DISCIPLESHIP

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by William MacDonald


True Christianity is an all-out commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Savior is not looking for men and women who will give their spare evenings to Him – or their weekends or their years of retirement. Rather He seeks those who will give Him first place in their lives. “He looks today, as He has ever looked, not for crowds drifting aimlessly in His track, but for individual men and women whose underlying allegiance will spring from their having recognized that He wants those who are prepared to follow the path of self-renunciation which He trod before them” H. A. Evan Hopkins.
Nothing less than unconditional surrender could ever be a fitting response to His sacrifice at Calvary. Love so amazing, so divine, could never be satisfied with less than our souls, our lives, our all.
The Lord Jesus made stringent demands on those who would be His disciples - demands that are all but overlooked in this day of luxury-living. Too often we look upon Christianity a…

THE ARK OF THE LORD IN HARVEST TIME

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“Now the people of Beth Shemesh were reaping their wheat harvest in the valley; and they lifted their eyes and saw the ark, and rejoiced to see it.”

1 Samuel 6:13


Beth Shemesh was a city in the territory of the tribe of Judah (Joshua 15:10), about 14 miles to the west of the city of Jerusalem. It was originally a city given to Sun worship, but when conquered by Joshua it was given to the Levites (Joshua 21:16). Therefore its inhabitants were Levites, and they had a problem. Israel foolishly took the ark into battle as a good luck charm, and the Philistines captured it. For seven long months the ark of the LORD had been in the land of the Philistines, leaving Israel “Ichabod” (“the glory departed”), as a mark of divine displeasure. Surely among the godly minority in Israel, no one longed for the return of Jehovah’s ark more than the Levites. But since the armies of Israel had lost the ark in battle, what could a group of Levites possibly do to secure its return? They could …
The Academic Method Is Not Discipling

Bible Colleges and Seminaries do not make disciples. Taking x number of classes and maintaining a certain acceptable grade average until graduation does not change a person or give him experience or maturity. No wonder as we read the New Testament we see that NO Apostle ever started a school or institute. That was not the apostolic method, because it was not the Lord's method, and they learned from Him.

Consider this insight:
“Biblical training is not concerned with intellectual instruction alone. One of the great difficulties with our educational system in Western society is that we all too frequently train people not for personal change, but for the ability to pass tests... When your goal is to mold the character of an individual, you pursue that task much differently than when your goal is to enable him to answer questions.”
Jay Adams: How To Help People Change, p. 194

"Taking classes or courses" and getting a degree is not in the …

THE MYTH OF MENTAL ILLNESS

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These insights by Martin and Deidre Bobgan were published way back in 1989, but need to be passed around again and introduced to a generation that has grown up believing the myth of "mental illness". Pass it on!


THE MYTH OF MENTAL ILLNESS

The terms mental disease, mental illness, and mental disorder are popular catch-alls for all kinds of problems of living, most of which have little or nothing to do with disease. As soon as a person's behavior is labeled "illness," treatment and therapy become the solutions. If, on the other hand, we consider a person to be responsible for his behavior, we should deal with him in the areas of education, faith, and choice. If we label him "mentally ill," we rob him of the human dignity of personal responsibility and the divine relationship by which problems may be met.
Because the term mental illness throws attitudes and behavior into the medical realm, it is important to examine it's accuracy. In discussing th…

CHRISTIAN, BE AN EXAMPLE!

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By H.A. Ironside

“When thou buildest a new house, then thou shalt make a battlement for thy roof, that thou bring not blood upon thine house, if any man fall from thence. Thou shalt not sow thy vineyard with divers seeds: lest the fruit of thy seed which thou hast sown, and the fruit of thy vineyard, be defiled. Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together. Thou shalt not wear a garment of divers sorts, as of woollen and linen together. Thou shalt make thee fringes upon the four quarters of thy vesture, wherewith thou coverest thyself.” —Deut. 22:8-12.
“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue.” —Num. 15:37-38.

The Apostle Paul gave us an example of taking spiritual lessons from some of these rules of the Old Testament which we no longer consider so important in our times.

A Tale of 1,000

Not necessarily dollars. It could be pesos, euros, francs, marks, pounds, yen, rands, liras, etc. Any of these may well serve for the glory of God. Think of a young person who determines to please the Lord.

1. God supplies his needs and he gives thanks. God is glorified.
2. He sets aside the surplus and still more, giving sacrificially, what he really needed himself. This reminds God of His Son, who gave Himself as the great Sacrifice. God is pleased.
3. He gives this on Lord's Day, 1 Corinthians 16:2, again God is honored.
4. He prays about the allocation, and obeys the Holy Spirit. God is glorified.
5. The recipient was trusting God for his need. God is glorified.
6. He receives this gift and praises the Lord. God is glorified.
7. He uses it in his work, spreading the Gospel. God is pleased.
8. Souls are saved and blessed, and many will give glory to God.
9. They join in spreading the Good News and so it continues in ever-expanding circles. Much …

IF THE APOSTLES WERE TO APPLY TODAY FOR POSITIONS OF LEADERSHIP

Jesus, Son of Joseph
Woodcraft Carpenter Shop
Nazareth, Galilee

Dear Sir:

Thank you for submitting the resumes of the twelve men you have picked for managerial positions in your new organization. All of them have now taken our battery of test. We have not only run the results through our computer, but have also arranged personal interviews for each of them with our psychologist and vocational aptitude consultant.
The profiles of all tests are included. You will want to study each of them carefully. As part of our service, we make some general statements. This is given as a result of staff consultation and comes without any additional fee.
It is the staff́s opinion that most of your nominees are lacking in background, educational and vocational aptitude for the type of enterprise you are undertaking. We would recommend that you continue to search for persons of experience in managerial ability and proven capability.
Simon Peter is emotionally unstable and given to fits of temp…

Why Do Some Christians Put Their Faith In Politics?

William MacDonald, when asked if he voted, replied in the negative. When asked why not, he would often say with a twinkle in his eye, "because my candidate is not running." He referred, of course, to the Lord Jesus Christ! He also pointed out on more than one occasion that when someone votes, by voting he expresses a certain confidence in the political system and politicians. The question is, why would anyone, much less a Christian, have confidence in the political system and politicians?
Political activists in churches frequently offer what is their typical answer to this searching question, stating that it is part of government and that God has established government and ordained it, citing Romans 13, and they conclude that therefore it is our duty to be involved in the political process. A weak argument, at best. One of its flaws is the failure to distinguish between government and politics. God did not establish politics, and politicians and political parties are…

The Christian And Politics

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NOTE: Permission is hereby granted to reproduce this article on websites, or in tract or book form, with the condition that nothing be changed, omitted or added, and that proper credit be given to the author.- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
The Christian & Politics
“No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life,
that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier”
(2 Timothy 2:4). One would think that after a verse like that, no further commentary would be necessary. However, in light of increasing involvement of professing Christians in politics it has become necessary to expound more specifically such texts. Every Christian is a soldier of the Lord, and like it or not, is engaged in warfare. And one reason why so many wage an ineffective spiritual warfare, not being able to “fight the good fight of faith,” is entanglements. This world system dangles before every Christian various spider-webs of entanglement, and politics…

A World Ruined By Mankind

"The Bible declares, 'In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.' After the creation of all else, God said, 'Let us make man in our image...So God mad man in his image.' He then created Eve, a wife for Adam, and gave them the easiest command possible: of the innumerable trees of delicious fruit He had planted in the Garden paradise, there was only one of which they were not to eat: 'the tree of knowledge of good and evil' (Gn. 2:9). It could have borne any variety of fruit. There was no spiritual power in the fruit of this tree any more than in any other fruit just like it.
The command not to eat of that particular tree was a test of His creatures' obedience. Disobedience even in such a simple thing would be rebellion for which they would be cut off from God, the giver of life, resulting in physical and spiritual death and expulsion from His presence forever.
Critics find it incredibly cruel that eating forbidden fruit should resu…
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THE LAND OF ISRAEL
IS NOT CALLED "PALESTINE"

A visiting preacher smiled as he stood before a group of Jewish believers in Israel, and said enthusiastically, "I am so happy to finally be in Palestine". His audience was underwhelmed. Yet another well-meaning westerner who speaks (and thinks) carelessly. How many people realize where the name Palestine comes from, and how offensive it is to the Jews?

For the short version, read this extract from Wikipedia:

After the Bar-Kokhba revolt of the Judeans and the subsequent Roman repression and exile, the Romans renamed the entire district of Judea "Palaestina" as a mark of insult to their defeated enemies. This is because of their knowledge of the region's history and the fact that the Philistines and the Israelites were warring peoples.

The land of Israel is NEVER called Palestine in the Bible. The word "Palestine" or "Palestina" only appears four times in the King James Version, in Exodus 15:1…