Saturday, March 19, 2011

Dr. White On American Apologists

Being a member of a local church is fundamental for the Christian life. I thought this video, although dealing with apologetics per se, speaks a lot to American individualistic thinking.

Watch video here.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Psalm 60

I am sitting here this afternoon reading Psalm 60. In light of recent events in Japan this text is quite powerful. Although the text is primarily about Israel, the application I think should be obvious. Here are the beginning verses.

O God, you have rejected us, broken our defenses;
   you have been angry; oh, restore us.
2You have made the land to quake; you have torn it open;
     repair its breaches, for it totters.
3 You have made your people see hard things;
    you have given us wine to drink that made us stagger. 4 You have set up a banner for those who fear you,
   that they may flee to it from the bow.

Yet even in the midst of trouble God promises to bring about man's deliverance, and ultimately He has done so in Christ.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The End Is Always Near, But Definitely Not On May 21st

Several days ago I was reminded of Harold Camping's date setting of Christ's return to be May 21 of this year. Of course, we all know this is phony baloney and has been done myriads of times before, including Camping himself in the early 90s. Yet this sort of thing will just keep happening till the end of this present evil age.

In light of recent events in Japan, my concern is for those who would be fooled by such predictions. In the book, The Case For Amillenialism, by Kim Riddlebarger, the author reminds us that earth quakes are part of the signs throughout the inter-advental age (that would be now and between the comings of Christ). That nation would rise against nation, that there would be false teachers and false prophets and so forth.

In Psalm 148, the Holy Spirit testifies to us that God created the heavens and the earth to remain in His purposes and to be established forever. Yet during events such as the tsunami in Japan, we see the holiness of God and of our deepest need. We do not need a social gospel that attempts to save our economy or help make bad sinners into better sinners. Our ultimate need is not to have a better marriage or raise good kids. We don't need a gospel that tries to  make our planet a greener planet or salvation from a fraudulent global warming hoax.

As the Psalmist states in Psalm 102,

For I eat ashes like bread and mingle tears with my drink, because of your indignation and anger; for you have taken me up and thrown me down. My days are like an evening shadow; I wither away like grass.

Yet the Holy Spirit tells us about the Son,

 Of old you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you will remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away, but you are the same, and your years have no end. The children of your servants shall dwell secure; their offspring shall be established before you.

In conclusion, on the one hand, do not be fooled into self-deception that God's wrath is not being revealed around you because of false teachers and prophets attempting to gather cultic power unto themselves over the people of God. On the other hand, do not miss the plain revelation of God's wrath against sin in this world. As my friend Pastor Paul reminds up on his recent comments about Japan by quoting Luke 13,

“There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish."

Let us all turn to the only hope for Mankind, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Ellen Leverett

There are some people that you meet in this life that you consider a good friend. You may not know the person overly well, and yet you feel as though you do. You may not see that person very often, but when you do, you speak as though no time has passed by. You laugh and tell stories and catch up without the feeling that you're catching up. You feel as close to this person as you would your own brother or sister.

Ellen Leverett was one of those friends. Today is a day where we mourn the loss of that friend. At the age of 52, she lost her battle with cancer and in the Providence of Jesus, He decided to take her this past Wednesday. She has now entered her rest and is most certainly present with our Lord.

This morning's funeral/memorial service was a fantastic testimony to Ellen's faith in her Lord. Her husband and also another one of those "friends" stood up and gave a testimony about her faith in the resurrection of Christ and His people. He then turned and used the opportunity to remind those who had gathered that all must come to repentance and faith in Christ. In Gerald's deepest time of grief, he was still able to remember His Lord and turn to Him for comfort. As in the words of Peter in return to Jesus' question, "Do you want to go away as well?"

Peter, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God."

To the family of Gerald and Ellen Leverett I want to say publicly how encouraged I am in you perseverance during a time of most difficult struggle. May the Lord our God grant you all an abundance of grace during your time of loss.