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Monday, November 24, 2014
The endgame for most persecutors is silence. Whether they attempt to silence you through intimidation, violence, or death, the point is to stamp out your message and your influence. In recent months we’ve seen that scenario play out repeatedly in the Middle East.
Friday, November 21, 2014
By God’s grace, not all believers face harsh legal or physical persecution for their faith. Many of us don’t live under the threat of being beaten or hauled into court for preaching the gospel. But there are many places around the globe right now where that is the daily reality for believers. And as the world grows more hostile to the truth of Scripture, we can expect those kinds of persecution to become more commonplace.
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Is persecution good for the church? We’ve seen the blessings and fruit of persecution for individual believers—that it proves the quality of our faith and directs our focus to eternity. But what about the church?
Monday, November 17, 2014
“If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you” (John 15:18). With those words Jesus comforted His disciples. His followers would not be alone in their suffering; they would partake in what He had already endured. It’s a comfort that points to the certainty of persecution for everyone who follows Christ.
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Christians are not to be “carried about by every wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:14). And yet the church has never been more fad-driven than it is today. How do conscientious believers develop and maintain deep, biblical convictions? John MacArthur answers that question in today’s video blog.
Monday, November 10, 2014
The word meditate can evoke thoughts of empty minds and eastern religions. But it is more likely that Hindus and Buddhists borrowed the term from the Bible and twisted its meaning to conform with their false religions. From the time of Joshua’s military conquest of Canaan, we hear the Lord instructing His people to meditate on God’s Word (Joshua 1:8). So what does meditate mean? Biblically, it means to focus your mind on one subject.
Friday, November 07, 2014
Cynics love to mock Christians who believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible. They note supposed absurdities like, the Bible is a sword (Hebrews 4:12); Jesus is a door (John 10:7); and God is a bird (Psalm 61:4). Of course, such caricatures of the process are obvious misrepresentations of proper biblical interpretation.
Wednesday, November 05, 2014
The Bible has been around for thousands of years. That is a huge gulf of history for the modern reader to cross. How are we to understand what the Bible writers were saying, as well as the various circumstances in which they lived?
Monday, November 03, 2014
It’s been just over a year since the highly publicized and controversial Strange Fire conference. As a Grace to You employee with a charismatic background, I watched the buildup to the conference with a considerable amount of interest.
Friday, October 31, 2014
Today while much of the world wallows in the excess and prurience of Halloween, some Christians will instead pause to celebrate a different holiday. Reformation Day marks the anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his Ninety-five Theses to the church door in Wittenberg, Germany. That audacious act by a passionate monk is often recognized as the flashpoint of the Protestant Reformation.
Thursday, October 30, 2014
Paul’s pastoral counsel to his protégé Timothy was clear: “Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching” (1 Timothy 4:13). He told Timothy to read the text, explain the text (doctrine), and apply the text (exhortation). You don’t read it and jump right into application.
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
There is nothing more basic to Bible study than Bible reading. Imagine trying to interpret a middle chapter in the allegorical Pilgrim’s Progress without knowing the larger story, or studying the significance of World War II without a good understanding of World War I. Proper Bible study cannot be built on a scattered compilation of pet verses or a narrow study of a particular doctrine—it must be grounded in a comprehensive understanding of broad biblical themes and history. And the only way to obtain that is faithful, diligent Bible reading.
Monday, October 27, 2014
The tremendous access to God’s Word today has also bred a dangerous complacency. Bibles now occupy ornamental places in our homes. We would consider it foolish to find a treasure chest and never open it to see what’s inside. Yet in reality, that’s what happens when a Bible is relegated to decorative use.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
From time to time at Grace to You we have the bittersweet duty to bid farewell to a faithful servant whom the Lord has called to another ministry. We recently said goodbye to Travis Allen, who has been called to pastor Grace Church in Greeley, Colorado. And after fourteen years of faithful service at Grace to You, it’s appropriate to recognize how the Lord has used Travis for the sake of His kingdom.
Friday, October 17, 2014
A final point to consider, specifically with reference to modern prophecy, is that by eliminating the simple biblical standard by which false prophets may be identified, modern charismatics have opened the door for chaos and doctrinal confusion in the church. Fake healings and false tongues are bad enough, but when someone claims to have private revelation from God, the sufficiency and singularity of Scripture is instantly clouded, and the authority of Scripture is undermined. It is a terribly dangerous breach of a fundamental principle of evangelical Protestant and biblical conviction.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Looking back over the history of the Pentecostal and charismatic movements, it is significant to note that Pentecostalism’s distinctive teachings have always been outside the historic mainstream of Protestant and Reformed conviction. All the Reformers and their heirs were cessationists. They believed and taught emphatically that God is intimately involved and providentially in control of every detail of everything that happens in the universe. They also held the firm conviction that apostolic sign-gifts ceased when the apostolic era passed. They saw no conflict between those two articles of faith. Nor did any cessationist imagine a conflict there until three pernicious trends began to turn the tide of twentieth-century evangelicalism.