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Today's Bible Q&A with John MacArthur
Monday, November 30, 2015
It is truly remarkable that when Jesus was born, so few people in Israel recognized their Messiah. It was not as if no one was watching for Him. Messianic expectation in the early first century was running at an all-time high.
Monday, November 23, 2015
Thanksgiving is upon us, and your preparations are likely underway. Maybe you’re cleaning your home in anticipation of the friends and family who will soon arrive. Maybe you’re cooking and baking in advance for all the mouths you’ll need to feed. Or perhaps you’ve simply staked out a comfortable place to watch football and gently slip into your food coma. Whatever the case, you likely have a plan for your Thanksgiving celebration this week.
Friday, November 20, 2015
Fundamental doctrines are fundamental because they are essential to believe and damnable to deny. They bring conviction and provoke rebellion. They affirm truth and expose error. They are preached by those who love the truth and rejected by those who hate it. Either way they demand a response from everyone who claims faith in Christ. And the common thread that runs through all fundamental doctrines is that they are summed up in the person and work of Christ.
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Scripture isn’t all good news—it also conveys some serious threats. As we consider the fundamentals of our faith, it’s clear the Lord has set forth some truths that cannot be trifled with. While God’s Word offers many glorious promises for believers who affirm and embrace essential gospel truths, it also warns of damnation for those who deny certain doctrines.
Monday, November 16, 2015
Getting that message we preach correct is so critical that Paul reserved his harshest condemnation for anyone who gets it wrong. Those who peddle a false gospel bring damnation on themselves and all who embrace their message. So in our attempt to identify the fundamentals of the Christian faith, we clearly need to prioritize doctrines essential to the gospel.
Friday, November 13, 2015
God is not the author of confusion, as Scripture tells us (1 Corinthians 14:33). But confusion nevertheless reigns in many corners of the modern evangelical church. When it comes to understanding the truth of God’s Word, too many believers are content with subjective interpretations and fluid doctrinal statements. And even churches that claim to have sound convictions can quickly descend into a hermeneutical free-for-all.
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
Following the Dark Ages, the early Reformers took up the mantle of fighting for the Christian fundamentals. The five solas of the Reformation represented the fundamental doctrines that they saw as non-negotiable. Sola gratia declares that salvation is by God’s grace alone in defiance of the Catholic belief in grace plus works. Sola fide and sola Christus assert that salvation is appropriated by faith alone in Christ alone and apart from any human works (rejecting Mary as a co-redemptrix). Soli deo gloria reminds us that everything we do should be done to the glory of God alone. Those four solas roar with exclusivity and are pillars that uphold the structure of sound doctrine. But the fifth sola is the foundation of them all.
Monday, November 9, 2015
Creeds were never formulated to invent fundamental doctrines, but rather to defend them. They are repudiations of false doctrines—condemning new error by affirming established truth. As time passed, new errors required new affirmations; thus church creeds and Christian confessions have become longer and more complex.
Friday, November 6, 2015
We owe a massive debt of gratitude to the pioneers of the fundamentalist movement. Sadly, few Christians understand the necessity of the war they fought in the last century. If not for their bold stand, the vast majority of American churches probably would have capitulated to the influence of theological liberalism—a juggernaut that spiritually devastated Europe, the heartland of the Reformation.
Wednesday, November 4, 2015
The god of religious tolerance is not the God of the Bible. It is Satan who doesn’t care what we believe—or how sincerely we believe it—as long as we don’t believe God’s Word. To portray God as tolerant of all forms of worship is to deny the God of Scripture. After all, this was His first commandment: “I am the Lord your God. . . . You shall have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:2–3).
Monday, November 2, 2015
Have you ever been called a fundamentalist? In recent years it has become the de facto terminology for people of any religious persuasion who hold “extreme” views. Sadly, popular opinion and the secular media usually get to define what constitutes extremism. Today it includes anything from waging jihad to defending God’s design for marriage—and every socially unfashionable conviction in-between. And because the unbelieving world has zero use for doctrinal distinction, so-called fundamentalists from opposing faiths are grouped together as extremists. That’s why a world blinded by sin cannot see the difference between Christian and Islamic fundamentalists.
Friday, October 30, 2015
You know the routine. As the sun dips below the horizon, the sidewalks begin to teem with creatures great and small. Some travel in packs; others hunt alone. But sooner or later they arrive at your door, howling for satisfaction.
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Paul’s exhortation to the Corinthians is one of the greatest challenges facing believers today. In a world bombarding us with temptation, God’s people need to keep clear the spiritual lines of demarcation, both for the sake of the gospel and our own testimonies. As John MacArthur explains, Paul’s words mean “we cannot overindulge ourselves in their world to the detriment of our testimony within the body of Christ.”
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
In the final private hours before His arrest, Christ warned His disciples of the fierce opposition they would face throughout their ministry. That same opposition to God’s Word and His people continues today.
Monday, October 26, 2015
In its practice of religious pluralism, the Western world tends to remain quiet about religion. Rarely will you hear the public media discuss Buddhism, Hinduism, Scientology, Mormonism, or Jehovah’s Witnesses. When you do, the media uses muted tones and carefully crafted statements to avoid offending followers of those religions.
Friday, October 23, 2015
No one intentionally seeks out persecution. True, there are some people who enjoy portraying themselves as victims and garnering sympathy from others. But no one would willingly invite their own suffering and hardship. However, as we consider what it means for Christians to be in the world but not of it, we have to accept that persecution is inevitable.