Sunday, March 29, 2009

Are you contemplating retirement?

When we as humans contemplate retirement, especially those with money, we conjure up images of palm trees and long, white sandy beaches.

However, how does that fit in with 1 Cor 10:31?

"So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."

The question is, How will your retirement bring glory to God? Remember, the world thinks that retirement means retirement from everything.

However, in God's kingdom, there is NO retirement.

So, to solidify your own ideas concerning how you can bring glory to God after your retirement from your normal job, here are some resources to help you along:

  • Dr. Al Mohler A radio program (MP3) by Dr. Al Mohler addressing this issue.
  • A booklet on "Rethinking Retirement" by Dr. John Piper.
  • A conference message on "Getting Old for  the Dr. John PiperGlory of God." This includes watching the video and/or downloading the MP3 of the message.

Just as an aside, both of the men mentioned above are wonderful ministers of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and their work is of immense value to the body of Christ!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Sound doctrine and words

This is the video of a sermon that Phil Johnson preached at the 2009 Shepherd's Conference.

You can see the notes of the sermon as Part 1, Part 2, Part 3. NOTE: this video is an hour long!

Take your time and watch and/or read this message. It is very important for all Christians, but especially for pastors.

In order to download many video formats from the web, especially YouTube, Google, etc, then install save2pc light. This way, you can download a YouTube video to MPEG, MP4, AVI or other formats on your hard-disk for later viewing.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Romans 13 and the Government

"It seems that every time someone such as myself attempts to encourage our Christian brothers and sisters to resist an unconstitutional or otherwise reprehensible government policy, we hear the retort, 'What about Romans Chapter 13? We Christians must submit to government. Any government. Read your Bible, and leave me alone,' or words to that effect.

"No doubt, some who use this argument are sincere. They are only repeating what they have heard their pastor and other religious leaders say. On the other hand, let's be honest enough to admit that some who use this argument are just plain lazy, apathetic, and indifferent. And Romans 13 is their escape from responsibility. I suspect this is the much larger group, by the way."

Read "Romans 13 Revisited" by Chuck Baldwin.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Post-modern evangelism

In post-modern evangelism, the attempt is made not to offend anyone, contrary to the real gospel which in itself is offensive to the world (Rom 9:33).

Does your church make time for the public reading of Scripture?

I am not speaking of the pastor reading a text here or there in his sermon.

"Among the exhortations the apostle fires off to Timothy in a staccato burst is this: "Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching" (1 Timothy 4:13). If the last two facets describe preaching (and, I think, they do), the first describes the reading of Scripture to the congregation.

Mull that over for a moment. We have direct apostolic authority to read the Bible as part of our church service."

Find out about public reading of Scripture in your church service from Dan Phillip's blog post, Bible reading — in church.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Creation Ministries International's Darwin documentary is complete

Creation Ministries International has completed their Darwin documentary that will be available on DVD soon, I guess! Anyhow, here is a 3 minute trailer of the movie!


Also read Deconstructing Darwin—full steam ahead!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Zuma's visit to Rhema Church

What does Ray McCauley of Rhema Church, South Africa, do when the son of the devil (Jn 8:44) visits his church?

He gives him an opportunity to speak to his flock!

Do you think I am joking? Well, in a sense I am. Yet, it is a serious joke. It is one of life's dilemmas.

zumadevil McCauley invited Jacob Zuma to speak at his church, during a church service, from the pulpit.

Zuma, being the president of the ANC stands antithetically opposed to everything that Scripture proclaims.

Without making this a political post, such as I have at my other blog (BiblioPolit), it sometimes becomes necessary to touch on the issue when the church becomes involved.

In this case, this post is a simple commentary on the state of the church.

Now, we all know that under the leadership of the ANC, abortion on demand has been legalised, and so has pornography, same-sex marriage and more.

Further, Zuma has 4 wives, had sex with a young woman outside of marriage, and stands on almost 300 corruption charges before the courts.

What his spiritual condition is, I do not know, but I do know that the Bible said that we would know God's disciples by their fruits. Zuma's fruits are completely contrary to the Christian life!

The Bible is clear, "in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons" (1 Tim 4:1).

Does McCauley even realise that he has allowed the doctrine of demons to fill his pulpit? This is one of McCauley's biggest blunders, maybe as much or greater than when he divorced his wife Lindie and marrying his current wife within months of his divorce. Of course, this move (divorce) disqualified him from being an elder/pastor in the church and in the process he also committed adultery.

As a result, for McCauley to invite Zuma to his pulpit is a slap in the face of God's truly wonderful gospel! The pulpit (speaking metaphorically) is for the preaching of the gospel. To make it the point of proclamation for the evil one is indeed sacrilegious!

Moreover, McCauley called Zuma his brother. The lack of discernment with McCauley simply has no end!

Allowing Zuma to speak in his pulpit, McCauley has shaken his fist at God and mocked Him, telling Him that the gospel is not the only message that should be preach to the Christian church! And, we know that God will not be mocked!

While there are Christian parties like the ACDP and the CDA, McCauley felt it more convenient to invite the ungodly into his pulpit. Maybe this would keep the tithes and offering plates full!

The problem with this move by McCauley, is that it can be interpreted by his congregants, and many other "christians" across South Africa, that the ANC is a possible alternative of parties for Christians to vote for in the South African elections come April 22.

All that McCauley did was to confuse his congregants. Especially in an age where truth has been relativised. With the church's condition as it is, and its lack of knowledge of a solid Biblical worldview, this spells problems for the people of that church and others around the country.

My call to Ray McCauley in this Zuma case would be:

Repent Ray!
And make a public statement to that effect.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Where to start reading

It is not always easy for Christians to decide where they will start reading or what they will read. On top of that, there are many wolves in sheep clothing out there, teaching heresy, leading people astray with teachings contrary to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Well, don't despair. The good fellows at Monergism put together a list of 40 books to get you started.

Audio sermons by James Montgomery Boice

One of my favourite preachers is the late James Montgomery Boice (7 July 1938 – 15 June 2000).

His audio sermons can be found all over. Here are a few links to his sermons:

Monergism

Believer's Chapel Dallas – This one of my favourite series.

SermonIndex

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The URGENT NEED for REFORMATION & REVIVAL in SOUTH AFRICA

The following newsletter was sent by Dr. Peter Hammond of Africa Christian Action.

Please think of ways in which you can be involved in reformation in South Africa.

The URGENT NEED for REFORMATION
& REVIVAL
in SOUTH AFRICA

We in South Africa are at a critical point. Both church and society are facing a multitude of serious crises that threaten not only our freedoms, but our very lives.

An ominous arsenal of potentially anti-Christian legislation, affecting almost every area of life, have either been railroaded through parliament, slipped through by stealth legislation, or are in the process of being approved by the legislature. The implications of these laws and acts are ominous and far-reaching.

Over 2,000 white farmers have been murdered in the last 15 years, yet the Commandos have been dismantled. For over two and a half centuries the Commandos have provided security for remote farmsteads. Now this protection has been removed. At the same time, the new Firearms Control Act, which is seen in many circles as a prelude to the disarmament of many civilians, is making it increasingly difficult for any civilian to obtain a firearm for self-defense.

Eight community and Christian radio stations have been closed down by ICASA (The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa). Other radio stations are reporting increasing harassment and pressure to tone down, or remove, programmes that deal with homosexuality, Islam, municipal and national elections or other “contentious issues”. Radio Pulpit, long the only national Christian radio station, has now been informed that they are to be limited to only 2 hours a week, and that between 4 and 6 am. Good News Community Radio, which won a national award for its outstanding education programme, had to battle for years in the courts ICASA’s attempts to close them down. They were taken off the air for a year before international pressure resulted in them being allowed to continue broadcasting.

In the public schools, social engineering through Outcome Based Education and Sex Education is the order of the day. “Love Life,” with a colossal budget of taxpayer money, is blatantly corrupting the youth of South Africa, seeking to turn our young people into fornicators and whoremongers.

For 13 years now, the pornography plague has devastated South Africa morally, with an explosion of sexual crimes, child abuse and rape.

Along with the crime wave, with an average of 20,000 murders a year, has come an explosion of the drug epidemic. More and more ministries are having to expend considerable time and resources on dealing with more and more drug addicts.

For 12 years, the Abortion Holocaust has ravaged South Africa, yet, despite over 800,000 babies having been legally killed, with taxpayer’s money, all too many Christians remain apathetic and inactive. Many Christians actually continue to vote for political parties that support abortion - with their taxpayer’s money.

With the Constitutional Court opening the way for the legalisation of homosexual 'marriages', and with some denominations openly endorsing homosexual unions and ordaining homosexual “ministers”, we are facing one of the most serious assaults on the family, ever. As families are the basic building blocks of society, the destruction of these foundations can only have the most devastating effect on our future.

Along with abortion, pornography, homosexuality, gambling, drugs, crime, violence and disarmament, we are seeing an increase in irrational hatred and fear of Christianity – Christophobia.

When I visited Crysallis Academy in Tokai, I was informed that while they had previously had voluntary chapel services, prayer meetings and Bible studies, these had been abolished and the previous principal removed. “Now we have a hard-core Communist, a real comrade, straight from Cuba as principal. There are no more Bible studies, prayer meetings or chapel services allowed here.”

While there are still many dedicated Christians in South Africa, and pockets of great spiritual life, the general picture is getting darker. There are still school principals and governing bodies with backbone and conviction who maintain Christian distinctives in their schools. Unfortunately, most schools have bowed to pressure and removed Bible reading, hymn singing and prayer in the Name of Christ from their school assemblies, and Bible education from the syllabus. And as the Bible and prayer have gone out, sex education, values clarification, alternative lifestyles, situation ethics and all the other tenants of Humanism have flooded in. The results are all too evident in the shopping malls of our country.

Once, South Africans were renound as some of the most conservative and morally upright. Now, all too many are wearing tattoos, multiple body piercings, angry, sullen looks, and ridiculous fashions that so many aimless youth seem drawn to. Ugliness in art and music has come to predominate, with rap, hip-hop, rave, and other noise masquerading as music has continued to pound away its message of rebellion and immorality.

The systematic worldwide campaign to vilify, sanction and crush the Calvinism of the Afrikaners has, in many cases, succeeded. The Dutch Reformed Church, once considered the moral backbone of the country, guarding Sabbath observance, laws against pornography, abortion, homosexuality, gambling and other vices, has seemingly lost its moral compass. After decades of relentless attack, much of the Dutch Reformed Church seems to be disintegrating. It has lost vast numbers of members, many of their congregations have amalgamated, buildings sold, churches closed down, and now even attempts to recognise homosexual “marriages” and ordain homosexual “ministers” are being promoted.

At one time the Dutch Reformed Church sent out more missionaries than all the other denominations in South Africa combined. At one time the DRC funded more Bible translations and Bible printing than all the other denominations in SA combined. Now the DRC is in such a serious crises that even the definition of marriage itself, and the existence of Hell, is being debated.

Not so long ago in South Africa Sundays were protected as a day of worship and a day of rest, babies were protected from the violence of abortion, pornography was illegal, drugs were almost unknown, crime was low, security gates, alarms and burglar bars were unknown and unnecessary, homosexuality was a crime, schools began each day with hymn singing, Bible readings and prayer, Bible education was part of the school syllabus, and women could walk the streets, safely, without fear of being raped.

South Africa has not only gone through a political revolution, but a moral revolution. And Marxist revisionists are busy with the re-writing of history. Most ominously, the ANC government has been openly supportive of Robert Mugabe’s campaign of terror in Zimbabwe. Apparently they are supportive of the Marxist ZANU’s crushing of political opponents, violating the courts, tramping on property rights, rigging elections, suppressing the independent press, precipitating economic collapse, state sponsored terrorism, and the invasion and looting of 5,000 white commercial farms. Not even the destruction of the homes of 1,5 million black people seems to have shaken the ANC’s enthusiastic support for Mugabe’s tyranny.

President Mbeki was quoted as saying, at a South African Communist Party meeting in Johannesburg, that the ANC had to support Mugabe because he postponed his “land reform” policy until after the handover of power in South Africa to the ANC had been completed. Otherwise the whites would never have trusted the assurances of the ANC!

With farm seizures now beginning in South Africa, and land claims even being laid against prominent mission stations, the writing is on the wall. Unless Christians in South Africa wake up, and unless Christians worldwide rally to mobilize the prayer and pressure needed to stop the tyranny and lawlessness in Zimbabwe, we could see the same happen here in South Africa.

The Holocaust in Rwanda began with the state media vilifying the Tutsi, while they were being disarmed.

We should make no mistake, there are those who would like to unleash genocide against Christians in South Africa, just as was done in Rwanda. There are many, highly placed leaders in the ANC government who have publicly stated that they would like to see the same kind of farm invasions in South Africa as have been conducted in Marxist Zimbabwe.

Much of Africa has plunged into a new dark age. A report prepared for the African Union estimated that corruption costs Africa $148 billion each year. That’s more than a quarter of the continents’ entire Gross Domestic Product! Since independence, life expectancy in many African nations has plunged a third to a half. For example, in Zimbabwe, in 1980, life expectancy was 59 years. Today, life expectancy in Zimbabwe is 30 years! As parts of Africa are being looted by corrupt leaders and devastated by AIDS, a new scramble for Africa is taking place. The new colonists are the Arabs and the Chinese. Africa may well become colonised by the Arabs in the North and by the Chinese in the South.

We are facing a crisis and civilisation itself is at stake here. Yet most of our churches are fast asleep and very few pulpits are sounding the alarm. We desperately need Reformation. We urgently need Revival.

All too many in our churches are distracted by worldly entertainment, and materialism, self-absorbed with the endless stream of satellite TV, video games, Internet, Facebook, My Space and cellphones. The shopping malls are full and prayer meetings are mostly empty. Many Christians spend more time reading the newspaper than reading the Bible. They spend more time watching TV than witnessing to their neighbours.

Many of our people are so busy acquiring all the comforts, material acquisitions and latest technologies that they just have no time for Bible study, discipling their children, praying, witnessing to their neighbours or even noticing what is going on around us. Hidden behind their high walls, venturing out only in comfortable air-conditioned cars, to travel to air conditioned shopping malls and entertainment complexes, or to safe, comfortable, suburban congregations, to hear comfortable messages, it is little wonder that the average churchgoer in South Africa today is unaware of the gathering storm and the crisis of a collapsing civilisation all around us.

I do believe that there is hope. I do not believe that it is inevitable that South Africa will go the way of Zimbabwe or have a Rwandan style genocide against whites. We still have many dedicated Christians in South Africa, and significant pockets of vibrant spiritual life. However, we have to be honest and admit that most of our churchgoers are only playing church. Worldliness, prayerlessness, compromise and cowardice are pervasive. Unless we wake up, humble ourselves and pray and seek God’s face and turn from our wicked ways, we cannot expect God to forgive our sins, hear our prayers or heal our land (2 Chronicles 7:14).

WHAT CAN WE DO?

We need to be informed. We need to be interceding. And we need to be involved.

Be informed: “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.” Hosea 4:6 Subscribe to Christian Action magazine, with cutting edge reports and updates on the battle for Reformation and Revival. Get on the E-mailing lists of info@christianaction.org.za and info@frontline.org.za. Visit the www.christianaction.org.za website. And pass on the articles and updates from Christian Action to your church, family and friends.

Be interceding: “Remember the prisoners as if chained with them…” Hebrews 13:3. Earnestly pray for God’s merciful intervention to frustrate the plans of the wicked, to protect God’s people, to raise up Christian leaders to stand in the gap.

Be involved: “Who will rise up for Me against the wicked? Who will take a stand for Me against the evildoers?” Psalm 94:16. There is so much that needs to be done. There is so much that we can and must do.

Since 1982, Frontline Fellowship has been delivering Bibles, food, medical and other supplies to Christians in Zimbabwe. We need to help some of the poorest of the poor, who are suffering some of the worst injustices in the world today. Frontline Fellowship is evangelising in the townships using film evangelism, literature distribution, personal evangelism, church services and leadership training seminars. Transforming the nation by changing lives. Discipleship Training Courses, Biblical Worldview Seminars, God and Government Seminars, Reformation Conferences, Great Commission Courses are discipling leaders to make a difference.

There is the power of the printed page, the power of the Word of God, the power of prayer. We can see history changed as people are changed - with the life transforming Gospel of Jesus Christ.

· We need to do everything we can to support our local Christian community radio stations and to keep them faithful to God’s Word - and on the air.

· We need to support strong Christian principals and school teachers who are seeking to maintain a Christian witness in government schools.

· We need to support Christian schools and to support home schooling. Education is a battle for our future.

· The philosophy of the classroom in this generation will be the philosophy of government in the next generation. That is why we have to invest in good Christian school textbooks. And in audio tapes, CDs, DVDs, magazines and newsletters.

· In the upcoming elections, you must organise all the support you can for Christian parties that uphold Biblical principles. Distribute the Biblical Issues Voters' Guide to your congregation, community and colleagues. We have an opportunity to help establish a strong Christian representation in our local municipalities. We need to work to place strong Christian candidates on the governing bodies of our local schools.

· And we need to do all that we can to support our local police in restoring law and order in our communities.

Facing, as we are, such an avalanche of evil and attacks from so many quarters - nothing less than a comprehensive Christian response will be sufficient. We need to restore our own devotional lives, disciple and strengthen our families, work for the Reformation of our congregations, help restore Christian principles and justice in our communities, and earnestly pray for Biblical Reformation in our churches and spiritual Revival throughout our country.

If you share our concerns, about the importance of Reformation and the urgency of Revival, please do contact us. We need more volunteers, we need more resources and contacts and we need more prayer. Together we can make a vital difference and, by God’s grace, may we work and pray to see the tide turned.

May God be your strength and shield in these difficult days ahead.

Yours for Reformation and Revival

Dr. Peter Hammond

Africa Christian Action
PO Box 23632
Claremont
7735

Cape Town
Tel: 021-689 4481
E-mail: info@christianaction.org.za
Web:
www.christianaction.org.za

Sunday, March 08, 2009

New Website: Moses Wrote About Me!

I am pleased to announce that a new website has just seen the light!

Moses Wrote About Me, is the brainchild of Michael Adams, a New Covenant Theology theologian.

The home page says the following:

“The “New” in New Covenant Theology does not mean that NCT is a new or recent version of Covenant Theology, but is simply a reference to the New Covenant itself and the supremacy of Christ.  New Covenant Theology is the study and application of the New Covenant and is in the best of positions to explain how the Old Testament relates to the New. NCT is a theology of the New Covenant that elevates it to its proper place in redemptive history, without the interpretive limitations of other theological systems such as Covenant Theology and Dispensationalism.”

There is also a blog attached to this website. Moses Wrote About Me will also make other NCT resources available.

So, pay Mike a visit over at Moses Wrote About Me!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Some resources

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

VINCENT'S NT WORD STUDIES

How to Study the Bible (MP3 series)

Confronting the Religion of Islam (MP3 series)

Evangelism Highjacked by Closet Theological Liberals

peterjones Peter Jones reports back on the National Pastor’s Conference held in San Diego and sponsored by Zondervan and Intervarsity Press (IVP).

Jones writes:

“It is amazing to see how these once faithful publishers of evangelical orthodoxy are now consistently and deliberately launching a massive but subtle attack against the ‘Fundamentals’ for which Evangelicalism stood courageously against liberalism in the past.

“While I am struck by the sincerity of the brilliant public speakers (named below), who still have evangelical piety and passion, their openly-stated theology is turning large swathes of the evangelical church into various new forms of old-fashioned though very cool liberalism.”

In his report he mentions how men like Brian McLaren and Rob Bell, speakers at the conference claimed non-orthodox theologians as their heroes. No wonder they believe sola scriptura is nonsense and that the Bible is simply a human product.

In other words, these men are not just closet theological theologians, they are actively spreading false doctrines. These men are heretics!

Continue reading Jones’ Evangelism Highjacked by Closet Theological Liberals.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

New Solid Ground available from Stand to Reason!

Stand to Reason, led by Greg Koukl, is an amazing apologetics ministry, that publishes an apologetics newsletter called Solid Ground bi-monthly.

This month’s Solid Ground is now available!

Greg writes in his new email to Solid Ground readers:

“Do you think the way Christians should encourage non-Christians in their ‘relationship with God’ is to ‘help a Hindu become a better Hindu [and] a Muslim become a better Muslim’?  For Jewish people who do not accept Jesus as Messiah, is there ‘another mode of salvation that doesn’t include Jesus’?  Can even atheists get into Heaven if they simply  ‘place their lives at the service of truth and justice’?

“Amazingly, these quotes came from significant Christian leaders and thinkers who affirm that belief in Jesus is not necessary for salvation.  Worse, the very things the Bible seems to specifically condemn (Jewish rejection of Jesus as Messiah, false religion, and atheism) were themselves identified as legitimate paths to God.

“Here’s the clincher.  More than 50% of Evangelicals, according to a recent Pew poll, would give the nod to statements like these, too.”

That is the gist of what he discusses in the new Solid round.

BTW, you will find a host of extremely useful apologetics articles at Stand to Reason.

ESV Online Study Bible available for free during March!

The ESV Study Bible, IMHO, is the best Study Bible this side of Jupiter. The resources within this Study Bible is absolutely amazing! That is why the ESVSB has over 2700 pages! I have written a couple posts on the ESVSB too.

What is even more amazing is that when you buy the ESVSB, you get access to everything in the ESVSB online! And, what an amazing resource that is!

And now, for the whole month of March, those who have not bought the ESVSB (yet), can have access to this amazing resource! You will be able to see everything in the ESVSB and have it available for March.

So, make use of this facility and see why you should not waste time in purchasing your own copy of the ESVSB!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Calvinism vs Arminianism debate

calvinistvsarminian

New Issue of New Covenant Journal

The new edition of the New Covenant Journal is now available.

This edition includes articles on the Old Covenant, the tribulation, church fathers and John Calvin.

John Piper’s book “Finally Alive” available online

My guess is, that if you have never heard of John Piper, then you have been living under a rock somewhere. Just kidding! But seriously, if you haven’t heard of John Piper, then you are indeed missing a whole lot.

John is one of the great preachers of our day. Now, when I mention “preacher,” I do not mean orator. There are many orators around today. Just like Barack Obama, who is a good orator, there are many in the church that are good orators. However, orators, like Obama, are very deceptive, because they can take lies, false teaching and even heresy and make it look like the truth.

No, when I use the word preacher I specifically mean it in the Biblical sense. Here you have a man that is thoroughly familiar with the Scriptures, a man able to teach well. This Biblical preacher, is doctrinally accurate and he is theologically sound. Yet, with all this knowledge he has a way of bringing across the depth of the Scriptures that makes you want more and to grow more.

That is John Piper! I have the utmost of respect for him. I have heard him preach scores of sermons and I have read many of his books. Everyone worth it!

John Piper’s new book “Finally Alive” is now available for free download online.

Apart from this book he has many of his other books available online. If you want to know what John Piper is all about, you have to read his locus classicus, Desiring God.

You can find many amazing resources at John’s ministry website, DesiringGod, which is connected to his church, Bethlehem Baptist Church. These resources include John’s books, articles, a blog, and sermons in text, audio and video. It is a one-stop spiritual haven.

Don’t just take my word for it, visit DesiringGod now!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Reasons to study theology

I truly believe that each Christian holds to some sort of theology. To me that is a given. Once you claim that the Bible says one thing or another you are promoting your theology.

Now, if each of us already “has a” theology, then why do we not rather spend the time to procure a good theology instead of just having any theology. Of course, the biggest reasons for most why they do not spend time in actually getting a good theology is because it is not work for wimps. It is hard work and it takes a lot of time. But then the good things in life are not instant. Instant coffee is not the best coffee, for instance. Then, of course, if you have an instant theology, then your knowledge of the Bible and God will only be an inch deep. There may be a splattering of verses in your theology, but the meanings you give them are most probably completely wrong and taken out of context.

Simply put, the study of theology for each Christian is of utmost importance.

Nathan Bingham has highlighted 10 reasons why we need to study theology in Five Reasons You Need to Study Theology and ‘Another’ Five Reasons You Need to Study Theology.

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