Matt Chandler SERMONS – New Blog Page Created

This page can be accessed from the sidebar of the blog. Simply click on Matt Chandler’s photo. New (as well as some older) sermons will be added to this page as they become available)

Matt Chandler Sermons from around the globe

Newly uploaded

2012

2011

2010 and older

At Elevation Church – January, 2012

Preaching the Gospel to the De-churched

From the Advance s009 Conference via www.desiringGod.org Photo from Chuck Heeke of Sojourner Church here at www.blog.sojournchurch.org (click to see more pictures from the Advance 2009 Conference).The  Advance ’09, is a conference in North Carolina that has drawn 2800 pastors, church planters and Christians from near and far.

Here’s a 7 minute excerpt. View the entire sermon in the video below this one.

You can listen to the FULL SERMON  audio here. or watch the video below:

Video of the Week – Ravi Zacharias – How to measure your choices

at Lee University, Cleveland, Tennessee on October 9,2011.

You must measure your choices by the measure of
1) eternity
2) morality
3) accountability
4) charity

Gabi Lupescu – Cum Arata un Frate Mincinos

Sursa pozei ubdavid.org

2 Petru 2:19 „Le făgăduiesc slobozenia, în timp ce ei înşişi sînt robi ai stricăciunii. Căci fiecare este robul lucrului de care este biruit”.

” In Primejdii , intre fratii mincinosi !” – 2 Cor. 11:2
^ ” Caci s-au strecurat printre voi niste oameni , scrisi de mult pentru osinda aceasta , oameni neevlaviosi , care schimba in desfranare harul Dumnezeului nostru , si tagaduiesc pe singurul nostru stapan si Domn, ISUS CRISTOS ! ” . Iuda v. 4 –

Vreti sa stiti , cum arata un apostat ?… Cititi inca odata , versetul de mai sus ! . Este vremea de apostazie! Intre fratii preaiubiti, s-au strecurat unii din cei ce , ” cred pina la o vreme, iar cum vine ispita , cad! …” – Luca 8 : 13, Acestia , momiti de poftele carnii, s-au prabusit. Luau parte cu ei la mesele lor de dragoste, cu scopul de a prinde si pe altii in inselaciunea lor. Si fratii nu au observat si nu au luat nici o masura! Situatia era grava, I-i  ameninta cu prabusirea pe toti, si se pare ca ei erau cam nepasatori. Ei erau asa cum spune Apostolul Pavel: ” IN PRIMEJDII INTRE FRATII MINCINOSI ! ” 2 Cor. 11:26 . Apostolul Petru spune ca acestia sunt ca , „scroafa spalata ce s-a intors sa se tavaleasca  iarasi in mocirla!” – 2 Petru 2 : 22 . Deci , ei au fost spalati de intinaciunile lumii prin cunoasterea  Domnului si Mintuitorului nostru ISUS CRISTOS ,  au cunoscut, ” CALEA NEPRIHANIRII” , DAR S-AU INCURCAT IARASI IN POFTE NESABUITE SI AU FOST : , ” BIRUITI DE ELE…” .

Este vorba de unii frati , veniti din alte parti, fara sa fie verificati, care se dadeau drept invatatori!” Si Apostolul Pavel a avut necazuri cu asa persoane care au venit in urma lui la Biserica din Corint si in ironie el ii numeste: ” APOSTOLI NESPUSI DE ALESI ” , caci asa i-i considerau cei din Corint! Acestia erau buni de gura, faceau impresie ca a-r fi , ” CINEVA” , dar nu erau buni de lucru , ci doar se ” INDOPAU DE-A BINELEA „- IUDA v. 12 , La Agapele Bisericii si mergeau din casa in casa si amageau femeile usuratice (2 Tim . 3:6) . Pentru ca ei , erau niste cazuti din credinta ! , Ei propagau invatatura..,” ca fiind mintuit prin har, poti sa faci orice , ca nu ti se mai tine seama nici o socoteala, nici un pacat si nu vei fi osindit, caci crezind, „ai trecut din moarte la viata!”  Ca odata mintuit, esti mintuit pentru totdeauna, orice ai face… El , Isus iarta…fiind in „har”.  Prin invatatura lor, care era o amagire, au determinat pe altii….sa devina apostati ! . Asa s-a produs parasirea dragostei dintai la Efes,  asa a patruns stricaciunea in Biserica din Pergam si din Tiatira, unde o crestina ce pretindea a fi proorocita, traia in desfrau si amagea si pe altii la un asa trai! Apoc. 2:12-23 .

Inca din Biserica primara au aparut doua categorii de apostati: cei amagiti prin ura, placeri, desfriu si mandrie si a doua categorie: cei care in vremi de crunte prigoane, sub torturi, semnau o declaratie ca se leapada de Hristos, sau chiar fara sa semneze, ci doar aruncau un bob de tamaie, pe altarul imparatului  sau idolului. Suferintele erau oribile si unii care erau slabi in credinta, sovaielnici, deveneau apostati!(i-si lepadau credinta ) . Asa a fost Iulian apostatul (332-363), care mai tirziu a ajuns Imparatul Romei, (361-363) , fiind frate vitreg cu Constantin Cel Mare. De tanar, el a primit invatatura crestina si s-a botezat, dar la virsta de 25 de ani, fiind interesat de filozofia greaca, a mers la Atena, si acolo fiind captivat de misterele Eleusiane, s-a lepadat de credinta!  Ajuns Imparat, el a introdus inchinaciunea pagana la zei si a luptat impotriva lui Cristos Domnul. si urmasilor Sai! Plecand impotriva Persilor in lupta cu ei a fost ranit si a murit strigand: ” A I I N V I N S G A L I L I E N E !!!! . La fel , Dima care , ” DIN DRAGOSTE DE LUME , PENTRU LUMEA DE ACUM 2 , L-A PARASIT PE PAVEL (2 Tim. 4:10) . Si in zilele noastre , Ei sunt in Biserica !…Ei canata , se roaga , se inchina cu ceilalti, dar in realitate in fata lui Dumnezeu, ei prin faptele lor sant „lepadati de credinta”. .

CUM SANT APOSTATII ???? Iuda,, spune ca sint oameni ” NEEVLAVIOSI” …, FARA TEMERE DE DUMNEZEU ,, Merg la Biserica dar n-au un pic de evlavie ! . Rugaciunea o spun pe fuga , doar de pe buze , stau cu miinile in buzunar in timp de altii se roaga, se uita imprejurul lor…,cand se canta, gandul lor este in alta parte! Ei, nu stau in fata Domnului!. Nu au respectul cuvenit ! . Nu au acea reverenta , sfanta, pe care o are un copil al lui Dumnezeu. Iar privirea lor, vorba lor in jargoanele lor, folosind limbaje de la toti stricatii lumii acesteia, atitudinea lor, toate-i arata, ca sint neevlaviosi!  Ei au forma de evlavie, dar nu au puterea ei! ( 2 Tim. 3:5) ! .

Nu cumva….si tu esti neevlavios???? Nu cumva ai pierdut evlavia si dragostea ce o aveai altadata??? – Astazi Domnul te poate ierta si pe tine, daca vei cauta sa fi cu adevarat sincer….interesele tale sa fie  ale Domnului ! Si daca pana acuma, ai fost ” CALDICEL”… DOMNUL VREA SA FII IN CLOCOT PENTRU EL !…. Dar fara alte ganduri necurate, imprumutate de la lume si care le-ai adus si tu in Biserica! O viata noua , fara mandrie , curata si de a vedea pe altii mai presus de tine! Si sa poti zice: ” DOAMNE CURATESTE-MA DE PACATUL SI IDEILE MELE, CARE NU ERAU GANDURILE TALE… PRIMESTE-MA IN MILA TA !!! … Domnul Isus Cristos este sfant si i-i place indurarea!!! Domnul Isus sa te binecuvinteze! Oricare a-i fi tu !! . A M I N ! .

 

Louie Giglio at Lee University

Louie Giglio leader of Passion City Church in Atlanta and of thousands of University students across the nation through his positions as speaker and founder of the Passion Movement, addressed students and faculty at Lee University’s Chapel on Oct 11, 2011. The university is located in Cleveland, Tennessee. Lee University is a private, comprehensive university located in Cleveland, Tennessee, in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Lee is emerging as a leader in higher education in the southeastern region and was ranked in 2010 in the “Top Tier” in the South by U.S. News & World Report (Comprehensive Medium- Size Universities). Lee is also ranked by Princeton Review’s “Best Colleges” and is now one of the 141 colleges named Best in the Southeast. The university’s growing reputation as a quality institution can be seen in the high caliber of faculty, students, and friends who are drawn to the campus. This marks the 25th straight year of increased enrollment under the leadership of president, Dr. Paul Conn. Lee University is affiliated with Church of God, Cleveland, Tennessee.

Related articles

Passion 2012 Freedom Film

There are 27 million people  in captivity today in many forms all across the globe. You can get involved if you open your eyes to the reality of what is happening under our very noses. This is the full freedom film shown at the Passion 2012 conference. All of the movie and music featured is owned by 268generation, Passion 2012 Conferences.

Get involved!
The A21 Campaign: http://www.thea21campaign.org/
International Justice Mission (IJM): http://www.ijm.org/
Tiny Hands International: http://www.tinyhandsinternational.org/
Do Something Now: http://www.dosomethingnow.com/

(via)

Florin Ianovici – Ce face amaraciunea cu tine

Evrei 12:15  Luaţi seama bine ca nimeni să nu se abată dela harul lui Dumnezeu, pentruca nu cumva să dea lăstari vreo rădăcină de amărăciune, să vă aducă turburare, şi mulţi să fie întinaţi de ea.

Prima predica a Pastorului Florin Ianovici la Biserica Happy Valley, Arizona, Pastor Cornel Avram, in Noiembrie, 2011.

Predica

  1. Cum se strang resentimentele in inimile noastre. Suntem judecati pe drept sau nedrept…Primim sfaturi nepotrivite ca si Iov de la prietenii lui care ne doboara… suntem tradati/inselati de sot sau sotie sau altcineva…
  2. Care este diferenta intre amaraciune si amarat. Poate sa vina amaraciunea dar noi sa nu ne pierdem bucuria lui Hristos chiar atunci cind raminem si il avem numai pe El.
  3. Rezultate posibile a nedreptatii – Ce faci cind vine nedreptatea in viata ta? Nedreptatea te poate indrepta spre razbunare. Nedreptatea incepe cu suferinta, dupa suferinta vine amaraciune, apoi vine ura, apoi razbunarea, razvratirea si in cele din urma uciderea. Noi NU ucidem, Doamne fereste, dar cind stai cu spatele la fratele tau, sau te intorci cind trece pe linga tine, in momnetul acela tu nu esti un om care ucizi? Indiferenta nu este un mod de a ucide pe fratele tau? E vorba de Biserica lui Isus Hristos aici, in care trebuie sa fim lumina fetei Sale.
  4. Cum se vindeca inima de amaraciune –  
  5. Mai multe predici la PAGINA Florin Ianovici (Si aceasta pagina va fi adaugata acolo si se poate accesa facind click pe poza fratelui Florin Ianovic de la orice pagin in partea dreapta, sus)

Matt Chandler – Develop a Holy Discontentment

Matt Chandler, Pastor at the Village Church in Dallas, Texas speaks on Phillipians 3 from The Coast of Australia on 9/18/2009.

Matt: Develop Holy Discontentment (The Q&A (second) video delves deeper into the message)

Whom do you imitate? Where do you get your advice? What stirs our affection for Jesus Christ?

To be conformed to a pattern of religion, but not be transformed by the Spirit of God is a horrible place to find one’s life playing out. In Ephesians 3, Paul gets into the „why” we follow Jesus Christ and then into the „why”. Here, he undermines the Judaizers who say that you must obey the law and not just believe in the cross of Christ in order to follow Jesus Christ and Paul even goes so far as to call them „dogs”.

Paul outlines the moral laws of the day and basically says, „I have done these and when it comes to the law, I am blameless.” But, in verse 7, Paul says, „But whatever gain I had (or whatever good came from that „goodness”), I count it as loss for the sake of Christ.” He counts all these things as rubbish next to the surpassing greatness of knowing jesus christ, his Lord.

So, he is saying, „If you get religion and you get morality, but you don’t get Jesus, you’ve made a horrible trade.

Q & A

Florin Ianovici – Interviu

Luiza Ghica

Interviu realizat de Luiza Ghica. via http://credo.tv

Unusual Music 2 – Misty Edwards – The Harlot

YOU MUST LISTEN TO THIS VERY UPLIFTING SONG TO THE END.

This song is based on  John 7:53-8:11– the story of Jesus forgiving the  Harlot (the woman caught in adultery). You can read a commentary on it here at Bible Gateway. And you can listen to a John Piper sermon here.It is a very poetic song of redemption of the bride of Christ. It has an unusual subject, and is an unusual title for a song. The other thing that is very unusual is the length of the song – 27 minutes (Believe me the time goes pretty fast if you identify with and meditate on the fact that we were all the harlot until the Lamb of God took away the sins of the world-mine and yours. Misty Edwards sings at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Missouri. Most of her songs are spontaneous songs. This means she just sings them and plays the piano without composing them beforehand. Here’s a little bit about IHOP-

One Thing 2011 Conference

You can watch the prayer room live, 24/7 on God TV.  God TV Schedule on Locate TV For those who don’t get the Christian channel, watching online may be the only way to tune in, but even those who get the channel can still watch IHOP prayer room live online.  Just click here to access the site.  IHOP Prayer Room on God TV. What Is the Prayer Room?

Central to the work of the missions base is our 24/7 prayer room, inspired by David’s tabernacle (1 Chr. 23:525:7), where 288 singers and 4,000 musicians were employed as their full-time occupation to minister to the Lord and serve the community. The 24/7 schedule is divided into twelve two-hour worship-based prayer meetings a day.

Scripture teaches that night-and-day prayer is crucial for the fullness of God’s power and purpose to be released (Lk. 18:7–8Isa. 62:6–7). We are offering Jesus unceasing adoration, while contending for justice and the power of the Holy Spirit to be manifest and bring transformation in every sphere of society.

Lyrics here- THE HARLOT

I’m broken,I’m wounded, I’m wretched and ashamed
and the harlot is like a chain around my neck, it’s my name

she sings the song of humanity , the song of you, the song of me
(they drag her through the city square, dragging her by her hair
she’s kicking screaming and fighting ) X 2

I’m broken, I’m wounded, I’m angry and afraid
and the harlot is like a chain around my neck, it’s my name X2

she’s faced down, this tangled hair every where, as she’s crying in the dust,
as the dust turns to mudd on her face
this tangled hair every where as she’s crying in the dust
face down. Open up, o open up, o ground beneath me
how long does it take to stone one harlot down
i know the laws well as they do and i’m guilty, guilty
an adulterer, and i know, i know O will this day never end
how long does it take to stone one harlot

I’m broken, I’m wounded, I’m wretched and ashamed
and the harlot is like a chain around my neck, it’s my name
(as a congregation of the righteous gather round
they are ready to stone her down ) X2

and someone from that frenzy marches shouts out
let’s take her to the teacher,
let’s test him and see what he will say
in an eruption of aggreementas they are taking her by her hair
they drag her through the city square
they are dragging her by her hair
she gave up the fight like a *****
they drag her through the city square
dragging her by her hair, she’s faced down

I’m broken, I’m wounded, I’m angry and afraid
and the harlot, is like a chain around my neck, it’s my name
it’s who i am,open up, o open up, o ground beneath me,
it wasn’t supposed to end this way but i am guilty
and i know it, i’ve got so many plans so much to dobut
now it’s too late, guilty and i know it
face down
-what’s he doing-
as a congregation of the righteous gather round
they are ready to stone her down,they throw her at the feet of a teacher
dare i look up ?surely they have brought me here to mock me
this tangled hair every where as she’s crying in the dust
as the dust turns to mudd on her face
this tangled hair everywhere she’s faced down in the dust
in the muddand there is a hush, and a congregation
-what’s he doing-time stands still-

as the court of heaven was seated
there is a great throne of judgement
and there is the harlot and she is me face down
looking through the tangled hair and the mudd in my eyes
i raise my gaze only to realize
i am surrounded by beauty that will never be mine
as regret like a wave came crushing over me
if i had only known that such beauty was available
if i had only known but now it’s too late

and the accuser of the brethren was pacing back and forth
and back and forth and to and through
has he spilt out his words, he was going back and forth and back and forth
he was listing off my sins one by one
and the thing was he was telling the truth
guilty guilty guilty guilty
and the great count of witnesses
and the angels o the angels looked on the scene
as the accuser of the brethren was going back and forth
glee in his eye guilty guilty guilty guilty
and resound to the corridor of eternity in time like a thunder in my soul
he was right i was guilty guilty to eternal damnation
for my soula nd there was nothing i could, nothing i could do,
face down, face down, couldn’t even open my eyes,
the regret was so strong there’s a hand on my shoulder,
a hand on my shoulder and i hear a voice, like music in my ear
dare i look up ? , i couldn’t lift my eyes
but all i saw that beautiful feet, and i hered that voice like music,
music to my soul, he said , Father I desire that she will be with me where i am,
show her my glory Father I desire this one,
this one she is mine, she is mine , she is mine
He was praying for my soul , he was pleading for my behalf
he was praying for me, i couldn’t comprehend it,
i couldn’t understand what was going on
Father I desire that everything that’s mine would be hers
and everything that’s hers would be mine
Father Father I desire this one, this one,
she’s mine she’s mine she’s mine
and all the heaven gasp in belief and i opened up my eyes
and i watched in wonder, this beautiful one stood to his feet
I looked up and there was a great trone and there was the father
and he had a cup of wrath with my name on it
it had my name on it and i was just about to rise to drink
guilty guilty guilty, but i watched in unbelief this beautiful one,
he walked on to his fatherand drank of the cup
and before i knew what was going on he drank of the cup
he drank of the cup, he drank of the cup of the father’s wrath
he drank of the cup of the marriage wine
he drank of the cup with my name on it
he drank of the cup and all the blood..
i jumped to my feet and i ran over to him and it was too late
i tried to stop him but i didn’t know it was too late
and all the blood all the blood , and all the blood
it should have been me, and i was weeping and weeping
and i ran over forgetting where i wasand i fell down face,
down down and o pleased Father crush him, but it was too late ,
i began to plead it should have been me ,
it should have been me but it was too late,
why did he do it but it was too late and all the blood X4i
was weeping, weeping and crying it should have been me,
it should have been me face down, why did he do it ? X2
it should have been mewas weeping and weeping,
why did he gave his life, all the bloodwas weeping and weeping
and i heard a whisper like music”what’s yours is mine and what’s mine is yours”
i looked to the left, i looked to the right,
and i was on a sea of glace like crystal
there was a great great congregation dressed in white
from every tounge, from every tribe, from every people
and the music began and a celebration erupted
and i opened up my eyes, and there was the lamb,
although he was slain and i was at a wedding and i couldn’t believe my eyes
and i was dressed in garments, garments of beauty
and the music erupted and the angels sing
halleluja halleluja the choir has broke out
and i looked out and saw the lamb with eyes like fire
radiating, radiating with desire and he said what’s yours is mine
and what’s mine is yours
arise and sit on the throne, prepare for your beauty,
rise beauty rise, beauty rise and we say with one heart and one voice,
worthy is the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world
oh worthy is the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world
worthy is the lamb of God yeah, who takes away the sins of the world X2
we will marry the lamb, halleluja, we will marry the lamb forever amen
and worthy is the lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world
worthy is the lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world
halleluja halleluja ,
there’s going to be a wedding, there’s going to be a wedding ,
there’s going to be a wedding yeah
people get ready
what’s yours is mine and what’s mine is yours
who can comprehend where this is going
he said beauty arise, arise, arise

Read more: MISTY EDWARDS & DAVID BRYMER – THE HARLOT LYRICS http://www.metrolyrics.com/the-harlot-lyrics-misty-edwards-david-brymer.html#ixzz1jyM3Ul9f
Copied from MetroLyrics.com

John Piper – One Life Don’t Waste It (new)

from the Campus Outreach National Conference December 31,2011.

Here is Part One of this message – One Life, Enjoy it.

God has given us one life to live in this age. There is no place in God’s plan for reincarnation or for you to get the chance to do it again. You’re born, you live, you die and that life defines your eternity. Heaven and hell foloow, in a straight line from what you’ve made of this life And that’s it!

You waste your life if you don’t bring it in sync with God’s purpose for you. I am focusing on three purposes:

  1. The reason you exist: God made you for His glory. That is, He made you to put Him on display by the way you live and you think and the way you feel. Isaiah 43:7, 1 Cor. 10:31, 1 Cor. 6:19, Phil. 1:19.
  2. The reason you exist: He made you for joy. Jesus said, „I have spoken these things to you that My joy might be in you and your joy might be full”. It is just amazing to hear the Son of God tell you that. STUNNING! „I have come. I speak, I live, I die, that my joy, that is the joy of my Father, that is infinitely powerful, never ending, might be in you and therefore your joy might be explosively FULL! That is why you’re on the planet. To be happy in God. In His presence, in His fullness of joy at His right hand are pleasures forever more. You’re called into His presence by creation. You’re called into His presence by redemption and in His presence it is full and it is forever. You can’t increase FULL. You can’t increase FOREVER. JOY is why you’re made. It’s AMAZING! And, the point last night was that these two aren’t alternatives. These two aren’t even in competition. These two are one. That you live for God’s glory and that you be happy in God are one because God is made to look good when you are most satisfied in Him than in anything else. So, if you’re not satisfied in God, you’re making Him look bad, which means you’re not doing what He created you to do.
  3. The reason you exist: He created you to love other people; to do them good. What’s GOOD? To include them in what you’ve experienced. They need to glorify God and be happy in God, ultimately.

Perry Stone – Dumnezeu Este Cel Care Scutura

inFromMarkus Reugels’ series “Refractions” via twenty-two words

Perry Stone: „Scuturarea care are loc la nivel mondial in domeniul spiritual, nu are nimic de a face cu satana ci „totul” de a face cu Dumnezeu.”

Evrei 12:25-29 –

25 Aveți grijă să nu-L respingeți pe Cel care vă vorbește! Dacă cei care n-au vrut să-L asculte pe Cel care le-a adus mesajul divin pe pământ n-au scăpat, cu atât mai mult nu vom scăpa noi, dacă ne întoarcem de la Cel care ni-l aduce din ceruri!
26 Atunci vocea Lui a clătinat pământul, dar acum a promis că Eu voi clătina încă o dată, nu numai pământul, ci și cerul.
27 Cuvintele „încă o dată” arată înlăturarea a ceea ce poate fi clătinat – adică lucrurile create – astfel încât să rămână ceea ce nu poate fi clătinat.
28 De aceea, întrucât primim o Împărăție care nu poate fi clătinată, să mulțumim și să ne închinăm lui Dumnezeu într-un mod care-I place, cu reverență și respect profund,
29 pentru că Dumnezeul nostru este un foc mistuitor!

John Piper – One Life Enjoy It (Essential Sermon- How he changed his theology in 1968)

at the Campus Outreach National Conference http://conationalconference.com/

Watch Part 1 of this message here – One Life, Don’t Waste it
January 01. 2012 Joy – the most serious pursuit in the world. John Piper, at his best- a biblical theology of Joy. God wants us to be more happy, not less happy.

Piper: In 1968-1971 everything changed (for me) and I want to take you with me on a little pilgrimage of change, so that if by any chance you are perhaps, where I was, I could hasten your biblical discoveries that might change everything in your life as it did for me:

Pagina Gabi Lupescu

Versuri de  Gabi Lupescu – Talantul Timpului

Ne-nvartim ratacind, ratacim tremurand,
ne-agatam de alegeri ce duc nicaieri,
n-avem timp sa rostim Cerului multumiri.

N-avem timp sa iubim pe aproapele nost’.
… Ii aruncam in fata cuvinte grele, fara rost,
sau in ascuns plecam urechea la barfe, pline de venin.
N-avem timp sa iubim pe aproapele nost’.

N-avem timp sa-nvatam de la cei intelepti.
Preferam sa ne dam singuri cu capul de pereti,
doar din greseli invata omul, nu-i asa ?
N-avem timp sa-nvatam de la cei intelepti.

N-avem timp sa slujim, sa-mpartim bucurii.
Ce ieri am strans cu truda, devine azi gunoi,
ne agitam mereu sa tinem pasul cu cerinte noi.
N-avem timp sa slujim, sa-mpartim bucurii.

N-avem timp sa traim pentru tine, Isus
caci TIMPUL IL VREM PENTRU NOI.
N-avem timp s-alergam fericiti spre cer, sus.

Am ingropat talantul timpului
alaturi de comori ce-asteapta molii si rugina.
Invata-ne, Doamne, sa te urmam.
Da-ne intelepciunea si puterea
sa investim acest dar pretios, TIMPUL,
pentru ETERNIATE.
Isuse, multumim….

Viorel Udriste – Biserica trebuie sa se prezinte ca o fortareata a eticii, in fata decaderii morale a oamenilor

Perry Stone – SECRETE DE DINCOLO DE MORMINT – Cine e cu ochii pe tine? Partea 4

traducere de Avram Cuc

CINE ESTE CU OCHII PE TINE?

Daca vorbele noastre si faptele noastre sint inregistrate in cartile din cer, atunci cine face aceasta inregistrare? In zilele lui Lot, Domnul a aparut cu doi ingeri. Dupa intalnirea cu Avraam, cei doi ingeri, care erau sub o infatisare de oameni, au mers la Sodoma deoarece dupa cum Domnul a zis: ,, Strigatul impotriva Sodomei si Gomorei s-a marit, si pacatul lor intr-adevar este nespus de greu. Deaceea Ma voi pogori acum sa vad daca in adevar au lucrat in totul dupa zvonul venit pina la Mine; si daca nu va fi asa, voi sti” (Genesa 18: 20-21). Cu siguranta ca Domnul a stiut de marea stricaciune de acolo, si nu a avut nevoie de o echipa de investigatie care sa determine cit de rau a devenit aceasta situatie morala. Totusi , El se duce la Avraam pentru doua motive. Primul motiv a fost ca Avraam a avut familie (Lot) in Sodoma, si Dumnezeu nu a vrut sa distruga orasul fara ca sa-i dea lui Lot si familiei lui o cale de scapare. Al doilea motiv a fost, dupa cum gasim in Cartea lui Amos 3: 7 : ,,Nu, Domnul Dumnezeu nu face nimic fara sa-Si descopere taina Sa slujitorilor Sai prooroci.” Ingerii au fost atribuiti ca sa confirme informatia care in cer era deja cunoscuta si anume ca sticaciunea din Sodoma era atit de mare incit striga la cer.

Un alt exemplu poate fi vazut de la viziunea lui Iacob in care el a vazut o scara aurie rezemata de pamint si al carei virf ajungea pina la cer,  pe care ingerii se suiau si coborau de la cer la pamint. Deoarece Iacob a mentionat zeciuiala (,, a zecea parte,” Gen.28:22) dupa ce a  avut aceasta viziune, sint unii care presupun ca scara statea la locul viitorului Templu (Muntele Moriah din Ierusalim), unde intr-o zi zeciuelile vor fi primite de la urmasii lui Iacob. Asadar, ingerii duceau zeciuelile sus in cer si coborau cu binecuvintarile inapoi pe pamint. Iacob a numit acel loc ,, aici este casa lui Dumnezeu, aici este poarta cerurilor „(v. 17).

Ingerii sint duhuri slujitoare trimese sa indeplineasca o slujba pentru cei ce vor mosteni mintuirea (Evrei 1:14). Ei stiu exact cine suntem noi si sunt foarte protectivi in special fata de copii (Matei 18:10). In ceruri, ingerii se inchina lui Dumnezeu (Apoc. 5:11), au acces la cele sapte trimbite si cele sapte urgii care vor fi turnate in timpul Necazului cel Mare (Apoc. 8:6; 15:6), si pazesc cele sapte porti ale cetatii (Apoc. 21:12). Exista o asa mare multime de ingeri, incit ei sint descrisi ca ,, o multime de nenumarat de ingeri de zecile de mii”( Evrei 12: 22). Eu cred ca fiecare credincios are un inger atribuit care ramane cu tine cit timp traiesti pe acest pamint.

Ingerul Domnului tabaraste in jurul celor ce se tem de El, si-i scapa din primejdie. – PSALMUL 34:7

Se pare ca ingerul fiecarei persoane este responsabil ca sa adune orisice fel de informatie cu privire la acel individ in timp ce traieste pe pamint si de a tine inregistrari detaliate in dosarele ceresti care vor fi folosite la „bema”. Cind Ioan a fost rapit  la Templul ceresc din Apocalipsa, el a vazut tronul, pe cei douazeci si patru de batrini, cele patru fiare, si multimea de ingeri. Acesti ingeri pot fi ingerii care vor prezenta informatii despre fiecare persoana Domnului la judecata „bema”.

CUM VOR FI FOLOSITE CARTILE

Aceste carti din ceruri vor avea fiecare un scop distinct la judecata bema.

1. Cartea Trairii pe Pamint – destinul tau intreg a fost scris in Cartea Trairii pe Pamint.

2. Cartea Vietii – primindu-L pe Christos in inima, numele tau a fost inscris in Cartea Vietii al Mielului.

3. Cartea Lacrimilor – detalii despre cuvintele si lacrimile tale precum si alte actiuni de-ale  tale sint scrise in Cartea Lacrimilor.

4. Cartea de Aducere Aminte – cind dai din banii tai lucrarii lui Dumnezeu si te rogi pentru ea, ceea ce faci este notat in Cartea de Aducere Aminte.

5. Cartea Rasplatirilor –  Cit timp lucrezi aici pe pamint pentru Dumnezeu si ajuti pe altii, faptele tale sint inregistrate in ceruri.

La scaunul de judecata a lui Christos toate aceste carti vor fi puse intr-un foc. Daca faptele tale vor arde, atunci nu vei primi nici o rasplata. Daca faptele tale vor indura acest test si nu vor arde in foc, tu vei fi rasplatit si-L vei auzi pe Domnul spunindu-ti: ,,Bine, rob bun si credincios…” (Matei 25:21). Daca auzi aceste cuvinte, atunci afirmatia lui Christos care urmeaza la aceasta judecata te va cuprinde de fior pentru o eternitate. ,,Ai fost credincios in putine lucruri, te voi pune peste multe lucruri; intra in bucuria stapinului tau.”

Am auzit odata pe cineva care a zis ca pe el nu il intereseaza daca va primi o rasplata sau o cununa, atita timp cit el va ajunge in cer. Intr-o zi in timp ce citeam Cartea Apocalipsa, am observat ca cei douazeci si patru de batrini isi aruncau cununile lor de aur inaintea scaunului de domnie pe intinderea de cristal si au inceput sa cinte o cintare de lauda Mielului (Apoc. 4-5). Mi-am dat atunci seama ca o cununa pe capul unui credincios biruitor este un semn etern pentru Christos ca acel ce poarta aceasta cununa l-a iubit pe Christos atit de mult incit el sau ea au sacrificat de buna voie din timpul lor, banii lor, rugaciunile lor, munca lor in a ajuta pe altii de-a intra in Imparatia Cerurilor.Fara o cununa tu nu vei avea nimic sa-i prezinti lui Christos, nimic sa asterni la picioarele Lui, si nimic ce in intreaga eternitate care nu are sfirsit sa demonstreze credinciosia ta catre Domnul. Tu te vei rusina atunci cind El va veni.

GROAZA DE LA TRONUL DE DOMNIE CEL MARE SI ALB

– APOCALIPSA 20:11-12 – 11 Am văzut un tron mare și alb, și pe Cel care stătea pe el. Pământul și cerul au dispărut din prezența Lui și nu s-a mai găsit loc pentru ele.  12 I-am văzut pe morții mari și mici stând în fața tronului – și au fost deschise cărțile. A fost deschisă și o altă carte – cartea vieții. Morții au fost judecați potrivit cu faptele lor, așa cum erau ele scrise în cărți.

Judecata a doua va avea loc dupa incheirea Domniei de o Mie de Ani a lui Christos pe Pamint. Nu a fost , si nu va fi niciodata o astfel de judecata majora asupra omenirii ca si aceea de atunci. Tribunalul ceresc va fi chemat in sesiune, si cei care vor sta in picioare in sala de sesiune vor fi indivizii care au trait pe pamint de la inceputul Creatiei pina la sfirsitul Mileniului. Indivizii care vor fi prezenti la aceasta judecata vor include:

Toti acei nedrepti, barbati si femei care au murit, de pe vremea lui Cain pina la Crucificarea lui Christos.

Toti acei nedrepti, barbati si femei care au murit de pe vremea Crucificarii lui Christos pina la Rapirea Sfintilor.

Toti acei ce au murit in perioada de sapte ani al Necazului cel Mare, inclusiv cei cu sau fara semnul fiarei.

Toti acei care au trait in timpul Domniei de O Mie de Ani a lui Christos pe pamint, dar au murit inainte de implinirea celor o mie de ani.

Toti acei care au trait la sfirsitul celor O Mie de Ani si trebuie sa fie judecati.

Toti ingerii cazuti, inclusiv Satana si spiritele lui rebele.

Exista un pasaj in Apocalipsa 20:12 oarecum ciudat, care zice: ,, Si mortii au fost judecati dupa faptele lor, dupa cele ce erau scrise in cartile acelea.” Noi stim ca cei din timpul Vechiului Testament care au murit fara credinta in Unul si adevaratul Dumnezeu si cei care au murit fara sa incheie un legamint de rascumparare de pe vremea Crucificarii pina la sfirsitul Mileniului sint pierduti, cine sint deci acei care sint judecati dupa cele ce erau ,,scrise in cartile acelea”?

– APOCALIPSA 20:13-15 13 Marea i-a dat pe morții care erau în ea, moartea și locuința morților i-au dat pe morții care erau în ele – și fiecare a fost judecat după faptele lui. 14 Moartea și locuința morților au fost aruncate în lacul de foc. Aceasta este a doua moarte: lacul de foc. 15 Cel al cărui nume n-a fost găsit scris în cartea vieții a fost aruncat în lacul de foc.

In primul rind, observam ca ,,marea” a dat inapoi pe mortii care erau in ea, si Moartea si Locuinta Mortilor au dat inapoi pe mortii care erau in ele. Iadul este partea de flacari din Sheol, Locuinta Mortilor in care mortii cei nedrepti au fost pusi inca de dinainte de potopul lui Noe. Aceste suflete vin din camere subterane prin mare si sint duse la Templul ceresc pentru aceasta judecata. De ce aceste suflete pierdute trebuie judecate? Dumnezeu este  un judecator drept si EL nu va condamna niciodata pe cineva intr-o finala, separare eterna fara ca acea persoana sa vada evidenta scrisa despre el sau ea in cartile ceresti.  De aceea  cartile se vor  deschide. Sint multe carti, dar numai una este Cartea Vietii. Acei care nu au primit semnul fiarei dar au fost omoriti pentru marturia lor in timpul Necazului cel Mare, vor invia si li se va permite sa traiasca in timpul Domniei lui Christos de O Mie de Ani (Apoc. 20:4). Cei care au luat semnul fiarei nu le este permis ca sa imparateasca cu Christos si vor fi aruncati in intunerecul de afara, unde va fi plansul si scrasnirea dintilor (Matei 8:12). Cei ce au luat semnul fiarei vor fi printre cei ce vor fi judecati la aceasta judecata.

Cei ce vor fi judecati dupa faptele lor vor fi barbati si femei care l-au servit pe Domnul in timpul Imparatiei de O Mie de Ani a lui Christos dar mor inainte de implinirea Mileniului. Faptele lor au fost inregistrate in cartile ceresti, numele lor au fost gasite in Cartea Vietii, si rasplata lor le va fi data la bema.

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Video of the Week – Matt Chandler „Youth”

Ecclesiastes 11:7–12:14

7 Light is sweet, and it is pleasant for the eyes to see the sun.
8 So if a person lives many years, let him rejoice in them all; but let him remember that the days of darkness will be many. All that comes is vanity.
9 Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Walk in the ways of your heart and the sight of your eyes. But know that for all these things tGod will bring you into judgment.
10 Remove vexation from your heart, and put away pain from your body, for youth and the dawn of life are vanity.
Remember Your Creator in Your Youth
12 Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say, “I have no pleasure in them”; before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars are darkened and the clouds return after the rain, 3 in the day when the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men are bent, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those who look through the windows are dimmed, 4 and the doors on the street are shut—when the sound of the grinding is low, and one rises up at the sound of a bird, and all the daughters of song are brought low— 5 they are afraid also of what is high, and terrors are in the way; the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper drags itself along, and desire fails, because man is going to his eternal home, and the mourners go about the streets— 6 before the silver cord is snapped, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher is ishattered at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern, 7 and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it. 8 Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher; all is vanity.
Fear God and Keep His Commandments
9 Besides being wise, the Preacher also taught the people knowledge, weighing and studying and arranging omany proverbs with great care. 10 The Preacher sought to find words of delight, and uprightly he wrote words of truth.
11 The words of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are given by one Shepherd. 12 My son, beware of anything beyond these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh.
13 The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. 14 ForGo

Matt Chandler concluded the second day of The Gospel Coalition’s 2011 national conference—They Testify About Me: Preaching Jesus and the Gospel from the Old Testament—with a plenary address from Ecclesiastes 11:7-12:14 on „Youth.” For the audio link click here.

The way of Cain – Genesis 4

Cain & Abel

by Greg Laurie at www.harvest.org

Genesis 4
When Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit, they opened the door for sin to enter the world. The effect of sin’s entrance was felt in their children as we see in today’s passage.

When Cain and Abel presented their offerings, God accepted Abel’s gift offered in faith, but rejected the one Cain brought (Hebrews 11:4). Cain’s anger prompted the Lord to warn him that sin was waiting to consume him, if he didn’t watch out. Sadly, Cain ignored the warning and killed his brother, going so far as to deny his actions to God.

Let’s look at what Jude 1:11 calls “the way of Cain,” and how we can resist sin’s call.

PRACTICAL PRINCIPLES

  1. Worshiping with impure motives. God doesn’t look at the quantity of our worship, but at the quality of it. He is more pleased with the widow’s tiny than the Pharisee’s large gift. It doesn’t matter how beautifully you sing, the size of your offering, or whatever you do. If your heart is in the wrong place, your gift will go nowhere.
  2. Having a heart filled with jealousy, envy, and hatred. Cain’s anger stemmed not just from the fact that God rejected his offering, but that God accepted Abel’s offering. The fact is that there will always be someone better than us, whether it’s in smarts, beauty, talent, or ability. Instead of being consumed by jealousy and envy, we should rejoice in what God has blessed and be thankful for what we have been given.
  3. Lying to God about your actions and to excuse your actions. No matter how hard we try, it is evitable that we will sin. God’s desire—with Adam and Eve in the garden or Cain in this story—is for us to come clean about our actions. When we sin, He will use His staff, trying to steer us back into the fold, until He has no choice but to use the rod as the consequences for our sins (Hebrews 12:6).

RELEVANT REMINDERS
It is easy for us to confuse remorse with repentance. Remorse is being sorry for the consequences of your sin. Repentance is being sorry enough to stop sinning. Scripture tells us godly sorrow produces repentance (2 Corinthians 7:10). Cain was unrepentant, sorry only for having to reap the repercussions of his actions (Genesis 4:13).
APPLICABLE ACTIONS
Is there any envy, jealousy, or hatred in your life? God is trying to get your attention, asking you to  call on Him to help you resist giving in to it. Let Him take control. If you have given into sin and know you need to repent, today is the day to turn from that sin and come back to God. He is waiting for you, but He seeks repentance, not just remorse.

Oţelirea fizică nu este nimica rău….dar….

de Friedhelm König-

…pune-ţi viaţa în ordine faţă de Dumnezeu şi apoi trăieşte viaţa pentru Domnul tău!

Sportul este ceva minunat! Nu mă refer la modernul „sport de spectatori” care se extinde din ce în ce mai mult; căci nu puţini par să creadă într-adevăr că ei sunt deja tipuri sportive atunci cînd populează locurile la peluză în stadioane, ori stau numai în faţa ecranelor de televizoare ca să privească întrecerile sportive. Nu, ci tu însuţi să-ţi oţeleşti corpul pe cît posibil în aer proaspăt şi în natură, primind un nou avînt pentru fiecare zi. Dacă este înţeles în felul acesta, sportul creează o echilibrare fizică şi psihică ce favorizează starea sănătăţii, avînd în vedere felul nostru de viaţă adesea stresant. Deci cînd faci gimnastică, baţi mingea, înnoţi sau schiezi, atunci nu e importantă stabilirea de noi recorduri, ci fortificarea corpului tău pentru a-l păstra flexibil şi sănătos.

De fapt, de unde provine cuvîntul „sport”? El vine -cum putea fi altfel – din Anglia, patria sportului. Acolo a fost preluat în secolul al cincisprezecelea, provenind din verbul latinesc „disportare” (a împrăştia, a distra), în înţelesul originar înseamnă prin urmare „sport” aşa ceva ca distracţie, deci petrecere a timpului. Această noţiune ce depăşeşte cu mult semnificaţia antrenamentului fizic, continuă să existe încă şi astăzi, de altfel, în termeni cum sunt: „Sport al minţii”, „Sport filatelist”, „Sportul cu undiţa” şi multe altele. Chiar şi expresia „să-ţi faci din ceva un sport” conduce spre înţelesul iniţial al cuvîntului. Şi exact aceasta ar trebui să fie exerciţiile sportive fizice. Un amuzament sănătos care să reprezinte un balans pentru îndeletnicirile noastre profesionale adesea sărace în mişcare. Doctorii de asemenea accentuează mereu faptul că mai bună ar fi sănătatea noastră dacă ar fi mai puţini spectatori în faţa televizorului, cît şi la marginea terenului de sport, dar în schimb să fie practicate mai mult exerciţiile fizice pentru întărirea corpului.

Anglia - CASTIGATOAREA CUPEI MONDIALE

Şi tocmai cei pasivi, care se consideră sportivi, tocmai aceştia iau sportul aşa de brutal, încît pot să se înfurie sau chiar să se lovească unii pe alţii cînd e vorba dacă mingea a fost într-adevăr în plasă sau nu. Prin aceasta uită cu desăvîrşire ce este sportul de fapt. Un englez înţelept s-a exprimat odată în felul acesta: „Sportul este cel mai minunat lucru secundar din lume”.

Cel mai minunat lucru secundar din lume? Uneori îţi vine să te îndoieşti. Iulie 1966. Campionatul mondial de fotbal din Anglia. La marea finală din stadionul londonez Wembley, echipa engleză la 30 iulie învinge unsprezecele naţional german cu scorul de 4:2 şi primeşte din mîna reginei mult rîvnita cupă mondială de aur. A fost un joc captivant, un joc frumos. Cu prelungiri, ambele echipe au luptat 120 de minute şi în cele din urmă germanii au pierdut. Ceea ce s-a întîmplat însă în sferturile de finală şi în semifinală, nu arată nicidecum că sportul ar fi fost cel mai minunat lucru secundar din lume, ci mai degrabă dădea impresia de a fi fost luptă pe viaţă şi pe moarte. Acest fapt a inspirat un mare cotidian german să dea comentariului său asupra jocurilor mondiale de fotbal titlul semnificativ: „Tragedie”. Despre frumuseţe şi imparţialitate sportivă nimic nu s-a putut simţi în unele momente. Din păcate, arbitrii au fost nevoiţi prea de multe ori să elimine cîte un jucător de pe teren. Unii jucători au fost eliminaţi chiar complet de către comitetul U.E.F.A.. Se pare că ei confundaseră terenul de fotbal cu un ring de box. Pe lîngă aceasta, încălcarea regulilor era adesea aşa de perfidă, încît adevărata dimensiune trebuia dezvăluită prin filmarea cu încetinitorul. După terminarea meciului însă, atmosfera continuă în acelaşi spirit degradant. Uwe Seeler, căpitanul echipei germane, a trebuit la rîndul lui să se lase pălmuit de un jucător eliminat din echipa adversă. Arbitrii au putut părăsi stadionul numai sub protecţia poliţiei şi aceasta pe căi secrete. Preşedintele EI.EA., Sir Stanley Rous, a trebuit să fie caracterizat de către aceştia ca „idiot”, după care a spus resemnat: „Eu privesc cu multă îngrijorare monstruozităţile…”.

Italia pierde cu Nord Coreea

Cel mai minunat lucru secundar din lume? Adesea ai cu totul o altă impresie, încă o dată iulie 1966. Afară este întuneric beznă cînd echipa naţională de fotbal a Italiei, învinsă de echipa R. D. Coreene, aterizează pe aeroportul de la Genua. Ora exactă este 3,28 noaptea. Jucătorii nu au bărbi false după cum un caricaturist dăduse să se înţeleagă mai înainte, ci mai degrabă recurg la protecţia nopţii şi a poliţiei. Aceasta este pricina pentru care sosesc la această oră neobişnuită. Cînd se apropie scara de avion, iar echipa sportivă coboară, nu li se întinde nici un covor roşu, iar în lumina palidă a becurilor de pe aeroport nu li se înmînează nici un buchet de flori. Insă chiar şi momentul şi ora sosirii bine chibzuite, nu-i apără de „salutul de primire” al concetăţenilor lor. O ploaie de pătlăgele roşii şi altele cîte se îndreaptă spre ei… O mulţime de 700 de capete îi întîmpină cu ţipete şi huiduieli însoţite de cuvinte murdare. Răsplătiţi în felul acesta, sportivii trebuie să străbată drumul de la avion pînă la maşinile ce-i aşteaptă sub paza trupelor italiene de jandarmerie. Chiar şi cînd coloana de maşini se pune în mişcare, mulţimea înfuriată azvîrle în maşini cu lovituri de picior.

Sportul, cel mai minunat lucru secundar din lume? Oricît ar fi de regretabil, dar nu aceasta este realitatea. Şi aceasta fără să mai relatez, că într-adevăr pe ici, pe colo s-a întîmplat că cineva şi-a pus capăt vieţii, pentru că televizorul s-a defectat în timpul transmisiunii jocurilor mondiale de fotbal, sau pentru că echipa sa preferată a pierdut întrecerea. Acestea pot fi cîteva cazuri izolate, regretabile, ale unor oameni orbiţi pentru un moment. Dar cînd sute, sau chiar mii îşi pierd controlul şi nu mai ştiu ce fac, atunci chestiunea devine şi mai îngrozitoare.

"Echipa Braziliana (cu Pele) invinsa de Ungaria

Din nou, iulie 1966. Timp de două ceasuri străzile Lisabonei rămîn ca pustii, întreaga populaţie stă în faţa aparatelor de radio şi televizoarelor şi urmăreşte meciul cu Brazilia. Apoi, dintr-o dată oraşul parcă explodează. Ca la un ordin, mii de oameni se năpustesc pe străzi cîntînd şi dansînd cu o bucurie exaltată. Spre cer sunt aruncate rachete luminoase. „Suntem mai buni decît cei mai buni din lume” strigau oamenii, nemaiştiind ce să facă de entuziasmul ce i-a cuprins şi cu toţii se îngrămădesc în restaurante pentru a închina un pahar în cinstea victoriei. Cu totul altfel este atmosfera în Brazilia, şi mai ales în Rio de Janeiro. Într-o piaţă mare, centrală din Rio este ascultată de o mulţime de circa 5.000 de oameni transmisia directă prin radio a meciului din Anglia. Cînd devine clar că iubiţii idoli ai fotbalului sunt învinşi şi detronaţi, mulţi cad în leşin, în timp ce proprietarii de baruri, prevăzători, lasă în jos zăbrelele la geamuri. Şi au avut dreptate, căci mulţimea înfuriată se pune în mişcare, între suporterii fierbînd de mînie şi poliţie se desfăşoară o adevărată luptă de stradă. Numai cu mare greutate poliţia reuşeşte să oprească mulţimea decepţionată, să nu ia cu asalt cartierul general al federaţiei braziliene de fotbal. Se ajunge la periculoase lupte corp la corp şi mulţi se aleg cu leziuni serioase. Nu altfel se petrece în Sao Paulo, al doilea oraş mare al Braziliei. Aici oamenii de ordine trebuie să formeze un cordon de pază în jurul locuinţei antrenorului naţional, Feola. Suporterii fotbalului strigă plini de ură: „Linşarea lui Feola! Spînzurarea lui Feola!” Acesta este crudul adevăr. Din cel mai minunat lucru secundar din lume a devenit nebunie şi fanatism dezastruos.

Şi acum fă împreună cu mine un salt sportiv, o săritură în lungime, ca să spunem aşa. Eu vreau să te conduc de la ceea ce trebuie să fie „cel mai minunat lucru secundar din lume”, la esenţialul decisiv al vieţii tale. Pavel, marele şi curajosul mesager al iubitului său Domn, a parcurs în viata sa mii de kilometri pe jos în călătoriile sale, iar pe mare a avut călătorii aventuroase. El s-a supus unor eforturi corporale mult mai mari decît mulţi eroi sportivi ai timpurilor noastre. Iată ce-i scrie el tînărului său prieten Timotei: „Căci deprinderea trupească este de puţin folos, pe cînd evlavia este folositoare în orice privinţă, întrucît ea are făgăduinţa vieţii de acum şi a celei viitoare”. Şi el continuă solemn mai departe: „Iată un cuvînt adevărat şi cu totul vrednic de primit!” (1 Tim. 4:8-9). Acelaşi lucru vreau să ţi-l adresez şi ţie. Oţelirea fizică nu este nimica rău. Deci nu este rău a te căli prin exerciţii fizice şi sport. De aceea, practică sportul mai departe consecvent. Fă ceva pentru fizicul tău. Gîndeşte-te însă că un lucru secundar nu trebuie niciodată să devină un lucru principal! „Principal este ca principalul să rămînă principalul!” Aşa s-a exprimat odată un om plin de umor. Şi ce este principalul? Aceasta este principalul: pune-ţi viaţa în ordine faţă de Dumnezeu şi apoi trăieşte viaţa pentru Domnul tău! Atunci ai făgăduinţa vieţii veşnice şi te aşteaptă o cunună de biruinţă, care nu se veştejeşte niciodată.


Tim Keller – Leading the secular to Christ

by Tim Keller Pastor Redeemer Church.

Redeemer Church, Manhattan New York

Deconstructing defeater beliefs

Tim Keller on leading the secular to Christ – part 1

A. THE IMPLAUSIBILITY STRUCTURE OF A CULTURE
1. Defeater beliefs

Every culture hostile to Christianity holds to a set of ‘common sense’ consensus beliefs that automatically make Christianity seem implausible to people. These are what philosophers call ‘defeater beliefs’. A defeater belief is Belief-A that, if true, means Belief-B can’t be true.

Christianity is disbelieved in one culture for totally opposite reasons it is disbelieved in another. So, for example, in the West (as we will explore below) it is widely assumed that Christianity can’t be true because of the cultural belief that there can’t be just one ‘true’ religion. But, in the Middle East, people have absolutely no problem with the idea that there is just one true religion. That doesn’t seem implausible at all. Rather, there it is widely assumed that Christianity can’t be true because of the cultural belief that American culture, based on Christianity, is unjust and corrupt. (Skeptics ought to realise, then, that the objections they have to the Christian faith are culturally relative!) So, each culture has its own set of culturally-based doubt-generators which people call ‘objections’ or ‘problems’ with Christianity.

When a culture develops a combination of many, widely held defeater beliefs it becomes a cultural ‘implausibility structure’. In these societies, most people don’t feel they have to give Christianity a good hearing — they don’t feel that kind of energy is warranted. They know it just can’t be true. That is what makes evangelism in hostile cultures so much more difficult and complex than it was under ‘Christendom’. In our Western culture (and in places like Japan, India, and Muslim countries), the reigning implausibility structure against Christianity is very strong. Christianity simply looks ludicrous. In places like Africa, Latin America, and China, however, the implausibility structures are eroding fast. The widely held assumptions in the culture make Christianity look credible there.

2. Dealing with the implausibility structure today

Many books on reaching postmoderns today give the impression that people now need virtually no arguments at all. The ‘apologetic’ is a loving community, or the embodiment of social concern. I couldn’t agree more that postmodern people come to Christ through process, through relationships, though mini-decisions, through ‘trying Christianity on’. They are pragmatic rather than abstract in their reasoning, etc. But the books that are against any arguments at all seem to miss the fact that the extreme pragmatism of non-Christians today is part of a non-Christian world-view. Our post-enlightenment culture believes what has been called expressive individualism. That is — ‘it is true if it works for me’. This obviously is based on the view that truth and right-or-wrong is something I discover within my own self and consciousness.

What then of the claim that ‘postmodern people don’t want arguments — they just want to see if it works for them’? All right — as with any form of contextualisation, let us as evangelists enter — adapt partially — to the culture of expressive individualism. Let us show them the reality of changed lives. Let us use narratives rather than long strings of logic. But at some point you must also challenge the sovereignty of individual consciousness. Jesus is Lord, not my personal consciousness. At some point, the idea that ‘it is true if, and only if, it works for me’ must be challenged. We have to say: ‘Ultimately that is correct — in the very, very long run, obeying the truth will “work” and bring you to glory and disobeying the truth will “not work” and bring you to ruin. But in the short run (like — even throughout all the rest of your life!) obeying the truth might lead to ostracism, persecution, or other suffering.’

There have been many times in New York City that I have seen people make professions of faith that seemed quite heart-felt, but when faced with serious consequences if they maintained their identification with Christ (e.g. missing the opportunity for a new sexual partner or some major professional setback) they bailed on their Christian commitment. The probable reason was that they had not undergone deeper ‘world-view change’. They had fitted Christ to their individualistic world-view rather than fitting their world-view to Christ. They professed faith simply because Christianity worked for them, and not because they grasped it as true whether it is ‘working’ for them this year or not! They had not experienced a ‘power-encounter’ between the gospel and their individualistic world-view. I think apologetics does need to be ‘postmodern’. It does need to adapt to postmodern sensibilities. But it must challenge those sensibilities too. There do need to be ‘arguments’. Christianity must be perceived to be true, even though less rationalistic cultures will not demand watertight proofs like the older high-modern Western society did.

Tim Keller Portrait by Nathan Troeste

B. A ‘SANDWICH’ APPROACH TO SHARING THE GOSPEL

1. Two parts to sharing the gospel

What this means now is that there are two parts to sharing the gospel in a particular culture — a more ‘negative’ and a more positive aspect.

a) The more negative aspect has to do with ‘apologetics’ — it consists in deconstructing the culture’s implausibility structure. In short, this means you have to show on the culture’s own terms (that is, by its own definitions of justice, rationality, meaning) that its objections to Christianity don’t hold up.

b) The more positive aspect of sharing the gospel is to connect the story of Jesus to the base-line cultural narratives. In short, you have to show, in line with the culture’s own (best) aspirations, hopes, and convictions, that its own cultural story won’t be resolved or have ‘a happy ending’ outside of Christ.

2. A sandwich of three layers

But I think the overall best way to ‘present the gospel’ is a kind of ‘sandwich’ approach to these two parts. The following assumes there is a process and a series of conversations between you and the person who doesn’t believe.

a) Brief gospel summary

First, the gospel must be presented briefly but so vividly and attractively (and so hooked into the culture’s base-line cultural narratives) that the listener is virtually compelled to say, ‘It would be wonderful if that were true, but it can’t be!’ Until he or she comes to that position, you can’t work on the implausibility structure! The listener must have motivation to hear you out. That is what defeaters do — they make people super-impatient with any case for Christianity. Unless they find a presentation of Christ surprisingly attractive and compelling (and stereotype breaking) their eyes will simply glaze over when you try to talk to them.

b) Dismantle plausibility structure

Alvin Plantinga wisely asserts that people avoid Christianity not because they have really examined its teachings and found them wanting, but because their culture gives huge plausibility (by the media, through art, through the expertise and impressive credentials of its spokespersons) to a series of defeater beliefs that they know are true, and since they are true, Christianity can’t be. The leading defeaters must be dealt with clearly and quickly but convincingly. Defeaters are dealt with when the person feels you have presented the objection to Christianity in a clearer and stronger way than they could have done it.

c) Longer explanation of the person and work of Christ

Now, if people find you have at least undermined the defeaters in a listener’s mind, you can now return to talking at greater length about creation, fall, redemption, and restoration. If you try to do apologetics before you pull off a quick, attractive presentation of Christ, people’s eyes will glaze over and they will become bored. But if you try to do a very lengthy explanation of the meaning of Christ’s cross and resurrection before you convincingly deal with the defeaters, they won’t listen to you either.

Summary of the approach
1. The attractive gospel — brief gospel connected to baseline narratives
2. Why Christianity can be true — dismantling doubts and defeaters
3. The biblical story of the gospel — a more thorough telling
C. THE PROCESS
1. The gospel connected to baseline cultural narratives

The doctrines of creation, sin, grace, and faith must be presented in connection with ‘baseline cultural narratives’ — Jesus must be the answer to the questions the culture is asking. Don’t forget — every gospel presentation presents Jesus as the answer to some set of human-cultural questions, like ‘how can I be forgiven?’ (Western moral individualism) or ‘how can I be free?’ (postmodern expressive individualism) or ‘how can we overcome evil forces in the world?’ (contemporary Africans), etc. Every gospel presentation has to be culturally incarnated, it must assume some over-riding cultural concern, so we may as well be engaged with the ones that we face! Christianity must be presented as answers to the main questions and aspirations of our culture. Two of the over-riding concerns are:

a) Cultural concerns

First, a concern for personal freedom and identity. Contemporary people ask: Who am I? I’m not completely sure — but I do know I have to be free to create my own identity and sense of self. Whatever spirituality I have, it must leave me free to experiment and seek and not be a ‘one size fits all’.

Second, a concern for unity in diversity. Contemporary people ask: How can we get past exclusion and exclusivism? How can we live at peace in a pluralistic world? How can we share power rather than using power to dominate one another? How can we embrace the ‘Other’ — the person of a sharply different viewpoint and culture?

b) Gospel resources

Gospel resources for personal freedom. Kierkegaard depicts sin in The Sickness unto Death as ‘building your identity on anything but God’ which leads to internal slavery and narrowness of spirit. This is a gospel presentation that connects well today. (Kierkegaard, like Nietzsche and other great thinkers, was a good century ‘ahead of his time’.) Kierkegaard also deconstructed mere religion and moralism and contrasted them with the gospel. (See his Three ways of life: the aesthetic, the ethical, and the spiritual.) Building your identity on any finite created thing besides God leads to the idolisation of that factor and the demonisation of anyone who lacks it.

Gospel resources for living at peace. If you build your identity mainly on your class, or race, or culture, or performance you will necessarily vilify and disdain anyone who lacks what you consider the cornerstone of your own significance. Therefore, building your identity on God leads to hatred of the other, to social conflict and oppression. Jonathan Edwards (again, a man ahead of his time) recognised that if your highest love and greatest is your nation, your family, your career, even your religious performance, then you will disdain other nations, families, classes of people, and other religions. If anything but God is our ‘highest good’ (i.e. if we make anything an idol) then we have to demonise or at least exclude some part of creation. But if God is our ultimate good, then we are free to develop deep love for what Edwards calls, ‘Being in general’. If we truly made the Lord our ultimate beauty and Saviour and good — we would have an equal love and joy equally in all creation, all individuals, all people groups, even in all nature and created things.

In any case, there is no religion with a more powerful ground-motif for accepting enemies and the ‘Other’ than Christianity. We are the only faith that has at its heart a man dying for his enemies, forgiving them rather than destroying them. This must be presented to our culture as an unparalleled resource for living in peace in a pluralistic society.

Summary

As we said above, people’s eyes will ‘glaze over’ if you start your presentation with ‘reasons Christianity is true’. Christianity must be attractive to people before they will sit still for a presentation of intellectual credibility. A person must come to the point where he or she says, ‘that would be great if it were true — but is it?’ Then, and only then, will they sit still for a discussion on why Christianity is true. So Christianity has to first be presented attractively and compellingly. We must show postmodern Western culture — with its aspirations for personal freedom and unity in diversity — that its ‘Story’ can only have a ‘happy ending’ in Jesus Christ. Then we can deal with the main objections (the ‘defeaters’) in our culture that make it hard to believe that Christianity is true.

Example of a brief gospel presentation

Why we are here. The one God is a community — a Trinity of three persons who each perfectly know and defer to one another and love one another and therefore have infinite joy and glory and peace. God made a good, beautiful world filled with beings who share in this life of joy and peace by knowing, serving, and loving God and one another.

What went wrong. Instead, we chose to centre our lives on ourselves and on the pursuit of things rather than on God and others. This has led to the disintegration of creation and the loss of peace — within ourselves, between ourselves, and in nature itself. War, hunger, poverty, injustice, racism, bitterness, meaninglessness, despair, sickness, and death all are symptoms.

What puts the world right. But though God lost us, he determined to win us back. He entered history in the person of Jesus in order to deal with all the causes and results of our broken relationship with him. By his sacrificial life and death he both exemplifies the life we must live and rescues us from the life we have lived. By his resurrection he proved who he was and showed us the future — new bodies and a completely renewed and restored new heavens and new earth in which the world is restored to full joy, justice, peace, and glory.

How we can be part of putting the world right. Between his first coming to win us and his last coming to restore us we live by faith in him. When we believe and rely on Jesus’s work and record (rather than ours) for our relationship to God, his healing kingdom power comes upon us and begins to work through us. Christ gives us a radically new identity, freeing us from both self-righteousness and self-condemnation. This liberates us to accept people we once excluded, and to break the bondage of things (even good things) that once drove us. He puts us into a new community of people which gives a partial, but real, foretaste of the healing of the world that God will accomplish when Jesus returns.

This article is copyright to Tim Keller.

(via) Monergism

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