Pornografia, filmele pentru adulti si calea spre distrugere

”Vom sta înaintea lui Dumnezeu ca occidentali, ca bărbați și vom spune: ”Două miliarde de oameni pot să moară și să meargă în iad pentru ca eu să mă pot uita la femei goale pe internet”

Aşa că fiecare din noi are să dea socoteală despre sine însuşi lui Dumnezeu. – Romani 14:12

Pornografia a devenit atât de dominantă, iar societatea tinde să creadă că aceasta este inofensivă. Replica dependenților de pornografie este: ”Nu fac rău nimănui.” Adevărul este că victimele sunt multe. De exemplu: fete care sunt forțate să joace în aceste producții obscene împotriva voii lor.

Naideen spunea la o conferință despre exploatarea sexuală că producătorul acestor filme pline de tortură a pus-o într-un acvariu cu un șarpe boa constrictor:
”Am fost bătută, am fost legată, violată…A dat drumul șarpelui peste mine și a închis capacul. M-a filmat în timp ce eram îngrozită, deoarece nu avea nimic de-a face cu sexul, cu excepția faptului că eram dezbrăcată.”

Această exploatare ostentativă nu ar avea loc dacă cerera nu ar fi așa de mare. Consumatorii de pornografie îi rănesc și pe cei apropiați lor. Cum a fost și cazul soției lui Matt Russell, dependent de pornografie.

”Eram dependent de pornografie chiar dacă aveam o căsnicie, aveam copii”, mărturisea Matt Russell.
”Mă simțeam fără putere, deoarece aveam impresia că preferă imaginea unei alte femei în locul meu. Ca femeie, este dureros. În cele din urmă am ajuns să renunț și ne-am despărțit”, mărturisea Danielle Russell, soția.

Greg, soțul lui Cathy Dyer, a determinat-o pe aceasta să apeleze la terapie pentru a se ocupa de dependența lui și aventura extraconjugală.
”Eram rănită și știam că dacă nu o să merg la un consilier, o să ajung să urăsc bărbații”, mărturisea Cathy Dyer.

Cei doi bărbați au scăpat de dependență și ambele cupluri s-au împăcat, alăturându-se unei biserici din Lakeland, Florida care abordează problema pornografiei. Kevin Conrad conduce un grup de dare de socoteală.

”Am văzut bărbați care și-au pierdut slujba, și-au distrus cariera, familia, copiii, relația cu părinții și cu frații”, spunea Kevin Conrad.

Trena Mewborn este consilier și a vede cum această dorință distruge căsnicii:
”Doar pe baza cuplurile pe care le-am întâlnit pe parcursul anilor, cel puțin 50% dintre cupluri se confruntă fie cu pornografia, cu relații extraconjugale, cu probleme legate de sex.”

Cei de la știrile CBN au discutat cu pastorul Jay Dennis despre problema din biserică.
Acesta a fost întrebat dacă au fost bărbați care și-au pierdut slujba, soțiile din cauza pornografiei:
”Bineînțeles. Aud asta tot timpul. Văd asta în biserici, în rândul pastorilor.”

Cum este și cazul lui Tom Wolfe, un pastor de tineret care a ajuns să aibă mai multe relații extraconjugale din cauza pornografiei:
”S-a aflat totul. Bineînțeles că mi-am pierdut slujba, biserica, lucrarea cu tineretul. Pentru un timp mi-am pierdut și familia.”

Misionarul Rik Ripken spunea că atât de mulți tineri creștini sunt dependenți de pornografie, încât nu pot să meargă pe câmpul de misiune:
”90-95% dintre ei sunt dependenți de pornografie. Au început pe la vârsta de 12, 13 ani și nu pot să scape de ea.”

Lucrul acesta poate fi observat numeric. Situația curentă: șapte misionare la un misionar.

”Vom sta înaintea lui Dumnezeu ca occidentali, ca bărbați și vom spune: ”Două miliarde de oameni pot să moară și să meargă în iad pentru ca eu să mă pot uita la femei goale pe internet”’, spunea misionarul Rik Ripken.

Bărbații nu sunt singurii. Crystal Renaud, fostă dependentă de pornografie, spunea că unul din trei vizitatori ai site-urilor pentru adulți sunt femei:
”Aceasta sunt eu la vârsta de zece ani, cu câteva luni înainte să găsesc revistele pornografice ale fratelui meu care m-au condus spre pornografie și dependență sexuală timp de opt ani.”

”Chiar și cu pornografia vizuală actuală, femeile sunt atrase dintr-un spirit de turmă”, spunea Trena Mewborn, consilier.
Renaud mărturisea cum acest lucru îi duce pe oameni în locuri întunecate și periculoase.
Stire difuzata in Mapamond crestin 556 – martie 2015 – ultimele stiri crestine: http://alfaomega.tv/stiri/

The real Louis Zamperini story (VIDEO) Louis Zamperini Testimony at 1958 San Francisco Billy Graham Crusade

Also see – Greg Laurie interviews Louie Zamperini at Harvest in 2011

Photo credit BilliGrahamLibrary.org

Photo credit BilliGrahamLibrary.org

Louis Zamperini (1917–2014) was a miracle of a man. He truly lived—better, survived—one of the greatest stories ever written. Nonfiction stories are written, too, you know. “In your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them” (Psalm 139:16). Some stories wake us up and remind us of this mouth-stopping truth. Louie’s life could only have been born in the mind and heart of God.

A film opens today bringing Louie’s epic story to the big screen. It’s based on Laura Hillenbrand’s remarkable telling of Louie’s extraordinary story, Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption. Louie’s life is a Lord of the Rings trilogy born in the flesh of one strong but feeble man. The Coen brothers (writers), Angelina Jolie (producer and director) and everyone else involved should be applauded for taking on a life as excruciating and inspiring as Louie’s. It is a monumental task—one too large for life, much less for a full-length feature film.

I won’t offer any spoiler alerts, because I don’t believe this article will spoil anything for you—at least anything that’s not already suggested in the title (Unbroken: Survival. Resilience. Redemption.). In fact, having read Hillenbrand’s book, I consider this an anti-spoiler—like reading up on the history and landmarks of Washington D.C. before you spend a week there. I believe you’ll enjoy the film (and Louie) moreknowing the full story, especially the pages not covered in Jolie’s 137 minutes.

Worse Than World War II

Unbroken, the film, begins with the trouble-making son of Italian immigrants, chronicles his unlikely and meteoric rise to fame as an Olympian, displays some of the unspeakable horrors of war, and highlights the resilience and strength even weak men can have in the face of agonizing pain and unrelenting terror. What the film does will be intense and emotional enough to sober and inspire most of us. Violence, starvation and torture will even be too much for many. After a plane crash into the ocean, Louie and two fellow soldiers were trapped on a raft for 47 days before they were captured by the Japanese. The Bird—the military officer who held and mercilessly tortured Louie—is rightly, if not inadequately, portrayed as an awful, sadistic villain and criminal. But there are worse horrors hidden in this edition of the story.

Read more, here – http://www.churchleaders.com/pastors/pastor-articles/245396-unbroken-uncut.html

VIDEO by Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

UNBROKEN | A True World War II Story

of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

VIDEO by Viktor Varepa

another great video to watch-

 – Lou Zamperini interview on the Island of Kwajalein 2001 (102 min)

On what day was Jesus really born? A New Testament Manuscript Expert Responds

A 1466 copy of Jewish historianFlavius Josephus‘ first century workAntiquities of the Jews, widely used to establish the chronology of Jesus. Photo from Wikipedia.

This is a study by Daniel B. Wallace , which you can read it in its entirety here-  http://bible.org/article/birth-jesus-christ

Daniel B. Wallace has taught Greek and New Testament courses on a graduate school level since 1979. He has a Ph.D. from Dallas Theological Seminary, and is currently professor of New Testament Studies at his alma mater.

His Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament (Zondervan, 1996) has become a standard textbook in colleges and seminaries. Dr. Wallace is also the Executive Director for the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts.

Wallace – We must keep in mind that the Jesus we worship was truly born in time-space history. And that babe in the manger was truly crucified–and just as surely rose from the dead. The Bible is different from the sacred books of other religions because it invites historical investigation. And when it has met the test–as it surely always, inevitably does–it inculcates a greater devotion in the heart of the believer for the one we call the Son of God.

The Year Jesus Was Born

In the western hemisphere, we split time by the birth of Jesus Christ. But did he really even live? If so,when was he born?

Josephus records an eclipse of the moon just before Herod passed on. This occurred on March 12th or 13th in 4 B.C. Josephus also tells us that Herod expired just before Passover. This feast took place on April 11th, in the same year, 4 B.C. From other details supplied by Josephus, we can pinpoint Herod the Great’s demise as occurring between March 29th and April 4th in 4 B.C.

It might sound strange to suggest that Jesus Christ was born no later than 4 B.C. since B.C. means ‘before Christ.’ But our modern calendar which splits time between B.C. and A.D. was not invented until A.D. 525. At that time, Pope John the First asked a monk named Dionysius to prepare a standardized calendar for the western Church. Unfortunately, poor Dionysius missed the real B.C./A.D. division by at least four years!

Now Matthew tells us that Herod killed Bethlehem’s babies two years old and under. The earliest Jesus could have been born, therefore, is 6 B.C. Through a variety of other time indicators, we can be relatively confident that the one called Messiah was born in either late 5 or early 4 B.C.

My atheist friend scoffs at such flexibility. He says, „If you don’t know exactly when Jesus was born, how do you know that he really lived?” That is hardly a reasonable question! The other day I called my mother to wish her a happy birthday. „Mom, how many candles on this birthday cake?” I inquired. „I don’t know, son–I don’t keep track any more,” she sighed. After a few minutes of pleasant conversation, we hung up.

Now, of course, I can’t be certain, but I do believe that that was my mother on the other end of the phone. She can’t remember how old she is (and she’s neither senile nor very old), but that doesn’t make her a figment of my imagination, does it? Because if she’s just a phantom, then for the last three minutes, you’ve been reading absolutely nothing!

The Day Jesus Was Born

This coming December 25th most parents will be lying to their children about old St. Nick. Some of us will be celebrating the birth of our Savior. But was he really born on this day?

Was Jesus really born on December 25th? Virtually every month on the calendar has been proposed by biblical scholars. So why do we celebrate his birth in December?

The tradition for December 25th is actually quite ancient. Hippolytus, in the second century A.D., argued that this was Christ’s birthday. Meanwhile, in the eastern Church, January 6th was the date followed.

But in the fourth century, John Chrysostom argued that December 25th was the correct date and from that day till now, the Church in the East, as well as the West, has observed the 25th of December as the official date of Christ’s birth.

In modern times, the traditional date has been challenged. Modern scholars point out that when Jesus was born, shepherds were watching their sheep in the hills around Bethlehem. Luke tells us that an angel appeared to „some shepherds staying out in the fields [who were] keeping watch over their flock by night” (2:8).

Some scholars feel that the sheep were usually brought under cover from November to March; as well, they were not normally in the field at night. But there is no hard evidence for this. In fact, early Jewish sources suggest that the sheep around Bethlehem were outside year-round. So you can see, December 25th fits both tradition and the biblical narrative well. There is no sound objection to it.

Now admittedly, the sheep around Bethlehem were the exception, not the rule. But these were no ordinary sheep. They were sacrificial lambs. In the early spring they would be slaughtered at the Passover.

And God first revealed the Messiah’s birth to these shepherds–shepherds who protected harmless lambs which would soon die on behalf of sinful men. Whey they saw the baby, could they have known? Might they have whispered in their hearts what John the Baptist later thundered, „Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”

Now, of course, we can’t be absolutely certain of the day of Christ’s birth. At least, not this side of heaven. But an early winter date seems as reasonable a guess as any. And December 25th has been the frontrunner for eighteen centuries. Without more evidence, there seems no good reason to change the celebration date now.

We can blame the ancient church for a large part of our uncertainty. You see, they did not celebrate Christ’s birth. At all. To them, it was insignificant. They were far more concerned with his death . . . and resurrection.

But modern man has turned that around. A baby lying in a manger is harmless, non-threatening. But a man dying on a cross–a man who claims to be God–that man is a threat! He demands our allegiance! We cannot ignore him. We must either accept him or reject him. He leaves us no middle ground.

This Christmas season, take a close look at a nativity scene once again. Remove your rose-colored glasses–smell the foul air, see the cold, shivering animals. They represent the Old Testament sacrificial system. They are emblems of death. But they are mere shadows of the Babe in their midst. He was born to die . . . that all who believe in him might live.

The Visit of the Magi

When Jesus Christ was born, men–known as magi–came from the east to worship him. Were they wisemen . . . or astrologers?

Matthew begins his second chapter with these words: „Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star in the east, and have come to worship him.'”

Who were these wise men from the east? Matthew tells us next to nothing about them–he doesn’t mention their names, nor how many there were–not even which country they came from. As mysteriously as they come on the scene, they disappear. . .

Though Matthew doesn’t tell us much, over-zealous Christians throughout church history have dogmatically filled in the blanks. By the 6th century A.D., these dark strangers were given thrones and names: Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthazar were the alleged names of these alleged kings. But this has nothing to do with the biblical story: we really have no idea what their names were–nor even their number. There could have been 3 or 300 as far as we know! But one thing we do know for sure: they were not royalty. The ancient magi were reilgious and political advisors to eastern kings–but there wasn’t a drop of blue blood among them.

But isn’t it true that the magi were astrologers? And didn’t God prescribe death to astrologers in the Old Testament? ‘Not always’ and ‘yes’ are the answers. In Deuteronomy 17, God commands his people to execute all astrologers by stoning. Jean Dixon wouldn’t stand a chance in such a theocracy! The fact that she–and others like her–are so comfortably tolerated–even well respected!–in modern America ought to show us that the U.S.A. is a post-Christian country–at best . . .

But what about these ancient magi? Were they astrologers? After all, they followed a star to Bethlehem.

We might answer this in three ways: First, not all magi were astrologers, for Daniel the prophet was the chief of the magi in Nebuchadnezzar’s court. Through his influence, undoubtedly many of the magi carried on their religious and political duties as worshippers of the One true God.

Second, there are some biblical scholars who believe that Isaiah predicted that a star would appear when the Messiah was born. If this interpretation is correct, then the magi who worshipped the newborn king were clearly following in Daniel’s train, for he almost surely taught them from Isaiah.

Third, although a few believe that the ‘star’ they saw was a natural phenomenon–such as a conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter–this cannot explain how the star stood right over Bethlehem. Clearly, the ‘star’ was completely of supernatural origin. If so, it probably had nothing to do with astrology.

Therefore, the magi most likely did not subscribe to such superstitious folly. If so, they were truly wisemen . . .

I saw a bumper sticker the other day, which read, „Wise men still seek him.” Actually, that’s not quite accurate. The Bible tells us that „no one seeks God, not even one.” But if he has led us to himself, then we have become wise. For it is true that „wise men still worship him.”

The Boys from Bethlehem

One of the most heinous atrocities in human history was the murder of Bethlehem’s babies by Herod the Great. But did it really happen?

In the second chapter of Matthew’s gospel, we read that when Herod the Great heard of the Messiah’s birth, „he was troubled–and all Jerusalem with him.” Later, when the wise men did not report back to him, he became furious and ordered all the baby boys up to two years old in and around Bethlehem to be slaughtered!

Three questions come to mind as we consider this cruel incident: First, how many babies did Herod actually kill? Second, how old was Jesus when this happened? And finally, why does no other ancient historian record this outrage? In other words, did it really happen?

How many babies did Herod murder? Some scholars have suggested as many as 200! But most reject such a figure. Bethlehem was a small community–almost a suburb of Jerusalem. The village itself–and the surrounding countryside–would hardly have more than 30 male infants under two. Most scholars today place the number between 20 and 30.

But that’s if only the boy babies were killed. Actually, the Greek text of Matthew 2:16 could mean ‘babies’–not just ‘boy babies.’ And psychologically, Herod’s henchmen might not have bothered to check the gender of their victims. The number might be as high as 50 or 60.

Second, how old was Jesus when this occurred? According to the best chronological evidence, he could not have been more than three or four months old. He was more than likely born in the winter of 5 or 4 B.C.–Herod died in the early spring of 4 B.C. So why did Herod slay all children up to two years old? The answer to the third question might help to answer this one. . .

Third, why is this event not recorded outside the Bible? Specifically, why did Josephus, the first-century Jewish historian, fail to mention it?

Josephus tells us much about Herod. The best word to describe his reign is ‘overkill.’ He murdered hisfavorite wife’s father, drowned her brother–and even killed her! He executed one of his most trusted friends, his barber, and 300 military leaders–all in a day’s work! Then he slew three of his sons, allegedly suspecting them of treason. Josephus tells us that „Herod inflicted such outrages upon (the Jews) as not even a beast could have done if it possessed the power to rule over men” (Antiquities of the Jews 17:310). Killing babies was not out of character for this cruel king. And killing them up to two years old–to make sure he got the baby Jesus lines up with his insane jealousy for power.

Josephus might have omitted the slaying of the babies for one of two reasons: first, he was no friend of Christianity and he left it out intentionally; or second, just before Herod died he locked up 3000 of the nation’s leading citizens and gave orders that they were to be executed at the hour of his death. He wanted to make sure that there would be mourning when he died. . . Israel was so preoccupied with this that the clandestine murder of a few babies might have gone unnoticed. . .

Herod thought that he had gained a victory over the king of the Jews. Yet this was a mere foreshadowing of the victory Satan thought he had when Jesus lay dead on a Roman cross. But the empty tomb proved that that dark Friday was Satan’s worst defeat!

Conclusion

We’ve been looking at several aspects of the birth of Jesus Christ in this short study. Now, we want to put it all together.

In the winter of 5 or 4 B.C., God invaded history by taking on the form of a man. He was born in a small town just south of Jerusalem. Bethlehem, which means ‘the house of bread,’ indeed became worthy of its name one lonely winter night. For there, in that town, was born the Bread of Life . . .

His mother placed the infant king in a manger–or feeding trough–because the guest room where they were to stay was occupied. The birth of this king was celebrated that night only by his mother, her husband, and a handful of shepherds. The shepherds had been in the fields around Bethlehem, guarding the lambs which would die at the next Passover. An angel appeared to them and gave them the birth announcement: „today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). In their simple faith, they rushed to see their newborn king.

Shortly after the birth of the Messiah, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem and inquired of king Herod where the real king of the Jews was to be born. The theologians of Herod’s court knew the Scriptures well–in ‘Bethlehem’ they recited. Ironically, though they knew the Scriptures, they did not believe them! They did not even bother to travel the five or six miles to Bethlehem to see their Messiah.

But Herod believed the Scriptures! That is why he sent a corps of butchers to Bethlehem to slaughter innocent children, in hopes of destroying this rival to his throne. But he was too late. The magi had come and gone and Jesus was by now safe in Egypt.

And the magi believed the Scriptures. They had traveled several hundred miles to worship this Babe. They were guided to Bethlehem by a supernatural celestial phenomenon–and by the Scriptures. Apparently, their ancestors had been instructed by Daniel the prophet about the coming Messiah. . . When they saw the child, they fell down and worshiped him. This was God in the flesh. They could do no other.

And they gave him gifts–gold, frankincense, and myrrh. This was an unusual present–by any standards. The gold, of course, we all can understand–but the frankincense and myrrh were odd. Perhaps they had read Isaiah’s prophecy that „nations will come to your light, and kings to your rising . . . They will bring gold and frankincense, and will bear good news. . . ” (Isa. 60:3, 6). This explains the frankincense, but not the myrrh.

Now myrrh, like frankincense, was a perfume. But unlike frankincense, myrrh smelled of death. In the ancient world, it was used to embalm a corpse. Jesus himself would be embalmed with this very perfume (cf.John 19:39).

If the magi were thinking of Jesus’ death when they brought the myrrh, they no doubt knew of it from Daniel’s prophecy (9:24-27). In the ninth chapter of Daniel we read that the ‘Messiah will be cut off’ and this ‘will make atonement for iniquity’ and ultimately ‘bring in everlasting righteousness’ (9:26, 24).

Even at the birth of our Savior, the shadow of the cross is already falling over his face. . .

The theologians of Herod’s court did not believe the Scriptures. They were fools. Herod believed, but disobeyed. He was a madman. The simple shepherds and the majestic magi believed in this infant Savior–and it was reckoned to them as righteousness. May we follow in their train.

R C Sproul – Worshipping a Holy God

Economics, politics, athletics, romance, careers, raising a family – holiness affects every aspect of our lives. And like Isaiah, we cannot remain unchanged. Our response is one of worship and adoration. Christianity is not merely an experience of a different dimension of reality, but an encounter with a holy God in whom we live and move and have our being.

Worshiping a Holy God

— 2001 National Conference

VIDEO by Ligonier Ministries

Why Don’t Christians Witness?

VIDEO by oneminuteapologist

The Mental Agonies Of Hell by Robert Murray M C’heyne

Pentru traducere automata, fa click aici – Romanian

Photo credit wikipedia

Robert Murray M C’heyne: He was born at Edinburgh, was educated at the University of Edinburgh and at the Divinity Hall of his native city, where he was taught by Thomas Chalmers. He first served as an assistant to John Bonar in the parish of Larbertand Dunipace, near Falkirk, from 1835 to 1838. After this he served as minister of St. Peter’s Church (in Dundee) until his early death at the age of 29 during an epidemic of typhus.

Not long after his death, his friend Andrew Alexander Bonar edited his biography which was published with some of his manuscripts as The Memoir and Remains of the Rev. Robert Murray M’Cheyne. The book went into many editions. It has had a lasting influence on Evangelical Christianity worldwide.

In 1839, M’Cheyne and Bonar, together with two older ministers, Dr. Alexander Black and Dr. Alexander Keith, were sent to Palestine on a mission of inquiry to the condition of the Jews. Upon their return, their official report for the Board of Mission of the Church of Scotland was published as Narrative of a Visit to the Holy Land and Mission of Inquiry to the Jews. This led subsequently to the establishment of missions to the Jews by the Church of Scotland and by the Free Church of Scotland. During M’Cheyne’s absence, his place was filled by the appointment of William Chalmers Burns to preach at St. Peter’s as his assistant.

M’Cheyne was a preacher, a pastor, a poet, and wrote many letters. He was also a man of deep piety and a man of prayer. He never married, but he did have a fiancée at the time of his death, Jessie Thain, who died heartbroken.

M’Cheyne died exactly two months before the Disruption of 1843. This being so, his name was subsequently held in high honour by all the various branches ofScottish Presbyterianism, though he himself held a strong opinion against the Erastianism which led to the Disruption. Bonar records, „And when, on 7 March of the following year (i.e. 1843), the cause of the Church was finally to be pleaded at the bar of the House of Commons, I find him writing: ‘Eventful night this in the British Parliament! Once more King Jesus stands at an earthly tribunal, and they know Him not!'” (Memoir {1892 ed.}, p. 147).

M’Cheyne designed a widely used system for reading through the Bible in one year. The plan entails reading the New Testament and the Psalms through twice a year, and the Old Testament through once. This program was included (in a slightly modified form) in For the Love of God by D. A. Carson  and is recommended by several Bible publishers, such as the English Standard Version and the New English Translation

Download the audio sermon here: http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/mydownloads/singlefile… VIDEO by SermonIndex.net

The Mental Agonies Of Hell

FIRST, OBSERVE, the manner in which Paul sought the kingdom of heaven.

Verse 26, ‘I therefore so run not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air.

Although that Paul wrote these words he had a full assurance of heavenly love. it was many years after his conversion on his way to Damascus; and I am sure, if any one had assurance of his conversion, it was the apostle Paul —’I am in a strait betwixt the two, having a desire to depart, and be with Christ, which is far better’ (Philippians 1:23); ‘We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord'(2 Corinthians 5:28). And you remember that sweet saying: ‘There is laid up for me a crown of righteousness’ (2 Timothy 4:8). Yet for all that, Paul sought the kingdom of heaven as if he had been running a race; he was as anxious seeking it after his conversion as he had been before it. There are many people who, after conversion, sit down as if it were all over. They think they need do no more; but it was not so with Paul.

The second thing I desire you to notice from these words is, one important effort Paul made. It was this, ‘I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection! Paul had noticed that in the Grecian games the men who ran and wrestled were temperate in all things. Now Paul said this is what I will do in running my race. There are some Christians, I fear, who will not do so much for an incorruptible crown as the Grecian racer did for a corruptible one: ‘The children of this world are wiser in their generation than the children of light’ (Luke 16:8). There is too much pampering the body, and then Satan gets the advantage.

There is a third truth I wish you to notice. It is, the reason of Paul’s anxiety and care. ‘Lest that, by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.’ I have told you, brethren, already that Paul had a very clear sight of his conversion, he knew that he was in Christ, and that none could pluck him out of his hand; yet, for all that, Paul was afraid lest he should be a castaway. Paul knew that, though he was a minister, yet, if he gave way to the flesh, if he lived after the flesh, he would be a castaway. He knew that many who seemed Christ’s had yet fallen away. Judas he knew was a castaway. Paul felt that which I have sometimes expressed to you; if he lived after the flesh he would die. Paul knew quite well that there is an indissoluble connection between a wicked life and hell. And, oh! it was this that made him temperate in all things.

At present, I mean to speak to you principally on the meaning of the word, ‘castaway’. At some previous times I have spoken to you on the subject of an eternal hell — on the worm that never dies, and the fire that is never quenched; but there is one part of the subject I have passed over, namely, the mental agonies of hell, and that is a castaway. The word ‘castaway’ is supposed to be taken from workers of metals; you know there is a part of the metal which comes out of the furnace which is called dross, which is of no manner of use and is cast away. The same word is sometimes translated ‘reprobate’. Those of you in this congregation who will be cast away will be found to be but dross, ‘reprobate silver shall men call them’ (Jeremiah 6:30).

I would show you, first, that wicked men will be cast away from Christ.
It is written, ‘Depart from me ye cursed’ (Matthew 25:41) ‘who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power'(2 Thessalonians 1:9). 1 say that those in this congregation who shall be found on that day to be impenitent shall be cast away; they shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord.

Unconverted men in this world are often very near Christ Christ often comes to the door of unconverted men: ‘Behold stand at the door and knock…'(Revelation 3:20). Yea, he some times comes so near that he stretches out his hands. ‘All day long have I stretched out my hands to a disobedient and gain saying people’ (Romans 10:2 1). Yea, I believe that sometimes you feel Christ is near; I believe that sometimes you feel that Christ is knocking on your door.

But oh! it will be a change in that day. Christ will say, depart from me; Christ will no more seek your soul; Christ will no more knock at your door; Christ will no more stretch out his hands all day long to you. You will never hear his voice more calling on you to turn; you will never get one offer more of Christ; you will be cast away. Christ is the way to the Father; but the door will then be shut against you for ever am ever, and the shutting of the door will echo through all the caverns of hell.

The wicked and impenitent in this congregation will be cast away from God.
In one sense the wicked will never be away from God, because God fills heaven, earth and hell. Job says: ‘Hell is naked before him, and destruction hath no covering’ (Job 2 6:6). And it is said in Proverbs 15: 1: ‘Hell and destruction are before the LORD.’ In one sense then, the wicked will never be away from God. It was he that kindled hell. ‘The breath of the LORD, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it’ (Isaiah 10:33). But still, it is true, you will be cast away from God – you will be cast away from the relative enjoyments of God.

Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever. God says to believers, ‘I will be their God, and they shall be my people’ (2 Corinthians 6:16). He said to Abraham, ‘I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward’ (Genesis 15: 1). Asaph sings, ‘God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever’ (Psalm 73:26). Ah! this is the portion of believers; we can look up to heaven, and say, ‘This God is our God, for ever and ever’ (Psalm 48:14). And God said to the Levites, ‘Thou shalt have no inheritance among them, I am thy inheritance’ (Numbers 18:20).

But that will not be the case with those in this congregation who will be cast away. You will be cast away from the fruition of God. The attributes of God will minister no joy to you. It is true, you cannot get far enough away from God now, you could not bear to be left alone with God for five minutes; but, oh! it will be hell for all that, to be separated from him. It will be the hell of hells to be separated from God.

You will not only be cast away from God, but from the favour of God. It is said, ‘In thy favour is life’. Ah! child of God, say what would you sell this favour of God for? Ah! the favour of God can lighten up the pale cheek of the dying saint with seraphic brightness, and can make him rejoice, even on the scaffold and at the stake. But, sinner, you will be cast away from the favour of God, God will send you nothing but the black cloud of his frown for ever and ever.

And you will be cast away from the blessing of God. God makes everything blessed to us. Our friends are blessed to us. Our food and our raiment are blessed by him. But he can make these things minister no blessedness, even though we be in possession of them, and this will be the case with those of you who will be cast away. God will take away all blessedness from you.

I come to show you, brethren, that the wicked will be cast away by the Spirit.
It is the Spirit that is the author of joy in the unconverted, and it is he that keeps them from sin. There are three ways by which God the Spirit keeps wicked men from sin.

He does so by ordinances. He makes them a band on their wickedness. Family worship is a great band on the wicked. The ordinance of the preached word is a great means of keeping men from open acts of wickedness. You have the terror of the law, and the sweet winning invitations of the gospel; these keep you from sin, though they may not save you.

And again, brethren, the Spirit works very much through providence. You may notice that a wicked man would go further into sin, were he not restrained by providence. God brings poverty, so that he is not able to go into those expensive vices that he would otherwise do. And God lays sickness on him, or on his child, which keeps him from sin. Now, these things are all owing to the restraining grace of God.

There is a third way, that is, by convictions. I believe there are none here who have not had some convictions of sin. Now, God makes use of these convictions in order to restrain you; he keeps you back from going into those fearful debaucheries into which you would otherwise fall. But, oh! brethren, do you remember the Scripture? ‘My Spirit shall not always strive with man’ (Genesis 6:3). He is striving with you now; but there is a time coming when he will no more strive with you; it may not be during your life, yet it will be immediately at death.

Ah! my friends, you will have no ordinances in hell; there will be no family worship in hell; there will be no singing praises in hell; there will be no preaching in hell. Some of you are weary of sermons now, but you will have none in hell; and there will be no more providences in hell; there will be no sickness in hell; and there will be no more convictions in hell; the Spirit will not strive with you in hell. Oh then, brethren, what an awful state you will be in, when the Spirit casts you away!

Read the first chapter of Romans, and see what a man becomes when God the Spirit gives him over. Think what your families would become, if the Spirit were to give them over. What a town this would be, if the Spirit were to give it over, what murders, wickedness, etc., would you hear of before tomorrow. I know a godly man in London, who, every morning, thanks God for restraining the wicked, and often at the breakfast table I have heard him say, ‘Where would we have been this morning, if God had not restrained the wicked? ‘But, oh! when you go away from this world, the Spirit will give you over to your own heart’s lusts. Then will you blaspheme God, then will you have no more any fear of losing your character. And oh! that will be misery.

‘It is an evil thing and a bitter to sin against God’ (Jeremiah 2:19). It is not only ‘evil’ but ‘bitter’. ‘The way of transgressors is hard’ (Proverbs 13:15). You say, ‘Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant’ (Proverbs 9:17). But you will find out that sin is the hardest master; it is an evil thing and a bitter. Oh you will find that the very sin you roll beneath your tongue now as a sweet morsel will yet be your curse. The lust of drink and passion will rage within you, and that for ever. All your lusts that are now pent up in that little bosom will burst out like a volcano, and there will be nothing to subdue them. Were there no lake of fire, that would be hell enough.

To be a castaway, is to be cast away from all God’s holy creatures.
Now, the state of wicked men is awful; but there are some pleasant ingredients in the cup. All God’s holy creatures are anxious about you. The angels are anxious about you. If they are present here, it is to watch if a tear fall from your eye or a prayer falter on your lips; and all redeemed men take an interest in you. We know that we were once as you are. David says, ‘Rivers of water run down mine eyes because they keep not thy law’ (Psalm 119:136). And it is the same with God’s children now. I believe there is not a child of God in this place that does not weep for you. And, my brethren, Christ has pity for men and women; and then, ministers pity you, and seek your conversion.

But, oh! how different it will be when the day of grace is over. You will be cast away by the angels, they will pity you no more; they will know that the number of the elect is sealed. The redeemed will no more pity you; they will see you enter into the eternal fire and they will not put up one prayer for you. And ministers will give up pleading for you; when Christ casts you away, we cannot hold you. When he casts you away, you will not have our invitation any more. Ali! brethren, I believe that even the devil will cast you away. Ah! it is true, he gives you now many a sweet word; he says, ‘Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.’ But oh! then the devil himself will not bear your company. You will be cast away even by your friends, if you are beside them in hell, they will cast you from them. Oh! none in heaven or in hell will pity you. This is to be lost, this is to be ‘a castaway’.

I have just one word more, it is the complete misery of the unconverted.
You will be cast away by yourself I believe this is what suicides try to do in this world; they try to cast themselves away from themselves; and therefore it is said of the damned, that they will seek death but it will flee from them.

You know, dear friends that unconverted men are often very complacent in this world. Your money gives you a great deal of pleasure; and your friends and acquaintances give you pleasure. But ah! that will not always be the case; there is a day coming when every unconverted man in this congregation would rid himself of himself if he could.

You will then understand that the law of God is unalterable; you will then understand that God and you are enemies. Your understanding will be torment to you. You will eternally hate what God loves; and eternally love what God hates. And then your conscience will be like a hungry lioness in that day. God’s vicegerent in the soul will cry out, and will not be quiet.

And, oh! my brethren, your affections that are now so pleasant to you, they will be your torment. I believe that even hell will not take affection out of your heart; but ah! that will be your torment. Often you hear a wicked man say, ‘I am a good father, I love my children’; but ah! if they are in hell, it will be your torment that you brought them there; or if they are in heaven, it will be your torment that they will have no pity for you.

And, brethren, your memory that is now so sweet to you, will be the worst of all. You will remember your scenes of sin, you will remember your misspent Sabbath, you will remember your lying lips, you will remember your minister’s voice warning and entreating you to be saved. Memory will sting like an adder.

Oh brethren, I believe you will loathe yourselves. You would try to tear that memory out of your bosom if it were possible. Oh! you will exclaim, ‘Would that that whole soul would go out of being!’This is to be lost. You will be cast away by God. You will be cast away by Christ. You will be cast away by the Spirit. You will be cast away by all God’s holy creatures, You will be cast away by devils. You will be cast away by yourself.

And now, my brethren, I would apply this to yourselves.

Those of you who are godly, learn to be as earnest as Paul was to keep under the body and bring it into subjection.

And those of you who are ungodly — those of you who are ungodly men under my ministry – oh! if I had a voice that could reach your inmost soul, I would use it. You think I am exaggerating this; but ah! you little know. ‘Who can endure the power of thy wrath?’ I have not mentioned the furnace of fire; I have not spoken of God raining snares, fire and brimstone on the wicked; but, ah! if there were no bodily agonies, what will the mental agonies of hell be? But oh! when these two meet, what will it be? Oh! what will it be to have all the wrath of God poured out on your soul and body, and yet never to annihilate you? Ah! then you will know what it is to be a castaway. Oh if you would not be a castaway, cleave close to God!

Finally, dear brothers and sisters, learn from this the love of Christ to you and me. He bore all that is contained in being a castaway, in order that we might be saved. Ah! poor sinner, Jesus is willing to rescue you. Many of you are old, many of you will die before the year is done. Come, then, to Christ, for oh! soon it will be too late! Soon the door will be shut for ever.

May God bless his own Word. Amen.
Sabbath Forenoon. — 15th January, 1842

Too often Christians have communicated a “gospel” that is really no gospel at all

At churchleaders.com Greg Stier  talks about rebranding evangelism, using Jesus’s model of evangelism. Two things stick out in his essay:

  1. In his point #3 titled „The gospel is ultimately a love story, not hate speech” he writes a very eloquent description of how God and Jesus got down and dirty in order to create and to save man: „God kneels in the mud to breathe into Adam’s nostrils the breath of life. The first thing Adam sees when he awakens is the smiling, muddy face of his Creator. God then performs surgery on Adam and transforms his rib into his bride. God got muddy and bloody to make Adam and Eve. Then humanity rebelled and broke God’s heart while severing the relationship. But Jesus, the lover of our souls, would not be dissuaded. He got dirty again to come to this Earth and be born in a food trough for smelly barn animals. He got bloody again, but this time it was his own blood, not Adam’s. Jesus died to restore the shattered relationship. This love story is one of romance (walking in the garden hand in hand in the cool of the day), break ups (getting expelled from the garden), sacrifice, surrender and, of course, the ultimate “and they lived happily ever after.”
  2. In his point #4 he states: The goal of Biblical evangelism is to engage the lost, not enrage them.

And finally:

The rebranding of evangelism needs to happen because too often Christians have communicated a “gospel” that is really no gospel at all (See Galatians 1:6-9.) It’s been more about what we are against than who is for us (Romans 8:31-38.) It’s been more about rules than the possibility of a restored relationship through faith in Jesus Christ (Titus 3:5.

Here are the verses used in the paragraph above:

Galatians 1:6-9

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!

Romans 8:31-38

 31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:   “For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,

Titus 3:5

5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit

Josh Williamson back preaching in Scotland, even though he was arrested for preaching on the streets in September

Josh Williamson in Scotland – Photo credit https://gallery.mailchimp.com

The suicide rate among the people of Glasgow is too high. Each day people are drowning in depression. But there is hope!
In this message Rev. Williamson explains the only hope for humanity.
For more information visit: http://www.joshwilliamson.org/ & http://www.operation513.com/

VIDEO Published on Jan 15, 2014 by Josh Williamson

Hope for Glasgow

See the previous stories on street preaching here:

The story of the 5 missionaries speared to death on January 8, 1956 on a beach in Ecuador – Cei 5 missionari care au fost omorati cant au aterizat pe o plaja in Ecuador in 8 Ianuarie 1956

Jim Elliot: He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep
to gain what he cannot lose. 
– Jim Elliot, 1949

A beautifully crafted documentary about five young missionaries who were martyred by a savage tribe of Indians in the mid 1950s and the heroic effort of reconciliation that has followed.

The killing of five missionaries in the Amazon jungle captured the attention of a nation and prompted one of the widows to write the best-selling Through Gates of Splendor. But what would remain untold for a half a century is the incredible response to these deaths. Beyond the Gates of Splendor, a stirring documentary by director Jim Hanon and producer Mart Green, brings this story to life. The film traces friendships forming on a Midwest college campus, young families venturing out to the South American mission field, and the heartbreak of a bloody beach in Ecuador. Five lives taken by the most violent tribe on earth. The tragedy compels several of the women to risk their lives, and those of their children, to live alongside their husbands’ killers. Through the example of these brave women, a brutal, warring culture is transformed, murderers become healers, and what was once known as the cradle of darkness becomes a community of light and hope.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Related articles

VIDEO by RedeemersChurchMedia

Cei 5 misionari omorati in 1956 Photo creditmissaofederal.blogspot.com

Cei 5 misionari care au fost omorati pe o plaja in Ecuador, in 8 Ianuarie 1956, de un trib de Indieni Auca Ecuadoriani. Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, Roger Youderian, Pete Felming si Ed McCully- barbati tineri si martiri care au trait versetul din Romani 14:8- Căci dacă trăim, pentru Domnul trăim; şi dacă murim, pentru Domnul murim. Deci, fie că trăim, fie că murim, noi sîntem ai Domnului.

ROMANIAN

Puteti sa vizionati documentarul cu subtitrare in Limba Romana aici.(Notita ed.: la mine nu apare playerul, dar am verificat cu cineva din Romania si lui ii apare playerul, s-ar putea ca doar din Romania sa se poate viziona filmul. Multumiri lui Ionut care a furnizat linkul).

Jim Elliot ( 8 octombrie 1927 – 8 ianuarie 1956)  

►Philip James ( ”Jim”) Elliot a fost un misionar-martir al zilelor noastre, a carui moarte in 1956,impreuna cu alti patru tineri, a zguduit lumea crestina. Plecasera in Ecuador, la un trib de oameni cruzi, ce traiau inca in epoca de piatra, dar care aveau nevoie de Evanghelia lui Hristos.

J.Elliot s-a nascut in Portland,regiunea orasului Ontario, fiind fiul lui Fred si Clara Elliot. Fred a fost patrimoniul scotian, iar parintii lui au fost primii care au gasit solutia sa se mute in America de Nord. Parintii Clarei s-au mutat la randul lor din Elvetia la est de Washington,unde s-au ocupat de administrarea unei ferme mari. S-au intalnit la Portland, unde Clara a studiat medicina – sectia ”chiropractica” (stiinta si arta restaurarii si mentinerii sanatatii bazata pe teoria ca boala este produsa de interferenta cu functiilor nervilor), iar Fred se dedica slujirii crestine,era predicator la o biserica baptista. Biserica a fost locul predestinat intalnirii lor. Dupa doi ani de corespondenta ei s-au casatori in 1918Robert, primul lor copil, s-a nascut in 1921, in timp ce patru ani au locuit in Seattle. In anul urmator s-au mutat in Portaland, Oregon, unde s-au nascut ceilalti trei copii: Herbet (1924), Jim(1927) si Jane (1923). Copii familiei Elliot au mers la biserica si la Scoala Duminicala de la varsta de sase saptamani, tatal lor le citea zilnic copiilor sai din Scriptura. Jim avea doar sase ani si profesa credinta in Isus,a inceput sa impartaseasca micilor sai prieteni ceea ce credea el despre mantuire.

In 1941, intrand la Liceul politehnic Benson, Jim si-a ales ca specialitate desenul tehnic. Acolo el a participat la numeroase activitati, inclusiv ziarul scolii, urmand chiar o cariera in teatru. La sfarsitul liceului ,cu ocazia mortii presedintelui Roosevelt,” a avut la dispozitie doar cateva ceasuri sa-ti pregateasca un mic discurs pentru intrunirea care urma sa aiba loc in acea dupa-amiaza. Meditatorul sau comenta: ”A tinut cel mai frumos discurs pe care l-am auzit la un elev- de fapt, unul dintre cele mai frumoase pe care le-am auzit vreodata”. (Ellisabeth Elliot, Umbra Celui Atotputernic , paj.33)

Dick Fisher, colegul lui Jim , era cel mai bun prieten al lui Jim. El relata astfel despre bunul sau prieten:”Eu eram inalt si slab.Jim era ceva mai scund, dar bine facut, avea par saten, infatisare aspra, fetele intorceau capul dupa el. Ceea ce-mi placea cel mai mult la el era mintea lui ascutita. Prindea totul din zbor si intelegea orice explicatii cu multa usurinta, in vreme ce eu eram inapoia lui cu mult. Imi explica totul in cuvinte cat se poate se simple…” (Ellisabeth Elliot, Umbra Celui Atotputernic , paj. 33-34)

Un alt coleg de liceu, Wayne McCroskey, povesteste cum presedintele consiliului liceului, care il cunostea destul de bine pe Jim si, fiind la curent cu influenta sa asupra elevilor, ii impuse lui Jim sa mearga la o seara de dans. Din cauza refuzului lui Jim, presedintele consiliului liceului se cam pierdu cu firea. Jim si Wayne erau membri ai clubului de discutii publice, al carui cod prevedea ca neindeplinirea unei sarcini sa fie penalizata cu excluderea din club.Presedintele clubului le-a cerut sa tina un discurs, dar,invitat sa ia cuvantul, Jim a raspuns ca nu avea nimic de spus. Presedintele se impacienta, ingrijorat, caci Jim era coloana vertebrala a clubului. Jim le facu cunoscuta pozitia sa, asa cum o intelegea el din Biblie –” un urmas al lui Isus nu se putea implica in razboi sau in politica.” .Problema celui de-al doilea razboi mondial a fost o neintelegere pe care a discutat-o indelung cu colegii si profesorii si, bineinteles, puntele sale de vedere i-au scazut popularitatea. La o intrunire la scoala a invitat un tanar chinez, Mun Hope. Acest tanar a tinut o predica minunata depre pacat si judecata, in fata intregii scoli. Cu toate acestea lui Jim i s-a acordat functia de vicepresedinte al clasei pentru anul de seniori.

In 1945, Jim Elliot la Colegiul Wheatonun colegiu privat crestin din Illinois, acceptand si disciplina pe care acest lucru o implica, aici alaturandu-se si unei echipe de lupte in timpul celui primul an de studiu. Anul urmator el a refuzat o pozitie din cadrul colegiului, care i-a dat un an liber de scolarizare, dar, de asemenea, un angajament de timp semnificativ si ceea ce el considera prostesc responsabilitatii. El nu a fost chiar complet convins de valoarea studiilor sale, avand in vedere subiecte filozofice, politice si antropologie, ceea ce puteau fi distrageri in ceea ce priveste devotarea deplina pentru Dumnezeu. Dupa un semestru de note relativ scazute, a scris parintilor lor ca mai important este studiul Bibliei. In urmatorii ani, interesul lui Elliot era activitatea lui de misionar. S-a specializat in limba greaca, deoarece credea ca acest lucru ar fi de ajutor pe campul de misiune cand el avea de tradus Biblia in alta limba. Desi parintii lui ar fi doril ca el sa ramana in America, au inteles ca Jim avea un dar special,acela de-a transmite Evanghelia si celor care nu au auzit de Dumnezeu. Pentru a-si pastra corpul puternic pe campul de misiune a intrat intr-o eghipa de lupte. (Mai jos, stanga, una dintre pozele gasite in apartul de fotografiat al misionarilor)

In vara anului 1947, mergand in Mexic impreuna cu un prieten din facultate, Ron Harris, ai carui parinti erau misionari acolo, Jim a stat la familia Harris sase saptamani, unde a inceput sa invete spaniola. Aproape la sfarsitul sederii sale in Mexic, arugat la vorbeasca la o intalnire cu copii. S-a incumetat sa le vorbeasca fara translator, desi incepuse sa studieze spaniola doar cu o luna in urma.

Jim Elliot credea ca relatiile romantice distrag adesea oamenii care urmaresc Voia lui Dumnezeu, el a devenit interesat de una din colegele lui, Ellisabeth Howard, care a fost de-asemenea sora unui coleg de camera( David Howard) . El a profitat de oportunitati de a-i cunaste bine familia. Intre cei doi s-a legat o stransa legatura de durata. Dupa finalizarea studiilor la lingvistice, J. Elliot si-a facut pasaport si a inceput sa-si faca planuri cu prietenul sau Bill Chaters sa plece in Ecuador in misiune. Cu toate acestea, doua luni mai tarziu, Chaters il anunta pe Jim ca si-a planificat sa se casatoreasca, facand imposibil sa-l insoteasca pe Jim in Ecuador.

La sfarsitul anului 1951, Jim l-a intalnit pe Pete Fleming, un absolvent de la Universitatea din Washington, cu o diploma de filozofie. El a fost convins ca va putea fi insotitorul lui Jim pentru misiunea din Ecuador. Intre timp, Jim si-a vizita prietenii, inclusiv si pe Ellisabeth, ca mai apoi sa se pregateasca sa paraseasca tara. Elliot si Fleming au sosit in Ecuador pe 21 februarie 1952, cu scopul de a evangheliza indienilor din Quito.

Pe data de 8 octombrie 1953cei doi misionari Jim si Ellisabeth(Bety) s-au casatorit. Nunta lor a fost simpla ceremonie civila, care a avut loc in Quito. Prietenii lor misionari au fost singurii martori ai nuntii lor. Cuplul a avut o scurta luna de miere la Panama si Costa Rica, apoi au revenit in Ecuador. La scurt timp a venit pe lume o fetita, Valerie Elliot, pe data de 27 februarie 1955.

J. Elliot si alti patru misionari- Ed McCully, Roger Youderian, Pete Fleming si pilotul lor, Nate Sain– zboara cu un avion,folosind un difuzor si un cos pentru a trece in jos cadouri. Dupa cateva luni au hotarat sa construiasca o baza la o scurta distanta de satul indian, de-a lungul raului Curaray pentru ai satisface pe un trib de indieni Auca (trib de indieni ”agresiv”,de-aici si numele de ”Auca”). Ei au fost constienti de pericolul la care s-au impus si si-au luat masuri practice de aparare. Pe plaja si-au construit o casa in copac pentru adapost si sa-si detina produsele consumabile. Cateva zile in urma, indieni Auca, un barbat si o femeie au iesit din jungla peste rau. Misionarii i-au zambit si i-au dat cadouri si incercau sa fie induratori cu ei. Data viitoare cand au luat un indian Auca, poreclit ”George” (numele leu real eraNaenkiwi) cu ei in avion, au zburat peste satul lui, iar tanarul indian le facea cu mana indienilor lui si radea. Incurajati de aceste intalniri prietenoase, au inceput sa viziteze Huaorani, fara sa stie ca Naenkiwi a mintit la altii despre intentiile misionarilor. Planul lui au fost de a-si intruni un grup mare de aproximativ 10 razboinici Huaorani sa-l ucida pe Elliot pe insotitorii lui.

Eforturile celor cinci misionari au ajuns la capat, din pacate, pe data de 8 ianuarie 1956, cand tribul Auca i-au invadat. Moartea lor a fost transmisa in intreaga lume, iar revista ”Life” relata evenimente exacte despre tragedia aceasta.

Dupa decesul sotului ei, Ellisabeth Elliot (1926-1973) si celelalte sotii ramase vaduve a prietenilor lui Jim, a inceput sa lucreze printre Huaroani, unde au continuat munca de evanghelizare. Ea a publicat mai tarziu doua carti: ”The life and the testament of Jim Elliot”  si Thought Gates of Splendor”, care descriu viata si moartea sotului ei.

Biografia de la ResurseCrestine.ro Pozele de la sharonscrapbook.blogspot.com

‪The Forbidden Book – „History of the English Bible”

A 1777 Philadelphia edition of the English Bible – photo source here

Discover the fascinating story behind the preservation of the Bible, the best selling book of all times.

During the Dark Ages, superstition and ignorance controlled the minds of the masses.A few brave men obeyed God and brought the Scriptures to the world…..historical figures responsible for bringing us the Bible as we know and love it today: Wycliffe, Hus, Gutenberg, Colet, Erasmus, Tyndale, Luther and so on.

John Wycliffe, the brilliant 14th century Oxford scholar, translated the Bible from Latin into English in order to enlighten the masses oppressed through ignorance. His work was so despised by the established church, that Pope Martin the Fifth ordered Wycliffe’s bones to be dug up and burned forty years after his death.
Martin Luther was one of the few who challenged church authority in the 16th century and lived to tell the tale. In exposing the folly of indulgences (paying money to the church in order to obtain favor with God), he revealed what had always been written in Scripture, that justification was through faith and faith alone.
William Tyndale was not spared like his friend Luther. Tyndale spent the last 500 days of his life in a cold castle dungeon. He was then tied to a stake, strangled, and burned. His crime?.. printing Bibles in the English language!

This one-hour documentary takes us on a fascinating journey through time. It was shot all across Europe and shows all the important places of Christian history. Here you will learn how God’s Word was originally scribed and discovered and how the Word was preserved through the 1,000 year period of the Dark and Middle Ages. It will also enlighten you how the King James version was created.

There are many amazing facts worked into the presentation. Dr. Lampe shows a scroll that is 1000 years old, and tells the viewer that it is word-for-word the same as the text of the Dead Sea Scrolls that were written a full millennium before.

Being reminded of the blood that was shed to bring the Bible to common folk like us will make us consider just how flippantly we treat the Scriptures. It will make us truly realize how privileged our generation is to have not just one Bible but an entire stack of them in many outstanding translations. It will make us thank God for the faithful men and women who gave their lives that we can have unlimited access to His Word.

See also these other great links (some containing videos) 

VIDEO by abramski2

‪Lamp In The Dark:Untold History of the Bible ~ Full Documentary‬‏

Throughout the Middle Ages, the Papal Inquisition forbade biblical translation, threatening imprisonment and death to those who disobeyed. Learn the stories of valiant warriors of the faith, such as John Wycliffe, William Tyndale, Martin Luther, the ancient Waldenses, Albigenses and others who hazarded their lives for the sake of sharing the Gospel light with a world drowning in darkness.

Once the common people were able to read the Bible, the world was turned upside down through the Protestant Reformation. The Reformers subdued whole kingdoms by preaching the grace of God, and exposing the unbiblical doctrines of Rome. In response, the Vatican would launch a Counter Reformation to destroy the work of the Reformers, including the bibles they produced.

VIDEO by amy2x

 

Forbidden Peace: Can a Palestinian forgive an Israeli?

An Israeli soldier buys from Palestinian child...

What would make a Palestinian man, who hated Jews with a passion, embrace a former Israeli soldier as his brother? Why would an Israeli woman, whose son was brutally attacked, look at his assailants with forgiveness in her eyes?

How is it possible that in one of the world’s most volatile regions, a small group of Israeli and Palestinian children play together, unaware that they should be enemies?

VIDEOS by ekai92

The kind of preaching that encourages you to sin

This post by Jared C. Wilson, over at the Gospel Coalition is meant to be read by pastors/preachers. But, I always like to read articles like this from the listener’s perspective- myself. So, please read on, even if you are not a preacher/pastor. I have included each of Jared’s points, but you will have to click on the post to see the explanation for each one:

  1. Preaching even a “positive” practical message with no gospel-centrality amounts to preaching the law.
  2. The message of the law unaccompanied by and untethered from the central message of the gospel condemns us.
  3. Therefore, a steady dose of gospel-deficient practical preaching doesn’t make Christians more empowered, more effective, but more discouraged, less empowered.
  4. The Bible goes further to suggest, actually, that without the gospel of Christ’s finished work, the preaching of the law of works serves to exacerbate disobedience.
  5.  The law brings death
  6. The preaching of Christless, gospel-deficient practical sermons increases self-righteousness.

Read the entire article over at the Gospel Coalition (Photo credit thegospelcoalition.org)

Paul Washer – Are you saved? Ce este Mantuirea? (Predica substrata)

Că trebuie să fugi de mânia viitoare Să fugi de Legea lui Moise, care te condamnă în cetatea de scăpare care este Isus Hristos, Domnul nostru. – Paul Washer

Ce este Mantuirea? (2 min)

Paul washerIn acest moment, Dumnezeu porunceste tuturor oamenilor sa se pocaiasca si sa creada, caci astazi este ziua mantuirii, ca trebuie sa fugi de mania viitoare, sa fugi de legea lui Moise, care te condamna, in cetatea de scapare care este Isus Hristos, Domnul nostru. Fugi spre El. Pocainta inseamna pur si simplu sa renunti, sa renunti a mai lupta impotriva lui Dumnezeu si sa incetezi sa mai incerci sa-ti castigi propria mantuire prin faptele tale si literalmente sa renunti si sa te arunci in bratele Domnului Isus. Aceasta este mantuirea.

Asa incat sa poti spune: „Nimic n-aduc in mainile mele, doar de cruce ma agat.” Si cand acea samanta creste in tine pana in punctul in care stii ca starea ta inaintea lui Dumnezeu este 100% bazata si fondata pe lucrarea desavarsita si meritul lui Isus Hristos. Atunci vei sta inaintea Lui cu incredere, stiind ca toate pacatele tale au fost ispasite si ca esti neprihanit in Hristos. Vino la El!

Vino la Hristos! Vino la El cu nimic in mainile tale. E timpul sa renunti la tine.

VIDEO by ibhglobal

Ce este Evanghelia? (73 min)

Paul Washer mărturisește despre adevărata evanghelie biblică a lui Isus Hristos și predică despre faptul că Hristos este singura cale spre cer, și nu există nicio altă cale.

Citeste predica aici

View this document on Scribd

Darrell Bock – How to Build Relationships with Muslims and Life as a Woman in the Context of Islam

Middle-East-mapVIDEOS by dallasseminary

Dr. Darrell Bock and „Miriam” discuss life in the context of Islam, focusing on her spiritual journey from Islam to Christianity. Miriam’s voice is digitally rearranged in order to protect her identity.

Growing up in the Middle East

01:56 Miriam shares what it was like growing up in the Middle East
07:55 How Muslims view the days of the week
12:55 American stereotypes of Muslims
14:28 The kinds of Muslims around the world
16:30 Life in the United States vs. life in the Middle East
19:16 Contrasting religious Muslims and secular Muslims

How to Build Relationships with Muslims

00:12 Identity and religion in the Middle East
02:30 Different branches of Islam
04:32 Honesty and terrorism in Islam
11:05 Miriam’s spiritual journey from Islam to Christianity
16:39 Miriam’s ministry to Muslims in the United States
17:18 Advice on interacting with Muslim people

Life as a Woman in the Context of Islam

 

Russia: Sharing the Gospel in the Dangerous Islamic South

PHOTO via www.barenakedislam.com
Islam in Russia – Islam is the second most widely professed religion in the Russian Federation. Islam is considered as one of Russia’s traditional religions, legally a part of Russian historical heritage. According to a poll by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center, 6% of respondents considered themselves Muslims. According to Reuters, Muslim minorities make up a seventh (14%) of Russia’s population. Muslims constitute the nationalities in the North Caucasus residing between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea: Adyghe,Balkars, Chechens, Ingush, Kabardin, Karachay, and numerous Dagestani peoples. Also, in the middle of the Volga Basin reside populations of Tatars and Bashkirs, the vast majority of whom are Muslims. There are over 5,000 registered religious Muslim organizations (divided into Sunni, Shia and Sufi groups), which is over one sixth of the number of registered Russian Orthodox religious organizations of about 29,268 (As of December 2006) (Wikipedia)

Chechnya, Dagestan, and North Caucasus are places most people have probably never heard of before April’s Boston Marathon bombings. The two brothers suspected of carrying out the attacks lived in this violent area of Russia before moving to the United States. It’s in these dangerous places where a handful of Christians are sharing the Gospel at great risk to themselves and their families and bringing the hope of Christ to these violent regions.

From Christian World News VIDEO by VOM C

The Makings of a Christian Marriage

A Study By: Bob Deffinbaugh excerpted from bible.org. Click here to read the entire article. Although somewhat lengthy, it is worth the time to read these Godly principles and apply them to our marriage. May God strengthen your marriage as you read and trust in Him! One thing that stands out to me in this study is the following phrase:

We should not assume God is more glorified by a “successful” and “happy” marriage than by one fraught with difficulties. As Paul points out in Ephesians 5, a marriage in which the husband and wife play out their respective roles obediently portrays the relationship between Christ and His bride, the church.

That is a very comforting and uplifting thought! It is a truth worth holding on to when our marriages are on trial.

Introduction

Our culture shapes our thinking and conduct regarding marriage to an incredible degree…

Culture does play a very significant role in our attitudes and actions regarding marriage. The Christian must not be shaped by his culture, but by the cross of Christ, the Word of God, and the Spirit of God:

Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts, which wage war against the soul (1 Peter 2:11; see also Romans 12:1-2; Ephesians 4:17-24).

When the Christian comes to marriage then, we dare not allow the world (our culture) to shape our thinking, our attitudes, or our actions. The purpose of this message is to consider Christian marriage primarily in light of the teaching of Peter in his first epistle.

A Definition of a Christian Marriage

A Christian marriage is one in which at least one partner is a believer in Christ, who embraces the attitudes and actions prescribed by the Scriptures in their relationship with their mate.

We generally think of a Christian marriage114 as one in which both the husband and the wife115 are believers in Christ. While this is certainly the ideal, it is not always so.116 A Christian marriage is one in which Christ is manifested through the marriage relationship by at least one of the partners. Peter’s words to wives in 3:1-6 implies that a believing wife may manifest Christ while married to an unbeliever. Who would dare call this marriage something less than “Christian?”

It is not enough for one who is married to be a Christian. He or she must also think and act in a Christian manner. The Christian’s attitudes and actions must flow from the Scriptures. A Christian marriage is not governed by the same principles which guide and govern a secular marriage. The Christian life, including the relationship of marriage, is a supernatural life. A Christian marriage does not just happen naturally; it happens unnaturally, supernaturally, as we obey the Scriptures and individually depend upon the grace of God. Christian marriage is based upon a God-given faith, hope, and love, which only the true believer possesses.

I have often heard Christians say the principles for successful relationships apply as much to unbelievers as they do to believers. If one believes this, then it matters not whether the one who goes to a “Christian counselor” is a Christian or not; they simply need to be given the right principles. The Scriptures simply do not bear this out. Rather, the Scriptures inform us that when one comes to Christ, he or she becomes a “new creation,” old things have passed away and all things have become new (2 Corinthians 5:17). Peter also speaks of a radical change which takes place when one comes from darkness to light:

13 Therefore, gird your minds for action, keep sober [in spirit,] fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts [which were yours] in your ignorance, 15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all [your] behavior; 16 because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.” 17 And if you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each man’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay [upon earth]; 18 knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, [the blood] of Christ. 20 For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you 21 who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. 22 Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, [that is,] through the living and abiding word of God (1 Peter 1:13-23; see also 4:1-6).

Only a believer can live the way Peter instructs us to live. We can now be holy as God is holy because we are in Christ. We can fix our hope on the glory to be revealed at the return of our Lord because we have trusted in Him for salvation. We can love one another fervently because our souls have been purified in obedience to the truth.

Paul agrees, making it clear that it is impossible for an unbeliever to do those things which the Christian is commanded to do:

5 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, 7 because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able [to do so]; 8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. 10 And if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you. 12 So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh—13 for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8:5-15).

The unbeliever sets his mind on the things of the flesh, not the things of the Spirit. As an unbeliever, he is hostile toward God and will not subject himself to God. An unbeliever cannot please God because they are only in the flesh. The Christian, however, has the Holy Spirit dwelling within him. The One who raised the dead body of the Lord Jesus to life is the One who can also make us alive to do what God requires.

In theory it is true—if he or she could and would follow biblical principles, the unbeliever would reap the benefits of doing so. The problem is that the unbeliever hates God, hates His commandments and instructions, and because he is ensnared by Satan and his own flesh, he cannot do what is pleasing to God. The biblical principles and commands we are about to enumerate are those which only a Christian can apply, in the power of God, to the glory of God, and to his or her own eternal benefit.

Having set down this preliminary definition of a Christian marriage, we will seek to articulate the values, goals, expectations, priorities and principles which are distinctly Christian.

Biblical Expectations for Marriage

 There is no such thing as “heaven on earth.” Heaven, as it were, will come down to the earth at the return of our Lord (see Revelation 21-22). But the New Testament writers give us no indication that the believer can and will experience heaven on earth. In short, Christ and the apostles speak of suffering now and glory later (Mark 10:29-30; Luke 9:21-26; 24:26; John 15:18-20; 16:33; Acts 14:22; 2 Corinthians 4 and 5; 1 Thessalonians 2:10-16; 3:3; 2 Thessalonians 1:3-10; 2 Timothy 1:12; 2:12; 3:12; 4:1-8; James 5:8-11). Peter constantly emphasizes our present suffering and our future hope of glory (1 Peter 1:6-7, 13; 4:12-19; 5:4, 10). Peter’s words to citizens (2:13-17), to servants (2:18-25), to wives and husbands (3:1-7) indicate that no matter what our station in life, we will not experience the bliss of heaven until we pass from this life into the glory of Christ’s kingdom.

Godliness does not insure marital bliss. Most conservative, evangelical Christians recognize the error of what has been called the “health and wealth gospel,” “name it and claim it Christianity,” or the “prosperity gospel.” We would be especially critical of the “prosperity gospel” which promises people that God wants them to be rich and all they have to do is to follow a few rules. As this works itself out through the prosperity televangelists, viewers are urged to send in their donations, assured of receiving God’s manifold financial blessings in return. We rightly recognize this not only as untrue, but “hucksterism” at its worst.

We are inconsistent, however. Many who reject one form of the prosperity gospel believe it in another form. For example, how many parents believe that if they raise up their children in accordance with biblically prescribed principles they may be assured of having godly children in the end? How many Christians believe the “key to marital happiness” is simply to follow the manual? I am afraid we sincerely, but wrongly, assume that following divine principles assures us of experiencing marital bliss. This is simply neither biblical nor true.

For several reasons, we dare not presume that God is obligated to “bless” our marriage with happiness if we but “follow the rules.”

First, these presumptions are contrary to the principle of grace. It is a mechanical and legalistic viewpoint which believes that every good we do receives a good in return in this life. The Pharisees held this view and thus believed a person’s spirituality was measured by his earthly prosperity and ease. If one were poor, he must be a sinner. If one were sick, he must have done something wrong (see John 9:1-2). Spirituality could be measured by outward evidences of prosperity (see Luke 16:15). If we really believe this, we do not believe in grace. The grace by which we are saved and sanctified, the grace by which we live, does not work this way. Grace is the principle whereby God pours out blessings on men who do not deserve them. We would not want God’s blessings to come to us any other way. Marital bliss is not guaranteed, and most certainly not on the basis of our faithfully following a system of rules or principles.

Second, these presumptions ignore the fact that we live in a fallen world. Marriage existed before sin came upon the human race. It was Satan who attacked mankind through marriage. When God declared the consequences of sin, He did so in terms of marriage (see Genesis 3). We should not expect our marriage to somehow be exempt from the consequences of the fall of man. We should expect sin to adversely affect marriage as it does everything else (see Romans 8:18-25).

Peter therefore assumes that even when a Christian wife lives with an unbelieving husband, there will be suffering (1 Peter 3:1-6). More than this, Peter assumes that when a Christian husband and wife are living together, there will still be sin and suffering (1 Peter 3:7).

Third, living godly may produce an adverse reaction from others rather than a favorable response(see 1 Peter 2:7-12; 4:1-6).

Fourth, suffering is a part of the process by which God proves and purifies our faith, for our good and His glory (1 Peter 1:6-9; 2:18-25; see also Job, Psalm 73; Romans 5:1-11; James 1:2-4).

Our expectations of marriage must not be based on the attitudes and actions God requires of our mate. It is true that the husband should “live with his wife according to knowledge, granting her honor as the weaker vessel and as a co-heir of the grace of life” (3:7). But it is wrong for the wife to expect or even demand that her husband live this way. She should certainly hope and pray that he will. The requirements God makes of one mate are not found on the check-list of the other. The wife should strive, by God’s grace, to fulfill that which God requires of her, just as the husband should endeavor, by God’s grace, to be the kind of husband God requires of him. Neither the wife nor the husband should dare make their obedience to God’s instructions conditional on their mate fulfilling his or her biblical obligations. Peter’s instructions to married couples assume they will not.

A Biblical Goal for Marriage

Our expectations are closely linked with our goals. We set goals for those things we desire, which we believe are attainable. The Christian’s ultimate goal should not be to have a “good” marriage, but to be godly in his or her marriage. A godly marriage is one in which at least one partner exhibits Christ in the marriage, to the glory of God. The Lord Jesus came as the Suffering Servant and thus became the model for both wives and husbands (as for every other saint). By human standards, our Lord’s ministry was not successful. But by divine standards, His sacrifice was not only for the glory of God but for the good of all those who would call upon Him for salvation. A godly marriage displays the excellencies of God to a lost world (1 Peter 2:9), resulting in glory and praise to Him (2:11). It also provides an opportunity for a living witness to the grace and glory of God and the possibility of salvation for those who are lost (3:1). Our goal for marriage should not be the fulfilling of our sensual appetites, but obedience and victory over lust. Our goal should not be happiness, but holiness:

14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts [which were yours] in your ignorance, 15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all [your] behavior; 16 because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY” (1 Peter 1:14-16).

Biblical Assumptions and Marriage

We should not assume God is more glorified by a “successful” and “happy” marriage than by one fraught with difficulties. As Paul points out in Ephesians 5, a marriage in which the husband and wife play out their respective roles obediently portrays the relationship between Christ and His bride, the church.

Peter’s emphasis, however, is somewhat different. Peter’s first epistle dealt with the problem of suffering. He taught that when we suffer unjustly and righteously as a citizen, as a slave, or as a husband or wife, we imitate Christ, the Suffering Servant. Christ submitted to earthly authorities at His expense and for our salvation (2:21-25).

It is Satan who believes that men only worship and serve God when they are the recipients of His blessings. He was convinced that when suffering came into their lives, they would deny God (see Job 1:9-11). Peter came to understand that suffering purifies our faith and results in praise and glory and honor to God as well as divine blessing for us (see 1 Peter 1:6-7). Steadfast faith in the midst of suffering glorifies God in a way which is not possible in the midst of prosperity. Job learned this lesson long ago, and Peter later embraced it as well.

We should not assume we are more spiritually blessed by a happy and trouble-free marriage than by one characterized by trials and tribulation. Our ultimate good in this life is not our happiness, but our holiness (1:15). Suffering often contributes more to our holiness than our “happiness” does (see 1 Peter 1:6-9; also Romans 5:1-11; 8:1ff.; see also Job and Psalm 73).

The world believes happiness is the good we should pursue, and that suffering is the evil we should seek to avoid. The Christian believes godliness is the good we should pursue, and that earthly suffering is the price we should willingly pay for godliness and future glory.

Biblical Priorities and Marriage

Peter learned from our Lord that marriage is a temporary and temporal relationship, not an eternal union (Matthew 22:30). He also learned that marriage, family, and earthly relationships should be subordinate to our relationship to God (Matthew 10:34-39; Luke 14:25-35). Many in Christian circles teach that while our devotion to Christ may come before our love for family, our family has priority over our ministry. It is indeed difficult to divide between our relationship with God and our service for Him.

The place of our family in our priorities is difficult because of errors at both extremes. Some seem to inundate themselves in ministry to avoid their family responsibilities. These people are really sluggards, not saints.117 Conversely, some use their family as a pretext for avoiding their spiritual obligations (see Luke 9:57-62). The subtle sin here is that in ostensibly making sacrifices to serve our family we are actually serving ourselves, for our life is tied up with our family. It is not surprising that in those texts in which Jesus called for His disciples to forsake (literally “hate”) their family as their first priority, He spoke of them “giving up their life” as well (see Matthew 10:39; Luke 14:26). Our commitment to Christ must come before all other commitments lest our devotion to Him be diminished (see 1 Corinthians 7:25-35).

Peter makes it clear that the eternal and precious takes precedence over the merely temporal (1 Peter 1:7, 13, 18-21, 23-25; 3:7) and that what brings glory to God takes precedence over what seems good to men (see 1:6-7; 2:12; 4:11-16; 5:1,4,10). Happiness is to be subordinate to holiness, and fleshly pleasures are to be subordinate to eternal blessings (1:1:13-16).

Paul speaks to the Corinthians about their preoccupation with fulfilling their personal physical appetites rather than obedience to God. In so doing, he points to the failure of the ancient Israelites (1 Corinthians 9-10). Jesus indicated to Satan that man does not live by bread alone, but rather by obedience to the Word of God (Matthew 4:4). Peter exhorts us to do likewise:

As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts [which were yours] in your ignorance (1 Peter 1:14).

Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts, which wage war against the soul (1 Peter 2:11).

Later, in his second epistle, Peter will warn his readers about those false teachers who will seek to entice them by appealing to their fleshly desires (2 Peter 2:1-22).

Biblical Principles and Marriage

Contrary to many “marriage manuals” and seminars on marriage, the key to a biblical marriage is not the execution of specialized techniques applicable to marriage alone. Rather, the key to a biblical marriage is the possession of biblical attitudes and actions which apply to all relationships. Immediately after addressing Christian wives (3:1-6) and husbands (3:7), Peter sums us his teaching on submission with these general principles applicable to every human relationship, including marriage:

8 To sum up, let all be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; 9 not returning evil for evil, or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing (1 Peter 3:8-9).

Often Christians are told how they can spice up their marriages by employing techniques devised by man. Women are taught to be as seductive as Jezebel, with the assurance that keeping her husband satisfied at home will prevent worry about outside competition for her husband’s affection. Far too often, this is at best an element of truth and a massive dose of worldly advice. The advice may be partially sanctified by calling it “Christian,” but most often it is secular and fleshly at its core. The Christian is not to live in accordance with the wisdom of this world but according to knowledge, the knowledge of God found in His Word.

In Peter’s epistle (2:21-25), as in Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians (5:21-33), Christ is the model for marriage. Have you ever stopped to think that in the Bible there is no model marriage, no model family? It seems Paul was not married and may never have been married (1 Corinthians 7:8; 9:5-6). We do not even know Peter’s wife’s name or how many children they had, if any. No marriage in the Bible could be considered a model marriage for us to strive to imitate. Only Christ serves as the model for marriage, and He was never married. Nevertheless, Christ manifested by His life and sacrificial death the mindset and ministry husbands and wives should have toward each other. He sets the standard, which is perfect obedience to God. He is the example of selfless love and sacrifice for the benefit of His bride, the church. He is the One who is the standard for both the wife (“in the same way,” 1 Peter 3:1) and the husband (“likewise,” 3:7). As husbands and wives dwell together, each should live as Christ, surrendering self-interest while seeking the best interest of the other. To follow the example of Christ means we are willing to endure the pain and the penalty which results from the sins of others, with the goal of their salvation. Submission is not just seeking the best interest of another; it is seeking their best interest at our expense.

We make the most of our marriage by not making too much of it. Some people do not take marriage seriously enough; others make too much of it. They mistakenly see it as the solution to all of their problems. Peter does not speak of marriage as the key to earthly happiness. For Peter, marriage is an institution where sin will bring about suffering. But the difficulties marriage introduces into our lives are also the occasion for us to evidence Christ-like attitudes and actions. We, like Christ, can demonstrate submission and steadfast faith in the context of innocent suffering. And in so doing, God may not only use our witness to His glory and to our good, but He may also employ our suffering to bring about the salvation of one who is lost (see 1 Peter 2:24-25; 3:1, 15).

Marriage witnesses to both those on earth (2:9-12) and the angelic observers. When Paul speaks of the conduct of women in the church, he indicates that obedience to his instructions will be observed by the angels (1 Corinthians 11:10). Elsewhere, Paul speaks of the celestial beings learning from what is taking place in the church (Ephesians 3:10). Peter emphasizes the interest with which angelic beings observe the things related to salvation in the church:

10 As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that [would come] to you made careful search and inquiry, 11 seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things into which angels long to look (1 Peter 1:10-12).

Marriage is an eternal investment—the more you put into it, the more you get out of it from the Lord at His return. Marriage is not about equality, regardless of popular cultural ideas and values on the subject. Marriage is about ministry. Marriage is about submission and servanthood. All too often one partner carefully “meters out” or measures the things he or she contributes to the other partner, and then very carefully measures what is given back in return. The hope is that what we get back will at least equal or even better, exceed perhaps, what we have put into it.

This principle appears to be wise and proper in monetary investments. But in marriage, it is entirely opposite of the biblical standard. We are to give, and give, and give, with no expectation of receiving from our mate in return. We are to look to God for blessings and rewards, and we are not to expect or demand them in this life. Jesus made it clear that giving with the expectation of returns is neither gracious nor godly:

12 And He also went on to say to the one who had invited Him, “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return, and repayment come to you. 13 But when you give a reception, invite [the] poor, [the] crippled, [the] lame, [the] blind, 14 and you will be blessed, since they do not have [the means] to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous” (Luke 14:12-14).

The principle our Lord lays down applies to marriage and to every other relationship. We give, not in order to get, but in order to manifest grace. And when we look for rewards, we know they also are a matter of grace and not of works.

Conclusion

I can scarcely communicate how important this message on marriage is to me. It is important because our marriages communicate a message, a message about the Lord Jesus Christ and about His relationship with His church. Marriage is a manifestation of the gospel, lived out day by day by the husband and the wife. When we mess up in our marriages, we mess up the gospel message that others see in our marriage relationship.

Sad though it is to say, many marriages are in serious trouble, and they don’t even seem to know it. Christian marriages are dissolving at nearly the same rate as the world in which we live. It is as though the gospel, the Word of God, and the Spirit of God have little power or impact on our marriages. I believe it is because we are seeking to live according to the standard the world has set and the goals it seeks to attain. We are living by the same power the unbeliever draws upon. To have a Christian marriage is to strive for the goals and standards the Bible sets, by the power which God alone provides. It is to cease striving for our own happiness and to endeavor, by His grace, to manifest godliness in our marriages, even when they fall far short of God’s ideal, and even when they bring suffering, sadness, and heartache to our lives.

Christian marriage is important because this relationship is indicative of all our relationships. The same principles which guide and govern our marriages guide and govern all our relationships. If we cannot live together with the one we have purposed to love until death parts us, how can we live in peace and harmony with our fellow-believers, or with our neighbors, or our enemies?

Our marriages are but a rehearsal for the great marriage yet to come, our union with the Lord Jesus Christ, enjoying His presence forever:

6 And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude and as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns. 7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” 8 And it was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright [and] clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. 9 And he said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’” And he said to me, “These are true words of God” (Revelation 19:6-9).

At His return, our marriage with Christ will be consummated. But for now we maintain a relationship with Him through His Word and through His Spirit. Our communion is through Bible study, worship, and prayer, which makes these essential to our lives. Our earthly marriages are a reflection of our relationship with Christ. Our expectations of God and our expectations of marriage overlap. When we expect nothing but ease, comfort, and pleasure from marriage, that is most likely what we expect from God in this life. When we are angry, frustrated, and out of submission to our mate, our relationship with God is probably similar. When we worship God and come away wondering what benefit we got from it, we probably have the same attitude toward our marriage.

Submission is an attitude which relates not only to people but to circumstances. When adverse circumstances come our way, this is often the time we strike out against others, our mate, and even God. Biblical submission accepts our circumstances as having come, first and foremost, from the hand of a sovereign and loving God, who causes “all things to work together for [our] good and His glory” (Romans 8:28). Submission then seeks to serve, in spite of these difficulties, to the glory of God and the good of others, at the cost of personal sacrifice. We sacrifice our pleasure, our happiness, our interests, looking to God alone to give us what we need even though it may not be what we want.

May God grant to each of us the willingness to be the kind of husband or wife that He wants us to be, to His glory, to the benefit and blessing of our mate and others, and to the salvation of lost sinners.


114 I am not sure the term “Christian marriage” is altogether appropriate. When the word “Christian” is used as an adjective (e.g. “Christian business”), it can be problematic.

115 Unfortunately, in light of our culture it is necessary to stipulate one final qualification: the two partners in marriage may not be of the same sex. Who would have thought, 25 years ago, one would need to specify that in a Christian marriage the partners must be male and female? There is no such thing as a Christian homosexual marriage.

116 The Scriptures are clear in teaching that a Christian should marry only another Christian (see 1 Corinthians 7:39; also 2 Corinthians 6:14-18). It is possible, however, that one has become a believer after being married. In such mixed marriages, Scripture is clear that those unions should be preserved if possible (see 1 Corinthians 7:10-16).

117 As I understand the sluggard in Proverbs, he is not a person who does nothing at all, but one who works very hard to avoid doing what he dislikes. The workaholic is, in this light, a sluggard, who works hard at one thing while avoiding another. And all the while many Christians will praise him for so doing.

John Piper – „Hallowed be your name”

„Hallowed be your name” ASPIRE – Yearning to join God’s Kingdom activity

at the ASPIRE 2011 Conference

Session 3 Phoenix, Arizona June 12-13, 2011
http://www.sbcpc.net/media/session-3/

„Hallowed be your name”

 

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