Randy Alcorn answers questions about heaven – Millennium or New Earth

Pentru traducere automata, fa click aici – Romanian

Randy Alcorn is the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries (epm.org), a nonprofit organization dedicated to teaching biblical truth and drawing attention to the needy and how to help them. EPM exists to meet the needs of the unreached, unfed, unborn, uneducated, unreconciled and unsupported people around the world. Randy is a best-selling author of over 40 books including Heaven, The Treasure Principle and the 2002 Gold Medallion winner, Safely Home. He has written numerous articles for magazines such as Discipleship Journal, Moody, Leadership, New Man, and The Christian Reader. He produces the quarterly issues-oriented magazine Eternal Perspectives, and has been a guest on more than 600 radio and television programs including Focus on the Family, Family Life Today, The Bible Answer Man, Revive Our Hearts, Truths that Transform and Faith Under Fire. (from VIMEO)
See –

  1. Watching from heaven & Is there sorrow in heaven?

Millennium or New Earth

How do we know what parts of the Old Testament prophecies applies to the new heavens and the new earth (Isaiah 60 & Isaiah 65:17-19)? How do you know what applies to the millennial kingdom?

Turn to Isaiah 60, I think this is a great passage. Now, Isaiah 65, which I’ll mention, as you’re turning to Isaiah 60, says:

17 “For behold, I create new heavens
    and a new earth,
and the former things shall not be remembered
    or come into mind.
18 But be glad and rejoice forever
    in that which I create;
for behold, I create Jerusalem to be a joy,
    and her people to be a gladness.
19 I will rejoice in Jerusalem
    and be glad in my people;
no more shall be heard in it the sound of weeping
    and the cry of distress.

So, it’s new heavens and new earth. So the question is: How can we distinguish when it’s talking about new heavens and new earth from when it might be talking, in essence, about a millennial kingdom? Well, it’s talking about new heavens and new earth. We know this because it says it is. But, then, what happens in verse 20?

20 No more shall there be in it
    an infant who lives but a few days,
    or an old man who does not fill out his days,
for the young man shall die a hundred years old,
    and the sinner a hundred years old shall be accursed.

What? There’s death! I mean, there’s long life, it will be nice talking about a time that will be much better, but it won’t be perfect, cause there’s still death in the world. This happens in prophecy all the time, where the prophet is looking forward to an era, but sometimes that era is the ultimate, which is the new earth- no more death, no more pain, no more sin in the world.

Now, if you are of the persuasion of the literal millennial kingdom, and again, that’s not required for orthodoxy, there are very amillenial people who are godly in their beliefs. But, if you believe in a literal millennial kingdom, then you would say, „Oh, it looks like now he’s talking about the millennium. Because it will be much better than, but it won’t be perfect, and there’ll still be death. Then it says they will build houses, they will dwell in them, they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit.

So, should we be thinking of millennium, or should we be thinking of new earth? Well… cause we’ve got both right there. He starts by saying ‘new earth’, he’s talking about it and now he’s this, and that sounds like that just needs to be restricted to the millennium. Well, the building houses and dwelling in them, planting vineyards and eating their fruit could apply to either or both. Now, a lot of people say, „Well, that could only be millennium, because obviously on the new earth, we won’t build houses and dwell in them. There won’t be vineyards on the new earth. There won’t be eating on the new earth…. Well, yeah! There will be. So this could easily apply, the building of houses and all. „Yeah, but Jesus is gonna prepare a place for us.” Sure, but that place is brought down to the new earth. Do you think any of us will use skills and architecture and design, and building and contributing to the development of Godly Christ centered culture. We are exercising dominion over the earth as we reign over the earth. Sure, that would be doing all that to the glory of God. That would make sense. And you have verse 22:

22 They shall not build and another inhabit;
    they shall not plant and another eat;
for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be,
    and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands.

Then you’ve got verse 25

The wolf and the lamb shall graze together;
    the lion shall eat straw like the ox,
    and dust shall be the serpent’s food.
They shall not hurt or destroy
    in all my holy mountain,”
says the Lord.

Millenium or new earth? Well, arguably both. But I think the most obvious interpretation would be new earth. Why? Because he started this by saying, „I’m talking about the new earth, and sometimes we move into what might be millennial. But, now, when he is talking about the wolf and the lamb lying down together and eating grass like an ox, no more harm and destruction … Well, doesn’t that sound more like the new earth, because what’s gonna happen at the end of the millennium? Rebellion, sin, conquest of Christ, judgment, so there is still some harm, yet to come. There is still some death, yet to come in the millennium. Yet, this is talking about a time where there’s gonna be no more death. So, I  think that’s the proper, that’s the best understanding: That it’s primarily new earth, with maybe a secondary application to millennium.

From a video on Vimeo which is no longer available.

Read another article about this subject:

  1. Will heaven be exciting? Part 1 of What’s so exciting about heaven?
  2. Our existence in heaven – Part 2 of What’s so exciting about heaven?
  3. The New Heaven and the New Earth – Part 3 of What’s so exciting about heaven?
  4. The future glories of heaven – Part 1 of What Will Heaven Be Like?
  5. Questions children have about heaven – Part 2 of Heaven: What Will It Be Like?
  6. How can you be sure you are going to heaven? Part 3 of Heaven: What Will It Be Like?

What does Revelation 21:15 tell us about the new Jerusalem? Randy Alcorn

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Pentru traducere automata, fa click aici – Romanian

What does Revelation 21:15 tell us about the new Jerusalem?From our series entitled: „Heaven: What will it be Like? with guest Dr. Randy Alcorn and Dr. John Ankerberg. VIDEO by John Ankerberg

Revelation 21:15-16

And the one who spoke with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city and its gates and walls. 16 The city lies foursquare, its length the same as its width. And he measured the city with his rod, 12,000 stadia. Its length and width and height are equal.

Randy Alcorn: Some people say [these things] are symbolic. They say, „It’s a cube, like the Holy of Holies and it represents God’s perfection, the 3 dimensions of the three fold- the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” Well. all of that could be true. But then, we’re also told that it was man’s measurement being used. So, certainly, we should see this as a vast place. And, it should remind us of the fact that what God has in store for us in eternity is something bigger, far, far bigger even than what we’ve experienced in this life. If we’ve understood  that this life is just the beginning for the people of God. If you have a relationship with Jesus Christ, you don’t have to worry about, „Gee, have I passed my peak? Do I need to have a bunch of things on my bucket list, because this is my one chance, this is my one shot at experiencing happiness, here in a world of beauty and abundance.” Which, tells us something about what we think of heaven. We don’t have a biblical picture oh heaven, because the biblical picture is, as ‘in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.’ So, we’re told in Revelation 1:1. God does the same thing again, except this time He creates a new heaven and a new earth. He restores the old; there’s continuity between them, so that the new universe that we will live in will be greater, through the redemptive blood of Christ, it will be greater than anything you experience in this life.

So, the wonders of the world will be greater than anything we’ve ever experienced. We know there’s gonna be a new Jerusalem. Could there be a new Los Angeles? A new London? Could there be a new Chattanooga? I mean, why not? If one city is made new, why not other cities made new? God’s redemptive work , to redeem culture, and to reach out and to do all of these things, so that we have redeemed music, and we have redeemed art, and redeemed drama, and redeemed sports. And, the full human experience. And I think, we will be able to go to places. If you’ve never been to Niagara Falls, I have been, but there’s many places I haven’t been. But, why not a new Niagara Falls, or other Falls, much bigger and far greater, that will cause our hearts to worship God?

Randy Alcorn – Going Deep with God in Depression

Note: If you know someone going through a tough time, pass the video link to them and let them know they are not alone. Randy made two points that impressed upon me:

  1. Even great men of God go through periods of depression. It is not just a sign of being spiritually weak or far from God, it is something God allows sometimes.
  2. God is right there with you, even in the midst of depression. Don’t wait to come out of it and think that is where God will meet you. He is with you every step of the way, ready to comfort and to lift.

Randy Alcorn | Theology Refresh | Depression is often illusive. Some dark cloud gathers and hangs overhead. You feel constantly ill at ease. Whether triggered by negative events, or some undefined cause, you know despondency when you experience it, even if you find it hard to describe… Learn more athttp://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts… Photo credit blog.lifeway.com VIDEO by Desiring God

Transcript:

Randy Alcorn: I think depression is something that is elusive, but we sort of know what it is. It’s the state of having this cloud over you, this sense of being ill at ease, kind of a loss of happiness, a sense of „Where’s the joy in my life?” My own experience with depression has not been extensive, but I have had periods of time. One time, four months, where every day I would get up  and spend time with the Lord, but, I’d get up in the morning and I wasn’t just tired. I didn’t just need a cup of coffee. It’s just that there was this dark cloud. The embarrassing thing was, it was not at a time in my life where all kinds of things were going wrong. There had been many other times in my life where there’s been a lot of stress, a lot of  things going on, where I felt a great peace and contentment with the Lord. And then, this was in a period of time where not much was happening that was creating pressure. But, for undefinable reasons, I just didn’t know why; sometimes anxiety is like high stakes and low control. Depression is sometimes just the sense of ‘I don’t know  why’. I can’t just point my finger at the reason.

Causes- I think it’s very elusive and it’s different for different people. I think, sometimes when we talk about depression, anxiety, fear, whatever it might be, we kind of start saying: „Well, this is what it is.” But for some people it comes in a different shape and form. Certainly, depression can be triggered by very negative events happening in your life: Your child is dying, your spouse has  left you, you’ve lost your job- different circumstantial things in life. Other times, as I’ve said, in my case, you can’t point to a particular reason.  One of the things I’ve learned in my own depression, periodically when it comes upon me, is that God is there with me in the depression.

It used to be that I used to think, „Okay, this is wrong. I shouldn’t feel this way. I should have the joy of the Lord,” and indeed we should. But at the same time, what I do is try to get out of the depression. What can I do to get out of this? And I think, what’s been most helpful to me, and in that period of 4 month depression, I came to the point where no matter what I did, it wasn’t going away. So, then finally, I ended up saying, „Okay, Lord, walk with me in this. Help me to learn from this. So I looked at Romans 8 and you’ve got „If God be for us, who can be against us?” „Nothing shall separate us from the love of Christ. We’re more than conquerers through Him..” and certainly, „God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God.” So, in the middle of my depression, I’m meditating on those things and I’m sensing the presence of God, strangely sensing His presence in deeper ways then when everything was going just fine.

photo credit prayerineverycity.com

I think, certainly, going to God’s word, praying, getting support from other people, I was very honest with my wife, some of my friends. I blogged about it, I went to Charles Spurgeon, who experienced a lot of depression  throughout his life. He was plagued even many years later through that instance where 6 people who died in that crowd where somebody yelled „Fire” falsely. There wasn’t a fire, and that was when he was a very young pastor. But those memories would come back and haunt him at times. And it was actually very reassuring to me to see Charles Spurgeon, who I admire so much, and I don’t think anybody would say, „Well, the reason that Spurgeon experienced such depression is because He just wasn’t Christ centered and he didn’t know God’s word. No, no. The closeness to God that he experienced, the joy and the happiness that he repeatedly talks about , much of that comes out of his attempts to find that happiness and to find that joy in Christ, and successfully so. But, in a life that involved a great deal of physical pain and his wife being an invalid, and his own experience of depression.

I blogged about that and I got many people writing to me and saying, „This is so helpful that you’ve been honest enough to talk about this. So, there were a number of things that helped me through that time. But certainly, being honest, taking it to the Lord, saying, „God, I’m not living simply to have you cure/fix my problem any more than I would say, ‘Make no longer an insulin dependent diabetic’ which I am and have been.” If He wants me to heal me of that, heal me. But I’m not gonna wait until He does that. Don’t wait til you’re out of it to move on in life. Move on now, in the presence of God. There’s a real sweetness to that.

Counsel to pastors/leaders: One of the things I would say is, „Lord, help me to get through this day, with all the responsibilities that I have, with all the people I’m supposed to meet with, all the writing I’m supposed to do, meetings, whatever it is. But, help me to sense your presence  in the moment. Help me to not simply force myself to do this, putting one foot in front of the other on my own strength. But instead, to relax and say, „God, you help me. You lead me, you guide me. I need to lean on you to get through this day, so that at the end of the day I won’t say, „Okay, I did it again. I forced my way through the day, but know, „God you were with main this.”

Counsel to ministers and counselors who minister to depressed folks: I think, one thing is to not begin by thinking, „Okay, something is automatically terribly wrong here. Let people say what they’re feeling and express why they think they’re feeling it. Certainly, it’s always a good response to say, „Look to the Lord, depend on Him for strength.” But be careful not to lecture people who may already be going to the Lord and still experiencing depression. Again, think if you were meeting with Charles Spurgeon, would you be saying, „Now, Charles, if you would just spend time in the word, and if you would just depend on God, if you would just do that, then your depression would go away.” No. Understand that this person may be having time with God they may be pursuing all kinds of ways to get better. But so far, it hasn’t happened. And that’s why they have come to you for help. So, be sensitive to them. But, of course, don’t hesitate to bring to them the importance of focusing on the Lord. Set your mind on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Colossians 3. Think from an eternal perspective.Look at Romans 8:28 in terms or retroactively as you will see it someday, retrospect, we’ll look back and we’ll say, „Now I see how God has caused all things to work for good. This is on of those things in your life, and God will use this depression you’ve experienced, for good. So, yes, I will try to help you out of that, but don’t think your life and your walk with God will not begin until you are out of it.

Randy Alcorn – How can you be sure you are going to heaven? Part 3 of Heaven: What Will It Be Like?

We will be posting 6 videos (approx 20-30 min each) once each morning, with Randy Alcorn speaking about Heaven. Here are the highly interesting subject he will discuss, the links will become live as each new post is posted daily:

  1. Monday: Will heaven be exciting? Part 1 of What’s so exciting about heaven?
  2. Tuesday: Our existence in heaven – Part 2 of What’s so exciting about heaven?
  3. Wednesday: The New Heaven and the New Earth – Part 3 of What’s so exciting about heaven?
  4. Thursday: The future glories of heaven – Part 1 of What Will Heaven Be Like?
  5. Friday: Questions children have about heaven – Part 2 of Heaven: What Will It Be Like?
  6. Saturday: How can you be sure you are going to heaven? Part 3 of Heaven: What Will It Be Like?

This is Part 3 of Heaven: What Will It Be Like?

In this session, Dr. Ankerberg and Randy Alcorn discuss what the Bible teaches about salvation as well as how to be saved and to know for certain where you will spend eternity. This confidence can help during even our weakest moments in this life as we look forward to eternity with Christ in the next life.

photo blog.lifeway.com
VIDEO by John Ankerberg

Randy Alcorn – Questions children have about heaven – Part 2 of Heaven: What Will It Be Like?

We will be posting 6 videos (approx 20-30 min each) once each morning, with Randy Alcorn speaking about Heaven. Here are the highly interesting subject he will discuss, the links will become live as each new post is posted daily:

  1. Monday: Will heaven be exciting? Part 1 of What’s so exciting about heaven?
  2. Tuesday: Our existence in heaven – Part 2 of What’s so exciting about heaven?
  3. Wednesday: The New Heaven and the New Earth – Part 3 of What’s so exciting about heaven?
  4. Thursday: The future glories of heaven – Part 1 of What Will Heaven Be Like?
  5. Friday: Questions children have about heaven – Part 2 of Heaven: What Will It Be Like?
  6. Saturday: How can you be sure you are going to heaven? Part 3 of Heaven: What Will It Be Like?

This is Part 2 of Heaven: What Will It Be Like?

Children enjoy asking questions about everything—including heaven. Because there are a lot of wrong ideas about Heaven, we must base our answers on what God tells us in the Bible. In this program, Dr. Ankerberg and Randy Alcorn answer children’s questions like: will they see their pets again in Heaven? Is Heaven up? and Will there be sports on the New Earth?

photo blog.lifeway.com
VIDEO by John Ankerberg

Randy Alcorn – The future glories of heaven – Part 1 of What Will Heaven Be Like

We will be posting 6 videos (approx 20-30 min each) once each morning, with Randy Alcorn speaking about Heaven. Here are the highly interesting subject he will discuss, the links will become live as each new post is posted daily:

  1. Monday: Will heaven be exciting? Part 1 of What’s so exciting about heaven?
  2. Tuesday: Our existence in heaven – Part 2 of What’s so exciting about heaven?
  3. Wednesday: The New Heaven and the New Earth – Part 3 of What’s so exciting about heaven?
  4. Thursday: The future glories of heaven – Part 1 of What Will Heaven Be Like?
  5. Friday: Questions children have about heaven – Part 2 of Heaven: What Will It Be Like?
  6. Saturday: How can you be sure you are going to heaven? Part 3 of Heaven: What Will It Be Like?

This is : Part 1 of Heaven: What Will It Be Like? with Randy Alcorn and Dr. John Ankerberg.

photo blog.lifeway.com

VIDEO by John Ankerberg

Randy Alcorn – The New Heaven and the New Earth – Part 3 of What’s so exciting about heaven?

We will be posting 6 videos (approx 20-30 min each) once each morning, with Randy Alcorn speaking about Heaven. Here are the highly interesting subject he will discuss, the links will become live as each new post is posted daily:

  1. Monday: Will heaven be exciting? Part 1 of What’s so exciting about heaven?
  2. Tuesday: Our existence in heaven – Part 2 of What’s so exciting about heaven?
  3. Wednesday: The New Heaven and the New Earth – Part 3 of What’s so exciting about heaven?
  4. Thursday: The future glories of heaven – Part 1 of What Will Heaven Be Like?
  5. Friday: Questions children have about heaven – Part 2 of Heaven: What Will It Be Like?
  6. Saturday: How can you be sure you are going to heaven? Part 3 of Heaven: What Will It Be Like?

This is Part 3 of What’s so exciting about heaven?

In the third program of this series, we’ll look at what the Bible teaches about the New Heavens and Earth. The Bible discusses a time in the future when a new heaven and earth will be recreated from the ones that exist today. Dr. Ankerberg and Randy Alcorn discuss what will take place along with applications for how we live today.

photo blog.lifeway.com
VIDEO by John Ankerberg

Randy Alcorn – Our existence in heaven – Part 2 of What’s so exciting about heaven?

We will be posting 6 videos (approx 20-30 min each) once each morning, with Randy Alcorn speaking about Heaven. Here are the highly interesting subject he will discuss, the links will become live as each new post is posted daily:

  1. Monday: Will heaven be exciting? Part 1 of What’s so exciting about heaven?
  2. Tuesday: Our existence in heaven – Part 2 of What’s so exciting about heaven?
  3. Wednesday: The New Heaven and the New Earth – Part 3 of What’s so exciting about heaven?
  4. Thursday: The future glories of heaven – Part 1 of What Will Heaven Be Like?
  5. Friday: Questions children have about heaven – Part 2 of Heaven: What Will It Be Like?
  6. Saturday: How can you be sure you are going to heaven? Part 3 of Heaven: What Will It Be Like?

This is Part 2 of What’s so exciting about heaven?

As guest Randy Alcorn and Dr. John Ankerberg continue our study, we’ll find that the future state of the believer will be one of much excitement and joy. Rather than merely singing songs, believers will be involved in a wide variety of activities in community with other believers and in new, perfect bodies fit for service to the King of kings.
(Part 2 of What’s So Exciting About Heaven with Dr. John Ankerberg and Randy Alcorn.)

photo blog.lifeway.com
VIDEO by John Ankerberg

Randy Alcorn – Will heaven be exciting? Part 1 of What’s so exciting about heaven?


We will be posting 6 videos (approx 20-30 min each) once each morning, with Randy Alcorn speaking about Heaven. Here are the highly interesting subject he will discuss, the links will become live as each new post is posted daily:

  1. Monday: Will heaven be exciting? Part 1 of What’s so exciting about heaven?
  2. Tuesday: Our existence in heaven – Part 2 of What’s so exciting about heaven?
  3. Wednesday: The New Heaven and the New Earth – Part 3 of What’s so exciting about heaven?
  4. Thursday: The future glories of heaven – Part 1 of What Will Heaven Be Like?
  5. Friday: Questions children have about heaven – Part 2 of Heaven: What Will It Be Like?
  6. Saturday: How can you be sure you are going to heaven? Part 3 of Heaven: What Will It Be Like?

This is Part 1 of What’s so exciting about heaven?

In Part 1, guest Randy Alcorn along with Dr. John Ankerberg help viewers discover some of the details of the believer’s future home and how exciting heaven will be. As we do, we’ll learn how a greater biblical understanding of heaven can transform how we live today, including how we share our faith with others.

photo blog.lifeway.com
VIDEO by John Ankerberg

Randy Alcorn – Is heaven real? And, does God purposefully hurt us through trials?

A couple of short succint answers to two of the all time questions each of us grapple with:

On suffering:

In an interview with Julia Stager, Randy Alcorn addresses this question and explains how God doesn’t put hard things in our path for His own benefit, but for ours. For more on suffering read, epm.org/resources/2001/Apr/9/how-could-good-god-allow-evil-and-suffering/

On heaven-

INDIA: 14 years later, 2 suspects arrested for the murder of Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two young sons who were burned to death in their sleep by a right wing mob

Mission Network News reports:

Graham Staines family14 years after Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two young sons were burned to death in their sleep by a right wing mob, two suspects were arrested last week.

According to The Hundu, 37-year-old Ghanshyam Mahanta and 34-year-old Ramjan Mahanta were arrested on Friday morning during a raid by India’s Central Bureau of Investigation officials and the Keonjhar police.

The third individual is still on the run.

The Hindustan Times reported that in an incident that drew international outrage, Staines, 58, and his sons Philip, 10, and Timothy, 6, were burned to death on Jan. 22 1999 by a mob led by Bajrang Dal activist Dara Singh. Staines and his sons were asleep in their station wagon in front of a church in Manoharpur village in Keonjhar, about 400km northwest of Bhubaneswar, when the mob set his vehicle on fire.

  • The Hindustan Times said a total of 18 people, including Dara Singh, were arrested for their involvement in the crime while three others were on the run.
  • In 2003, a CBI court in Bhubaneswar sentenced Singh to death and 12 others to life.
  • In 2005, the Hindustan Times reported, the Orissa high court commuted Singh’s death sentence to life imprisonment. The court, however, retained the life imprisonment awarded to the other accused.
  • In 2011, the Supreme Court upheld Orissa high court’s life imprisonment for Singh and his accomplices.

Staines’ wife and daughter now live in Australia.

BELOW, READ the 2011 – ORIGINAL POST on the burning death of Graham Staines and his sons Philip and Timothy:
(via) Randy Alcorn from his Eternal Perspective Ministries.

On January 23rd of 1999, Graham and his two sons, Phillip (11 yrs.) and Timothy (6 yrs.) were murdered by a large mob of militant Hindus. They had gone to a Christian camp in the jungle, where Graham was ministering. At midnight the mob attacked, setting fire to the jeep in which Graham and his sons were sleeping. They were burned alive. When the fire finally cooled, they found the charred body of Graham Staines with his arms around the bodies of his sons.

Graham served the Lord in the jungles of Orissa for over 34 years. He was described as “a wonderful, gracious, self-effacing man of God, full of faith, confidence and humility; warm-hearted, and a wonderful father.” At his funeral, the streets were thronged with masses of people—Hindus, Muslims and Christians. They were there to show respect for Graham and his family and to show their solidarity against the actions of the killers. Despite the fact that persecution of Christians has increased in recent years, the president of India came forward and said, “that someone who spent years caring for patients of leprosy, instead of being thanked and appreciated as a role model should be done to death in this manner is… a crime that belongs to the world’s inventory of black deeds.”

The response of Gladys and Esther was on the front page of every newspaper in India (with one billion people, soon to pass China as the most populous nation on earth). Gladys said, “I have only one message for the people of India. I’m not bitter. Neither am I angry. But I have one great desire: that each citizen of this country should establish a personal relationship with Jesus Christ who gave his life for their sins…let us burn hatred and spread the flame of Christ’s love.”

Gladys and her daughter did not move back to Australia, but, instead stayed on to work at the Hospital leprosy center that her family had served before her husband and two sons were killed. Indeed, a moving example of faithful serving and dying for Christ. Read the entire article at Randy Alcorn’s site…

Source

Randy Alcorn – Gospel and Niceness

Randy Alcorn is featured over at http://www.sermoncentral.com/ with this article:

When Gianna Jessen (an abortion survivor) spoke at our church recently, she said many memorable things. The one I’ve been thinking about most is to be a follower of Christ you need to be willing to be hated.

I agree.

Of course, this does NOT mean being hateful. Nor does it mean seeking to be hated. Or having a persecution complex, so you think people don’t like you because you’re following Christ, when they actually don’t like you because of how you’re acting.

I am all for graciousness, kindness and servant-hearted love as we speak the truth. I seek to practice this with the non-Christians I’m around. But at some point the greatest kindness we can offer them, coming out of a life of humility and faithfulness to Christ, is the good news about Jesus. That good news actually involves some very bad news about human sinfulness, which is what makes the cross an offense, meaning that it ticks people off.

The danger comes when we live in such fear of being mislabeled that we don’t step forward as unapologetic and unashamed all-out followers of Jesus. They can call us Jesus freaks or ignorant or uncool or intolerant or anything they want; that’s fine. We should do what we believe pleases our Lord, regardless of how it pans out in opinion polls. That includes loving others and giving radically and ministering to the down and out and addressing addictions and saying we think it’s wrong to kill children of all ages and helping people find alternatives. We do such things not seeking the approval of our culture, but of our King.

Alcorn makes these important points in his article. Note especially #3.:

  1. If we seek our culture’s approval, we’ll either never get it or get it only at the expense of failing to represent Christ.
  2. Among some believers the new definition of a good Christian is holding your beliefs privately, not challenging those who publicly share beliefs that dishonor Christ, and avoiding controversy at all costs lest we be perceived as “those kind of Christians” who hate gays, oppose abortion, favor inquisitions and love to burn witches.
  3. There is nothing new or postmodern about the gospel turning some people off. As D. L. Moody said when someone criticized his approach to evangelism, “I like the way I do it better than the way you don’t do it.”It is not gracious and kind to withhold the gospel from those who, according to Jesus, are going to hell without Him. Sometimes what we imagine to be our graciousness and kindness is actually indifference or cowardice.

    “All men will hate you because of me.” Mark 13:13

    “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.” John 15:18

Read the article in full here –  http://www.sermoncentral.com/

Randy Alcorn – Difficult Truths: Sovereignty, Suffering, and the Promise of Heaven

From Randy Alcorns website Eternal Perspective Ministries

Randy Alcorn is an author and the founder of Eternal Perspective Ministries (EPM), a nonprofit ministry dedicated to teaching principles of God’s Word and assisting the church in ministering to the unreached, unfed, unborn, uneducated, unreconciled, and unsupported people around the world. His ministry focus is communicating the strategic importance of using our earthly time, money, possessions and opportunities to invest in need-meeting ministries that count for eternity. He accomplishes this by analyzing, teaching, and applying the biblical truth.

Before starting EPM in 1990, Randy served as a pastor for fourteen years. He holds degrees in theology and biblical studies and has taught on the adjunct faculties of Multnomah University and Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon.

Randy has written more than forty books, including the bestsellers Heaven, The Treasure Principle, and the Gold Medallion winner Safely Home. His books in print exceed five million and have been translated into over thirty languages. Randy has written for many magazines including EPM’s quarterly issues-oriented magazine Eternal Perspectives. He is active daily on Facebook and Twitter, has been a guest on more than 700 radio, television and online programs including Focus on the Family, FamilyLife Today, Revive Our Hearts, The Bible Answer Man, and The Resurgence.

From the video below:

Do not throw Romans 8:28 at people after a tragedy. Grieve with them. Don’t try to minimize their suffering by quoting this verse right away.
Look at Jesus. Jesus wept even though He knew He would be raising Lazarus from the dead.. He wept for Mary and Martha. He wept for the ugliness of death, and, knowing that even though raised from the dead, Lazarus would have to die again.
And, so Scripture as it looks forward to the resurrection does not minimize pain and suffering. Never the less Romans 8:28 says, „And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Read entire chapter 8 in Romans here.
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Randy Alcorn – The Purity Principle (Esssential Reading)

This is a very helpful article with the Biblical perspective on sexual purity from Randy Alcorn. You will find all his links at the bottom of this page.

Chapter 5 and 6 from the Purity Principle

Posted in: Excerpts from Randy’s Books, Sexual Purity Articles
By Randy Alcorn

The Purity Principle is this: Purity is always smart; impurity is always stupid.

Does God really argue for sexual purity on the basis that it’s the smart choice, while impurity is stupid? Judge for yourself:

Why be captivated, my son, by an adulteress? Why embrace the bosom of another man’s wife? For a man’s ways are in full view of the LORD, and he examines all his paths. The evil deeds of a wicked man ensnare him; the cords of his sin hold him fast. He will die for lack of discipline, led astray by his own great folly. (Proverbs 5:20-23)

Why avoid adultery? Because God will see it and He will bring judgment. But even before judgment day „the cords of his sin hold him fast.” The adulterer will be ensnared; he will die. He’s the primary victim of his foolishness. In contrast, the man who remains pure can „rejoice” and „be captivated” by his wife’s love, enjoying their sexual union (Proverbs 5:18-19).

In the next chapter God asks, „Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned? Can a man walk on hot coals without his feet being scorched? So is he who sleeps with another man’s wife; no one who touches her will go unpunished. (Proverbs 6:27-29)

Haunting words: no one who touches her will go unpunished.

Proverbs also depicts the man who is seduced into adultery as „an ox going to the slaughter,” and like a deer or bird being killed by a hunter (Proverbs 7:21-27).

A believer recovering from sexual addiction (which requires repentance from sexual sin) told me, „Addicts always think they can get away with it. You won’t change until you realize you can’t.”

I can never get away with sexual immorality. God wants me to remember that…for my sake.

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The world was not worthy of them, who is the God they serve? (1)… Graham Staines’ family, India

(via) Randy Alcorn from his Eternal Perspective Ministries.

On January 23rd of 1999, Graham and his two sons, Phillip (11 yrs.) and Timothy (6 yrs.) were murdered by a large mob of militant Hindus. They had gone to a Christian camp in the jungle, where Graham was ministering. At midnight the mob attacked, setting fire to the jeep in which Graham and his sons were sleeping. They were burned alive. When the fire finally cooled, they found the charred body of Graham Staines with his arms around the bodies of his sons.

Graham served the Lord in the jungles of Orissa for over 34 years. He was described as “a wonderful, gracious, self-effacing man of God, full of faith, confidence and humility; warm-hearted, and a wonderful father.” At his funeral, the streets were thronged with masses of people—Hindus, Muslims and Christians. They were there to show respect for Graham and his family and to show their solidarity against the actions of the killers. Despite the fact that persecution of Christians has increased in recent years, the president of India came forward and said, “that someone who spent years caring for patients of leprosy, instead of being thanked and appreciated as a role model should be done to death in this manner is… a crime that belongs to the world’s inventory of black deeds.”

The response of Gladys and Esther was on the front page of every newspaper in India (with one billion people, soon to pass China as the most populous nation on earth). Gladys said, “I have only one message for the people of India. I’m not bitter. Neither am I angry. But I have one great desire: that each citizen of this country should establish a personal relationship with Jesus Christ who gave his life for their sins…let us burn hatred and spread the flame of Christ’s love.”

Gladys and her daughter did not move back to Australia, but, instead stayed on to work at the Hospital leprosy center that her family had served before her husband and two sons were killed. Indeed, a moving example of faithful serving and dying for Christ. Read the entire article at Randy Alcorn’s site…

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