Charles Spurgeon – Immeasurable Love

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

I was very greatly surprised the other day, in looking over the list of texts from which I have preached, to find that I have no record of ever having spoken from this verse. This is all the more singular, because I can truly say that it might be put in the forefront of all my volumes of discourses as the sole topic of my life’s ministry. It has been my one and only business to set forth the love of God to men in Christ Jesus. I heard lately of an aged minister of whom it was said, “Whatever his text, he never failed to set forth God as love, and Christ as the atonement for sin.” I wish that much the same may be said of me. My heart’s desire has been to sound forth as with a trumpet the good news that “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

To read the rest of Charles Spurgeon’s sermon, click here.

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Ken Ham and Dr. David Menton – Why Is the Scopes Trial Significant?

Christian morality on the whole seems to be rapidly declining in America and the western hemisphere, but did you know there is a connection between this and the 1925 Scopes trial?

In recent years, removing the Ten Commandments from public spaces has been big news. In fact, Christian morality on the whole seems to be rapidly declining in America and the western hemisphere: abortion is on the rise, divorce rates are climbing, gay marriage issues are increasing. But did you know there is a connection between these events and the 1925 Scopes trial?

In 2003, news reports featured many people demonstrating in front of the Alabama court building after the decision to remove the Ten Commandments monument as a public display. Some were lying prostrate on the ground, crying out to the Lord to stop this from happening. But how many of these people really understood the foundational nature of this battle?

If we asked the demonstrators, “Do you believe in millions of years for the age of the earth—and what about the days of creation in Genesis 1?” — well, our long experience in creation ministry indicates that the answer would most likely be something like “What? They’re taking the Ten Commandments out — why are you asking me irrelevant questions?”

To read the rest of Ken Ham and Dr. David Menton’s article, click here.

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Mike Leake – Sloth Doesn’t Just Mean Sleep

When I think of a sluggard or a slothful person I typically picture a scraggly-bearded dude passed out on the couch in his mustard stained sleeveless with remote in hand. I’m not alone in this either. Do an image search for sluggard and you are going to find a similar image. Even good ol’ Ben Franklin had the sluggard sleeping as well when he said, “Up, sluggard, and waste not life; in the grave will be sleeping enough.”

But the truth is that a sluggard doesn’t have to be a sleeper. While the Bible has sleep as the favorite past-time of the sluggard it also paints a broader picture. The sluggard is really the one who is doing something other than what ought to be done in that moment to the glory of God.

When we think of the sluggard in our day and age we often think of the young man who is nearing his thirties, without a job, without prospect of marriage, but firmly implanted on the Call of Duty leader board. But he’s not a sluggard because he is playing video games. He’s a sluggard because he is playing video games when he should be doing something else at that moment.

To read the rest of Mike Leake’s article, click here.

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Don Batten and Warren Nunn – Did Humans Evolve From Apes

Humans did not evolve from chimps, gorillas, or orangutans. However, according to Darwinian evolution, humans are related to modern apes in that we shared a common ancestor.

Since Charles Darwin first proposed the basis for such ideas in the 19th century when he wrote On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life, molecules-to-man evolution has increasingly been taught as fact. Later, he fleshed out the idea of human evolution from a common ancestor with apes in The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex.

The concept that humans and apes share a common ancestor contrasts with what we read in the Bible, because on the sixth day God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” (Genesis 1:26) Further, in verse 27: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” In Genesis chapter 2 it gives us more details, including that God made Adam from ‘dust’ and fashioned Eve, the first woman, from part of his side.

To read the rest of Don Batten and Warren Nunn’s article, click here.

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Brandon Smith – The Real Reason We Don’t Read Our Bibles

Through my work with the Christian Standard Bible, I came across some stats about Bible reading. Eighty-eight percent of American households own a Bible, but only 37 percent of people read it once a week or more. People said they don’t read their Bibles because they don’t have enough time, and they struggle to understand the words.

These two frustrations are understandable, and we’ve all struggled with them. But are they the real reasons people aren’t reading their Bibles?

Root Issue

When you think about it, we should get really excited about Bible reading. The God of the universe has given us his Word. He could’ve tapped out when we disobeyed him in the garden, but he didn’t. He went looking for us and talked to us (Gen. 3). Knowing our gracious God gave us his Word should make us want to read it, but often that’s not enough.

We don’t read the Bible regularly because we don’t understand how it works. We often think it’s all about us, and that opening Scripture is only useful when we think we need it. We don’t understand how amazing the Bible really is.

To read the rest of Brandon Smith’s article, click here.

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John Piper – Husband, Lift Up Your Eyes: Letter to a Would-Be Adulterer

Dear Husband,

You may think I am ill-suited to counsel a young man on how to be faithful to his wife, because, in almost fifty years with my wife, I have never felt enticed to be romantic or to have sex with another woman. However, it might be worth probing whether this (perhaps unusual) fact has causes which are transferrable to you.

Let me clarify. It’s not as good as it sounds. My eyes are as magnetized toward excessive female skin as most men’s. I am not designed for beach evangelism. I find airports to be problematic enough. I have zero tolerance for nudity in films — or even suggestiveness (which rules out almost all of them). One reason (among many) is that any sexually charged image lodges itself in my mind, with regrettable effects.

To read the rest of John Piper’s article, click here.

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Michael Boling – Avoiding Sound-bite Theology and Bible Study

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There is a recurring theme I notice when engaging in conversations with people on social media. This theme presents itself when a passage of Scripture is being discussed, more often than not, a verse or set of verses that is typically well known. Perhaps the issue resides in our familiarity with such passages. Have we read them so many times that our minds tend to gloss over the details and the underlying message being presented, let alone any connections to other similar passages with related themes found elsewhere in Scripture?

I often wonder if this is a result of our sound-bite approach to approaching God’s Word. We tend to think of passages of Scripture in short tweet like concepts, hoping to some degree to have a clever quip to provide someone on social media to win an argument or to demonstrate that we can pull a verse (or at least a portion of one often out of context) from the back of our minds to demonstrate our knowledge of Scripture.

The question we must ask ourselves is this a demonstration of a real commitment to studying the Bible? Are sound-bites the answer or is spending time digging deep into the pages of Scripture, analyzing the details while paying attention to how those details form the mosaic of the larger presentation what God expects from us? I submit it is the latter and here is why I make such a suggestion.

Recently I have been spending a great deal of time digging into the first four chapters of Genesis. Now these are chapters most believers would readily admit they are quite familiar with, especially since most valiantly begin their pursuit of reading through the Bible in a year with these chapters. Most have likely lost count of the number of times they have read the creation story, the account of the fall, or the murder of Abel at the hands of his brother Cain. These events (i.e. creation, fall, etc.) are familiar to us and we can recite from memory the “big ideas” if you will regarding what those events are all about. However, there are a plethora of important details that are often overlooked and questions that often go unasked and unanswered again likely due to our familiarity with these chapters. Questions such as “Why was Eve not surprised when a “Serpent” engaged her in conversation?” or “Why was it important that Adam and Eve saw they were naked and made fig leaf garments to cover themselves?” or “If God said when they ate of the fruit they would die, why did Adam and Eve not immediately die?”. These are just a few questions I have been asking of late and exploring. I will readily admit the study of these questions has resulted in some informative and important connections being made to key issues that flow throughout Scripture.

If taking the time to ask some simple yet probing questions about the text in the first four chapters of Genesis can lead to such depth in Bible study, just imagine what taking the time to engage the rest of Scripture on that level will lead you. Such an approach of course requires far more than sound-bite theology and Bible study, It requires time, patience, the honesty to rethink at times our positions, and a desire to follow the trail of truth wherever the Holy Spirit takes us through the course of our studies.

Here is an example of how this might work. The topic of the New Covenant often comes up in the course of discussion on many Facebook forums I belong to. The statement many make is that Old Covenant being labeled as old necessarily implies this Old Covenant has zero value or relevance for the New Testament believer. A response I typically provide to such a statement involves a series of probing questions designed to focus the conversation on investigation of the text or texts in question. I often ask “What is new about this covenant?”, “Who does Jeremiah 31 and Hebrews 10 state this new covenant is made with and why is that important?”, “Where is this new covenant being written and by whom”?, and “What are the terms of this covenant and why is it significant to understand it in terms of a marriage covenant?”. Given these questions interact with key statements in Jeremiah 31:31-33 and Hebrews 10:15-16, the purpose of asking these questions is rooted in focusing the discussion back on the text instead of what we often think the text is saying.

After these questions are addressed and some discussion takes place, the next step in the process is to start looking at what key words such as “new” and “covenant” mean. All this requires is taking a look at a quality Bible dictionary or perhaps an online tool such as www.blueletterbible.org where words meanings and other instances where that same word has been used elsewhere in Scripture can be analyzed. This also provides the opportunity for patterns and principles to be recognized and for the overall flow of thought in Scripture to impact our understanding. This may also require reanalyzing the answers to the questions that were initially asked. Do our answers still remain valid based on the further study of the passage in question and related passages.

This necessarily leads to a focus on application. Once again using the new covenant concept as an example, how does the understanding that has been gained impact how I love God and others? If this covenant is a marriage covenant, how am I being faithful to the terms of that covenant or am I? If the answer is I am not being faithful, what changes need to be made and what does Scripture have to say about that? What is the foundation upon which this marriage covenant is established and why is that important? This of course may certainly lead to another set of passages, another series of probing questions, another analysis of word meanings, and another set of questions regarding application.

This is the nonstop flow of what it means to study, understand, and apply the truth of Scripture to our lives. Does this take time and effort? Absolutely but this is after all what God commands of His people and if we truly love God, spending time in His Word should be a joy and not viewed as a chore. Digging into Scripture versus sound-bite/one-liner Twitter type study should be a no brainer. Spend time in God’s Word. There is a lifetime of treasures to be discovered. Sound-bite theology more often than not leads to half-truths and confused theology. It must be avoided.

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Carl Trueman – The Marcions Have Landed: A Warning for Evangelicals

When one asks the most influential thinkers in the modern evangelical church are, one might find names such as Jim Packer, John Stott, and Don Carson.

I would like to suggest, however, that there is one whose influence is perhaps much greater than we are aware of, yet whose thinking all but pervades the modern evangelical church: Marcion.

He’s the man who gets my vote for most profound influence on evangelicalism, from canon to theology to worship practices. You never see his books on the shelves in your high street Christian bookshop; you never see him advertised as preaching in your local church; but, rest assured, his spirit stalks those bookshops and pulpits.

To read the rest of Carl Trueman’s article, click here.

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Dr. David Menton – Is Evolution a Theory, a Fact, or a Law? – or None of the Above?

I have heard many Christians say that evolution doesn’t concern them because, after all, it’s “only a theory.” Presumably they think that the word “theory” means about the same thing as a “pipe dream.” But the term theory, at least as it applies to experimental science, has a much nobler meaning than that. A scientific theory is a careful attempt to explain certain observable facts of nature by means of experiments. Since many Christians have concluded that evolution is incompatible with the Biblical account of creation, we would do well to investigate if evolution is a fact or a theory — or perhaps neither.

There is a widespread misconception that good theories grow up to be facts and that the really good ones finally become laws. But these three categories of scientific description are neither directly related nor mutually exclusive. It often occurs that a single natural phenomenon can be described in terms of a theory, a fact, and a law — all at the same time!

To read the rest of Dr. Menton’s aricle, click here.

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