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THE KEY TO SANCTIFICATION

(Friday Church News Notes, January 20, 2012, www.wayoflife.org

 Many teachers have espoused one particular key to sanctification in the Christian life. For some it is “abiding in Christ,” and they use John 15 as the key. For others it is a second blessing or a spiritual baptism of some sort. For others it is to rest in or dwell on one’s identification with Christ at the cross (e.g., the “Calvary Road”). John Piper proposes “Christian hedonism” as the key.

 Yes, many “keys” have been proposed, but the Bible takes a multiple approach to sanctification and spiritual victory. It is not only resting or not only abiding or whatever, it is abiding and resting and yielding and obeying and avoiding and pursuing, etc. If there were one “key” to sanctification and spiritual victory, the New Testament epistles would be much shorter than they are. Writing to the church at Corinth, for example, Paul would merely have laid out the “key” and that would have been the end of the problem.

heaven+sky+bright+light

Is Evangelism About “Going to Heaven”?

Excerpt by David Cloud

Heaven is definitely a product of salvation, but why is it that none of the apostles preached on Heaven when they were presenting the gospel? Why are the sermons recorded in the book of Acts so different from the one Hyles preached?

Consider the sermon Paul preached on Mars Hills to the idolatrous pagans in Acts 17. Paul did not preach on Heaven; he preached on God and His righteous judgment so that the idolaters would understand their sin and turn to Christ for redemption.

The average person in North America today is very similar to those idolatrous pagans, and North Americans need the same type of preaching. An idolatrous and apostate people need sermons on Hell more than sermons on Heaven. They need sermons on the law more than sermons on grace, because biblical grace is only understood in the context of the law.

No one can understand and appreciate God’s grace unless they first understand His holiness and justice. The law was given to prepare the way for grace. “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith” (Gal. 3:24).

The book of Romans begins with nearly three whole chapters of the law of God and the righteousness of God and the sinfulness of man and his utter condemnation before a holy God before it gets to the grace of Jesus Christ. That is the biblical way to preach the gospel. That is the true Romans Road. That is how Peter preached on the day of Pentecost.

Read Full Article HERE

 The bookstores abound with new-age books that seem to have Christian teachings. The reality is that these books have false teachings that do not line up with scripture. The only way NOT to be deceived is to become a student of the Bible and to examine all things against scripture.

Please read:

 Heaven is For Real: A Dangerous Book for an Apostate Age

August 18, 2011   by David Cloud 

***Heaven Is For Real, a book about a four-year-old boy’s supposed visit to heaven, has sold over 1.5 million copies and is currently the # 6 best seller on Amazon. It has broken Thomas Nelson’s sales records and is popular with Independent Baptists. One pastor told me that it is “circulating around many of our IBaptist camps; many are recommending it.” The book is the true story of Colton Burpo, a Methodist pastor’s son who allegedly visits heaven during emergency surgery. There he meets a dead sister and great grandfather, sees Jesus and God the Father and the Holy Spirit and Satan, and learns things not revealed in Scripture. We don’t doubt that the little boy is convinced that he visited heaven, but we don’t believe for a minute that it actually happened.

First, the book is contrary to the testimony of Scripture that the apostles were the last to see the resurrected Christ. This was one of the evidences of apostleship (Acts 1:22; 1 Corinthians 9:1; 15:7). Paul said that he was the last of the apostles to see Christ, meaning that he saw Christ some time after the other apostles had seen him (1 Cor. 15:8). This occurred on more than one occasion in his life as described in the book of Acts. Paul gave this testimony in the context of giving the eyewitness evidence for Christ’s resurrection. We also know that the apostle John saw Christ on the island of Patmos as described in Revelation 1. All of the evidence we need for our faith is found in the testimony of Scripture and in these particular eyewitnesses.

Second, the book is contrary to Paul’s statement that when he had visited heaven he heard things that he was not allowed to repeat (2 Cor. 12:4). Obviously, then, a person cannot visit heaven and describe whatever he sees and hears there.

Third, the book Heaven Is for Real is contrary God’s emphasis on the priority and sufficiency of faith and Scripture. The book contains testimonies of how people have believed in God and heaven because of Colton’s alleged visitation, but the Bible says that without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6), and faith comes by hearing God’s Word, not by signs and wonders (Romans 10:17). In his account of the rich man and Lazarus, Jesus taught that if someone does not hear the Scriptures, he will not “be persuaded, though one rose from the dead” (Luke 16:31). All of the signs and revelation we need are found in the completed canon of Scripture (John 20:30-31). The Bible is able to make the man of God “perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works “(2 Timothy 3:16-17). God has told us everything He wants us to know about heaven at this time.

Fourth, the book Heaven Is for Real is contrary to the Bible’s plain teachings. For example, Colton says Jesus’ horse is rainbow-colored (p. 63), whereas the Bible says it is white (Rev. 19:11). Colton says the Holy Spirit shoots down power from heaven (p. 125), whereas the Bible says the Holy Spirit came from heaven at Pentecost and He is the power (Acts 1:8). Colton says everyone has wings in heaven except Jesus (p. 72), that the angel Gabriel sits on the left hand of God’s throne (p. 101), that the Holy Spirit is blue and sits in a chair near the throne of God (p. 102), and “for our Catholic friends” the book is happy to report that Mary stands in heaven beside Jesus (p. 152). Some might ask, how Colton could learn secrets about his dead sister who died in the womb and facts about his great grandfather that he had not been told. The answer is demons. Paul warned that Satan transforms himself into an angel of light and his ministers as ministers of righteousness (2 Cor. 11:14-15). The book Heaven Is for Real also promotes the visions of child progeny Akiane Kramarik, who began “seeing heaven” at age four (pp. 141-144). Colton claims that the “Jesus” that he saw in heaven is the same “Jesus” that Akiane drew from her visions at age nine. But Akiane’s religious faith is a New Age type faith in a vaguely defined “God.” It is religious mysticism rather than faith in an infallible Revelation from God and the blood atonement of Christ. Even if we knew what Jesus looked like, we are forbidden by God’s law to make His likeness (Exodus 20:4).

 

I believe that the 66 books of the Bible is the divine Word of  God.

Those who subtract from the 66, end up with an incomplete knowledge of God.  Those in this camp, isolate verses to create their own theology or pet views. Or they focus only on one book like Acts, or Revelation and like to ignore the epistles which are full of warnings to the church. Ignoring the Old Testament deprives one of the richness of learning about the Patriarchs and learning about God’s power and sovereignty.

Those who add to scripture do so in various ways. One way is to read the gnostic books that were rejected long ago. The seduction that one has found secret answers outside of scripture is very bewitching. But as I watch those who pay heed to these writings I see them falling away from the simplicity that is in Christ, and ridicule those who cling to the canon as narrow and unsophisticated. They use John 3:12 as a verse to say that others do not understand heavenly things like they do. Eve desired this knowledge so long ago, she thought it would make her wise and like God. But the opposite happened. She doubted God by listening to the serpent who asked, ” Did God really say?”

Another way people add to scripture is to prophesy from their hearts and minds, but they tell fables and their predictions do not come true. The Bible is clear…do not listen to them for they do not speak for God.

****** 

ASSAULT ON BIBLE PROVES ITS DIVINE INSPIRATION (Friday Church News Notes, July 15, 2011, http://www.wayoflife.org

The broad assault on the Bible today is a fulfillment of prophecy and therefore an evidence that the Bible is true. 2 Timothy 3:7-8 warns that even professing Christians will join in the assault. They will be ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth, and in fact, will resist the truth (2 Tim. 3:7-8).

This is a perfect description of Christian higher education today, even among “evangelicals” (as we have documented in the book New Evangelicalism). The typical seminary takes a syncretistic approach, having a tolerant attitude toward a wide assortment of “theologies” and enthusiastically entertaining an endless stream of ancient and end-times heresies, while despising any dogmatic approach to doctrine and attacking those who hold the Bible as the infallibly inspired Word of God.

Christianity Today recently published an article questioning the historicity of Adam and Eve and pretending that it doesn’t matter one way or the other. 2 Timothy 4:3-4 prophesies that end-times Christians will trade sound doctrine for fables and will be led in this diabolical business by heaps of teachers who are willing to scratch people’s ears with new things. Peter prophesied that many will teach damnable heresies, even attacking the person and character of Christ; and by their false teaching and sensual lifestyle they will bring great reproach upon Christianity (2 Peter 2:1-2).

Peter also prophesied that at the end of the age there will be widespread unbelief toward the global flood and the second coming of Christ; there will be scoffing and flagrant rejection of God’s moral laws (2 Peter 3:3-6). The apostasy, which began in the days of the apostles, will grow in intensity as the church age progresses (2 Timothy 3:13).

These amazing 2,000-year-old prophecies, which are precise and detailed, give a perfect description of conditions in our day. This would not be possible apart from divine inspiration.

As a  childrens’ Bible teacher in BSF I can usually tell  the children who are home-schooled and are not allowed to watch TV. They usually always have their lessons done and seem to be quite a bit more articulate.  Here are some excellent excerpts from David Clouds site, Way of  Life.

By David Cloud

FAMILIES THAT HAVE GIVEN UP TELEVISION
The following is taken from “Keeping the Kids,” which has just been released.

Following are some of the testimonies that were sent to me recently by Christian parents who have gotten rid of the television. I requested these in the context of a new book I am writing entitled “Keeping the Kids.” These testimonies are extensive and there is some repetition, but I believe that it is important to publish them in order to offset the status quo that exists even in most allegedly staunch Bible-believing churches today.

“Sick of the nasty language, barely dressed women and/or men, sexual content, drugs, drinking, murder, the commercials, the list goes on, we have not had cable/antenna hook up for about six years in our home and we LOVE IT! The result has been wonderful! We are no longer couch potatoes. We enjoy the quietness in the home. We enjoy each other’s company. We enjoy more time spent with Father God. We spend more time in prayer, reading God’s Word and being with the each other. We do more out of doors activities–walking trails, driving to the mountains, etc.”

“Being engulfed in front of a TV has nothing to do with family time. Real family time is getting closer to God and developing an intimate, passionate, and personal relationship with Jesus!”

“We were compulsive TV watchers. Enslaved is actually the word, so I had to eliminate it. Now we have a lot of time for the family. We do Bible study after dinner every day and play games with the kids. My wife and I have more personal time.”

“We gave up the television because of the wickedness of it and its effect on our lives and the kids. I can’t stand hearing God’s name being blasphemed! The kids are a LOT more obedient and listen to instruction. Reading has been the main replacement activity.”“We have four children from ages 16 to 8. We do not watch commercial television with the exception of occasional news and weather. Our children are not allowed to watch TV unsupervised. There are no TVs in the bedrooms. We found that even good educational shows had offensive commercials. Even most educational shows have a strong humanistic, evolutionistic, and anti-Christian bias.”“God spoke softly to our hearts. We just started feeling very uncomfortable when we were watching TV. My husband said that it’s time to get rid of it. It was not a slow process of just eliminating a few programs; we just threw the TV out. … It is a real tool of Satan to subtly get your mind off of Jesus. I mean when you’re watching Die Hard, or any other show for that matter, are you really thinking on things that are pure, just, holy, peaceable, etc. like the Bible commands us to do? We need to obey the whole Bible not just parts of it. Do you think Jesus and the Holy Spirit are sitting down with you as you watch TV hours on end? God has a higher calling for us. Just read James 1:27. Most people forgot that second half of that verse, ‘Keep yourself unspotted from the world.’”

“We have chosen not to watch television because of the ungodly influences. Scripture is very clear that we are not to learn the way of the heathen and that we are to be simple concerning that which is evil. We don’t feel justified in wading through the filth to enjoy a few decent programs. Some folks say they can control it, but we don’t believe that is possible. It ends up controlling those who watch it and they become desensitized to the wickedness that is on it. We also believe that TV viewing is a great waste of time, that it hinders creativity and results in a short attention span. How can we ask for the Lord’s blessing on our home while pumping the filth of this world into our living room? How can we expect our children to be spiritually minded and to have a heart for God and revival while having a steady diet of ‘garbage’ from TV?”

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