Platitudes, Proclamations, and Twisted Scripture

July 29, 2014 at 7:44 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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When I see people post statuses by famous megachurch pastors talking about how we are conquerers or how we have God’s favor or how we’re blessed beyond measure: I can’t help but wonder:

Are the Christians in Mosul who are being murdered by Muslims solely because they profess Christ actually false believers? Or do they just lack the amount of faith it takes to be conquerers/have God’s favor/be blessed beyond measure. I mean, surely, if they were REAL Christians like the megachurch pastors, they wouldn’t have their houses burned down, they wouldn’t be fleeing the city that 4 generations of their family has lived in, and they wouldn’t be watching their children be slaughtered before their very eyes before being martyred themselves. Continue Reading Platitudes, Proclamations, and Twisted Scripture…

Sermon Sunday – Charles Spurgeon – A New Creation

January 1, 2012 at 6:30 am | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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A New Creation

by

C. H. SPURGEON

1834-1892

“He that sat upon the throne said, Behold I make all things new.”–

Revelation 21:5.

Men generally venerate antiquity. It were hard to say which has the stronger power over the human mind–antiquity or novelty. While men will frequently dote upon the old, they are most easily dazzled by the new. Anything new has at least one attraction. Restless spirits consider that the new must be better than the old. Though often disappointed, they are still ready to be caught by the same bait, and, like the Athenians of Mars Hill, spend their time in nothing else but either to tell or to hear some new thing. And as for ourselves, dear friends, mournfully as we sometimes think of the flight of time, we are wont cheerfully to look out upon the new epochs as they begin to dawn upon us. If our calendar suggests some dismal memories in the past, our calculation forestalls some happier prospects in the future. And it will sometimes happen that we leave so much anxiety, adversity, and chastisement behind us, that it is a relief to hope that the tide has turned, and that a course of comfort, prosperity, and mercy lies before us. One weeps over the past and the lost. I suppose the best of men must do so at times. I am sure those of us who are not the best, feel often constrained to pour out some such a lamentation as this:– Continue Reading Sermon Sunday – Charles Spurgeon – A New Creation…

Persecution Fridays: Indonesia – Pastor Arrested

November 18, 2011 at 10:05 am | Posted in VOM Fridays | Leave a comment
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For more news on what’s really happening to Christians around the world go to the Voice of the Martyrs website: www.persecution.com

Indonesia: Pastor Arrested

After closing the Indonesia Pentecost Church (Gpdi) in Sumedang, Indonesia, for using an illegal building permit, authorities arrested the church’s pastor for forcing others to attend church. The church was built more than 24 years ago, and it has experienced threats only within the last few months.

“This church building is a permanent building, and it has been there for more than 24 years,” said Theophilus Belo, director of Jakarta Christian Communication Forum (FKKJ). “During that time, everything was going well. But on July this year, this congregation got a problem. Their church has been closed by local administration.”

On Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011, a local administrative group threatened to close the church. The church had previously received a letter urging them to stop Christian activities, and the district head of Jatinangor in Sumedang, Nandang Suparman, said the church building had no legal building permit.

“Until today we have not yet received their building permit documentation application,” Suparman said. “We have checked if they are already submitting it from a district administrative level. On May this year, if I’m not mistaken, we sent them a letter to urge them to start applying for their building permit. We are already giving them a chance to start applying, but they don’t do it.”

Suparman urged the church to move its services into a church building belonging to the Institute of Public Administration (IPND). “I’ll talk with the leaders of IPND that this congregation is permitted to use their institute’s church building,” he said.

The Indonesian Christian organization Kabar Gereja reports that the IPND cannot accommodate the congregations of any more closed churches. At least 14 churches have been relocated to the IPND’s church building.

Gpdi’s pastor was put on trial on Oct. 3 at Sumedang Government Court, and he faces up to three months in prison for forcing others to attend church. The church’s closure adds to the long list of churches that have been closed by Indonesian authorities. Other church leaders have also been arrested after their churches closed, according to Kabar Gereja. According to the FKKJ, at least 30 churches have been closed or burned in Indonesia in 2011.

Persecution Fridays – Egypt – Video Sparks Protest

November 4, 2011 at 9:49 am | Posted in VOM Fridays | Leave a comment
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For more news on what’s really happening to Christians around the world go to the Voice of the Martyrs website: http://www.persecution.com

Egypt: Video Sparks Protests

A YouTube video of 25 Egyptian soldiers beating Coptic Christian Raef After Faheem prompted a protest by thousands of Coptic Christians on Sunday, Oct. 9.

“[I] would like to let you know that millions of Egyptian Christians will go out to the streets all over Egypt — from all the cities — to demonstrate against the army leaders because of the video,” a VOM contact wrote the day before the protests. “The Muslim group and Salafi movement are threatening the Christians, saying that we do not have any rights in the country. We do not know what could happen tomorrow, but we decided to go out and [use] our voices against persecution.”

The military fired at demonstrators when the protests began Sunday afternoon, and videos posted online show increased violence as military vehicles ran over protestors. According to VOM contacts, the Egyptian military eventually attacked the hospital where injured Christians were being treated and even tried to kill hospital employees. International news agencies report that at least 24 people have been killed, including at least 17 Christians.

The violence began after Muslim extremists attacked a recently rebuilt Christian church in Sohag, near Cairo. The governor of Sohag protected the church’s attackers and said, “If the Muslims did not destroy the church on that day, I would go destroy it myself.” Shocked by the governor’s comment, the Christians held a demonstration at a TV and radio building, and the Egyptian army responded to the demonstrations. A VOM contact said, “They were very [tough] in beating and attacking the Christians instead of restoring their rights. [This] situation is too hard and really unbelievable. We are waiting for the Lord to show mercy on the martyrs’ families. Please keep praying for us, and ask our beloved friends everywhere to pray.”

Sermon Sunday – J.C. Ryle – Faith and Assurance

October 23, 2011 at 6:30 am | Posted in Sermon Sunday | Leave a comment
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FAITH AND ASSURANCE

by

J. C. Ryle

(1816-1900)

 

If you are a thoughtless, careless man about your soul, you will take no interest in the subject of this sermon. Faith and assurance are mere names and words to you: they are neither land, nor money, nor horses, nor dress, nor meat, nor drink: like Gallio, you care not for them. Alas, poor soul! I mourn over you. The day will come when you will think differently.

Reader, if you really desire to go to heaven, and to go there in the Bible way, you will find the subject of this sermon of the deepest importance. Believe me, your own comfort in religion, and your peace of conscience, depend exceedingly on understanding the matter about which I am going to speak.

I say then, that faith in Christ, and a full assurance of being saved by Christ, are two distinct things. Continue Reading Sermon Sunday – J.C. Ryle – Faith and Assurance…

Persecution Fridays – Myanmar – Faith Over Family

October 21, 2011 at 6:30 am | Posted in VOM Fridays | Leave a comment
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For more news on what’s really happening to Christians around the world go to the Voice of the Martyrs website: www.persecution.com

Myanmar: Faith over Family

A young Christian in Myanmar was forced to choose between faith and family recently when her relatives demanded that she recant her faith. On Sept. 19, 2011, 21-year-old Ying was preparing to leave for classes at an underground seminary when her relatives locked her in the house. They threatened to disown her, beat her and withdraw support — including food — if she continued to attend seminary or church. In addition, they threatened to send her to a remote village with no known Christians if she did not recant her faith. Instead of giving in to their demands, Ying ran away from home and left her family behind.

Ying’s mother died when Ying was young, and her father left her with an aunt and two stepsisters. Although she grew up and lived in a Buddhist family, Ying became interested in Christianity. When she was 20 years old, she overheard an evangelist telling a neighboring family about Christ. Ying approached the evangelist and asked him questions about Christianity. At 20 years old, she became a Christian.

Ying began to attend seminary immediately after her conversion. Since leaving her family last month, she has had no means of support. VOM is now helping pay Ying’s seminary fees and living expenses. After she completes seminary, Ying hopes to serve as a missionary to people who have never heard about Christ.

Genesis 18:16-33

October 17, 2011 at 6:30 am | Posted in Bible Study | 1 Comment
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Then the men rose up from there, and looked down toward Sodom; and Abraham was walking with them to send them off. The LORD said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, since Abraham will surely become a great and mighty nation, and in him all the nations of the earth will be blessed? “For I have chosen him, so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing righteousness and justice, so that the LORD may bring upon Abraham what He has spoken about him.” And the LORD said, “The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave. “I will go down now, and see if they have done entirely according to its outcry, which has come to Me; and if not, I will know.” Then the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, while Abraham was still standing before the LORD. Continue Reading Genesis 18:16-33…

Sermon Sunday – Charles Spurgeon – Job’s Sure Knowledge

October 16, 2011 at 6:30 am | Posted in Sermon Sunday | Leave a comment
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Job’s Sure Knowledge

September 10th, 1876
by
C. H. SPURGEON
(1834-1892)

“For I know that my Redeemer liveth,”—Job 19:25.

I daresay you know that there are a great many difficulties about the translation of this passage. It is a very complicated piece of Hebrew, partly, I suppose, owing to its great antiquity, being found in what is, probably, one of the oldest Books of the Bible. Besides that, different persons have tried to translate it according to their own varying views. The Jews stiffly fight against the notion of the Messiah and his resurrection being found in this verve, while many Christian commentators see here everything that we can find in the New Testament, and translate the passage as though Job were as well instructed in this matter as we are now that Christ “hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” Others say that, while there is, no doubt, a reference to the person and the resurrection of Christ, yet it is not so vivid as some seem to think. Continue Reading Sermon Sunday – Charles Spurgeon – Job’s Sure Knowledge…

Persecution Fridays – Iran – Government Takes Child

October 14, 2011 at 6:30 am | Posted in VOM Fridays | Leave a comment
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For more news on what’s really happening to Christians around the world go to the Voice of the Martyrs website: www.persecution.com

Iran: Government Takes Child

Agents of Iran’s intelligence ministry recently took a Christian couple’s adopted child, demanding that the couple file a complaint against other Christians being held in prison, according to Mohabat News. The couple was taken to the hospital because of emotional stress caused by the loss of their child. “This is the first time I have ever seen this tactic — taking a child hostage,” said a VOM contact. “In the past, it is always the parents.”

The Christian couple legally adopted their child after years of waiting, according to Mohabat News. Security officers reportedly took the child as a way to pressure the Christian family and other Christian converts. Mohabat News reports that the security agents threatened the couple, saying, “If you want your child back, you must file a complaint against your fellow Christians in prison.”

Within the past year, Christians have been arrested, falsely charged and imprisoned for extensive periods of time. House and church raids are common occurrences, and the Christian community faces continual threats and pressure. Please pray that this Christian couple will get their child back soon and that they will rely on God during this time of extreme emotional stress.

Design of the Week – Leaves Change

October 12, 2011 at 6:30 am | Posted in Designs of the Week | Leave a comment
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This week’s design is called Leaves Change.

The design shows a photo of fall leaves that fades out from color to black and white to nothing. You’ll also see that the design has an ornate frame and the phrase “I, the Lord, do not change” which is found in Malachi 3:6.

The basis for the design is the idea that everything we know changes. Time continues on and almost nothing stays the same. People get older, days get shorter/longer, and seasons change. In the fall the leaves of deciduous trees all change colors and fall off in preparation for winter. With all of these changes going on, we get used to it. We also take for granted that things change and expect all things to be like that. This can be difficult when we’re facing problems and need something/someone to be consistent.

There are numerous places in the Bible that talk about God’s unchanging character. He always has been and always will be the just, holy, righteous Creator of the universe. He will also always be the forgiving, merciful God that sent His Son to take our place. The fact that God doesn’t change is something that bring solace to all of those who are Christians. Regardless of the trials and tribulations we face, God doesn’t change. He is always there and always will be…

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