Sermon Sunday – George Whitefield – Parting with Christ for the Pleasures of Life

July 31, 2011 at 6:30 am | Posted in Sermon Sunday | Leave a comment
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The Folly and Danger of parting with Christ for the Pleasures and Profits of Life


by


George Whitefield


(1714-1770)

Matthew 8:23-34 – “And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. And his disciples came to [him], and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marveled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him! And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way. And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time? And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding. So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine. And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters. And they that kept them fled, and went their ways into the city, and told every thing, and what was befallen to the possessed of the devils. And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus: and when they saw him, they besought [him] that he would depart out of their coasts.” Continue Reading Sermon Sunday – George Whitefield – Parting with Christ for the Pleasures of Life…

Persecution Fridays – Eritrea

July 1, 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

Eritrea: Unimaginable Suffering

Eritrean Christians fleeing persecution often face appalling conditions in Egypt, according to a report on the Christian Today website. The report cites The Barnabas Fund as saying that Egypt is the most common destination for Christians escaping from Eritrea, one of the most hostile countries in the world for believers. The Eritrean government sees Christians and evangelicals as a threat to national security because of their allegiance to God over the state. Continue Reading Persecution Fridays – Eritrea…

Persecution Fridays: Algeria

June 10, 2011 at 7:47 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

Algeria: Churches Threatened

A provincial governor ordered seven churches in the province of Béjaïa to close recently, but Christian leaders do not intend to comply. On May 22, 2011, the Béjaïa police commissioner sent an official letter to the head of the Algerian Protestant Church Association (EPA), stating that all churches in his province and around the country should be closed immediately. The notice cited a May 8 decision from the governor of Béjaïa province.

The police commissioner wrote, “Close down all the worship places around the country once for all, the places which are used now and the places which are under construction.” According to the notice, if the churches do not comply, they may face “severe consequences and punishments.”

After delivering the notice, police summoned the leaders of seven churches in Béjaïa to sign a document accepting the order. But the leaders did not comply, citing the regional governor’s limited authority. They will continue to hold regular church services as scheduled.

“They said we have to be in conformity to the law,” Mustapha Krim, a president of the EPA, told Compass Direct News. “We’ve always tried to do this and have submitted all that they requested. Now it’s up to them to give us the authorization and do what they need to do.”

Church registration is required under Ordinance 06-03, a law enacted in 2006. The churches have tried to register, but officials have refused to grant or even respond to applications for registration, EPA leaders told Compass Direct. “This first notification may be the beginning of permanently closing every place of worship other than Islam throughout the national territory,” a church leader in Tizi Ouzou told International Christian Concern. “We must begin to make noise and to not allow this to pass over in silence, or else the authorities will crush us.”

What has Jesus done for me? (long)

April 22, 2011 at 11:08 am | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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It seems that more and more these days people are asking one simple question. It may take a few different forms, but at it’s root, it’s all the same: “What has Jesus done for me?”. Sometimes it comes out in the attitudes, sometimes in actual words but it’s there none the less. Man’s pride puts himself at the top of the pyramid with everything else beneath him. Even family and friends are often under self. Some that ask this question, do so because they can’t see how Jesus has done anything for them. They think that they are responsible for their own success. Ironically, they always seem to blame God for their failures. Continue Reading What has Jesus done for me? (long)…

Persecution Friday: Pakistan

March 11, 2011 at 9:26 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

Pakistan: Christian Minister Killed

A pamphlet left by Taliban forces at the scene of the crime.

Pakistan’s only Christian cabinet member, Shahbaz Bhatti, was assassinated by gunmen on March 2, 2011. Shahbaz, a member of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party, ardently advocated reforming Pakistan’s blasphemy law, which is often used against Christians. He is the second politician killed for criticizing the blasphemy law and calling for the release of convicted Christian Asia Bibi. The governor of Punjab province, Salman Taseer, was killed on Jan. 4 after he publicly spoke out against the law. Several armed men opened fire on Shahbaz’s car in a residential neighborhood of Islamabad. Two of the men pulled Shahbaz’s driver out of the car while the third man repeatedly fired his Kalashnikov into the vehicle. Shahbaz was killed instantly. Pakistani television carried images of his bullet-riddled car. 

 Pamphlets attributed to Al-Qaeda and a branch of the Pakistani Taliban were distributed at the scene, warning that anyone who criticized the blasphemy law would be killed. Last November, Shahbaz joined Governor Taseer in championing the case of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman who was convicted of blasphemy and sentenced to death. Shahbaz had been receiving death threats since the governor’s murder. He said in several interviews that he was “the highest target right now,” but he vowed to continue his work and trusted his life to God, according to Compass Direct News. “I don’t believe that bodyguards can save me after the assassination [of Taseer],” he said. “I believe in the protection from heaven.”

Shahbaz was a committed Christian. In a BBC video recorded just four months ago, Shahbaz said, “I want to share that I believe in Jesus Christ, who has given his own life for us. I know what is the meaning of cross. And I am following the cross.” He joined the Pakistan People’s Party in 2002 and was appointed the Federal Minister for Minorities in 2008, the first Christian to hold the position. According to Release International’s CEO, Andy Dipper, “Shahbaz was an uncompromising supporter of minorities in Pakistan who face abuse and unfair treatment. He was fully aware of the risks in speaking out. Extremists have succeeded in destroying another good man.”

Persecution Fridays: Iran

February 4, 2011 at 10:49 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: www.persecution.com 

Iran: Government Cracks Down

Since Christmas, more than 70 Christians have been arrested in Iran in a large, well-coordinated strike. Most of those arrested belong to the house church movement. Many were released from custody, but a dozen or more remain in detention. Those charged with trying to convert Muslims face the possibility of a death sentence. Officials say that more detentions are possible, and Tehran’s governor said in a recent speech that evangelicals are “corrupt and deviant.”

According to a Washington Times report, Saman Kamvar of the Iranian Christian News Agency attributes the increased persecution of evangelicals to remarks made last year by Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. Khamenei denounced the house church movement during a speech on Oct. 19, warning Iranians against the “network of house churches” that “threaten Islamic faith and deceive young Muslims.”

Christians, including traditional groups such as Armenians, Assyrians and Chaldeans, make up less than 1 percent of the population. About 0.2 percent are evangelical Christians, and many of those are part of the house church movement. Because the Iranian government cannot monitor them, house churches present a greater threat than historically established churches.

VOM works closely with house churches in Iran, supporting them with literature, Bibles and other ministry tools. Contacts tell us that Iranians are very open to the gospel right now, after a generation of living under the heavy hand of Islam. House churches are growing daily as Iranians trust Christ with their lives. Pray that these recent arrests will only strengthen the commitment of new Christians. Pray that house church leaders who are under surveillance will find creative ways to continue sharing the gospel.

Newslinks 01/09/11

January 9, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Posted in Newslinks | Leave a comment
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Sunday’s Newslinks brought to you by At Ease Tees

 

Passion to 22,000 Students: Be Free, Fully Alive in Jesus
People want to be here. That’s the sense you get when you come to the Passion 2011 conference that opened Saturday, New Year’s Day, with 22,000 students.

Beth Moore: Control Your Mind, Focus on ‘One Thing’

 

American Churches Begin 2011 with Prayer, Fasting

 

Atheists Declare Religions as ‘Scams’ in New Ad

 

Global Church Body Condemns ‘Vicious Attack’ in Egypt

 

Islamic Extremists Protest Efforts to Change Blasphemy Laws and Free Christian

Louie Giglio Surprises Passion Crowd with Haitian Family
Attendees of the Passion conference on Sunday heard about a family that survived the Haiti earthquake that destroyed their home and killed two family members. What the crowd did not expect was to see them walk out on stage. Continue Reading Newslinks 01/09/11…

Newslinks 07/11/10

July 11, 2010 at 11:55 am | Posted in Newslinks | Leave a comment
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Sunday’s Newslinks brought to you by At Ease Tees

Atheists put billboard on Billy Graham Parkway
A statewide coalition of atheists and agnostics has placed billboards in six North Carolina cities, including one along the Billy Graham Parkway in Charlotte.

Euthanasia weighs evenly on U.S. morality scale
Gallup’s most recent “Values and Beliefs” survey shows an even split among Americans on the issue of doctor-assisted suicide.

Reformed churches merger approved
The World Alliance of Reformed Churches and the Reformed Ecumenical Council have agreed to merge into the World Communion of Reformed Churches.

When is someone brain dead?
In order to make sure doctors reach the correct conclusion in determining brain death, new guidelines that call for a lengthy examination have been developed.

Joni Eareckson Tada Not Shaken by Breast Cancer
After 43 years of living paralyzed from the neck down and recently learning that she now has breast cancer, Joni Eareckson Tada remains all smiles. Continue Reading Newslinks 07/11/10…

Newslinks 06/27/10

June 27, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Posted in Newslinks | Leave a comment
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Sunday’s Newslinks brought to you by At Ease Tees

Sherwood’s new film focuses on fatherhood
The pastor of the church that made the hit movie Fireproof says his congregation’s next film will stress the importance of fathers in their children’s lives.

Adopted child joins Mark Hall this Father’s Day
The lead singer of the Christian band Casting Crowns says adopting a little girl from China last month has given him insight into what it means to be adopted into God’s family.

Emmy nomination for pro-life program
A pro-life TV show has received a nomination for a regional Emmy Award.

Guns in church bill headed to governor
Concealed weapons will be allowed in some Louisiana churches after all.

Reformed Bodies Sign Off on Merger
The two largest reformed church bodies officially merged on Friday to become the World Communion of Reformed Churches, representing more than 80 million Christians. Continue Reading Newslinks 06/27/10…

Newslinks 06/13/10

June 13, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Posted in Newslinks | Leave a comment
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Sunday’s Newslinks brought to you by At Ease Tees

Franklin Graham Closes 3rd Brazilian Festival with Over 25,000
American evangelist Franklin Graham concluded his third evangelistic festival in Brazil Saturday night, preaching to over 25,000 Brazilians in the city of Belo Horizonte.

Homeland Security Seeks to Deport Christian ‘Son of Hamas’

‘Leaving Islam’ Bus Ads Run in NYC

Dallas Baptist Church Ousted over Gay Deacons

Federal Judge to Rule Soon on Church Graduation Case

Prayers for N. Korean Christians Urged as Tensions Rise, Sanctions OKd

America pauses to remember its military heroes
Across the U.S. on this Memorial Day, Americans are pausing to remember those who have paid the ultimate price for the freedoms we enjoy.

Abstinence message – teachers wrong, student right
A middle-school student in Minnesota has regained his right to wear at school a T-shirt bearing an abstinence message. Continue Reading Newslinks 06/13/10…


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