MOST PEOPLE REJECT TRUTH

In a recently posted video, U.S. Olympic gold medallist Sydney McLaughlin opened up about the “toxic” nature of fame and the pain she’s felt as those around her have rejected her because of her faith in Jesus. McLaughlin, 22, filmed the video after the Olympic Trials, which were held in Eugene, Oregon, in late June, but didn’t share it until this week.

AP Photo/Kyusung Gong
Sydney McLaughlin says Fame Is ‘Such a Test of Faith’ as critics reject ‘Jesus Living in Me’

She said it “hurts” not knowing “when it’s going to be enough for a lot of people,” adding she’s “worked really hard, and been very cautious of how I carry myself, of the things that I post because I want to glorify God and I want to be a good example to people, but our world only accepts ignorance.”

McLaughlin, who has been very outspoken about her faith in Christ, said she feels she’s being rejected because she gives God the glory for her success.

People reject truth,” the New Jersey native explained. “I know they’re not rejecting me. They’re rejecting Jesus living in me. That’s fine, but I’m just being honest, like, sometimes my flesh has a problem with that.”

In the caption for the video, McLaughlin said she feels the 10-minute clip carries “a deeper message than just my emotions that I think others may need to hear.”

“Even in success,” she wrote, “there can be pain. Even in triumph, there can be tribulations. But how you respond, and the lens in which you view those situations, provides an opportunity for growth and change.”

“I am beyond grateful for everything that has taken place this year,” the Olympian continued. “But the thing I am most grateful for is a renewed mind that has allowed for me to look at a video like this and see the changes Christ is doing in my life.”

COVID 19 WILL BE GOOD FOR THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST

God’s word reminds believers that “for those who love God all things work together for good” (Romans 8:28, ESV). Meaning, ultimately, COVID-19 will be good for the church of Jesus Christ. Of all the things believers are promised in scripture, bodily safety is not one of them. In fact, it says the opposite!

We are told by the Apostle Paul that “all who desire to live godly lives shall suffer” (2 Timothy 3:12).

Aside from whatever physical and emotional scars the coronavirus might leave upon the body of Christ, we can be sure that, in time, this event will produce wonderful fruit. As backwards as it may sound, Let’s welcome this reality. It is as Charles Spurgeon once said, “I have learned to kiss the wave that throws me against the Rock of Ages”.

Remember most viruses play a useful role in the design of God’s universe

The ugly idol of personal safety has plunged its jagged thorns deep inside the hearts of not only American Christians bot those in most affluent nations. Decades of excessive comforts and conveniences have created lazy, self-serving, inward-looking Christians. Many have forgotten how to trust God for provision. Instead, we have looked to ourselves, our stocked supermarkets, our full refrigerators, and our 401ks (pension plan) to provide the assurance that our future’s are secure. Throughout history, God has often allowed outside forces and tragedies to remind His people to look only to Him for comfort and assurance. We should remember this as we wander into the unknown of the Coronavirus pandemic. Lest we forget, the Israelites wandered the desert 40 years as they learned to trust God for daily provisions.

Whatever trials the days ahead may bring, it seems certain our faith will be tested. How will you choose to respond?

Extracted from a great article Christians, COVID-19, and the Dangerous Idol of Personal Safety by Jack Wells, www. patheos .com

GIVE GLORY TO GOD

The first purpose for which we were created was to give God glory and make His glory known to others. For example, if we get into trouble, we are told to “call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me (Psalm 50:15). The psalmist knew that it was Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness” (Psalm 115:1). 

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork”. (Psalm 19:1), so rightfully we should say, O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens” (Psalm 8:1).

Answered prayer gives God glory, so the Lord our God is to be praised and we should seek to glorify His name.

Jesus is returning to this earth to complete unfinished business with Israel and all of the nations. Jesus will rule the nations from a completely restructured Jerusalem. Israel will be the lead nation exactly as Jesus promised the O.T. prophets.

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11

All the nations you have made shall come and worship before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name.” Psalms 86:9.

In the Millennial Kingdom, they [will] sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb” (Rev. 15:3a), asking, “Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship you, for your righteous acts have been revealed” (Rev. 15:4).

Give glory to God now, you will have no choice if you survive to live on in the Millennial Kingdom.

Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.” Revelation 20:6

GOD IS ALL POWERFUL

The book of Nehemiah vividly demonstrates that God is all-powerful and able to accomplish his will, both in individual lives and in nations. Nehemiah’s prayer in Neh. 9 focuses on praising God for his sovereign and powerful acts: God created the heavens and earth (Neh. 9:6), called Abram from Ur, and gave the land to Israel (Neh. 9:7-8, 22-25). The miraculous signs in Egypt, the parting of the Red Sea, and the provision of guidance, food, and water in the wilderness all demonstrate God’s power over man and nature to provide for his people (Neh. 9:9-15).

The Lord had sent the Israelites into exile after generations of persistent sin (Neh. 9:26-27). Now he was fulfilling part of his promise to restore them (Neh. 1:8-9).

NEHEMIAH HAD CONFIDENCE IN GOD

Nehemiah had confidence to pray and lead because he knew that everything that happened was part of God’s sovereign plan. This same confidence in God’s sovereignty led Abram to leave Ur and by faith go to an unknown land (Genesis 12:1-3; Hebrews 11:8-10), caused Rahab to trust in God (Joshua 2:9-14; Hebrews 11:31), and prompted Hezekiah not to give in to the demands of the Assyrian king Sennacherib (2 Kings 18–19).

Confidence comes when people believe that God will keep his promises and complete the work he has started in their lives.

And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6

How about you? Where do you lack confidence? Can you think of any promises God makes that you can rely on as a source of confidence? Share some of God’s promises that have given you confidence in the Comments section and I will share them on LEN. Love to get feedback.

Available as a ebook on Amazon and from me as a trade paperback edition by making a donation of $10 (Australia) or $15 (International to cover postage) Click on Donation icon on Home Page. Email ron@bakb.com.au your mailing address.

OUR UNCHANGING GOD

This is what I believe, but it is certainly not what many theologians believe. The God of the Bible, the God of Jesus Christ, the God of Christianity, is a God who voluntarily opens himself up to being affected by what happens in the world because his nature is love. In that process, however, God’s essential nature and character never change. God’s specific (consequent) will and ways change in relation to the world (us), but God’s overall character and purpose never change. This is “ethical immutability.”

Dr Bruce Ware (www.biblicaltraining.org) gives an excellent definition of divine immutability:

“To say that God is immutable I believe, biblically, means that God cannot change in his attributes, his essence, or his very being, that is, who God is as God. And secondly he cannot change in his ethical commitments that are an extension of his own moral nature. I call the first aspect of immutability “Ontological Immutability” because it is the very being of God. ”Ontos” is the word for being. The very being of God, his nature, his essence cannot change. God is holy; he cannot be unholy. God is love; he cannot be not loving. God is just; he cannot be unjust. God is omnipotent; he cannot lack power. Of all of the attributes that are true of God, he cannot be other than who he is as God, his very nature.”

Problems in Scripture: “What about passages in Scripture that talk about God changing his mind or repenting, as it is sometimes translated? There are 28 affirmations and 7 denials of God’s repentance in the Old Testament. Twenty-eight times it says God repented or changed his mind, and seven times it says God’s can’t or doesn’t change his mind or doesn’t repent. To get to the nub of this in a way that I think helps is to look at 1 Samuel 15:11,35. In verses 11 and 35 we read that God repented or he relented of the fact that he made Saul king.

1 Samuel 15:11I regret that I have made Saul king, for he has turned back from following me and has not carried out my commands.” And Samuel was distressed and cried out to the Lord all night.

1 Sam 15:35Samuel did not see Saul again until the day of his death, for Samuel grieved over Saul. And the Lord regretted that he had made Saul king over Israel.

Here you have two uses of ”nacham”, this Hebrew word for relent or regret or change of mind. He changed his mind in regard to Saul being king. There is a third use of the word in this chapter in verse 29.

1 Sam 15:29Also the Glory of Israel will not lie or change his mind; for he is not a man that he should change his mind.

In what sense can we say with verse 11 and 35 God repented or relented or regretted that he made Saul king and then with verse 29 the Glory of Israel “cannot change his mind.” Is it possible that verse 29 establishes an absolute rule that God cannot literally change his mind or relent from what he has said in the way that we do as human beings. My point will be this, when we read verses 11 and 35 we dare not think that God relents of something in a way that we do, namely that he learns something new and goes, “What a mess; if I had only known that Saul would be such a jerk I wouldn’t have done this, what a mistake; I wish I hadn’t made him king.” We dare not think that God relents in the way we do. How do we relent? We learn something that we didn’t know before; we see something that we didn’t see before. We think differently of it because of that. We dare not think that is how God repents. Because the Glory of Israel cannot lie, will not lie or change his mind for he is not a man that he should change his mind. Here is my argument on verse 29. The Glory of Israel will not lie or change his mind. Almost the same phrase is used in Numbers 23:19 in Balaam’s second oracle. This is God speaking through Balaam. An almost identical same language is used I that. So you have two places in the Bible where we are told God cannot lie or change his mind.

God, knowing what Saul had done, observing the history as it unfolds, watches Saul’s disobedience, watches his presumption of instead of sacrificing everything as God told him to, he saves the best to sacrifice to the Lord. But God told him to kill them not bring them back and he didn’t. This is the presumption of his false piety and God detests it. God observes this, and in his relationship with Saul, as God deals with this disobedient rebellious king of Israel, he wishes that the king of Israel were not this way. But don’t think for a moment this means that God didn’t expect it or didn’t anticipate it, that God learned something new because of it. He regretted that the king of Israel would do this. What did he do in its place? He takes the Spirit from Saul, gives the Spirit to David, and puts a new king who will be the prototype king; the Messiah will come as the son of David. I take that these statements of God’s change, like in verses 11 and 35, if you look at them strictly speaking, are anthropomorphic; that is, they cannot be true literally of God. What they are stating is some truth using this vehicle of what looks to us like God changing his mind. Just like in the book of Jonah when Nineveh repented it says God relented, and he forgave them. In the book of Jonah, do you really think that God didn’t anticipate the repentance of the Ninevites? If God didn’t anticipate this he missed an awfully good cue for Jonah who did anticipate it, and that is why he fled to Tarshish. Did you get the point of that in the story? Jonah knew they would repent; Jonah, the dumb prophet, knew this. Did you think that God anticipated this was going to happen? Absolutely. It is not like God went, “My goodness look at what happened; I’m going to change my plan.” No. This is all part of plan A; there isn’t a plan B. So when it says God repented and forgave them, what does it mean? Not that he learned something new, but he changed in relationship to them from what he had said earlier. What does that look like to us? He changed his mind. That is what it appears like, so he is using human ways of understanding to express something that is not literally true of God in that fashion.”

THE GREATNESS OF GOD

We vote politicians in and out of office, but we cannot elect or remove God from His throne.

To whom then will you liken God, or what likeness compare with him? … Do you not know? Do you not hear? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain and spreads them like a tent to dwell in; who brings princes to nothing, and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness.
Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown, scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth, when He blows on them, and they wither, and the tempest carries them off like stubble. To whom then will you compare me, that I should be like him? says the Holy One.
Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name; by the greatness of His might and because He is strong in power, not one is missing… Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; His understanding is unsearchable.
Isaiah 40:18, 21-28

Jesus is returning to His earth soon to rule and reign with a rod of iron for 1000 years. Only then will this earth be destroyed and all the living and dead will face the White Throne Judgement. A new heaven and new earth await Jesus’ bride.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.Revelation 21:1-4

THOUSANDS GATHER IN THE STREETS OF UKRAINE TO PRAISE JESUS

The streets of Kiev filled with songs of praise and thanks as roughly 200,000 evangelical, Ukrainian Christians gathered to celebrated the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. Once again, it is another “end times” sign as we see prophecy being fulfilled. “And this gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all, and then the end will come.” Matthew 24:14 This once communist nation where the gospel could not be preached is now exporting missionaries worldwide.

“Many travelled from all four provinces there just to be a part of that celebration, to thank God for the freedom to worship, to thank God for the freedom to preach the Gospel in their country, and to celebrate God’s faithfulness,” Sergey Rakhuba with Mission Eurasia told Mission Network News.

The gathering came after Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko signed an order recognizing the anniversary of the Reformation.

“It was so exciting to see on the screen of my computer where I was watching young people with so much joy. They glorify God in the midst of their capital. This was the same place where they were protesting just a few years ago fighting for their freedom. But, also, this is the place where many years ago, Communists would force people to demonstrate and propagate Socialism, Atheism, Communism, and other ‘isms’ in their country.”

Rakhuba says young people are the key to spreading Protestantism in Ukraine.

“That’s what Mission Eurasia is doing, working with the next generation, those who take the baton, those who get into the generational gap and take the Gospel to their communities,” he says.

Young people aren’t just spreading the gospel in Ukraine, now they’re exporting missionaries throughout the world.

“I just talked to a group of young people, they just came to this celebration from their mission trip to Mongolia in China — young Ukrainians who felt like the Holy Spirit was leading them to take the Gospel to Mongolia where they reached thousands of young people through summer camps!”

Ukraine may still be in the middle of a war with Russia, but it is growing leaps and bounds spiritually.

“Ukraine is still in the midst of war. Eastern Ukraine and territories are still occupied by Russian or pro-Russian separatists. Crimea was annexed by Russia. So yes, Ukraine is struggling politically, economically, but Ukraine is striving today spiritually, pleading to God to bless that nation,” Rakhuba says.

WORSHIP THAT EXALTS ALL THREE MEMBERS OF THE TRINITY

So many worship songs are simple or cliche. This one from Hillsong will astound you. All three members of The Trinity are acknowledged in this worship song. How important it is we know the roles of each member of The Trinity.

Our heavenly Father sent His Son to pay the price of our redemption, to bring us back into a relationship with God. The Son made it possible for our heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit to indwell our spirit.                               

“The spirit of a man is the lamp of God. Proverbs 20:27 and “For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the spirit of God.” 1 Corinth. 2:11.

All three members of the Trinity are involved in our salvation. It is essential we understand their roles. To know that the Holy Spirit is our counsellor, our comforter, our teacher. How often have we quenched His work in us and grieved Him. He is the third person of the Trinity. He will indwell us forever including our resurrected body. We cannot be holy with the Holy Spirit indwelling us.

TRUMP SAID, “WE DON’T WORSHIP GOV’T, WE WORSHIP GOD

“As long as I am your president, no one is ever going to stop you from practising your faith,” Trump said at the evangelical Christian school in Lynchburg, Virginia, before a crowd of about 50,000 people

“America has always been the land of dreams because America is a nation of true believers,” the president continued. “When the pilgrims landed at Plymouth, they prayed. When the founders wrote the Declaration of Independence, they invoked our Creator four times. Because in America, we don’t worship government, we worship God.”
Trump added that for the same reason elected officials in the U.S. put their hands on the Bible and say, “So help me God,” while taking the oath of office. “It is why our currency proudly declares, ‘In God we trust,’ and it’s why we proudly proclaim that we are one nation under God every time we say the pledge of allegiance.”
The story of America, he continued, is the “story of an adventure that began with deep faith, big dreams and humble beginnings.”

Trump also spoke about Liberty’s founder, the Rev. Jerry Falwell Sr. “In this beautiful campus and in your smiling faces, but it all began with a vision. That vision was of a world class university for evangelical Christians. … No doubt many people told him his vision was impossible, and I am sure they continued to say that so long after he started, at the beginning with just 154 students, but the fact is no one has ever achieved anything significant without a chorus of critics standing on the sidelines explaining why it can’t be done.”
He continued, “Nothing is easier or more pathetic than being a critic. … The future belongs to the people who follow their heart no matter what the critics say because they truly believe in their vision. … A small group of failed voices who think they know everything and understand everyone want to tell everybody else how to live and what to do and how to think, but you aren’t going to let other people tell you what you believe, especially when you know that you’re right.”

MOVIE “THE ATHEIST DELUSION” – DESTROYS ATHEISM WITH ONE SCIENTIFIC QUESTION

Evangelist Ray Comfort’s “The Atheist Delusion” movie, claims that it’s able to “destroy atheism with one scientific question.” It is set to premiere at the Ark Encounter, a life-sized Noah’s Ark theme park in Kentucky.

“From the start, we were concerned that people wouldn’t take seriously a movie that ‘destroys atheism with one scientific question.’ But it does exactly that by scientifically confirming the existence of God. Having a respected, scientifically based organisation like Answers in Genesis being willing to premiere it is such an honour,” Comfort said.

Thousands have already viewed the movie within the first two days of its pre-release as a paid download, but on October 22, its official release date, it will be streamed live from the Ark.

Comfort said, “This film isn’t likely to convince the average proud and closed-minded atheist.” But hopefully, countless others who are open-minded, will be convinced by seeing the irrefutable proof for the existence of God.

The best-selling author and filmmaker, whose movies have been viewed by millions, added, “We would love for millions more to watch ‘The Atheist Delusion,’ and invite Christians to host the live-streaming event from their church or home. The world premiere will be highly evangelistic, as well as thoroughly encouraging, equipping, and inspiring to seasoned believers.”