Posts from the ‘revival’ Category

Dallas – My prayer on this day of shock and heartbreak: by Ravi Zacharias 

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As we mourn this week’s tragic events in Louisiana, Minnesota, and now Dallas, it is evident that we need God now more than ever. My prayer on this day of shock and heartbreak:

God, our heavenly Father, our minds go back to the day when Jesus knelt beside his beloved city and wept, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes” (Luke 19:42).

We sense so deeply the same reality. We weep for our cities even as we bury our dead. The sound of gunfire is the grim sound of what has already shattered our relationships. We are witnesses of distrust, revenge, and anger. We see no one to lead us and guide us. To whom shall we go?

Our differences seem to lead us even farther apart. Oh, Lord of miracles, do what only you can do to save us from ourselves. Give us men and women who will lead us to reconciliation. Give us leaders who will bind us up to heal our wounds, not those who will only incite more hate.

Give us voices that will bring hope and not despair. Please comfort the bereaved and give humility to the ones who are resistant to your ways. Give us pause so that we might sit back for just a few moments to look to you before we look at our impulsive solutions.

We shed another’s blood when we are without answers. You shed your own blood as our only answer. We kill, buried in despair. You rise, giving us hope.

You told Peter to put back his sword and you restored the one wounded. That’s what we long for. A reprimand to the one who would injure and a healing within the one injured. God of miracles, please do it again. We need you. Our nation needs you. Our leaders need you. Many a home today will not have a loved one returning. Without you we have no hope. With you all things are possible—even for beauty to come out of ashes. We pray for the day of unarmed truth and unconditional love. Please answer our prayer.

In the name of Jesus your Son, our only Savior, we ask this.

Amen.   

 ~Ravi Zacharias ~ 

Retrieved from : 

 http://rzim.org/global-blog/a-prayer-on-this-day-of-shock-and-heartbreak

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Prophetic -“Marking the Watershed”- The Last Book by Francis Schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Written in 1984 ,Francis Schaeffer’s last book “Marking the Watershed” reads like a prophetic foretelling of what our future would look like if we fail to put Christ first in our hearts. In fact, it reads like a prequel to Ravi Zacharias‘s 2013 open letter to America.

Schaeffer uses a watershed as an illustration.
A Watershed is a place where snow would accumulate in the mountain peaks, and is it melts, the water would separate go in opposite directions and eventually end thousands of miles apart.
Schaeffer saw this beginning to happen to Christianity in regards to Biblical infallibility among evangelical Christian leaders as early as the early 1970’s.

My summary-Christianity ,in the past, has influenced the moral consensus for political debate, art, and books and movies in the United States of America, and the World. Now we are the minority, and so is our ability to influence culture.
As I’ve said before ,the will of the people is good so long as the people are good .</strong

These following excerpts,though almost thirty years old, resonate with current relevance.

“the Bible’s absolutes provide a consensus within which freedom can operate. But once the Christian consensus has been removed, as it has been today, then the very freedoms which have come out of the Reformation become a destructive force leading to chaos in society.” Francis Schaeffer

“The primary emphasis of biblical Christianity is the teaching that the infinite-personal God is the final reality, the Creator of all else, and that an individual can come openly to the holy God upon the basis of the finished work of Christ and that alone. Nothing needs to be added to Christ’s finished work, and nothing can be added to Christ’s finished work. But at the same time where Christianity provides the consensus, as it did in the Reformation countries (and did in the United States up to a relatively few years ago), Christianity also brings with it many secondary blessings. One of these has been titanic freedoms, yet without those freedoms leading to chaos, because the Bible’s absolutes provide a consensus within which freedom can operate. But once the Christian consensus has been removed, as it has been today, then the very freedoms which have come out of the Reformation become a destructive force leading to chaos in society. This is why we see the breakdown of morality everywhere in our society today — the complete devaluation of human life, a total moral relativism, and a thoroughgoing hedonism.”

“Without a strong commitment to God’s absolutes, the early church could never have remained faithful in the face of the constant Roman harassment and persecution. And our situation today is remarkably similar as our own legal, moral, and social structure is based on an increasingly anti-Christian, secularist consensus.”

The New Neo-Orthodoxy 

There is only one way to describe those who no longer hold to a full view of Scripture. Although many of these would like to retain the evangelical name for themselves, the only accurate way to describe this view is that it is a form of neo-orthodox existential theology. The heart of neo-orthodox existential theology is that the Bible gives us a quarry out of which to have religious experience, but that the Bible contains mistakes where it touches that which is verifiable — namely history and science. But unhappily we must say that in some circles this concept now has come into some of that which is called evangelicalism. In short, in these circles the neo-orthodox existential theology is being taught under the name of evangelicalism.

Martin Luther said, “If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at the moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved and to be steady on all the battle front besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.” (1)

“For the existentialist it is an illusion to think that we can know anything truly, that there is such a thing as certain objective truth or moral absolutes. All we have is subjective experience, with no final basis for right or wrong or truth or beauty. This existential world view dominates philosophy, and much of art and the general culture such as the novel, poetry, and the cinema.”

“Ravi Zacharias – The ultimate test of civilization will be in what it does to its children” -Video

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The Reformers Missed The Supreme Sola – The Sixth Sola – Sola Christus Emphainein – Emphasize Christ Alone – Christ Centered

English: John Calvin Deutsch: Maße: 41 x 29,5 ...

English: John Calvin Deutsch: Maße: 41 x 29,5 cm, Johannes Calvin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


“You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.” ~Jesus Christ speaking to the Pharisees~ John 5:39

Christ is due the supreme preeminence in everything befitting His supreme nature over everything.

This is what it means to be Christ Centered. To emphasize Christ Alone. Jesus is the center of our spiritual universe.

It is up to today’s reformers to have the courage to influence a more Christ-like Church as the reformers of 500 years ago.

But we will only become more Christ-like if we hear and are told about Christ.

Who is Christ?

Christ is King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. (Revelation 19:16)

He is Immanuel, meaning ,God with us. (Matthew 1:23)

The Five Solus came from the early reformers in response to doctrinal errors that had crept into the Catholic faith.

That is not the best way to define your doctrinal distinctions because you are limited to the perceived errors you are responding to and will likely miss something.

The early church fathers and reformers missed the need to state with absolute certainty that,”in all things Christ might have the preeminence.”

Did the reformers assume that everyone would know Christ was supreme and it need not be said?

I think a close examination of the Five Solas support that theory because they come close to making that statement.

But as they say,”good enough never is.”

The fact is that mankind is prone to selfish pride that wars against our humble Savior’s rightful place in our hearts.

Christ is our religion, it’s all about Him, yet many, maybe most sermons I hear fall short of giving Christ supreme preeminence .

A popular radio preacher, Dr.D.J. can preach about Grace for 20 minutes on the radio without mentioning Christ more than once or twice.

Does D.J. take it for granted we all know Christ brought Grace to mankind?

Or a ministry who primarily focuses on family instead of  Christ will talk about relationship issues without mentioning Christ.

Do they imply Christ is not the answer to all that ails mankind?

Do they just assume we all know that only Jesus can fix all that is wrong with society?

Practical advice should be part of the answer, but in Christianity, it should never be the preeminent answer.

Jesus saves, Jesus transforms and Jesus makes all things new.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

(2 Corinthians 5:17)

Here is a short summary of the Five Solus:

Sola Scriptura – Scripture Alone
Sola Christus – Christ Alone
Sola Gratia – Grace Alone
Sola Fide – Faith Alone
Sola Deo Gloria – The Glory of God Alone

Each of the Five existing Solas depend on Christ.
Jesus is the Lliving Word of God, the Way, the Truth and the Life. He is the Living Scriptura.
Christ is the one mediator between God and man, the Sola Christos.
Christ’s death and resurrection made God’s Grace available to mankind. Jesus is the Sola Gratia.
Christ said, “believe in Him whom God has sent.” Christ is the Sole Fide, in whom we place our Faith Alone.
Jesus is our bridge to Sola Deo Gloria, Christ is also our one mediator between God and man as we approach the Father in worship, thanksgiving, and praise. Without Christ, we could not know the Father.

“Unwarranted confidence in human ability is a product of fallen human nature … God’s grace in Christ is not merely necessary but is the sole efficient cause of salvation. We confess that human beings are born spiritually dead and are incapable even of cooperating with regenerating grace. We reaffirm that in salvation we are rescued from God’s wrath by his grace alone. It is the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit that brings us to Christ by releasing us from our bondage to sin and raising us from spiritual death to spiritual life. We deny that salvation is in any sense a human work. Human methods, techniques or strategies by themselves cannot accomplish this transformation. Faith is not produced by our unregenerated human nature.” – Cambridge Declaration

(Source , http://www.monergism.com/directory/link_category/Five-Solas/)

Christ must take the place of preeminence in all that is Christian.

Our doctrine must relate to Christ and be founded in Christ who is the Author and Finisher of our faith. 

“looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”(Hebrews 12:2)
Our problems must find their solutions in Christ, and in knowing Him, and becoming like Him as we grow.
“And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.” (Colossians 1:18)
To give preeminence is to place supreme emphasis upon.

The Five Solus deal primarily with redemption and the Biblical basis and authority concerning redemption.

The reformers came very close to making a complete distinction of Christ in this regard, but we cannot afford to assume people know the critical importance of giving Christ preeminence in all things.

We must emphasize Christ as completely as we are called to love Him completely.

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.”
“We love Him because He first loved us.”

That is why we need The Supreme Sola – The Sixth Sola – Sola Christus Emphainein – Emphasize Christ Alone.

 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

(John 3:16)

(As always, I welcome any and all insights regarding this subject.)

Why C.H.Spurgeon is Called The Prince of Preachers

C. H. Spurgeon, "The Prince of Preachers&...

C. H. Spurgeon, “The Prince of Preachers” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“A sermon without Christ as its beginning, middle, and end is a mistake in conception and a crime in execution” -C.H.Spurgeon

“Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.”
Revelation 22

A sermon may be three points or even five points, but if Jesus isn’t the whole point we are missing the point.

The Road Map For Renewal For America – Gospel Shaped Ministry – By Tim Keller

“Gospel ministry is endlessly creative,it’s ever new,it means that you can preach the Gospel and you never have to be afraid of boring people.”

“The Gospel is what every theological category should be expounding when we do our theology.”

 “Every sermon ought to be about Jesus. It doesn’t matter what passage, or if it’s the Old Testament or the New Testament,it should be Jesus”

“Father, we want to be Gospel shaped people now.”

Tim Keller

This video is 54 minutes long.

If you can watch this video but only  have time for a few minutes of it, I suggest you watch the last 11 minutes, and come back for the rest later.

If you can watch the entire video you may conclude it is one of the best, and perhaps the best sermon I have posted by Tim Keller.

If you cannot watch the entire video, I will be posting more quotes from this video as I find the time. Please come back for more.

“Third Day – You’re everywhere” Take Some Time Today And Worship Our Creator God

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