Monday, August 31, 2009

Sunday Reflection: 5 Common Great Commission MythsJoey Shaw

Matthew 28:18-20, And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Joey Shaw reviews some of the many misunderstandings of “The Great Commission”.

In discussing the context he notes:

Jesus spoke these words to his followers before ascending back to heaven to be with the Father. His followers were left to discover the Holy Spirit and to change the world through one simple process – making and multiplying disciples [learners] of Jesus. Many people teach on this passage… most of us don’t regularly obey it. Below are five of the more common myths about the Great Commission that lead us to miss out on disciple making.

The five that he covers include:

1. The myth of accidental discipleship.

2. Crossing cultures is a step beyond the general mandate.

3. Jesus wants converts.

4. When I am ready and able, I will start making disciples.

5. Making disciples is great advice.

From his conclusion:

The fact is, though, that the Great Commission is a commandment coupled with the commissioning of Jesus. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Jesus expressed the same truth inversely, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him” (John 3:36, italics added). In other words, the measure of one’s love for Jesus is one’s obedience to Jesus!

You cannot love Jesus and not obey him. Stated inversely, you cannot disregard the Great Commission and claim to love Jesus. The command is simple, “go and make disciples”. Ask yourself, “Am I currently making disciples of others?” If not, why not ask yourself, “Will I today commit myself to beginning the process of making disciples of Jesus?”

Friday, August 28, 2009

Sermon Outline:Matthew 5:21-26. “Expelling Anger”

1) The Effect on Our View of Ourselves. Matthew 5:21-22

A) The Evil and Danger of Anger. Matthew 5:22a

· Ephesians 4:26-32

· 1 John 3:7-15

B) The Evil and Danger of Slander Matthew 5:22b

C) The Evil and Danger of Condemning Character. Matthew 5:22c

2) Effect on Our Worship of God. Matthew 5:23-24

· Isaiah 1:11-17

· 1 Samuel 15:22

· Psalm 66:18

3) Effect on Our Relations with Others. Matthew 5:25-26

New Mt. Sinai site with relics of Bible miracles?

Gene Edward Veith has a critical reviow of what some people are maintaining that they have found the “real” Mt. Sinai in Saudi Arabia. And the discovery is accompanied with evidence of Biblical history, including the possibility of actual artifacts of miracles described in Exodus. This is from a secular blogsite. I’ll intersperse some pictures of what the account refers to, which are so mindblowing that they nearly defy belief :

Dr. Moller points out that the site at Nuweiba he identifies as the Red Sea crossing point has an underwater land bridge, upon which damaged chariot parts and bones remain, engulfed in coral.

Pharoah's chariots?

The top of Jabal al-Lawz, the alleged real Mt. Sinai, is black, as if burned from the sky as described in Exodus 19:18, where it says “the Lord descended upon it in fire.” This feature sets it apart from all the other surrounding mountains which do not have darkened tops. The BASE Institute’s film shows Cornuke, who snuck onto the mountain, examining the rocks he cracked, observing that they are not merely black rocks and that only the outside had become darkened by whatever had occurred at the site. Moller has a photo of one of these rocks, which he identifies as “obsidian or volcanic glass, a mineral formed at high temperatures.”

Mt. Sinai?

One of the greatest — and most doubted — miracles of the Exodus is the story about God instructing Moses to hit a large rock with his rod, which resulted in a flow of water for the Hebrews to drink from. Near Jabal al-Lawz is a large rock, standing about 60 feet high, split down the middle. The edges of the split and the rock underneath it have become smooth, as if a stream of water had poured forth from the rock, creating a river. Given the annual rainfall in Saudi Arabia and the fact that the erosion is only present on that rock and no other ones in the surrounding area, it’s hard to find a plausible explanation for this remarkable find.

Water from this rock?

A site matching the description of the altar of the golden calf is also at this site. As the Biblical story goes, while Moses was away for 40 days on Mt. Sinai, the Hebrews created an altar with a golden calf on top of it, which they worshiped. Moses, incensed at the betrayal, crushed the calf into smithereens. A large altar with inscriptions of Egyptian bulls engraved onto it is also near Mt. Sinai, making it the only location in Saudi Arabia to have such inscriptions. Moller notes in his book that “one block of stone at the altar had a slight depression and after a brief shower something glistened at the bottom, which turned out to be small flakes of gold. This rock could well have been the place where Moses ground the golden calf into powder.”
Golden calf inscriptions?

This is just scratching the surface. The 12 wells of Elim, the altar constructed by Moses after the defeat of the Amalekites, evidence of large encampments, the boundary markers and stone pillars the Bible says were placed around Mt. Sinai, and several other sites identified in the Old Testament are located. Simply put, everything that the Bible indicates should be there is present. The researchers even describe how the locals refer to the site as “Moses’ Mountain” and it is common knowledge that Moses passed through the area.

Dr. Veith says:
I’ve got to say, though, I feel suspicious. The books came out in the early 2000s, do not seem to be from mainline publishers (except for one from Broadman & Holman), and are already out of print. Why is this work from a decade ago being brought up now? Why hasn’t this already made an impact if it is so compelling? Still, bogus or real, it’s intriguing. Does anyone know any more about this?

UPDATE: Here is a critical review, though it doesn’t deal with all of the questions.

The mountain is called Jabal al-Lawz. You can see it on Google Earth.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

John Piper - A Problem with Christians in Evangelicalism

John Piper talks about the attitudes that many Christians seem to have, although unknowingly, in evangelical communities today. We don't seem to understand what "receiving Christ" even means.

Cultists at the Door

Tony Miano has an audio link of a situation where there was a knock on the door, which presented an opportunity to share the gospel with two ladies from the Jehovah's Witness Cult

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JWatTheDoor_vbr.m3uVBR M3UStream
JWatTheDoor_vbr_mp3.zipVBR ZIP15 MB
Audio FilesVBR MP3Ogg Vorbis
JWatTheDoor15 MB5.96 MB
JWatTheDoor_files.xmlMetadata1.38 KB
JWatTheDoor_meta.xmlMetadata751 B

This audio is part of the collection: Open Source Audio

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Invisible Kingdom of God, Pt. 2 (John MacArthur)

We've all seen on television the vestiges of a coronation. And we have seen what a grand event it is in the most austere and magnificent building available to a people with the most lavish kinds of clothes, attended by the most erudite and significant and important of all people. These are all signs of the power and signs of the privilege and signs of the authority. These are the magnificent emblems of what it means to be the monarch, to have absolute supremacy and absolute sovereignty in a nation.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Invisible Kingdom of God, Pt. 1 (John MacArthur)

Now just the topic of the Kingdom and King is foreign to us. We've never had a king in the United States of America. In fact, we were born in a revolution against a king. We pride ourselves on never having been a monarchy. The fact of the matter is, most of the civilized world presently and for a long time does not exist under the rule of kings. There are still some royal families here and there in the world who are symbolic in terms of their royalty, rather than actual in terms of their sovereignty. The world has moved away from kings. People with absolute supremacy, absolute authority, absolute power, absolute will, we don't live under people who are what we would call majesties who can do whatever they like, whenever they like, with whomever they like without any recourse. In fact, when we find somebody who rules like that, we usually call him a dictator and he frightens us and the free world becomes outraged at such persons being outraged with the idea of autocratic domination, and we amass our powers, political powers and sometimes military powers, to try to liberate people from those who have absolute dominion over them. Our world is not a world of kings anymore.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Sermon Outline: Ruth 4:11-22. “The Boaz Generation”

1) The Salutation (Ruth 4:11-12)

· Psalm 127:1-5

· Micah 5:2

2) The Son (Ruth 4:13-17)

(A) The Narrative Report of the Birth of a Boy (4:13)

· Genesis 2:24

· Psalm 139:13-16

(B) The Women’s Reaction to the Birth of the Boy (4:14–15)

i. The Women’s Blessing for yahweh (4:14a)

ii. The Women’s Prayer for the Child (4:14b)

iii. The Women’s Declaration of Confidence for Naomi (4:15)

(C) The Narrative Report of Naomi’s Adoption of the Boy (4:16)
(D) The Women’s Naming of the Child (4:17a-b)
(E) The Narrator’s Conclusion (4:17c)

3) The Summary (Ruth 4:18-22)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Persecution and Endurance of Christians, Pt 2

We return in our study of the Word of God to the twenty-first chapter of Lukes gospel. Luke is the predominant historian of the New Testament, having written this gospel as well as the entire book of Acts. And, of course, the focus in Lukes writing is on the person and work of Jesus Christ and the spread of the gospel of Christ after His ascension and sending of the Holy Spirit.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Persecution and Endurance of Christians, Part 1b

Before the end comes, the gospel is going to go to the end of the world. How could that possibly happen? How could it possibly happen that the gospel could go to the end of the world when were going to be arrested, imprisoned and killed? Thats only part of the story. Its going to create opportunity for your testimony. Persecution of Christians has allowed Christians to give, strong, bold, confident, faithful testimony to the glory of the gospel. You read Foxes Book of Martyrs, Ive been reading it my whole life, just pieces and bits, and pieces, and over and over again. And you hear these incredibly stirring, beautiful testimonies of those who were brought to the edge of the flames, about to be burned to death, or to the edge of the sword, the guillotine for their love for Christ and how powerful their testimony is now resounding.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Persecution and Endurance of Christians, Part 1a

Fire is not new to us. Weve seen it before here in Southern California, the world has seen it throughout all of its history, really. In fact, the world has a long history of fire. Though we cant do without fire, even the ancient world was dependent on fire for warmth, dependent on fire for cooking, fire could also destroy and fire can also kill.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Sermon Outline: Ruth 4:1-10. “Justice for All”

(1) Boaz’s Preparation for Court Action (4:1–2)

(2) The Report of the Court Proceedings (4:3–8)

A) Boaz’s First Speech (4:3–4c)

· Numbers 27:1-11

B) The Gōʾēl’s First Speech (4:4d)

C) Boaz’s Second Speech (4:5)

D) The Gōʾēl’s Second Speech (4:6)

E) The Gōʾēl’s Nonverbal Speech (4:7–8)

· Joshua 1:3

(3) Boaz’s Response to the Outcome of the Court Proceedings (4:9–10)

· 1 John 2:17

Don't avoid congregational worship this Sunday.

Here is a story of a seven year-old boy who took his parents’ car and got chased by police for several miles before driving himself back home. Why did he do it? Because he didn’t want to go to church. Thankfully, no one was hurt.

Friday, August 07, 2009

The Errors of Modern Evangelism"

Paul Washer weeping for souls... will not anyone see people for what they are? Will people stop playing games with the eternal salvation of millions?

Full sermon here:

Why some people embrace errors

Martin Downes has a provative post on why some people embrace errors. He notes that people embrace errors for a variety of reasons including:

1. Inheritance (2 Timothy 3:10-13; 3:14-17).

2. Ignorance

3. Prejudice

a) Prejudice due to misinformation

b) Prejudice due to a refusal to accept the truth

4. Dissatisfaction

a) Dissatisfaction due to a love of novelty

b) Dissatisfaction due to the limits of revelation (Romans 11:33-36).

b) Dissatisfaction due to being unregenerate (1 Corinthians 2:14) (Titus 1:15-16).

A full explanation here.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

A Biblical Church - Paul Washer

Questions to Ask When Preparing for Marriage

John Piper @ has provided a series of helpful questions for people to ask that are considering marriage. They relate to the areas of:
  • Theology
  • Worship and Devotion
  • Husband and Wife
  • Children
  • Lifestyle
  • Entertainment
  • Conflict
  • Work
  • Friends
  • Health and Sickness
In each of these sections one item could be added:
  • How do you handle and live with differences?
  • How do you decide what can remain differences without jeopardizing the relationship?

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Sermon Outline: "Rest for the Weary" Ruth 3:6-18.

1) Ruth submitted to Boaz (Ruth 3:6–9)

· Ephesians 2:11-22

2) Ruth listened to Boaz (Ruth 3:10–14)

  • Hebrews 13:6

  • Philippians 1:6

  • Proverbs 31:10-31

3) Ruth received gifts from Boaz (Ruth 3:15–17)

4) Ruth waited for Boaz to work (Ruth 3:18)

  • Hebrews 6:11-12

  • Matthew 11:28-29