Monday, August 8, 2011

What They're Saying 08.08.11

When Bad Things Happen: Natural Disasters Through God's Eyes

'First, God uses natural disasters, and I think God is using some of the more recent natural disasters, to get our attention - to get the attention of Christians to preach the Gospel so that others can be saved by the power of God. To get the attention of those who are not Christians to see their sinfulness and how fleeting and uncertain life is, and that tomorrow is no guarantee, so that they will repent and be saved from the wrath of God and their sin. Second, God uses disasters to show His power. He indeed does control all things, and is far more powerful than any of us. He could wipe us out in an instant. We should stand in awe of the fierceness of God. Third, God uses natural disasters to show His grace and mercy.'

Taking a Closer Look at the Holy Spirit (Part 1 and 2)

'This past year has been an interesting journey for me in regards to the Holy Spirit. I started out by reading Surprised By The Power Of The Spirit by Jack Deere, and I actually put a blog out on it earlier in the year. But the point of the next two posts is to discuss the biblical doctrine of the Holy Spirit. I’ve read much on the matter and done research, and I am putting some more resources at the end of this post if you are interested in diving deeper.'

Jesus Christ Goes Up Against the Superheroes

'Cyclops isn't even a good example of heroism. He only inspires the idea of heroism. He can't show us how it's done because the fictional Cyclops doesn't have to get around our limitations. So a better example for us would be real-life heroes that have our limitations, like our firemen, the police officers who keep our streets safe, soldiers who protect our countries, and your local super-serum enhanced S.H.I.E.L.D. operative. Maybe not the last one. But that's what makes Jesus of Nazareth someone to pattern our lives after. Even though He is God, He took on our weaknesses and limitations. He's not like some superhero who breaks out a new power to cope with every situation. He experienced temptation, impatience, anger, etc... Jesus had the whole range of human limitations, but did not sin, which means we can actually follow His lead. Only Jesus can show us what it looks like to live in the image of God when you haven't slept, eaten, or had any time to yourself, and everybody seems to need something from you. Jesus is the only one who models that for us.'

What Christ Suffered, and What It Means (1 and 2)

'Hereby we have peace: The chastisement of our peace was upon him; he, by submitting to these chastisements, slew the enmity, and settled an amity, between God and man; he made peace by the blood of his cross. Whereas by sin we had become odious to God's holiness and obnoxious to his justice, through Christ God is reconciled to us, and not only forgives our sins and saves us from ruin, but takes us into friendship and fellowship with himself, and thereby peace (that is, all good) comes unto us, Colossians 1:20. He is our peace, Ephesians 2:14. Christ was in pain that we might be at ease; he gave satisfaction to the justice of God that we might have satisfaction in our own minds, might be of good cheer, knowing that through him our sins are forgiven us.'

How Do You Solve a Problem Like (Insert Dubious Prophet Here)?

'"It's not his fault that his prophecy didn't come true; he just misunderstood what he heard from the Lord. People are allowed to be wrong sometimes, aren't they?" Having gone to mostly Pentecostal churches since getting saved, I have heard this line of reasoning over, and over, and over. Some preacher or leader would speak 'a word' over somebody's life, and it wouldn't come to pass. Then they would make the same mistake the next time. Then again. And who know how many times after that? And this line of reasoning is widespread! - when failed (false) prophet Harold Camping predicted the end of the world on May 21st, 2011, lots of people cited Matthew 24.36 as a reason for not believing him, but few if any cited Deuteronomy 18.22 and connected it with Camping's failed prophecy in 1994. That Old Testament passage says, "When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him."'

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