Saturday, December 26, 2009

Truth Quote of the Week

"Wherever you see persecution, there is more than a probability that truth is on the persecuted side."

--Hugh Latimer

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!

May your day be filled with the joy, love, peace, and hope that is found only in Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Gearing up for Christmas

It's been a busy year this year, and now it's winding down. It's been in the single digits Fahrenheit this week, but we got enough snow for the kids to go sledding. I'm reading like a madman to get my D.Min studies behind me. Hopefully I'll be to post more in the coming days/weeks.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Truth Quote of the Week

Here are a couple quotes by Martin Lloyd-Jones:

"When a man truly sees himself, he knows that nobody can say anything about him that is too bad."

"The state of the world today is nothing but an appalling monument to human failure."

- As quoted in Lloyd-Jones Messenger of Grace, p. 224-225.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

MacArthur Makes a Blistering Rebuke Against False Teachers

"John MacArthur unleashed" could be another title to this post. Yesterday he posted an article "A Colossal Fraud" on the Shepherd's Fellowship, which is a blistering rebuke to false teachers and those afraid to confront their error.

I'm not sure there's much more I can add to what he has said. The false teachers in our day are indeed legion. Their error must not be tolerated, but confronted with the truth of the Word of God.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Quotes

Here is a great source for sermon quotes. Click here.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Truth Quote of the Week

"Such is the immutability of truth, the patrons of it make it not greater, the opposers make it not less; as the splendour of the sun is not enlarged by them that bless it, nor eclipsed by them that hate it."

- Thomas Adams

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What God Says about Homosexuality

Why Talk About Homosexuality?

The subject of homosexuality is one of great controversy in our day. Homosexuals around the globe are seeking to engage in public discourse to make their case in obtaining special rights. Heterosexuals seem rather desirous to not talk about it and often seem to hope that the talk about homosexuality will go away.

However, the politics behind the modern homosexual movement will not allow the heterosexual to be neutral on the subject. New hate crime laws are being created in various countries to protect homosexuals from any form of criticism and expressions of hate whether spoken or unspoken.

The controversy of homosexuality has now spilled over into the church where the discussions get even more intense. Certain denominations have embraced homosexuality as a legitimate form of sexual expression, and others have responded with words of great condemnation. There are now “ordained” homosexual clergy and even denominations that pride themselves in their homosexuality.

So with all of these things taking place it is appropriate for us to state our position on the subject of homosexuality. Our desire is to abide by the Word of God, the Bible. Our aim in this booklet is to see what God says about homosexuality in the Scriptures and thereby act in accordance to it.

What Does the Bible Say?

What God says is what matters most when discussing any subject. Since the Bible is God’s written revelation to man through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, we receive what the Bible says as being what God says—the two are indistinguishable.

It is important to look at homosexuality in both the Old and New Testaments. Some today act as though the Old Testament is of primary importance and others act as though the New Testament is of primary importance. We believe both are of primary importance and together give us a clear picture of God’s view of homosexuality throughout biblical history.

Homosexuality in the Old Testament

The proper place to begin studying this subject is in the first book of the Bible. It becomes clear very quickly how the Lord views homosexuality in the first pages of the Bible. And I must say that it goes against what the homosexual movement preaches today.

The Lord’s design for man and woman is clearly described in Genesis 1:27-28. Here the Creator shares His plan for His creatures—one male and one female who are to procreate and exercise dominion over His creation. Then in Genesis 2:24, in speaking of marriage, He says they are to become one flesh, one body. The design of their bodies was created in such a way for them to come together and become one flesh in the context of marriage to procreate.

Genesis 19:4-8 gives the first picture of human beings acting against the design of God in the sexual use of their bodies. Already in Genesis 18:20 the Lord said that the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah is exceedingly great. In chapter 19 we have a picture of how great their sin was as the men of Sodom came out to Lot’s house seeking to have homosexual relations with his visitors. When all this was happening Lot calls their behavior wicked (19:7). The men in their great wickedness would not leave, and then Lot acted wickedly by offering them his daughters. It was a terrible situation, but God protected his daughters.

Leviticus 18 speaks much of the laws regarding morality. In this chapter Moses speaks against nakedness, incest, adultery, homosexuality (18:22), bestiality, and idolatry. All are described as abominations (18:22, 29). Those caught doing such things were to be removed from among their people (18:26, 29). God strictly forbade His people from participating in any of these abominations (18:30), and punished His people for doing such wickedness (18:25).

Leviticus 20:13 describes the act of homosexuality as a detestable act. In this verse the Lord says such people were to be put to death, and that they alone were to bear the guilt of their iniquity.

Closely associated with homosexuality is Deuteronomy 22:5, where the Lord forbade men and women to wear each other’s clothing. The Lord says that those who do such things are an abomination. The Lord in His Word leaves no room for transvestism as He is the one who has established gender boundaries. His creatures were to respect and abide by that which He established (Genesis 1:27). Homosexuals who adorn themselves in the manner of the opposite sex do an abominable deed in the eyes of God.

Judges 19 gives another parallel story to that of Lot in Genesis 19. In this instance the men of the city wanted to commit homosexual acts with the visitor. Again the owner of the house describes the behavior and desires of the men of the city as wicked (19:23).

The Old Testament always describes homosexuality as something debase, perverted, and abominable. There is no celebration of homosexuality in the Bible as we often see today. What is celebrated today brought death, separation, and destruction in the Old Testament. As Charles Spurgeon once said about homosexuality,

“This once brought hell out of heaven upon Sodom; God sent down fire and brimstone because of the lusts of the flesh that made Sodom to stink in His nostrils; the harlot and the adulterer, and the fornicator, shall know that they sin not without provoking God very terribly.”

God hates all immorality and cannot tolerate such behavior. It goes against His very design for mankind.

Homosexuality in the New Testament

The New Testament is not silent about the matter of homosexuality. The sin is no less wicked in the New Testament than we have seen it in the Old Testament. Paul mentioned the sin of homosexuality in three of his letters.

Romans 1:24-32 speaks very specifically about homosexuality. Paul mentions here how God gives people over to their lusts and impurity, which serves as a form of judgment. God takes away His restraining grace and allows the sinner to experience the results and consequences of his sin. The sinner is then exposed to all the horrors that the sin can reap. In this case physical harm, disease, and death can be a consequence.

When mentioning the sin of homosexuality Paul calls it several things: degrading passions, exchanging the natural function for that which is unnatural, indecent/shameful acts, and error (1:27). There is nothing positive here about such a lifestyle. There is no celebration of the union between a woman and a woman, or between a man and a man. Such behavior is shameful, and should cause one to want to hide instead of parading in the streets.

1 Corinthians 6:9 is another key verse in the New Testament that speaks of the sin of homosexuality. In this verse the Lord says that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God. Here He lists the unrighteous people describing them as fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, effeminate, homosexuals, thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers, and swindlers (6:9-10). These are all heinous sins in the eyes of God, and people who live such lifestyles will not enter the kingdom of heaven. However, the Lord ends this passage by giving hope to such people!

Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6:11, “Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.” Here the homosexual has hope! He/she can be freed from his/her wicked lifestyle and be washed clean. When the sinner turns from a life of sin in faith to Christ, the sinner is cleansed, justified, and sanctified in the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the only way for anyone to enter the kingdom of heaven.

The last passage in the New Testament mentioning homosexuality is 1 Timothy 1:9-10. Paul in this text describes the purpose of the Law. He points out that the law is not made for the righteous, but for those who are “lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching.”

Here we see homosexuals grouped with the worst kind of sinners. Homosexuality is a sin. It is abominable in the sight of God, and it is immoral. God hates immorality and mentions the importance of abstaining from such a lifestyle in other places in the New Testament.

Galatians 5:19-21 lists several sins which start with immorality, impurity, sensuality, and idolatry. Homosexuality falls into these categories. God hates all sexual sin whether it is heterosexual or homosexual. Again in Ephesians and Colossians the Lord demonstrates his hatred of immorality.

The Lord says in Ephesians 5:3-5 that immorality or any impurity or greed is not to even be named among God’s people. Again the Lord emphasizes here that no such person will enter the kingdom of heaven. In Colossians 3:5 the Lord calls upon believers to put to death sins such as immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which he says are all idolatry. No sexually immoral person is given permission in Scripture to live how they want. The Bible clearly teaches that the only sex that is acceptable in the site of God is between and man and a woman in the context of marriage.

Jesus said that God’s plan for marriage is for a man and his wife to be one flesh for life (Matthew 19:4-6). Later in the Scriptures the Lord says the marriage bed is to be undefiled (Hebrews 13:4). This is God’s plan. Any other plan is human invention and rebellion against the plan of God.

Scriptural Conclusions

All sexual immorality in the Bible whether it is homosexuality, adultery, incest, bestiality, or fornication are an abomination in the sight of God. God clearly shows in His Word in Jude 7 that Sodom and Gomorrah stand as an example of the judgment that is coming upon the wicked. Their final end is the punishment of eternal fire (Jude 7).

These are God’s Words, the words of the Bible. They may sound harsh for the person involved in a homosexual lifestyle, but they are nonetheless the very words of God. The verses examined in this article demonstrate what God has said about homosexuality. But that doesn’t mean the homosexual is left without hope. Just as there were believers in the Corinthian church who were once homosexuals and were saved out of that lifestyle, so too can homosexuals today be rescued from the judgment that is due them. It is God’s desire that they repent, give up their wicked ways and turn to Jesus Christ for salvation and forgiveness.

What Can We Do to Demonstrate the Love of Christ to Homosexuals?

It is often said, “Love the sinner and hate the sin.” That is what we are to do. It is what God does. We love people regardless of their color, their sin, or their nationality. We are to be kind to all and treat people as Jesus Christ would treat them. He died for them.

Yet Jesus did not allow people to continue on in their sin without calling them to repentance. We are to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15), and share with them the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ. We are to be their friend and to tell them of the love of Christ.

How to Be Set Free from Homosexuality?

All sinners, whether heterosexual or homosexual, stand before God condemned. Yet God in His great love sent His own Son to come to die for such sinners to pay the penalty for their sins.

The only way to have your guilt and your punishment removed is by placing your faith in Jesus Christ to save you from the penalty of your sins that you and I so greatly deserve. When you turn to Christ for salvation God will forgive you of all your sin and give you eternal life. It is the only way you can ever enter into His kingdom.

The Bible says, “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; 10 for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation” (Romans 10:9-10). A few verse later the Lord gives a promise in that “whosoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13).

This is the first step to freedom—having and knowing Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. The next step is to attend a church that will teach you the Bible and help you to grow in your new relationship with Jesus Christ. Prayer and study of God’s Word are vital for Christian growth.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Truth Quote

Here's another quote without the word "truth," but it is nevertheless true.

"Unless there is in us that which is above us, we will soon yield to that which is around us."

- Peter Taylor Forsyth

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Open Air Preaching of the Truth in Washington D.C.

A religious freedom of speech rally is being planned for November 16, 2009 in front of the Department of Justice. Learn more at the website www.religiousfreespeechrally.com.

Pastors from various denominations will be preaching what the Bible says about homosexuality and other issues since the new Hate Crimes Laws have been signed into law by President Obama.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Future of the World?

What does the future hold? Does this video motivate you to preach the gospel? The first 45 seconds are a little slow, so you can fast forward it a little.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Man Fired for Speaking Truth

FoxNews reports Peter Vidala being fired from his position as second deputy manager at a Brookstone store at Boston's Logan Airport for telling a fellow employee, "Regarding your homosexuality, I think that's bad stuff."

Apparently she knew what he believed about homosexuality and four times within a short time she spoke about her homosexual "marriage" seeking to maybe rub it in a little. His response got him fired as she reported him to human resources.

FoxNews reported Vidala saying
that he felt "intentionally goaded" by the manager to comment on her relationship. "She knew how I felt about homosexuality," he said. "When you talk to someone about something like that, you want their support. She was kind of looking into my eyes for that social cue for me to say, 'I'm happy for you.' But I really couldn't feel happy for her."

Vidala proclaims to be a follower of Jesus Christ and simply stated his beliefs in response to her goading. The employer said, "Brookstone is an equal opportunity employer, meaning that we maintain a healthy, safe and productive work environment free from discrimination or harassment based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, national origin, physical or mental disability, or other factors that are unrelated to the Company’s legitimate business interests.

They may think they are an equal opportunity employer, but they just showed that it doesn't apply to religious beliefs.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Scary Man

Trick or Treat! "Pastor" Marc Grizzard of the Amazing Grace Baptist Church in Canton, NC planned a Bible burning for Halloween. He and the 14 members of his church were to burn all "perversions" of the Bible (i.e. all those that are not King James Versions). FoxNews Reports:

All other religious or Christian texts (non-KJV) are sacreligious, the pastor insists. The list of books being burned will include works written by "a lot of different authors who we consider heretics, such as Billy Graham, Rick Warren… the list goes on and on,” Pastor Grizzard said....The book-burning is being promoted as a social event with a barbecue dinner. The event will run from "7 p.m.- Till."
He is obviously a perverse man himself, a devil posing as a pastor. How scary to be him.




Friday, October 30, 2009

Not Ashamed of the Gospel of Atheism

Reprobates are unashamedly taking their gospel to the street again. This time in New York City as they post month long advertisements in the subways of New York City.

I wonder how many lives they have changed for the better? How many homeless have they fed? How many pregnant unwed mothers have they helped? How many drug addicts have they led out of their enslavement? How many drunkards? How many helpless people's lives have they changed? How many families have they put back together after being chattered by horrible and unimaginable difficulties?

Jesus Christ has done it all. And He continues to do so. God is good and life without Him is vanity.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Short Clip from Bonn Shepherd's Conference

Here is the only video clip I took from the Bonn Shepherd's Conference.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Truth Quote of the Week

"Serve Christ; back Him; let His cause be your cause; give not an hairbreadth of truth away, for it is not yours but God's."

- Samuel Rutherford

Sunday, October 11, 2009

"Don't Waste Your Life" in Czech!

I just got back from a Shepherd's Conference in Bonn, Germany. It was a great time. Twelve of us went from Czech Republic. While there we ran into 5 more guys from the CZ. At the conference we unveiled our new book written by John Piper Don't Waste Your Life. It was fun unveiling it to him and having him sign some copies for us. More than that we rejoice in the great preaching at the conference the Lord used to stir our hearts for Christ.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Blog Life

My blogging has had to take a back seat recently. I've been absolutely swamped with work. I'm starting to see light at the end of the tunnel, but probably won't be set free from all the deadlines and stuff on my desk until the end of October!

Traveling to Germany twice, once in Bonn for a Shepherd's Conference where we'll meet John Piper, and then again to preach for a friend in Dresden. Only to come back to a huge deadline where I have all my major post-seminar DMin assignments due.

In the meantime I'll try to get back to putting up some posts.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Critique of "A Case for Historical Premillennialism"

I thought I'd throw out a small critique of a book I was asked to read recently. This is one book that doesn't live up to its cover.

Introduction

The title of the book is written to capture the attention of anyone with an interest in eschatology. With the addition of Craig L. Blomberg’s name on the cover it gives the potential reader the mindset that he will be reading a scholarly work that will aid him in his understanding of eschatology. Blomberg along with his colleague Sung Wook Chung are the chief editors of the book. Their body of work in this volume is primarily a compilation of scholarly articles by various professors from Denver Seminary with the addition of a few others who have joined their cause.

The authors of the various chapters are Craig L. Blomberg (professor of New Testament, Denver Seminary), Oscar A. Campos (professor of theology in the Seminario Teologico Centroamericano in Guatemala City), Sung Wook Chung (associate professor of Christian theology, Denver Seminary), Helene Dallaire (associate professor of Old Testament, Denver Seminary), Donald Fairbairn (professor of historical theology, Erskine Theological Seminary), Richard S. Hess (professor of Old Testament and Semitic Language, Denver Seminary), Don J. Payne (associate dean and assistant professor of theology and ministry, Denver Seminary), and Timothy P. Weber (senior consultant at EFL associates). Together they seek to present an alternative to the “Left Behind” eschatology, otherwise known in this volume as dispensational pretribulational premillennialism.

Critique

The attempt at striking a death blow to “Left Behind theology” seems to have been the main thrust in putting together A Case for Historic Premillennialism. Over and over again the authors attack dispensationalism and speak of it as a populist movement. They seek to position themselves as the ones holding the traditional position of the early church, and therefore the more biblical of the views on eschatology. They portray themselves as a “blue collar” version of premillennialsm, and paint the dispensationalists as sensationalists who through their Hollywood productions and exciting end-times schemes draw big crowds and attention to their view. The impression portrayed by the authors is that they seek to take the “humble road” to the truth, and don’t need all the lights, cameras, and action that dispensationalists use in “promoting” their theology.


The book is broken into eight chapters. The first chapter discusses dispensational and historic premillennialism as popular millennialist movements. It is here that Weber gives his view of the history of dispensationalism where he speaks very condescendingly towards dispensationalism. He says that there is no way to measure how many dispensationalists there are, but says that no more than one-third of American evangelicals are dispensationalists (18). This is a contradiction all in one paragraph. How can you not have a way to measure, but then say there is no way dispensationalists make up a majority of American evangelicals, and then say that at most only one-third of them can be dispensationalists? This is just hope on Weber’s part.

Weber’s attempt at labeling dispensationlism as a populist movement is rather bold. He speaks of the best-selling dispensationalists books as being fictionalized, and labels dispensationalists as those who target common folks all while saying that historic premillennialsim is school-based and is mostly written by scholars (20-21). Weber demonstrates an amazing amount of arrogance in portraying himself and his belief in this “humble” and “scholarly” manner.

Chapter two focuses on the Old Testament and the Millennium. Here Hess seeks to support his logic and position by quoting pagan or non-biblical sources to support his position and interpretation of biblical texts. Some of his parallel comparisons are helpful in showing how people sometimes thought during this period, but he is too dangerously close to allowing unbiblical sources to influence his interpretation of the holy, inspired Word of the Living God.

Chapter three focuses on Judaism and the world to come. This chapter is helpful in coming to understand the Jewish views of eternity. Dallaire demonstrates that most of the history of Judaism over the last two-thousand years has not consistently held one position on what happens to a person after death. Judaism has primarily demonstrated a concern and focus on the present life without giving much consideration to life after death. The question is how the Jewish positions on the eternal state can lead the reader from holding “Left Behind theology” to historic premillennialism. I personally don’t see much weight in the argument of this chapter for the position of historic premillennialism.

Chapter four discusses the posttribulationism of the New Testament. Craig L. Blomberg himself seeks to take on “Left Behind” and present what he believes to be the correct and historic view of the tribulation, which is a posttribulational rapture. He in fact says, “I actually think the doctrine of the tribulation is more important than the doctrine of the millennium” (69). This is evident throughout the chapter. His argument is more for a posttribulational rapture than it is for the historic premillennial position.

The fifth chapter is devoted to the theological method of premillennialism. Payne speaks of the importance of recognizing and evaluating one’s theological method. He speaks of how everyone has a theological method an how it affects our interpretation and study of Scripture. Here Payne discusses hermeneutics and how they affect the interpretation of Revelation 20 and other texts. He says that one cannot overlook “the theological weight assigned by historic premillennialism to the New Testament as the interpretive lens for the Old Testament, and vice-versa for dispensational premillennialism” (95). This strikes at the very heart of the problem between dispensational and historic premillennialists. Historic premillennialists acknowledge some spiritual sense in which the church fulfills the role of Old Testament Israel. They seek to strike middle ground here between dispensationalists and ammillennialists.

Chapter six explains the contemporary millennial/tribulational debates. In this chapter Fairbairn gives a very helpful explanation of the history of premillennialsm and the history of ammillennialism. He gives references of early church fathers speaking in premillennialist terms, and then points to Augustine as basically being the father of ammillennialism.

Fairbairn places much emphasis on the people of God and suffering. He takes on the dispensationalists’ view of the pretribulational rapture as that which is against the way in which God has dealt with His people throughout history. He gives examples of the people of God experiencing great suffering and never being rescued from it, and uses this as an argument of the posttribulational rapture of the church. He closes the chapter by stating that the proper place for eschatology is near the center of Christian truth.

The seventh chapter is devoted to discussing the Reformed and Covenantal theology of premillennialism. Here Chung lists Reformed theologians who were ammillennialists and even Jonathan Edwards who was a postmillennialist. Chung takes on the ammillennialists’ view of the millennium by accusing them of putting too much attention on the soteriological dimension of the covenant of grace (134). In his challenge to them, he calls them to view the covenants through the eyes of the kingdom dimension of God’s work within history. In fact, under the title of the chapter he subtitles it “A Proposal.” The problem is that he basically acknowledges that these covenants exist, and the only tweak he seems to make is that they should look at it more through a kingdom dimension than a soteriological dimension. Why are we to interpret the various texts he lists from a covenantal perspectives as he challenges the reader? How is this chapter to help lead one out of “Left Behind theology?”

The last chapter discusses premillennial tensions and holistic missiology. Campos speaks of the effects of dispensational premillennialism in the context of missions. He accuses dispensationalists of giving Latin America a Gospel without Kingdom and a western worldview that has deprived them from a holistic understanding of human beings and the world” (158). He goes on to talk about the need to not only “reach souls” through evangelism, but to also help them socially. He accuses dispensationalism of overlooking the human element in reaching the lost.

Conclusion

Overall the book fails to convince the dispensational reader that historical premillennialism is the superior premillennial position. In fact, the book was disjointed and poorly written. It is basically a compilation of essays on various topics put together to take shots at dispensationlism without making much effort to exegetically or logically lead someone out of their “error.” The book would be best promoted with a different title, since it fails in a huge way to present a good case for leading one to hold the views of historic premillennialism.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Obamacare

Things are heating up in congress. The president is seeking to push his communistic form of health care on the nation. One congressman recently told him, "You lie!" Now they are selling such bumper stickers.

Will his attempt at the destruction of America as we know it succeed? If it does, I can tell you what socialistic medicine is all about, because we live in a country that has it. Taxes are sky high. Sales tax is 19% on virtually anything you buy (e.g. a car, computer, couch, shrubbery, bicycle, etc.). In addition to that is income tax and other taxes. Gas is $5 a gallon. And when you go to the emergency room as we did the other day you have no idea if a doctor will be there. We showed up and two people were ahead of us, and there was no doctor! Doctors only get paid to treat so many patients a month. Once they hit that number they typically could care less if they see another patient. If they do, they don't get paid for it. What kind of motivation is there for success, advancement, and promotion? There isn't.

Capitalism has worked. It isn't perfect, but it is far better than Socialism/Communism.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

What Will the New NIV Look Like?

The big question in the world of Bible translations is "What will the new NIV look like?" What changes will they make? Will they try to be more gender neutral? That didn't seem to go over too well with their last attempt. So what are they planning to change? Supposedly it will only take a few months.

Will people buy it? Will it be as popular as the current version? Or will it be something that is equally as valuable as the sack lining your garbage can?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Dawkins Dumbfounded

Richard The Hardcore Atheist Dawkins can't give one simple example of the evolutionary process. Watch!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Truth Quote of the Week

Here's a quote I heard recently.

"The Word of God is a comfort for those in distress, and it is a distress for those who are comfortable."

Friday, August 21, 2009

Don't Waste Your Life

After a crazy busy summer we're finally home and I'm playing catch-up with all the work here in Czech Republic. We're looking to publish Don't Waste Your Life, by John Piper within the next month. This will be our first published book, and hopefully a very strategic book in pointing people to living for the glory of God.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Here Again and Gone Tomorrow!

Last week I thought we were finally home. But then we weren't. Today I thought we were home and got a phone call at 9pm asking where our kids are. I signed them up for camp and thought it was next week! Gotta leave early to get them there for all the activities.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Home Again!

After a wild two weeks we are home again! We returned back to Czech and the next day our short-term missions team arrived. Things have been non-stop since then. Yesterday we finished our English camp and now I'm in recovery. Completely exhausted!!!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Packin' Up

We're packing and getting ready for the big trip home. Then 24 hours later I pick up the short-term missions team for our summer English camp!

Busy days!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

New Feature

Thanks to Logos (Libronix) Library System I'm able to add a cool feature to the site. If you place your cursor over a Bible reference (i.e. Eph. 4:1) you will now see the actual verse shown on the page.

Pretty cool!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Truth Quote of the Week

Another quote without the word "truth," but a very profound one. If you can make it past the first few sentences that are a little challenging for some it is a great quote on God's presence.

"Do not therefore think God to be in places: He is with thee such an one as thou shalt have been. What is, such an one as thou shalt have been? Good, if thou shalt have been good; and evil to thee He will seem, if evil thou shalt have been; but a Helper, if good thou shalt have been; an Avenger, if evil thou shalt have been. There thou hast a Judge in thy secret place. Willing to do something of evil, from the public thou retires into thy house, where no enemy may see; from those places of thine house which are open and before the eyes of men, thou removest thyself into a chamber; thou fearest even in thy chamber some witness from some other quarter, thou retires into thy heart, there thou meditates: He is more inward than thy heart. Whithersoever therefore thou shalt have fled, there He is. From thyself whither wilt thou flee? Wilt thou not follow thyself whithersoever thou shalt flee? But since there is One more inward even than thyself, there is no place whither thou mayest flee from God angry, but to God reconciled. There is no place at all whither thou mayest flee. Wilt thou flee from Him? Flee to Him."

Augustine - from his commentary on Psalm 75

Monday, July 6, 2009

Classes to Begin

Continuing to get ready for classes.

So, no time for blogging!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Birthday USA!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Hitting the Books

Classes start in a few days and I'm seriously hitting the books in preparation. It will be two weeks of fairly intense study! But it will be worth it!

Still trying to sneak in another fishing trip though!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Travelin' On

Tomorrow we head to LA after enjoying some time with family and friends in Florida. Now time to face my professors! Hopefully I'll be able to get some serious work done before classes start!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Praising God!

Praising the Lord for the privilege to go fishing again. Here's the photo of the latest catch! I caught an African Pompano and some Amber Jack. We threw several of the Amber Jack back, but kept a few to smoke.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Truth Quote of the Week

Here is a quote from John Hus after he left Prague. He left so that the believers in Prague would not suffer further from his presence.

"I fled, in order that impious priests might not prohibit the preaching of the Word of God, and that you might not be deprived, on my account, of the Divine truth, for which, by the grace of God, I am ready to die."

- p. 50 - Letter XI - Letters of Hus - Mackenzie

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sweet Fellowship

My wife and I had the awesome privilege of fellowshipping with some dear friends this past weekend. I rode my first Harley and now understand why everyone who has them loves them. I also got to do my favorite pastime...fishing! And a friend let me and Sandy cruise around in his Corvette. It was realllllyyyy cool!!!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Short Visit

We take off in the morning for a visit to Florida (my old stopping ground) for a few weeks, and then on to California for a few more weeks.

The wife and kids are on the countdown. And I'm sure my professors are counting down too until the day I have to turn in all my assignments! May the Lord be gracious!

If my fishing trips are successful in Florida I'll be sure to let you know! :-)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Truth Quote of the Week

“I will defend to the death the truth God has vouchsafed me, especially the truth of the Holy Scriptures.”

– Jan Hus (John Huss), p. 11 – W.J. Grier – Hus and Farel

Friday, May 29, 2009

What I've Been Listening To

This will show my true colors and my background. I must say at first, that I could do without some of the graphics that this video shows. However, the song has ministered to me.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

How Do Czechs Deal with Socialists?

Here is a video that gives instructions on how to deal with socialists. The Czech Republic and all of Europe is already socialist. But people are getting fed up. Here is a great example of what people think of the socialist party in the Czech Republic! Would people get arrested for this in America?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

We Have No Clue

This past Sunday was our church's 80th anniversary. Some of the former pastors were here with us for the celebration. A couple of them shared what the church and its former pastors went through during the last 80 years. As I listened to what the church and its pastors experienced I quickly realized that we today have no clue what it means to suffer for Christ.

We big babies today cry when someone calls us a name, says something critical of us or our ministries, or challenges our authority as leaders in God's church. And these are all difficult things to deal with. But as I think about what the founding pastor of our church suffered I fight back the tears and say, "Oh, but for the grace of God I would be in His shoes today."

The founding pastor (Cyril Burget) of our church (The Baptist Church in Kromeriz, Czech Republic) served for around 15 years +/-. I can't remember the exact number of years, but around 15 . After leaving Kromeriz he went to Prague to pastor a church there. Shortly after serving there he was imprisoned. And that is all anyone knows about him.

He was imprisoned for a while and died in prison. No one knows how he died. Most think he was beaten or tortured to death; killed by the communists in prison. They held a funeral for him, but it was a closed casket and not one word was aloud to be spoken there by anyone. People could enter the room, but no one could speak. So his family came and looked at the casket not knowing if his body was actually inside. If it was, no one knew what it looked like. No one knows if he was beaten, mutilated, or what. But most believe he was at least beaten and killed. And no one knows what they did with his body, whether it was burned or buried.

He was a martyr for the truth. A true warrior. After his death the communists told the church to throw his family out of the church. So instead of enduring persecution and standing for the truth, they threw his wife and 6 kids out of the church. And it seems that his children or at least most of them never walked with Christ after all of this. This man lost his life, his church, and his family all for the cost of following Christ.

We today have no clue what it truly means to suffer and lose everything for Christ. However, it is what Jesus told us to expect. May we be as faithful as Pastor Burget to stand for Christ and never yield to the enemy.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Truth Quote of the Week

"In truth I cannot conceive how otherwise a man could be a master worthily than with the intention of obtaining a steadier opportunity for the teaching of God’s truth and this profess and defend that truth more zealously. But I have found ordinary poor priests and poor layman—even women—defend the truth more zealously than the doctors of the Holy Scriptures, who out of fear run away from the truth plainly and openly. And why are they like that? Solely because some of us are timid, fearing to lose worldly favor and praise, and others of us fear to lose benefices; for we fear to be held in contempt by the people for the truth’s sake, and to suffer bodily pain. We are like the Jewish rulers of whom Saint John says in his Gospel that “many rulers believed on him; but because of the lawyers did not confess it, lest they should be cast out of the congregation. For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.” O how many there are—princes, masters, priests, and others—who, being afraid of excommunication, have no courage to confess the truth of Christ, and thus also Christ himself; and how many there are who fear to confess the truth lest they lose their miserable goods, or, above all, who, lacking the courage to risk their earthly life, abandon the truth!"

Jan Hus, Knizky o Svatokupectvi

Sunday, May 17, 2009

BIG Weekend

Yesterday was a great day as we celebrated our 11th anniversary. A big day and a blessed one!

Today was a huge day in the life of our church. After 2-3 years without biblical leadership and many problems our church moved to establish a biblical eldership. This is a huge praise and we pray for God's leading, wisdom, and blessing.

Now, off to work and off to study!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Busy Days

I'm gearing up for D.Min classes this summer and haven't had much time to think about the blog. In addition to that--this month our family celebrates our daughters birthdays, and tomorrow we celebrate our 11th wedding anniversary. In our church we have three big weekends the next three weeks as we seek to establish an eldership, celebrate the 80th anniversary of the church, ordain our pastor, have a baptism, and have a parent/baby dedication.

So, praise the Lord!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Truth Quote of the Week

This week's quote comes from a Roman Catholic Bishop.

FoxNews posted an article today about "gay marriage" running into a roadblock in Rhode Island, because it is largely Roman Catholic. The rest of New England seems to accept it, but the Catholics in Rhode Island are holding it up. And here is the quote of the week by a Catholic Bishop in our country's smallest state.

"We don't see it (gay marriage) as a civil rights issue, because there's never a right to do something that's morally wrong."

- Bishop Thomas Tobin

Thursday, May 7, 2009

George Mason University Agrees

In yesterday's post I made a couple statements about the number of laws and lack of personal freedom under socialistic and communistic governments. Today I read that George Mason University did a study and they show that the more liberal states (i.e. New York, New Jersey, Maryland, California, and others) have more laws that restrict people's freedom.

Here in the Czech Republic you can't even have a yard sale. I know a missionary in Prague who tried to have one and the police showed up telling him he needs a business license. And the reason? I'm sure it is so they can collect their 19% tax on his junk.

Liberal ideology is arrogant and repressive. It calls good evil and evil good. Whether it is political or theological liberalism it always leads to destruction.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Sad Week for the USA and Few People Get It

I look at the headlines today and it is sad. The President has no interest in the National Day of Prayer, Maine okays gay marriage, and socialistic/communistic ideology is on the move.

Yesterday we were standing out on the street (here in Czech Republic) advertising our summer English camp. I saw a guy reading our sign so I said with a smile, "Are you interested in going to the camp?" He looked scared and angry and started to walk away. I jokingly said, "Hey we can speak English." The guy I was with told me I was too happy. He said, "You can't be that happy when you talk to people."

Then last night in our English class I told everyone about it and they all agreed. They said it is a leftover from communism. The socialistic/communistic ideology suppressed people and left them with virtually no rights, and stripped away their joy. The students told me all kinds of stories about the days of communism and how horrible it was, and it is truly sad.

We agreed that there is a visible difference between how the young generation today and those who lived during communism communicate and express themselves. You can be happy when you talk to younger people, but old people look at you with suspicion and distrust.

America is blazing down the highway to hell and doesn't realize it. The President de-emphasizes prayer, States are falling like dominoes as more and more allow "gay marriage," and people are embracing socialism, which is just a step from communism. People really have no clue how the socialists and communists control your lives. Farmers here in the European Union (I call it the European Union of Socialist States) are told how much crop to produce and sell. It is absurd. There are laws for virtually everything. Thankfully the Czechs are holding out on the Lisbon Treaty that would strip away even more rights. Americans have no clue. For them Obama's new socialistic agenda is a new experiment, but it will not lead to more prosperity and more freedom.

Truly dark days are ahead if there is not a revival that will sweep the nation. There must be a return to the Truth if the light will ever come on for people to realize what is happening. Preachers will be imprisoned just as they were here in Czech 50 years ago if this socialistic ideology continues to spread. Now more than ever churches must preach the truth, proclaim the gospel, be living examples of Jesus Christ in their daily lives, and pray that God would be gracious and merciful and save many!

Friday, May 1, 2009

One Holy Lamb

I came across this song tonight and was greatly moved by it. What an amazing atonement it was that was made on our behalf! Praise God that the Holy Lamb made a once and for all sacrifice to wash our sin away. I am so unworthy, but exalt the Holy Lamb of God. The great and awesome God!

Daniel 9:4 And I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed and said, "Alas, O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Truth Quote of the Week

This is another quote without the word "truth," but it is a true quote.

"When thy prayers seek God's glory, it is God's glory to answer thy prayers."

C. H. Spurgeon - sermon # 3484

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Give Attention to the Truth

I'm teaching through Daniel in our weekly Bible hour at church. It is interesting to see the difference in perspective on truth between the righteous and the unrighteous. What we see in our day is no different than what we find in Daniel.

The ungodly have no regard for truth, in fact they say there is no absolute truth. This of course is what they choose to believe, because to believe that there is absolute truth is to admit there is a standard by which we must live. And it is clear to anyone who can add 2+2=4, that the statement "there is no absolute truth" is in fact an absolute statement. Nevertheless the ungodly are not bothered by such folly.

In Daniel 8 the little horn, better known as Antiochus Epiphanies, is prophesied to be one who will "fling truth to the ground" (8:12). He is shown to be one who has no regard for truth, and in fact he didn't. He burned the Scriptures and sought to kill anyone who possessed copies of the Scriptures. He hated the truth. He desecrated the temple in Jerusalem, built an idol of Zeus in the temple area, and offered swine upon the altar to his pagan deities.

Do we not see similar treatment of that which is true and sacred in our time? Bibles are not being burned in our country yet, but the truths of the Bible are certainly under attack. Marriage, a very sacred and God-ordained institution is under fierce attack in our day. A Miss America contestant is ostricized, because she doesn't accept homosexual marriage. Faith groups are said to be increasingly losing "gay rights" fights in the courts. And pagans like Tony Blair are now saying their spiritual leaders (his being the Pope) are wrong about homosexuality.

Is truth not being flung to the ground in our day? Truth is being abandoned for the sake of tolerance and diversity. Even the name of Jesus is something that is not to be spoken of in our day. Jesus, the precious name of Jesus, was recently covered by the President of the United States before he stood to give a policy speech in our nation's capital.

Such abominations run rampant in our day yet many seem to overlook them as isolated events. The wicked may treat the truth with such contempt, but the righteous are to be different! In the very next chapter of Daniel (ch. 9) he prays,

"As it is written in the law of Moses, all this calamity has come on us; yet we have not sought the favor of the LORD our God by turning from our iniquity and giving attention to Your truth. Therefore the LORD has kept the calamity in store and brought it on us; for the LORD our God is righteous with respect to all His deeds which He has done, but we have not obeyed His voice" (9:13-14).

Daniel here was of course speaking of the 70 years of Babylonian Captivity. Israel even in captivity did not repent and give attention to the truth, therefore they experienced God's judgment and calamity.

May we not expect calamity as well? How do we today view truth? We are not to give up in the battle for truth. The abominations taking place today are opening the hand of God that is filled with fury, judgment, and ultimately calamity for those who reject His truth. He who does not give attention to the truth will be overtaken by calamity.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

How Can God Bless America?

Drudge Report links a couple articles where the White House specifically requested Georgetown University to cover the name of Jesus where Obama would give a policy speech. Oh how far we have gone from the days of Washington and Lincoln.

Jesus said, "For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels." - Mark 8:38

We have before us today a visible picture of what took place in Scripture when kings led their people away from God and into destruction. In Obama's message before the covered name of Jesus he had the audacity to quote from the sermon on the amount. How hypocritical!

Forget saying "God bless America." The Apostle Paul said it better, "If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha." - 1 Corinthians 16:22

Monday, April 13, 2009

He Has Risen!

"He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying."

- Matthew 28:6

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Day the Priests Were Put Out of Business

And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" which is translated, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" 35 And when some of the bystanders heard it, they began saying, "Behold, He is calling for Elijah." 36 And someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a reed, and gave Him a drink, saying, "Let us see whether Elijah will come to take Him down." 37 And Jesus uttered a loud cry, and breathed His last. 38 And the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. 39 And when the centurion, who was standing right in front of Him, saw the way He breathed His last, he said, "Truly this man was the Son of God!" - Mark 15:34-39

The veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. That was it. The service of the priests was over. Their services are no longer needed. Jesus Himself is our great High Priest. Because of His death and resurrection we now come straight to Him in prayer no longer needing a priest to stand between us and God. What an amazing truth! Praise the Lord!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

U.S. a Secular State?

Last night we were watching CNN and they ran a quote across the screen that President Obama apparently made yesterday. He said, "The U.S. is not a country of Christians, Muslims, or Jews. We are a country of Citizens."

I guess he forgot how our country was founded. Maybe he hasn't looked at some of the buildings across town where God's name is written and where He is acknowledged as the Almighty. Maybe he even forgot why we as a country celebrate Thanksgiving. America was once a great country where speaking of God (the God of the Bible) and Christ was commonplace. Today it is virtually forbidden in governmental buildings and discussions. I fear what the country will be like when Obama leaves office. Not that I fear the future, but fear the consequences of such iniquity.

His obvious goal is for America to be a secular state, to become another Europe. A Europe where God's name is intentionally left out of all government constitutions, documents, and discussion. A Europe where everything is tolerated except truth itself.

May we take this time to pray for our President. To pray for his salvation, his decision-making, and his leadership.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

100,000 Apostates Seek De-Baptism

There are more than 100,000 Britons who have downloaded "certificates of de-baptism" according to the AP. The article calls them "atheists," but would they not be described more accurately as "apostates?"

Will not their judgment be greater according to the Scriptures? Are they not described spiritually as unreasoning animals (Jude 10)? "Woe to them!" saith the Scriptures. They are "grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage" (Jude 16). Those aren't my words, those are the words of the Bible, and their punishment will be severe.

This "movement" is being led by the National Secular Society (NSS). It is the same group that promoted the "There's probably no God" bus advertisements in London. Their goal is to preach another gospel that says, "live however you want." It is a damning gospel.

It is hard to believe that Britain has gone from the days of the English reformers of Latimer, Hooper, Ridley, and others to what it is today. This is what happens when the Word isn't preached.

May a great awakening come to Britain once again led by a movement of men who preach the Truth!

Monday, March 30, 2009

What God Expects When You Have His Word

Sunday I had the privilege of expounding Deut. 6:1-9. It was a personal challenge to my own heart, and was very sanctifying for my soul. Here in this text we see what God expects of His people who have been given His Word. There is a high demand placed upon them by God Himself, and that is something that our post-modern world cannot stand.

I was once at St. Paul's Cathedral in London where a female bishop got up to read Jonah 2. Before reading the text she said, "This story is hardly believable and is not to be taken literally." A church here in Czech Republic that I know of had a meeting a couple years ago where everyone in the church believed the Bible was the Word of God except the pastor. Another pastor I know once said to me, "In our church we don't preach against speaking in tongues and we don't preach for it. We don't preach against women being elders and we don't preach for it."

Well then, what in the world do you preach? If pastors have this view of the Scriptures then what do they do with Deut 6:1-9? Here in this text we see 4 expectations that God has for those who have His Word! They are to be taught the Word (6:1-2), to obey the Word (6:3), to love the Lord of the Word (6:4-5), and are to be consumed by the Word (6:6-9)!

And as pastors, if you aren't teaching your people the Bible, if you call Jonah a story that is hardly believable when Jesus Himself spoke of it as a literal, then you and your church are doomed! If you don't believe the Bible is the Word of God, then you have nothing to say on Sunday and you have no authority. If you won't preach against things and for things, then you are not preaching at all.

God in Deut. 6 taught the importance of knowing His Word, obeying His Word, loving Him, and passing on His Word to succeeding generations. When the church fails in this, it fails, and fails miserably. And the church is largely failing. We know of large churches that are dying. They are as plants with no water. The living Word is not being poured into their poor souls. They are dying of spiritual hunger. We know of dear people in these churches who are desperate for a man to lead them and preach the Word of God.

The time is desperate, there is a great urgency among us, and we watch these churches perish by the lack of men who will stand in the gap and say, "Thus saith the Lord!" Where are the men lining up saying, "let me preach!" Where are the men preaching the gospel calling people to Christ? Where are the men like John Knox who said, "give me Scotland or I die?"

Pray! Pray that God would raise up a new generation of men willing to go to the stake, men who are willing to travel down paths overtaken by thorns and vipers, men who are not afraid to stand for truth and preach the Word! And don't just pray, GO! The harvest is plenteous, but the laborers are few!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Truth Quote of the Week

Another truth quote from C. H. Spurgeon that sure does fly in the face of our post-modern world:

"Men of the world are apt to say, 'You are such a set of bigots; you think everybody wrong but yourselves.' Is it wonderful that if we think we are right, we do not believe that those who are opposed to us can be right also?"

1194.539

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Age of Diotrephes

The apostle Paul told Timothy: "But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; avoid such men as these. For among them are those who enter into households and captivatae weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth" (2 Tim. 3:1-7).

Does this not describe the age in which we live? We live in an age when people have deep love for themselves, yet are told they don't have enough of it (eg. self-esteem). We live in an age when people pursue wealth and material possessions at the cost of serving Christ. We live in an age when people call evil good (eg. homosexuality) and good evil (eg. saving the lives of the unborn). We live in an age when the church is filled with a lack of holy living, malicious gosspis, and lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. All this is undeniable. But we don't hear much about the Diotrepheses of the world.

The church today is full of such men. John describes him in his 3rd epistle:

"I wrote something to the church; but Diotrephes, who loves to be first among them, does not accept what we say. For this reason, if I come, I will call attention to his deeds which he does, unjustly accusing us with wicked words; and not satisfied with this, he himself does not receive the brethren, either, and he forbids those who desire to do so and puts them out of the church" (3 John 9-10).

I have personally experienced such attacks at various points in our ministry. The stories some of these people have fabricated are false and they know it as I have never had the encounters with them that they have told people. I thought the shenanigans I experienced earlier in our ministry were but isolated incidents. But what is so amazing is the number of pastors I have spoken to in recent years who either have a Diotrephes in their church or have had one in their church. We live in an age when men desire the preeminence. This is nothing new of course. This is what Satan sought after when he was thrown from heaven with 1/3 of the angels.

These type of men will do whatever they can to hold their power and keep you from having any. If they have to fabricate stories and lie to discredit you or bring you down they will. If they have to twist Scripture to make it say what they want, they will. These are men who are ungodly, lovers of self, men as described in 2 Tim. 3:1-7, and men who are partners with the Devil in their deeds.

John in vs. 11 shows that this Diotrephes wasn't saved. I cannot say what the spiritual status of such men are, but John here wasn't afraid to say what the Lord makes of such people.

Men in the church, we are to be Demetriuses! He is mentioned in vs. 12 as having a good testimony from everyone, and from the truth iteslf. We are to be men of truth, men of God, men without a personal agenda, and men who walk in holiness and humility which are vitally and inextricably linked. Such men are lovers of God and haters of self, they are the opposite of everything Paul wrote of in 2 Tim. 3:1-7. May God expose the Diotrepheses of our day for who they are--ungodly, wicked, and agents of the Devil, and may He raise up more Demetriuses in the church to be a light to the world. A light that declares His glory among the nations (Ps. 96:3).

Friday, March 20, 2009

My Trip to Saddleback - Part 2

I wanted to follow up on my observations from my trip to Saddleback Church. This time focusing primarily upon the sermon.

After all the singing it came time for Rick Warren to preach. You can see his apparel in the picture to the right with his shirt untucked and very casual appearance. When he got up to preach he began with an introduction that lasted for about 5 minutes. Then someone came up to sing a song. After that he returned to preach. His sermon outline was okay, but not expositional. He said he was preaching through the Lord's prayer, so I was expecting an exposition of the prayer.

The portion of the prayer he said he was going to preach was "And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil - Matt. 6:13." His outline should have been the points of application, not the main points of the sermon. You will NOT notice an explanation of the verse in the handout he gave or in his outline:

1. Identify what makes me vulnerable
2. Plan to avoid it
3. Guard my heart
4. Pray for deliverance
5. Turn my attention elsewhere

He said nothing of the biblical text and said nothing about what Jesus was teaching His disciples in the text, or why they should pray to not enter into temptation. He used at least 8 different Bible translations in the message to make his points. The worst was when he was preaching on guarding your heart, he had a little test for everyone to take. He said he would interpret the results for everyone at the end. Here is the test. Take it and see how you do and I'll give you his interpretation of your likeliness to fall into temptation:

Physically exhausted...................01234...Energetic & in shape
Discouraged or pessimistic.........01234...Encouraged & hopeful
Bored & discontented..................01234...Challenged & contented
Spiritually dry or empty.............01234...Spiritually alive & growing
Alone or distant from others......01234...Close to those you love
Insecure or unsure......................01234...Confident & secure
Wounded or deeply hurt............01234...Loved & understood
Bitter or angry.............................01234...Forgiven everyone
Sad.............................................01234...Happy
Like you've failed........................01234...Successful

Add up your score:
30-40 = You're in good shape
20-30 = You're in serious danger
0-20 = You're in crisis need

Amazing. What about the amount of time you spend in the Word, in prayer, in ministry serving, etc.? If you are in Rick Warren's category 30-40 where he pronounces you in good shape and not as likely to fall into temptation, then you are in danger according to the Bible. 1 Corinthians 10:12 "Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall."

Two interesting statements he made in the sermon were--Jesus faced sexual temptations, and then he told everyone--"don't resist (temptation), refocus." I'll let you ponder those thoughts in your mind as you run them through the grid of Scripture.

Overall the sermon was very weak, no exposition of the biblical text, and very man-centered. The points of his outline were very practical and helpful, but there was no theological foundation or biblical motivation to live this way. There was no discussion of the consequences of sin, the judgment of God, no discussion of the fear of God, and no focus on holy living or the glory of God.

The service ended by him making a call for everyone to join a small group. I don't recall a gospel presentation or an opportunity to meet with someone to talk about coming to know Christ. But it's been over a week since I was there and maybe I forgot. But I don't think so.

I also closely watched to see if he would come down and greet people and shake hands, but he left and was nowhere to be found.

At a couple different points people came up to one of the guys I was with and forbade him from taking pictures. On the way to the parking lot we found a bulletin board with their church activities. We couldn't find there any Bible studies or "Sunday school" groups, but we did find a class on water hygiene. ???

Overall it was an interesting experience, and one that made me even more thankful for Grace Community Church where we were for the Shepherd's Conference