Thursday, July 23, 2015

Knowing the Times (We Will Not Bow)

The extreme drought conditions that have plagued the State of California this year bring to mind a slew of arid Old Testament texts (Deut. 28; 1 Kings 8:34-35; Ruth 1:1); none more so than the historical narrative featuring Elijah the Tishbite and the godless King of Israel, Ahab.   Who can forget the showdown on Mount Carmel (note 1 Kings 17:1-18:45)?  As I traveled to Grace Church on Sunday night the sky grew black with clouds and it began to rain.  If you will allow me to use 1 Kings 18:45-46 as an analogy of sorts Sunday’s “rain shower” was quite apropos seeing that California’s “Elijah” returned home just a few days prior.  On this same night Pastor John MacArthur was endowed with power from on high in order that he might deliver a prophetic word from the Lord.  As I was listening to this message I realized rather quickly that this was one of those Martyn Lloyd-Jones-esque “Knowing the Times” sermons.   Even for someone who was part of Grace Church for twelve years it was a privilege to hear this “Logic On Fire” address in person.  This special message will not doubt become an “instant classic.”

As most of you no doubt realize much ink has been spilled in the aftermath of the landmark SCOTUS decision.  Nothing I have read, heard, or written comes close to what John MacArthur preached this past Sunday night.  This was “Hope For A Doomed Nation” times a thousand.  The following is a brief sketch of MacArthur’s epic July 19, 2015 sermon (You can listen to the sermon in its entirety by following this link).
Since our nation’s founding in 1776 the American experiment has brought an usual amount of religious freedom for all men, including- but not limited to- evangelical Christians.  In light of what Jesus said in John 16:33, what Paul declared in 2 Timothy 3:12, and what Peter wrote in 1 Peter 4:12-19 these blessed liberties should not be taken for granted.  In recent days the “reprieve” from an ungodly and hostile culture has been removed.   Those who continue to uphold what the Word of God clearly teaches concerning gender and marriage must prepare themselves for forthcoming persecution.  (If you are interested in how America got to this place so rapidly consider this article.  The LGBT blitzkrieg has taken root in six basic stages:  Desensitize, normalize, demonize, legalize, idolize, and finally, victimize/penalize the opposition).

Dr. MacArthur went on to remind the congregation that almost every form of sexual perversion is described in the first half of Genesis.  In other words, voyeurism, incest, adultery, fornication, and homosexuality is nothing new (see Genesis 3-19).  The Bible teaches that sexual sin and corrupt human nature go hand in hand.  We live in a fallen world of men who are lost and ruined by the fall (note Ephesian 2:1-3, Colossians 1:21-23). 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Biblical Boldness, Courage, and Truth Telling.

“I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you publicly and from house to house” (Acts 20:20). 

Martin Luther said, "The man of God should also open his mouth vigorously and confidently, to preach the truth that has been entrusted to him. He should not be silent or mumble, but testify without being frightened or bashful. He should speak out candidly without regarding or sparing anyone, let it strike whomever or whatever it will. It is a great hindrance to a preacher if he looks around and worries about what people like or do not like to hear, or what might make him unpopular or bring harm or danger upon him. As he stands high on a mountain in a public place and looks around freely, so he should also speak freely and fear no one, though he sees many kinds of people and faces. He should not hold a leaf in front of his mouth."

Saturday, July 4, 2015

O Church Arise! A Biblical Perspective on the SCOTUS Decision.

 Rom. 1:16-32, 1 Cor. 6:9-11, and Jude 3-25

After Friday’s landmark SCOTUS decision many shepherds felt compelled to imitate the example of Jude. Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints. For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ (Jude 3-4). Following in Jude's footsteps I decided to take a week off from my regular expositional series through the gospel of John in order to address the Supreme Court's nation changing decision.

Friday, July 3, 2015

The LGBT Agenda: How To Fundamentally Transform America- One Mind at a Time.
Contrary to what is often portrayed in the media America is still somewhat split on the issue of gay marriage.  I do not believe however that this will be the case ten to fifteen years from now.  Not when the LGBT movement is actively supported by most media outlets (national and local), by many corporations with massive checkbooks, by the majority of public schools/public universities, by the White House, by apostate pseudo Christians, and by Hollywood and the entertainment industry.  For more on this see my article,"How Did We Get Here? Desensitize, Normalize, Demonize, Idolize, Legalize, (Victimize)!"  Suffice it to say, when President Obama was first elected in 2008 he promised that "change was coming" to America and that he was going to "fundamentally transform" our country.  Both of these predictions have come true over the last seven years with assistance from the United States Supreme Court.

First came abortion rights for all in 1973 and now the legalization of gay marriage in 2015.   What do both of these egregious rulings have in common?  Americans do not want anything standing in the way of their lustful passions (see Romans 1:18-32).  In some regards both decisions were about sex, sex, and more sex (heterosexual and homosexual immorality alike).  Sexual freedom has become far more important than religious freedom to a growing number of people.  As I mentioned before, the gay rights movement that was ushered in on the coattails of the (im)Moral Revolution is here to stay.

An Evangelical Declaration of Marriage (Local Signatories)

"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 that 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 battlefield besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point
~ Martin Luther (1483-1546)

"HERE WE STAND:  An Evangelical Declaration of Marriage"
Local Signatories: