Round Up

God’s Word Sanctifies, Not Private Revelation – “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” — John 17:17

Has ‘Authenticity’ Trumped Holiness – Has authenticity become a higher calling than, say, holiness?

The Doctrine of Hell:  Apologetic Problems – For many people, the doctrine of hell presents an apologetic problem for Christians. Skeptics say that believing in hell is “morally reprehensible” and that the doctrine of hell makes God a “barbaric, moral monster, the worst being ever to exist.”

John MacArthur: The Infographic – Tim Challies has been releasing infographics for various topics which he calls Visual Theology.  This one is an interesting one on the accomplishments of a servant of God.

Quote:

The chief and principal ends for which the Holy Spirit is promised and received may be reduced to these four heads:—(1.) Regeneration; (2.) Sanctification; (3.) Consolation; (4.) Edification. There are, indeed, very many distinct operations and distributions of the Spirit, as I have in part already discovered, and shall yet farther go over them in particular instances; but they may be reduced unto these general heads, or at least they will suffice to exemplify the different manner and ends of the receiving of the Spirit. And this is the plain order and method of these things, as the Scripture both plainly and plentifully testifies: — (1.) He is promised and received as to the work of regeneration unto the elect; (2.) As to the work of sanctification unto the regenerate; (3.) As to the work of consolation unto the sanctified; and, (4.) As unto gifts for edification unto professors, according to his sovereign will and pleasure. – John Owen

Killing Sprees – Is There a Common Theological Thread? – Blog Repost

Ken Keathley writes the following (Original Found Here):

On Christmas Eve William Spengler set fire to his house. When firemen responded to the call, he ambushed them; killing two and wounding two others. That was the third time this month (December, ’12) that someone has gone on a horrific killing spree in America.

Spengler committed suicide; which is what Adam Lanza did after he killed 26 in Newtown on Dec 14. On Dec 12 in an Oregon mall, Jacob Tyler Roberts killed two and then took his own life. Back in 1999, the Columbine killers, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, also killed themselves. Thinking about this, I began to wonder how many “killing spree” killers ended their rampage in a similar manner. I was surprised at what I found.

A Wikipedia article provides a lists of what it calls “rampage killers”—those who have committed mass murder at schools, work, and other various places. Of those who perpetrate school massacres, the article gives a list of 15 murderers (a link to a longer list is available there). It turns out that of those 15, 13 committed suicide (one was killed by police). Only one out of the 15 allowed himself to be taken alive.

I admit that trying to be an armchair psychiatrist is a risky endeavor. I don’t pretend to have a clue about the motivations of such persons. I really can’t relate to them. No doubt each one committed suicide for a number of reasons. Maybe some were mentally ill or even insane. Perhaps others killed themselves as a last demonstration of hatred towards everyone and everything, including themselves. But I want to argue that their respective decisions to kill themselves were not made in a theological vacuum. In fact, they seem to be making a very strong collective statement about a shared belief system. They were avoiding accountability. They didn’t expect to face God.

They believed that by killing themselves they would not have to answer for their crimes. None of them thought that there was any type of judgment to come after death. They were theological nihilists. To put it in biblical terms, none of them feared God.

Or as the Apostle Paul puts it:

“Their feet are swift to shed blood;
Destruction and misery are in their ways;
And the way of peace they have not known.
There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (Romans 3:15-18)

The portrayal of God as Judge and the theme of a coming Judgment Day run literally throughout the Bible. And Christians of earlier generations spoke regularly of an eventual divine reckoning. But today the notion has evaporated—and not just from the culture at large but from within the church. Think about it. When was the last time you heard a sermon devoted to the topic of divine judgment?

Yes, there are Islamic jihadists, suicide bombers, who kill people because they believe they are doing Allah a favor. But that fact goes to my point that one’s beliefs about ultimate truth really do guide one’s behavior. And there seems to be a common theological thread among killing spree killers. They’re not worried about God, judgment, or a place called hell.

Spengler, who also served 18 years for murdering his grandmother in 1980 with a hammer, left a suicide note. He made it clear why he set his house on fire: “I still have to get ready to see how much of the neighborhood I can burn down, and do what I like doing best, killing people.” Whatever pathologies are going on in the heads of people like Spengler, I can’t begin to imagine. But the theological underpinnings of their madness seem clear enough. There is no fear of God in their eyes.

Daily Roundup

Christ’s Death Guarantees Justification & Glorification for the Elect – I know that in this day and age, many do not believe that Christ died only for an elect group.  I used to not believe in this doctrine, but the more I read and studied the Word of God, the more I believe it to be true.

How To Read the Bible – What is the Bible all about?  There are two ways of reading it and Tim Keller shows that the Bible is ultimately about Christ.

Who’s Worse, Oprah Winfrey or Joel Osteen? – Todd Friel takes a look at Joel and Oprah on Oprah’s Lifeclass.

Two Recommended Free Resources from Desiring God Ministries – Go grab these two resources and be blessed.

Brothers, Live a Visible, Exemplary, Everyday Life – How do we live our lives as Christians?  This ought to make you think about that, especially those who lead the Church.

To be an atheist… – It sure does require a lot of faith, and pride in that faith, to be an atheist. 

Does Hebrews 6 Teach That A Christian Can Lose Their Salvation? – Better know the backstory when you read through this passage of Hebrews.

Quote:

And shall we not rejoice and give thanks? Should we refuse, would not the stones cry out against us? Rejoice then we may and ought. But, O let our rejoicing be in the Lord and run in a religious channel. This, we find, has been the practice of God’s people in all ages. When he was pleased, with a mighty hand and out-stretched arm to lead the Israelites through the Red Sea, as on dry ground, ‘Then sang Moses and the children of Israel. And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand and all the women went out after her. And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the Lord. For he hath triumphed gloriously.’ When God subdued Jabin, the King of Canaan, before the children of Israel, ‘then sang Deborah and Barak on that day, saying, “Praise ye the Lord for the avenging of Israel.”’ When the ark was brought back out of the hands of the Philistines, David, though a king, danced before it.

And, to mention but one instance more, which may serve as a general directory to us on this and such-like occasions: when the great head of the church had rescued his people from the general massacre intended to be executed upon them by a cruel and ambitious Haman, ‘Mordecai sent letters unto all the Jews that were in all the provinces of the King Ahasuerus, both nigh and far, to establish among them, that they should keep the fourteenth day of the month Adar and the fifteenth day of the same yearly, as the days wherein the Jews rested from their enemies and the month which was turned unto them from sorrow unto joy and from mourning into a good day: that they should make them days of feasting and joy and of sending portions one to another and gifts to the poor’ [Esther 9:20-22]. And why should we not go and do likewise? – George Whitefield