Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Islamic Eschatology Overview

Below is a link to an online book which provides an overview of Islamic end times theology. What is so fascinating is that it matches Biblical eschatology like a matching key and lock. The Islamic eschatological plan is the exact evil counterpart to what the Bible reader sees unfolding in history. Of course the Muslims sees things differently, they are not the evil counterparts, but the good and true way.  For example, what we call the false prophet, they say is our Jesus assisting their great deliver (Mahdi), which ironically, we would call the Anti-Christ! 

 I highly recommend this to you for better understanding our enemies tactics and for the strengthening of your faith.  Pastor Ben. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

When Are We Going to Grow Up? The Juvenilization of American Christianity

A helpful article (cover story from Christianity Today, June 2012) that provides a brief introduction to a very real problem in the American church.  Is anybody listening?


Here is a great book on the topic of perpetual adolescence and the many dire implications for society and western civilization. The author provides amazing insight into the profound changes in American culture over the past few decades, namely: "the decline of adulthood and the rise of a permanent adolescent class in American life." A very helpful book for all, but especially for parents and educators.


Goodbye Jack

On Monday we dropped Jack off at the recruiting center in Scranton where he soon departed for Harrisburg.  There he underwent a physical, passed, and is now being transported by bus to a plane that will take him to flight school in Texas.  We will certainly miss Jack at Grace, he was faithful man who served the body with joy and humility. The kids in his Sunday School class will dearly miss him as well! We will be praying for Jack as he adjusts to the new demands of military life and all that the next few months hold for him. I praise the Lord for his abundant grace poured out into the life of this dear saint! 

Jack, we love you and look forward to having you visit us again in the near future. God be with you...

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Wednesday Night Notes: Shaping our thoughts in conformity with God's thoughts when we pray.

“And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.” I John 5:14

1. The importance and confidence of knowing (v. 13, v. 15 twice, v. 18, v. 19, v. 20) the  things God is certain to answer when we pray, namely those things that are in accordance with God's revealed will found in the Scripture.

2. Our desire is for God's will to be done on earth. How can we know what God's will is for us on earth? He has disclosed Himself to us in a book, the Bible.

3. We are the people of the book, the Bible. We read it, sing it, preach it, and pray it. That means WE DESIRE TO SHAPE OUR THOUGHTS IN CONFORMITY WITH GOD'S THOUGHTS WHEN WE PRAY.   

4. "The more closely a prayer is framed according to the wording of the Lord himself, the more certain will be God's answer to that prayer. He has proven himself faithful to his word across the centuries. Not one word he has spoken has ever fallen to the ground. He delights in his own truth as it is 're-presented' to him in the form of the prayers of his people. He will hear and he will answer according to his Word . . . By continuing to shape your prayers in conformity with god's own words, your will find few disappointments in your fellowship with your heavenly Father. For he is more ready to give than you are to ask, if only your heart continues to conform to his." O. Palmer Robertson, Introduction to A Way to Pray: A Biblical Method for Enriching Your Prayer Life and Language by Shaping Your Words with Scripture by Matthew Henry (1710) Edited and Revised (2010)

5. "The main method of prayer in the fight for joy is to pray the Word of God, that is to read or recite the Word and turn it into prayer as you go. Most people (and Piper includes himself) do not have the power of mind to look at nothing and yet offer up to god significant spiritual desires for any length of time. I suspect this has always been the case. To pray for longer than a few minutes requires the help of God's Spirit, and the Spirit loves to help by the Word He inspired (Acts 4:24-26, 29)." John Piper, When I Don't Desire God: How to Fight for Joy (2004)

6. When your words begin to be shaped by God words, something wonderful begins to happen! Reading and meditation and prayer become so intermingled that you can pray for long stretches of time, praying through books, praying with your Bibles open, praying with your eyes open--praying the Word or (the big idea) shaping our thoughts in conformity with God's thoughts when we pray.

Three resources, not to imitate but as sources of inspiration from other brothers and sisters who learned to pray the Word.

1. Matthew Henry, A Way To Pray: A Biblical Method for Enriching Your Prayer Life and Language by Shaping Your Words with Scripture (1710) Edited and Revised by O. Palmer Robertson (2010) Banner of Truth. I've ordered 7 copies for our book table.

2. Charles Spurgeon, The Pastor in Prayer: A Collection of the Sunday Morning Prayers of C.H. Spurgeon (1893) Banner of Truth (2004)

3. The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions, edited by Arthur Bennett, Banner of Truth (2009)

Thanks for the great blessing each of you all have been, are, and will be to the body at Grace. We love you guys!



Monday, March 5, 2012

A lady to remember, consider, and imitate.

This is a letter sent from the wife of puritan Christopher Love to him on the eve of his execution in August of 1651. She was three months pregnant and had three other children. It needs no introduction or further explanation.

July 14, 1651
Before I write a word further, I beseech thee think not that it is thy wife but a friend now that writes to thee. I hope thou hast freely given up thy wife and children to God, who hath said in Jeremiah 49:11, “Leave thy fatherless children, I will preserve them alive, and let thy widow trust in me.” Thy Maker will be my husband, and a Father to thy children. O that the Lord would keep thee from having one troubled thought for thy relations. I desire to freely give thee up into thy Father’s hands, and not only look upon it as a crown of glory for thee to die for Christ, but as an honor to me that I should have a husband to leave for Christ.

I dare not speak to thee, nor have a thought within my own heart of my unspeakable loss, but wholly keep my eye fixed on thy inexpressible and inconceivable gain. Thou leavest but a sinful, mortal wife to be everlastingly married to the Lord of glory. Thou leavest but children, brothers, and sisters to go to the Lord Jesus, thy eldest Brother. Thou leavest friends on earth to go to the enjoyment of saints and angels, and the spirits of just men made perfect in glory. Thou dost but leave earth for heaven and changest a prison for a palace. And if natural affections should begin to arise, I hope that spirit of grace that is within thee will quell them, knowing that all things here below are but dung and dross in comparison of those things that are above. I know thou keepest thine eye fixed on the hope of glory which makes thy feet trample on the loss of earth. My dear, I know God hath not only prepared glory for thee, and thee for it, but I am persuaded that he will sweeten the way for thee to come to the enjoyment of it. When thou art putting on thy clothes that morning, O think, “I am now putting on my wedding garments to go to be everlastingly married to my Redeemer.”

When the messenger of death comes to thee, let him not seem dreadful to thee, but look on him as a messenger that brings thee tidings of eternal life. When thou goest up the scaffold, think (as thou saidest to me) that it is but thy fiery chariot to take thee up to thy Father’s house.
And when thou layest down thy precious head to receive thy Father’s stroke, remember what thou saidest to me: Though thy head was severed from thy body, yet in a moment thy soul should be united to thy Head, the Lord Jesus, in heaven. And though it may seem something bitter, that by the hands of men we are parted a little sooner than otherwise we might have been, yet let us consider that it is the decree and will of our Father, and it will not be long ere we shall enjoy one another in heaven again.

Let us comfort one another with these sayings. Be comforted my dear heart. It is but a little stroke and thou shalt be there where the weary shall be at rest and where the wicked shall cease from troubling. Remember that thou mayest eat thy dinner with bitter herbs, yet thou shalt have a sweet supper with Christ that night. My dear, by what I write unto thee, I do not hereby undertake to teach thee; for these comforts I have received from the Lord by thee. I will write no more, nor trouble thee any further, but commit thee into the arms of God with whom ere long thee and I shall be.

Farewell, my dear. I shall never see thy face more till we both behold the face of the Lord Jesus at that great day.

Mary Love

"Remember those who led you, who spoke the Word of God to you; an considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith." Hebrews 13:7

Cited in Don Kistler, A Spectacle unto God: The Life and Death of Christopher Love (Morgan, PA: Soli Deo Gloria, 1994)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

T.D. Jakes and The Elephant Room

Brothers and Sisters,

Perhaps some of you have heard that T.D. Jakes was recently invited by a group of  evangelical pastors to participate in a public event entitled The Elephant Room. This blog by Kevin DeYoung is short, fair, and helpful in explaining why it was a "serious mistake" to invite T.D. Jakes to this event. Here's the link.