I feel the Spirit! (from “Lies My Pastor Told Me”)

A thought provoking video on misuse of the phrases “I feel the Spirit” and “I don’t feel the Spirit” to express subjective emotional states, or cultural practices.

How often have you heard the phrase “I feel the Spirit?”  And how often has it reflected unbiblical criteria for how to judge this?

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God Has No Grandchildren

An odd sort of parallelism arises in the book of 1 Samuel.

God’s chosen righteous judge Eli raises ungodly wicked sons (1 Sam 2-3). Ironically, the exact same thing then happens to Samuel (1 Sam 8) who should have known better as he was the very one through whom God prophesied judgment against his mentor Eli’s children.

While God indeed has adopted “children” (John 1:12), God has no “grandchildren.”

That is, each generation must be converted anew. Our children do not coast off of faith imputed to them.

A church’s children’s ministry is the largest influx of unbelievers a church will see each week. If you are a believer, your own children are your first and toughest mission field.

Let us guard with great seriousness the error of taking the gospel for granted in our churches and homes.

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Christmas Sermon: Where Was God? (12/23/12)

A bit late, but here is the sermon I preached at New Song Church of McKinney in McKinney, Texas on December 23, 2012.

It is titled “Where Was God?” based on Matthew 2, Jeremiah 31, and ending in Matthew 26.

(I had originally prepared a sermon relating the doctrine of Christ’s incarnation to a believer’s regeneration, but was moved to change the sermon after the tragic events of Friday, December 21st.)

 

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Slavery for the Post-Modern Era

Mind shattering and heart breaking.

The second fastest growing criminal industry (surpassing weapons trafficking) is human trafficking.

Let this sink in:  It is estimated that there are more enslaved people in 2012 than at any time in human history.  The vast majority of them are female. Roughly half of those are children.

This Forbes article reminds us that this disgusting phenomenon is not something that just happens “over there.” The top three spots are TEXAS, NEW YORK, and CALIFORNIA.

Statements like this beggar belief:

According to The National Report on Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking: America’s Prostituted Children, “children exploited through prostitution report they typically are given a quota by their trafficker/pimp of 10 to 15 buyers per night. Utilizing a conservative estimate, a domestic minor sex-trafficking victim would be raped by 6,000 buyers during the course of her victimization through prostitution.”

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The fountains of the deep

One of the scientific objections to Noah’s flood is that there is simply not enough water on the surface of the earth to cover all the mountains to the depths suggested by Genesis.

Google “noah’s flood not enough water” to read up on this objection.

Here’s a representative quote of such objections:

…there could not have been a worldwide flood as described in the Bible because there is simply not enough water in the earth’s atmospheric system to produce such a flood.

According to data from the U.S. Geological Survey, the amount of water in the earth’s atmosphere could not possibly cover the earth. In fact:

One estimate of the volume of water in the atmosphere at any one time is about 3,100 cubic miles (mi3) or 12,900 cubic kilometers (km3). That may sound like a lot, but it is only about 0.001 percent of the total Earth’s water volume of about 332,500,000 mi3 (1,385,000,000 km3)

If all of the water in the atmosphere rained down at once, it would only cover the ground to a depth of 2.5 centimeters, about 1 inch.

Additionally, because only 1.7% of the earth’s water is stored underground, there is not nearly enough water in groundwater storage beneath the earth’s surface to account for the amount of water necessary to flood the entire earth to the extent described in the Bible.

Simply put: there is not enough water in Earth’s atmosphere to raise the ocean’s levels over an inch, much less to cover Mt. Ararat with water from 40 days of rain. There is simply not that much water in the system.

Thus, in order to even entertain the possibility of a worldwide flood, one has to bypass all laws of physics, exit the realm of science, and enter into the realm of the miraculous, which many biblical literalists are willing to do. It is hypothetically possible that, say, the polar ice caps melted. This could raise the ocean levels beyond the 2.5 centimeters that all the earth’s atmospheric water could were it to all rain down, but even then the thaw would only slightly affect the world’s coastlines. Additionally, all scientific evidence points to larger polar ice caps in recent history, not smaller.

However research since 2000 has indicated that there may be a conservative estimate of between five to ten times more water inside the earth than there is in all the world’s lakes, rivers, and oceans combined.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2002/03/0307_0307_waterworld.html

I just found this interesting since up until now we have had no scientific evidence suggesting that the earth’s mantle is filled with great amounts of water, i.e. “the fountains of the deep.”

Also interesting is that this great amount of water is now found locked into mineral matrices from which it is very difficult to extract them.  In other words, there is no known way that this water could spontaneously find its way back to the surface of the earth to flood it.

And God said, This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.  When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds,  I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh. And the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.

Genesis 9:12-15

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John 4:42 for parents

“Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.” John 4:42 NKJV

As I was reading this passage this morning it struck me that this sentiment is what all Christian parents should earnestly desire to hear from their children and what all preachers of the Word should desire to hear from their congregations. It is not our words that heal, reconcile, justify, renew, and save, but His Word (Jn 6:68) and yet God in His mercy has decreed that we, His adopted children, should participate in the story of salvation by speaking of Him.

For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed?
And
how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?
And
how shall they hear without a preacher?
And
how shall they preach unless they are sent?
As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!”
Romans 10:13-15 NKJV

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Surely you know!

I was reminded today of one of my favorite little “easter eggs” in the Old Testament.

Who has ascended to heaven and come down?
Who has gathered the wind in his fists?
Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment?
Who has established all the ends of the earth?
What is his name, and what is his son’s name?
Surely you know!

Proverbs 30:4

Any guesses?

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