As world leaders work for peace in the Middle East the current peace a

As world leaders work for peace in the Middle East the current peace agreements are unraveling

February 27, 2013

World leaders in America, Europe, Russia, and the Middle East are working to bring about a peace in the Middle East even as three peace agreements between Israel and their neighbors are actually unraveling and may not be in effect for very long.

The Camp David Accords, a peace agreement between Israel and Egypt, is almost a thing of the past with the present situation in Egypt as is the case with the peace treaty between Israel and Jordan with most Jordanians wanting to dissolve that treaty.

The Oslo Accords, a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, has never been normalized and is not a working agreement because the radical Islamists among the Palestinians have no regard for the treaty and in fact are calling for an armed struggle to eliminate the Jewish state.

Jimmy’s Prophetic Prospective on the News

With three different peace agreements between Israel and her neighbors in place the Middle East peace process is in bad shape but it will be rescued according to Bible prophecy.

In 1979, Israel and Egypt signed the Camp David Accords, the first peace treaty that Israel ever signed with an enemy state. The Palestinians and the Israelis also came to an agreement on peace in 1993 with the Oslo Accords. In October of 1994, the late King Hussein of Jordan and the late Yitzhak Rabin prime minister of Israel, both signed a peace treaty between the two nations. What is common with all of these peace agreements is that they never have been normalized. Even the peace envoy for the Quartet, which is the US, EU, UN, and Russia, Tony Blair has not been successful in bringing about peace. However, I must remind you that Bible prophecy does call for a world leader to come on the scene who will be successful in putting a peace treaty in place that he will make work.

Daniel 9:27 says that the Antichrist will confirm a treaty between Israel and her neighbors. I did not say he will sign a treaty, but instead confirm, strengthen, make stronger, make the treaty work. In order for this to happen, there must be a peace treaty or three peace treaties on the table not working. The Antichrist will confirm them.

There are three peace treaties on the table not working, waiting for the Antichrist, a world leader, to appear.

http://news.prophecytoday.com/2013/02/as-world-leaders-work-for-peace-in.html

QA With Francis Chan About Rob Bell's Book Love Wins

Q&A With Francis Chan About Rob Bell’s Book “Love Wins”

by Christine Pack

February 28, 2013

Francis Chan

Mark Galli, Senior Editor of Christianity Today, recently sat down with pastor/author Francis Chan to discuss Rob Bell’s controversial book Love Wins and Chan’s book Erasing Hell, which is his response to Love Wins. Bell’s book has generated massive amounts of controversy because at its heart, it proclaims a message of “Christian Universalism” (the[COLOR=Green] false belief that Christ’s death on the Cross made atonement for all people, whether or not they have ever heard the gospel message or the name of Christ[/COLOR]). One of [COLOR=Green]Chan’s responses from the Q&A caught my attention:[/COLOR]

Mark Galli:

Your reaction to Love Wins was my experience as well and, I suspect, the reaction of a lot of its readers. That’s the one thing that I’ve said is good about the book. It’s forced us all to think more deeply, go back to Scripture, and read more carefully.

Francis Chan:

There was a lot that was good in that book. There are some good principles in there. Some of the things that he dislikes about the evangelical church today are things I have a real problem with as well. I told Rob that some of the stuff that he writes needs to be heard, and the people who need to hear it won’t hear it because of the tone and some of the other things that he writes.

He didn’t think that was the case, but I do think there is some value in some of the things that he writes.

While I appreciate other comments made by Chan in this interview, his response to Galli’s question above is entirely mind-boggling to me. It is somewhat akin to saying the following about a glass of water with a drop of arsenic in it:

“There is a lot of good in that glass. There’s some good, refreshment there. There is definitely some value in that glass of water!”

The more biblical model for dealing with [COLOR=Green]false teachers is to publicly mark them out, warn others and flee from them:[/COLOR]

“They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.” (Titus 1:16)

“Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute.” (2 Peter 2:2)

“Now I beseech you, brothers, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which you have learned; and avoid them.” (Romans 16:17)

– See more at: http://www.worldviewweekend.com/news/article/qa-francis-chan-about-rob-bells-book-love-wins#sthash.21r36qw4.dpuf

Francis Chan's 'CRAZY LOVE' REVIEW- Pastor Gary Gilley

A Review of Francis Chan’s Book “Crazy Love”

by Gary Gilley

February 28, 2013

The basic thesis of Crazy Love is sound. Since God loves us with a crazy, inexplicable love, our love for Him should be just as crazy and our resultant lifestyle should be radical in its sacrifice for Christ. Chan has no patience for “lukewarm Christians” (pp. 22, 65-88, 97-98), who are chasing the American dream rather than passionately following Christ. This is an important and needed message for many in the Western church today, which may explain the popularity of Crazy Love, especially among the youth, many of whom are not content with the status quo.

In attempting to stress his theme and persuade his audience Chan does well in pointing us to the greatness of God (pp. 30-38), telling us “frankly, you need to get over yourself…your part is to bring Him glory” (p. 44). So far so good; sadly not much else is helpful in Crazy Love.

Crazy Love lacks balance, solid arguments and careful exegesis, draws bad conclusions, is poorly written and redundant, skips from topic to topic with little explanation, is inconsistent and contradictory, comes across arrogantly, motivates by fear and guilt, and offers outlandish and in some cases clearly unbelievable stories. Chan apparently ministers among people who do not or cannot challenge his pronouncements (see his response to criticism on p. 136). Too bad, for I sense that Chan truly loves Christ and wants others to have the same enthusiasm. But his approach lacks grace, is too close to legalism and is frequently unbiblical. Quite frankly, I don’t get it. Are people so thirsty for someone to tell them they need to mean business with God that they will overlook the obvious errors, extremes and ranting to hear that message? A little biblical discernment is in order. Let’s examine some details:

Chan spends a great deal of time criticizing lukewarm Christians, calling them to step up and sell out to Christ (pp. 22, 65-81) only to ultimately declare that there is no such thing as lukewarm Christians (pp. 83-84). Through poorly selected passages of Scripture he tells us that lukewarm Christians (who remember are not Christians at all) don’t attend church much, give little, choose what is popular, rarely share their faith, love Jesus who is only part of their lives, don’t love God or others as much as they love themselves, have limits on their use of time, money and energy, think about life on earth more than life in heaven and so forth. In short they sound like all of us, including Chan as he occasionally admits. But why would he expect anything more of the unregenerate? And why later (pp. 97-98) does he speak to Christians and warn them not to grow lukewarm? Chan is highly inconsistent throughout this discussion.

• While he occasionally speaks of love Chan’s motivational tools are fear and guilt. Much of the book reads like a diatribe hammering away at the “lukewarm” who do not define the Christian life as Chan does (pp. 81-97).

Chan believes we are to live as simply as possible in order to give more to the poor. He wants to “start a movement of ‘giving’ churches. In so doing, we can alleviate the suffering in the world and change the reputation of His bride in America” (p. 21). While Scripture certainly calls for Christians to be generous and care for the poor, could anyone show me where alleviating suffering of the world’s needy is given as a mandate to the church? Nevertheless, one of Chan’s major themes is giving to the poor (pp. 33, 75, 78, 117-122, 140, 160-164, 181) and he is on the board of Children’s Hunger Fund. We should also give careful consideration as to whether it is the goal of the Christian to change the reputation of Christ’s bride by such action. Are not believers rather warned to expect misunderstanding and persecution (Matt 5:11-12; 1 Cor 1:18-25; 2 Tim 3:12)? Chan has the wrong mandates and aspirations because he is drawing his cures from the culture rather than Scripture.

Chan uses guilt so heavily in his book that even he fears, halfway through, that he is evoking both fear and guilt (he is). “[He] hopes [we] realize…that the answer is love” (p. 101), but there is little about love in this book (see pp. 145-148, 203).

• Strangely Chan’s theology is only a small step away from a form of the prosperity gospel. While Chan calls for simple and sacrificial living, it seems to be for the purpose of personal gain. “By surrendering yourself totally to God’s purposes, He will bring you the most pleasure in this life and the next” (p. 21) (see further pp. 117-127, especially the story on p. 122).

• He condemns turning saints into celebrities (p. 137), then turns around and does exactly that through some of the most extreme examples imaginable (pp. 150-164).

Chan claims he is not motivated by the fear or even the awe of God, but by love (p. 139). This is too bad since the Scriptures are full of examples of being motivated by awe (cf. Isa 6:1-5, 2 Cor 5:11) and the clear teaching that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Prov 1:7; 9:10).

• Some of his stories/examples are beyond bizarre and frankly stretch credibility (pp. 150, 155-156, 159).

Chan never goes to the extreme of demanding that every Christian follow the examples he gives that supposedly exemplify crazy love (e.g. sell your house, pull out all your teeth, live in your car and spend the taxpayers’ money on the homeless instead of getting a job). Instead he asks us to listen to the Holy Spirit Who will tell us what to do (pp. 166-168, 172, 191-192, 198-199, 203). This is perhaps the most dangerous part of the book, since Scripture does not tell us to listen to the subjective voice of the Holy Spirit to discern how to live but rather to the revealed Word of God. This is a recipe for spiritual disaster.

In Crazy Love Francis Chan attempts to motivate Christians to action. This is great but surely we are to be motivated by biblical instructions rather than random diatribes. If you need a challenge I recommend David Well’s Dare to Be Protestant or Michael Horton’s The Gospel-Driven Life, and leave[COLOR=Green] Crazy Love on the shelf.[/COLOR]

Source: http://www.svchapel.org/resources/book-reviews/4-christian-living/663-crazy-love-by-francis-chan

February 28, 2013 Bible Reading

February 28

Reading for Today:

Leviticus 25:1–55

Psalm 28:6-9

Proverbs 10:19-21

Mark 6:30-56

Notes:

Leviticus 25:8–55- The Year of Jubilee involved a year of release from indebtedness (vv.23–38) and bondage of all sorts (vv. 39–55). All prisoners and captives were set free, slaves released, and debtors absolved. All property reverted to original owners. This plan curbed inflation and moderated acquisitions. It also gave new opportunity to people who had fallen on hard times.

Psalm 28:9- Your inheritance. God amazingly considers His people a most precious possession (see Deut. 7:6–16; 9:29; 1 Sam 10:1; Pss. 33:12; 94:5; Eph. 1:18).

Mark 6:44- five thousand men. The Greek word for “men” means strictly males, so the numerical estimate did not include women and children (see Matt. 14:21). The women and children were traditionally seated separately from the men for meals. When everyone was added, there could have been at least 20,000.

Mark 6:50- Be of good cheer! This command, always linked in the Gospels to a situation of fear and apprehension (see 10:49; Matt. 9:2, 22; 14:27; Luke 8:48; John 16:33; Acts 23:11), urged the disciples to have a continuing attitude of courage. It is I. Literally, “I AM.” This statement clearly identified the figure as the Lord Jesus, not some phantom. It echoed the Old Testament self-revelation of God (see Ex. 3:14).

DAY 28: List all the Jewish feasts and dates.

Feast of—Month on Jewish Calendar—Day—Corresponding—Month—References

Passover—Nisan—14—Mar.–Apr.—Exodus 12:1–14—Matthew 26:17–20

*Unleavened Bread—Nisan—15-21—Mar.–Apr.—Exodus 12:15–20

Firstfruits—Nisan—or Sivan–16–6–Mar.–Apr.—May–June—Leviticus 23:9–14—-Numbers (28:26)

*Pentecost (Harvest or Weeks)—Sivan 6 (50 days after barley harvest)—May–June—Deuteronomy 16:9–12; Acts 2:1

Trumpets, Rosh Hashanah—Tishri—1, 2—Sept.–Oct.—Numbers 29:1–6

Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur—Tishri—10—Sept.–Oct.—Leviticus 23:26–32; Hebrews 9:7

*Tabernacles (Booths or Ingathering)—Tishri—15-22—Sept.–Oct.—Nehemiah 8:13–18; John 7:2

Dedication (Lights), Hanukkah—Chislev—25 (8 days)—Nov.–Dec.—John 10:22

Purim (Lots)—Adar—14, 15—Feb.–Mar.—Esther 9:18–22

*The three major feasts for which all males of Israel were required to travel to the temple in Jerusalem (Ex. 23:14–19).

From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214, www.thomasnelson.com.

Acknowledging the Ultimate Source of Everything

Acknowledging the Ultimate Source of Everything

[COLOR=Red]”Joyously giving thanks to the Father” (Col. 1:11- 12).

The inseparable link between joy and thanksgiving was a common theme for Paul. In Philippians 4:4-6 he says, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! . . . Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” He told the Thessalonians to “rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thess. 5:16- 18).

As often as Paul expressed thanks and encouraged others to express theirs, he was careful never to attribute to men the thanks due to God alone. For example in Romans 1:8 he says, “I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, because your faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world.” He thanked God, not the Roman believers, because he knew that faith is a gift from God.

That doesn’t mean you can’t thank others for the kindnesses they show, but in doing so you must understand that they are instruments of God’s grace.

Thanking Him shows humility and acknowledges His rightful place as the Sovereign Lord and the giver of every good and perfect gift (James 1:17). Those who reject His lordship and refuse to give Him thanks incur His wrath (Rom. 1:21).

Only those who love Christ can truly give thanks because He is the channel through which thanks is expressed to the Father. As Paul says in Colossians 3:17, “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” Hebrews 13:15 adds, “Through [Christ] then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.”

As one who is privileged to know the God of all grace, be generous in your praise and thanksgiving today. See everything as a gift from His hand for your joy and edification.

Suggestions for Prayer:

Recite Psalm 136 as a prayer of praise to God.

For Further Study:

From Psalm 136 list the things that prompted the psalmist’s thanksgiving. How can that psalm serve as a model for your own praise?

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur Copyright © 1993. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.com.[/COLOR]

http://www.gty.org/resources/devotionals

A leading rabbinical thinker says Europe is no longer a Christian cont

A leading rabbinical thinker says Europe is no longer a Christian continent

February 26, 2013

Rabbi David Rosen, a leading Jewish thinker, says that the continent of Europe has diversified religiously and is no longer a Christian continent since there are now 13 million Muslims and over one million Jews among the 370 million who tell pollsters that they are Christians, but I must tell you that church attendance is almost nil.

EU institutions avoid God, however in some European member states as well as those nations wanting to join the EU, Christian origins are still politically important.

Some EU leaders voiced concern about the growth of Islam on the European continent and fear the increase of Muslims with the possible entrance of Albania, Kosovo, and Turkey into the membership of the EU.

Jimmy’s Prophetic Prospective on the News

The subject of religion and its connection to the continent of Europe has a significance in the end times events that are found in Bible prophecy.

A leading rabbinical thinker, David Rosen, says that the continent of Europe has diversified religiously in recent years and is no longer a Christian continent. For hundreds of years, Christianity was headquartered on the European continent and it was the center of missionary activity around the world. With the emergence of the common market in Europe and the ratification of the EU, religion has played less of a role in this part of the world, however the Catholic church has for years worked to make sure that religion played a major role in the EU. Many EU leaders have voiced concerns about the growth of the Muslim population in Europe at this time in history.

This unfolding story echoes what the Bible lays out for the last days scenario on the continent of Europe. Daniel 7:7-24 speaks of the revived Roman Empire that has a major religious element in its makeup. Revelation 13 and 17 both reveal the key role that religion plays in the end times. In fact, in the first 3 1/2 years of the 7 year Tribulation there will be a world religion that will be headquartered in Rome, Italy.

Religion does play a major role in the fulfillment of Bible prophecy.

http://news.prophecytoday.com/2013/02/a-leading-rabbinical-thinker-says.html

February 27, 2013 Bible Reading

February 27

Reading for Today:

Leviticus 23:1–24:23

Psalm 28:1-5

Proverbs 10:17-18

Mark 6:1-29

Notes:

Leviticus 23:2- proclaim to be holy convocations. These festivals did not involve gatherings of all Israel in every case. Only the feasts of 1) Unleavened Bread; 2) Weeks; and 3) Tabernacles required that all males gather in Jerusalem (see Ex. 23:14–17; Deut. 16:16, 17).

Mark 6:11- shake off the dust. A symbolic act that signified complete renunciation of further fellowship with those who rejected them. When the disciples made this gesture, it would show that the people had rejected Jesus and the gospel and were hence rejected by the disciples and by the Lord. more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah. People who reject Christ’s gracious, saving gospel will face a fate worse than those pagans killed by divine judgment on the two Old Testament cities.

Mark 6:13- anointed with oil…sick. In Jesus’ day olive oil was often used medicinally (see Luke 10:34). But here it represented the power and presence of the Holy Spirit and was used symbolically in relation to supernatural healing (see Is. 11:2; Zech. 4:1–6; Matt. 25:2–4; Rev. 1:4, 12). As a well-known healing agent, the oil was an appropriate, tangible medium the people could identify with as the disciples ministered to the sick among them.

Mark 6:15- “It is Elijah.” This identification of Jesus, which probably had been discussed repeatedly among the Jews, was based on the Jewish expectation that the prophet Elijah would return prior to Messiah’s coming the Prophet…one of the prophets. Some saw Jesus as the fulfillment of Deuteronomy 18:15, the messianic prophecy that looked to the One who, like Moses, would lead His people. Others were willing to identify Jesus only as a great prophet, or one who was resuming the suspended line of Old Testament prophets. These and the other opinions, although misplaced, show that the people still thought Jesus was special or somehow supernatural.

DAY 27: What is the relationship of unbelief and Jesus’ working in people’s lives?

Although the people in Jesus’ hometown of Nazareth were “astonished” by Jesus’ wisdom and mighty works (Mark 6:2), their initial reaction gave way to skepticism and a critical attitude toward Jesus. They still thought of Jesus as a carpenter and the son of Mary with brothers and sisters (v. 3). The residents of Nazareth were deeply offended at Jesus’ posturing Himself as some great teacher because of His ordinary background, His limited formal education, and His lack of an officially sanctioned religious position.

In the face of this, Jesus “could do no mighty work there” (v. 5). This is not to suggest that His power was somehow diminished by their unbelief. It may suggest that because of their unbelief people were not coming to Him for healing or miracles the way they did in Capernaum and Jerusalem. Or, more importantly it may signify that Christ limited His ministry both as an act of mercy, so that the exposure to greater light would not result in a worse hardening that would only subject them to greater condemnation, and a judgment on their unbelief. He had the power to do more miracles, but not the will, because they rejected Him. Miracles belonged among those who were ready to believe.

“He marveled because of their unbelief” (v. 6).“Marveled” means Jesus was completely astonished and amazed at Nazareth’s reaction to Him, His teaching, and His miracles. He was not surprised at the fact of the people’s unbelief, but at how they could reject Him while claiming to know all about Him.

From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214, www.thomasnelson.com.

http://www.gty.org/resources/devotionals/daily-bible

Attaining Spiritual Stability

Attaining Spiritual Stability

[COLOR=Red]”Strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience” (Col. 1:11).

An alarming number of Christians seem to lack spiritual stability. Many are “carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming” (Eph. 4:14). Others lack moral purity. Many are driven by their emotions rather than sound thinking. Increasingly, therapists and psychologists are replacing pastors and biblical teachers as the heroes of the faith. While we still proclaim a sovereign, all- powerful God, our conduct often belies our creed.

Despite our inconsistences, the power for spiritual stability is ours in Christ as we allow the knowledge of His will to control our lives. Paul describes the working of that power in Colossians 1:11. There the Greek words translated “strengthened” and “power” speak of inherent power that gives one the ability to do something.

The phrase “according to” indicates that the power for spiritual stability is proportional to God’s abundant supply–and it is inexhaustible! The literal Greek says you are being “empowered with all power according to the might of His glory.” That thought is akin to Philippians 2:12-13, where Paul says that the power for working out your salvation comes from God, who is at work in you to will and to work for His good pleasure.

In Colossians 1:11 the result of God’s enabling is “the attaining of all steadfastness and patience.” “Steadfastness” speaks of endurance regarding people; “patience” speaks of endurance regarding things or circumstances. When you are steadfast and patient, you are spiritually stable. Your responses are biblical, thoughtful, and calculated; not worldly, emotional, or uncontrolled. You bear up under trials because you understand God’s purposes and trust His promises.

Paul said, “Be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might” (Eph. 6:10). That is possible when you trust God and rely on the infinite power that is yours in Christ.

Suggestions for Prayer:

Perhaps you know someone who is struggling with spiritual instability. Pray for him or her and ask God to use you as a source of encouragement.

For Further Study:

Psalm 18 is a psalm of victory that David wrote after God delivered him from Saul. Read it, then answer these questions:

What characteristics of God did David mention?

How might those characteristics apply to situations you are facing?

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur Copyright © 1993. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.com.[/COLOR]

http://www.gty.org/resources/devotionals

(Tim Keller) Redeemer Presby. Church Added to Lectio Divina

Redeemer Presbyterian Church (Pastor Tim Keller) Added to “Lectio Divina” List

February 26th, 2013

A Lighthouse Trails reader brought it to our attention that Redeemer Presbyterian Church, pastored by Tim Keller, is promoting the contemplative practice of Lectio Divina. On this webpage, Lectio Divina – “Divine Reading,” instructions are given on how to practice Lectio Divina:http://www.redeemer.com/connect/prayer/lectio_divina.html A statement at the bottom of that page says the material is adapted from David Benner’s book, Sacred Companion. On a Recommended Resources page, linking off the lectio divina page, is a link to an article, “Meditation: Not so Mysterious” by contemplative teacher Jan Johnson (author of When the Soul Listens): http://www.redeemer.com/connect/prayer/resources.html With these things in mind, Redeemer Presbyterian Church has been added to the Lighthouse Trails “Lectio Divina” list.

http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=10932