Gospel. Culture. Technology. Music.

Month: September 2006 Page 1 of 2

Someone Beat My Tetris High Score :(

Well, I’m sad today. Someone not only beat my score, but killed it. check it out … www.westerfunk.net/games/tetris/

The Wrath of God – How it Should Affect the Believer

John Piper – The Wrath of God Against Ungodliness
http://www.westerfunk.net/publicsermons … usness.mp3

John Piper – Gods Wrath, Vengeance Is Mine, I Will Repay, Says the Lord
http://www.westerfunk.net/publicsermons … 20Lord.mp3

This is not a popular doctrine, nor has it ever been. To even consider the possibility of anyone we know, or myself, or you even, experiencing anything like Dante’s Inferno, it should cause us to tremble in terror at the eternal weight of our sin and it’s deserved punishment. And yet how much worse is hell than the description given in Dante’s Inferno?! Fire, worms, brimstone, gnashing of teeth, eternal darkness, etc, these are all images of how terrible it will be. But how often do any of us use imagery to describe something that we have a hard time describing in words? Don’t all of us use imagery to describe things that are utterly amazing, beyond words, or utterly awful, beyond words? For instance, when trying to describe the beauty of my wife (I’m borrowing this illustration from Piper :), she is as beautiful as a diamond. I’m trying to convey to you in an image something that cannot be conveyed in words. She is so beautiful that I cannot describe it you, except in imagery. That’s the best I can do. If I were to say she’s as beautiful as a piece of rotten wood, how many people would be utterly shocked and probably appauled? And yet in the description Scripture gives us of the pains of hell, it uses imagery.

And yet how often do so many people say, “Oh it’s not that bad is it, it’s just imagery, right?” Exactly! It’s so much more worse than this imagery! The words of Jesus, Paul, John, Isaiah, and many others are simply trying to convey something so terrible, so awful, that a lake of fire, gnashing of teeth, brimstone, worms that do not die, is the best they can do. Many ask, how could a perfect and holy, loving God punish people with eternal torment, where “their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched”? Because God is just, and to be just means He must punish sinners. He is the eternal God, the offense against Him is eternal, and so is the punishment against us, that is those of us without a shield, without Christ. Scripture is clear on this point of wrath and yet I hear this doctrine being taught less and less these days in this alleged Christian land. There are those who seem to only preach this point without any of the grace of Christ, but I’m talking about mainstream Christianity, mega-churches, etc, that talk about God only in terms of love. How can you understand His love without the back-drop of what you’re being saved from? What does salvation even mean if there is no wrath to be saved from?

Why do any of us who believe in Christ need to return to studying hell, judgment, and wrath? Because we are so prone to forget what we have been saved from. And we are so prone to think we are in God’s favor by our merits, sinfully. In studying wrath, you see that God did not have to have mercy on you. He did not have to change the desires of your heart to love Him and give rise to your faith in the all-satisfying Savior. He did not have to save you. He could have let you go into the depths of eternal torment, into the lake of fire, deservingly, and yet in Christ, that torment was taken from you and put upon Him on the cross. At the cross, Jesus bore the debt of sinners who believe in Him, and that debt is hell, torment, eternal pain and shame forever. The worst part of the cross was what Jesus had to experience from the hand of His Father: wrath that was our due. How incredible and glorious is this work of Christ on the cross!?

Why Anti-Lordship teaching is Doctrinal Poison

Something that’s really been striking me lately is how important it is for people who claim to be Christians to check whether they are actually in the faith or not. If they are not in the faith, this means they rest under the wrath of God, even now. What do I mean, you say? Our Christian culture is permeated with the idea that if you did this one little thing, “asked Jesus into your heart,” or prayed a little prayer, you are definitely saved, even if you turn away to another religion, rejecting Christ, and living with no regard or care for the things of God. It’s called being a Carnal Christian. Isn’t someone that claims to be a believer supposedly converted? And what does conversion mean? Is it not a heart change from being in total rebellion against God to at least having some concern or care for the things of God? Now that’s not to say that you will be perfect in your desires for the things of God, because we do believe in an idea known as simul iustus et peccator (simultaneously justified and sinful at the same time). But is there any care at all? If you reject the truth altogether, it proves something about the condition of your conversion: it’s non-existent. If someone claims Christ as their Lord and Savior (which aren’t these one in the same because He is indeed both of these, is He not?) and then doesn’t care to do anything that He said, with a willing, joyful heart, then were they converted at all to begin with, or just paying lip service to God? The Israelites did that, and God said, “With their lips they acknowledge me, but their hearts are far from me.” Jesus said a good tree bears good fruit and a bad tree bad fruit. Can a good tree bear bad fruit, and vice versa? No! Conversion is receiving a divinely regenerated heart by the Holy Spirit alone as a result of the work of Christ in His life, death, and resurrection, that desires, albeit imperfectly, to follow God’s commands willingly! But if someone claims Christ and doesn’t care for anything concerning Christ, lives just like they did before their supposed “conversion experience” or that isn’t convicted at all for their sin, it shows and proves that there has been no genuine conversion to begin with and they are just paying lip service to God. And this is my main frustration and point about Carnal Christianity teaching: To teach that someone can come to faith, but later reject Christ altogether, and yet state they are still saved, is teaching that essentially coddles unconverted souls straight into God’s eternal fury.

People against Lordship doctrine claim we’re adding to faith alone, nullifying this precious doctrine. However, this is non-sense mainly because we’re not saying the works save you at all, or that they are even apart of salvation in any respect, but that if you are saved and converted through faith alone, your faith will never be alone, but genuine care and desire for the things of God WILL follow your conversion, though it is an imperfect process over time called sanctification. If no desires follow at all, then you need to check the genuineness of your faith; you can have no assurance that you’re actually saved because conversion produces fruit, inevitably. Will you still sin? Of course! We’re fallen sinners even as believers! It’s not about perfection, but direction. Does your life in any way point the way to Christ as your Savior? As John Hendryx says, the key to this whole debate is what one believes concerning the doctrine of regeneration, or the new birth. Anti-Lordship people are awesome for wanting to defend Faith Alone, but they’re leaving out a huge doctrine that impacts this whole debate: Grace Alone. I believe that we are saved by [u]Grace Alone[/u] through Faith Alone in Christ Alone. Anti-Lordship people and many other’s believe we are saved by grace + faith alone in Christ alone, adding faith as something we contribute [u]of our unregenerate human nature[/u], to the price of our salvation. So really it is them who are adding requirements to salvation.

Lordship, anti-Lordship Positions (Quotes from Monergism.com)

Lordship Salvation emphasizes that a love for Christ springs from our new nature (granted freely by God) which desires to believe the gospel as well as submit to Jesus Christ as Lord over one’s life. Both faith and obedience are the result of God’s invincible and indelible grace, not the cause of it. The so-called ‘free grace’ movement rejects the inward call of the Holy Spirit to the elect and thus, like Romans Catholics and other synergists, mistakenly ascribe belief in Christ as something within the ability of the old nature. So while they may appear as antinomian after salvation, they are guilty of semi-pelagianism prior to it. An odd mix, but naturally we all are tempted to try to contribute something to our salvation. This is where the fall off the horse away from historic Chrstianity by rejecting the biblical doctrine of salvation by grace ALONE in Christ alone. By not giving glory to God for their faith they add conditions for their salvaiton.

The biggest obstacle to the “no-Lordship” position is its misapprehension of the work of the Holy Spirit in giving rise to our faith and affection for Christ. For HOW CAN AN UNREGENERATE MAN SEE CHRIST’S BEAUTY, EXCELLENCY OR ANYTHING TO DESIRE IN HIM AT ALL. One must have a new heart and the mind of Christ in order to understand and love spiritual things. It erroneously views the Lordship position as having added a contribution of commitment, and thus works, instead of recognizing that they themselves are doing this very same thing by making faith itself a contribution to the price of their redemption. i.e grace + faith. But those of us who embrace a “lordship salvation” believe faith and obedience are the result, not the cause of of the new birth. Unless the Holy Spirit changes the disposition of our hearts from hostility to affection for Christ, no one would exercise saving faith. Any “faith” which exists apart from the work of the Spirit is spurious and of the flesh (Luke 8:4-15). God alone does the work of regeneration which infallibly gives rise to a spiritual faith that desires to obey and commit itself to Christ. In this case God gets all the glory. But the “no-Lordship” position would have us believe that one could produce faith from our unregenerated human nature. The question is, why do some believe and others resist? Are some more wise or humble? Isn’t it grace itself which makes us wise and humble? The Scripture says, “What do we have that we did not receive”. So, in fact, while the “no-Lordship” position is admirably attempting to protect the doctrine of “faith alone”, but in the process it has cast aside the biblical doctrine of “grace alone”. “No-Lordship” may believe in a salvation by grace, but not salvation by grace alone (sola gratia). That man must somehow cooperate with God to be born again, as they hold, is to say that some men innately have the natural capacity to believe, independent of God’s action of grace, while others do not. How is this different than salvation by merit? So in reality the burden of proof to explain belief apart from grace alone, is on those who hold to “no-Lordship”. Different understandings of the work of the Holy Spirit in our regeneration is the key to the debate..

My Anguish, My Kinsmen are Accursed

Excellent … hits the nail right on the head about where much of evangelicalism is now headed … http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibr … _Accursed/

Submitting to Christ In Whatever You Do

John Piper has a simple format he uses whenever there is something that is coming up against him, or whenever there is a circumstance that simply lies out of his control. Whether studying Scripture, preaching, teaching, trials, or whatever it may be, this format seems to be very helpful. It’s simplistic and many people may say, “oh of course, I know all those things.” But does your heart know these things? We can simply acknowledge information with our lips and our heart be very far from the content of what the words mean. Just as the ACTS acrostic is useful in prayer (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication), this is also useful in the same context, particularly when you have something difficult coming up against you. It’s APTAT and it goes like this:

A – “Admit you cannot do it without Christ.” This is simply the acknowledgement and agreement with Christ that we can do nothing apart from Him. We must tell our hearts this, otherwise we can slip into self-sufficiency and non-reliance upon Christ.

P – “Pray for assistance and help and enablement.” This is acknowledging your totally depraved nature, that sin has disabled all your faculties, all facets of your life, every aspect, and that the only way you can do anything for God’s glory is by His Spirit giving you power.

T – “Trust in a particular promise of God to give you what you need for that situation.” Use your mind to think about the various promises of God and meditate upon these. They are set in stone and we cannot be moved because of His promises, appropriated through the cross. Consider the promises of Romans 8, for example.

A – “Act, no passivity.” At this point, we act (we don’t sit around and wait for God to zap us or make us move, we start to act with our hands and hearts). We utilize the abilities we’ve been given in the name of Christ, relying upon His strength to give us power in the midst of what it is we have to do or go through.

T – “Thankfulness to God for His work in helping you.” After we have accompished or gone through these events, we submit to God, giving Him glory for all of it, every aspect, from beginning to end. This is simply attributing to God what is rightly His work. Praise Him for His faithfulness!

Well It’s About Time Amnesty Spoke Out Against Terrorists!

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060914/ts_ … amnesty_dc

Was it really that hard to be consistent, Amnesty? You decry all the “foul-play” committed by the U.S. on a fairly consistent basis and just now you come out and say something negative about those who want to cut your head off too? Well I don’t want to go off on that so much as just give credit where credit is due, and I appreciate the fact that you finally said something against extremists instead of simply trying to protect them like you always do. Israel at least made an effort to try and not hit Lebanese civilians whereas Hizbollah made a concerted effort to hit highly populated civilian areas in northern Israel. Yeah I think they are guilty of war crimes …

Serious VNC 4.1.1 Vulnerability !!!

For all of you out there who may be running VNC, you need to be aware that back in May of this year, it was discovered that it is possible to login to VNC 4.1.1 without a password, even if one is set. A worm was unleashed today, like others similar to it in the past, that takes advantage of this vulnerability. RealVNC Version 4.1.2 fixes this issue, but most people have not upgraded and are now getting hit by this automated attack. I highly suggest upgrading right now because there are many worms out there taking advantage of this hole to launch spyware on machines. This has already happened to a few friends computers.

http://www.intelliadmin.com/blog/2006/0 … ncept.html

New Site Version

Well, someone finally figured out how to hack the comments on the site here, so I was forced to upgrade to the latest version. So here it is. It actually has some better features and they cleaned up some things that have been broken in it for a while (actually the problems were fixed in the newer code, I just didn’t want to go in and edit my code again for another upgrade). But it actually wasn’t that bad. Anyway, hopefully there won’t be any more spam messages in the comments area of various blogs now for overseas meds, viagra, and whatever else they decide to push onto the site. Quite annoying.

The Hope of Christ Being Our Perpetual High Priest

We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.
> Hebrews 6:19-20

The hope we believers have from God is secured and rooted in Jesus’ work on our behalf, both in His life in living sinlessly before the Father, as well as His work on the cross to deliver us from the wrath of God, in order that we may be reconciled to Him and gain God as our treasure. And more specifically in this passage we see the work of Jesus as our faithful High Priest who forever lives to intercede on behalf of those who have faith in Him. Before Christ came and instituted the new covenant by His blood, there was an old system God setup, by which each year, the High Priest would enter the most holy place of the temple through the shedding of blood in order to atone for the sins of the people. This was a very specialized practice where if one thing was done wrong, the High Priest would die instantly. And this illustrates one thing amongest many things: God is holy and just and He takes His glory seriously, so seriously that people would die if they did what He told them not to do in the temple as well as with the ark. And this system was setup to typify that which would occur later, that Christ Himself would be the greatest and final High Priest on behalf of those who possess faith in His blood. He came in order to be not only that High Priest who intercedes for His people, but also to be the very sacrifice Himself offered on the altar to remove sins, blotting them out forever. And the hope we have, this anchor of the soul, enters “behind the curtain,” or into the place where God Himself dwelled amongest the Israelites. That is our hope! We get God for all eternity! This is the best part of salvation. The mighty majestic pillar of fire that appeared to the Israelites is now the one who dwells in us and we ourselves have become sancutaries of the most high God, slowly but surely being conformed to the image of Christ by His work. And all this thanks to the work of Christ to absorb God’s wrath in Himself on the cross, to take on and experience hell itself so that we don’t have to, and give us the very righteousness and perfection we need to stand before God at the judgment of all men. And instead of getting hell, we get the very Spirit of God Himself, the one behind the curtain in the old system, that now dwells in our hearts. How wonderful and amazing is this, that God can indwell sinners! And it could only have happened through the death and resurrection of the Son of God. As it recently said on the DesiringGod.org website (my paraphrase), “Christ did not so much die as an example to follow, but as a sacrifice to actually pay for sins.”

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