The Offense Of The Cross (Part 2 of 2)

The Offense Of The Cross

Galatians 5:11  King James Version (KJV)
11 And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased.

Consider why the cross is an offense today:

1)The cross of Christ condemns the world.  The thief on the cross who was saved, saw Jesus as He really was, and himself for what he was.  Sin reveals that we fall short of God’s demands.  It is the gigantic evil, the transgression towards God.  Sin leaves us far from God’s holy nature.  It leaves us no hope, we must pay the price.  “The soul that sins shall die.”  Sin lies upon our conscience – we lie in bed with insomnia, dreams and nightmares.  Jesus was made sin and a curse for us – He put away our sins and the condemning power.  There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.  But the world is offended by the crucified God/man, suspended on a stick, and told this is the only way you can be saved.  An illustration would be Madalyn Haira and her hatred of the cross.  She actually desired for the state flag of Maryland to be changed since there was a cross on it, even though it did not depict the cross of Christ.  Another example is the movie, The Last Temptation, which made Jesus a sinner just like you and me.  Furthermore, the National Arts submerged a cross in urine in order to portray their disdain of the cross.  The first funeral that I officiated, dealt with a murder/suicide.  I spoke a eulogy to the county Rescue Squad.  When I preached on sin and the cross, the congregation was offended and they filed out.  Here is the “eulogy” that offended them:  “There are none righteous, no not one.”  Madonna, another name for the Virgin Mary, is another example of one who despises the cross of Christ.  She is offended by the cross and wears several in mockery.  The press claimed it was her trademark.  I beg to differ.  She wore it but never bore it.  She was noted for the perverted quotation:  “I love the crucifix because there is a naked man on it.”  Wrong Madonna – the cross and the tomb are empty.  Jesus Christ died for the sins of Madonna, you and me.  Many throughout the world, at work and school, curse Jesus Christ and are offended by the cross.  They feel self sufficient.  Have you ever heard of Buddha, Confucius or Mohammed cursed?  Of course not, they bore no cross.  The cross is an offense because “…men loved darkness because their deeds are evil.”  The cross throws light into the dark recesses of our soul and reveals our sins – the cross becomes an offense because it condemns us as sinners.

2)The cross is an offense because blood was shed there.  Unbelievers accuse us of a “slaughterhouse religion.”  But the Bible tells us that the shed blood of our Savior on Mount Calvary is our only hope:  “Without the shedding of the blood there is no remission of sins.”  Amen and amen.

3)The cross sets up an imperative ideal life.  Jesus said:  “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, carry his cross, and follow me.”  This imperative eliminates the church crowd.  Many people “have a form of religion and godliness but deny the power thereof.”  There is an outward show, but little evidence of the real Christian life and the new birth.  They are offended by real Christianity.  Jesus always thinned out the ranks and never sought the popular “gospel.”  Today, big churches often seek mass membership, and do not stress the new birth, the cross, the blood, true salvation and the need to repent from sin.  Today’s country club has an organization, members, reports, and programs, but is not one of self denial.  Even Jesus’ large crowd did not want self denial.  They desired the kingdom, the crowd, and to rule and live in a palace – they did not want to go to the cross with Jesus.  We shudder at a life like Jesus, refusing to surrender what the cross condemns.  

4)The cross is an offense because it claims to be the power and salvation of God.  The first duty of every man  is to get right with God.  Man does not like this, and wants to believe that many roads lead to heaven.  Jesus said the gate is narrow, and at the beginning of the gate is the cross, and one cannot enter but by the cross.  The cross humbles, demands, and expects everything we have to be given to Christ.  The cross condemns every other way of salvation.  Acts 4:12  “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”  If people tell you that you are narrow minded, you can share with them that “narrow is the way to the kingdom, there be few who find it.”       

Advertisements

The Offense Of The Cross (Part 1 of 2)

The Offense Of The Cross

Galatians 5:11  King James Version (KJV)
11 And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased.

The cross represents the true Christian Church.  The symbol is on and/or in every church.  Then there is the Red Cross organization, people wear the cross, it is placed on cars, and on Bibles.  Christ’s pulpit is often in the shape of a cross.  The event of the cross is the foundation of our faith.  For the Christian, the cross alone is our theology.  The knowledge of God comes through the crucified Christ.  Love outside of the cross is really not God’s love – we learn of God’s love through the cross, and not by any other means.  Worldlings follow horoscopes.  The cross is the sign of a believer.  The world sees the cross through good Friday alone.  The believer sees the cross through Easter Sunday and Resurrection Day.  The cross is a mystery and a paradox.  Just as Jesus was crucified and resurrected, we now struggle and bear our cross.  Believers will have our resurrection later.  The resurrection is life through death, strength through weakness, hope through despair, recovery through loss, suffering, folly, persecution, and joy through sorrow.  For Paul, the scandal of the cross dominates the believer’s life.  The cross stands before those who say the Christian life is a bowl of cherries.  Following Jesus is sharing His suffering.  There is no by passing rejection and death, to eternal life and the glory of the risen Christ.  There is no “pie in the sky / you can have it all now” Christianity.  Suffering, humiliation, and rejection are hallmarks of our faith, and evidence of true discipleship.  The cross of Christ is forsaking everything and clinging to Christ alone.  It is the center of God’s truth revealed to man.  But to many,

the cross is an offense:  Offense comes from the Greek word- scandalon, from which we get the word scandal.

Jesus said, “If you are going to follow me, you have to take up the cross.”  Today we might say “…take up your gas chamber or electric chair.”  We must die to self before Christ can reign in our hearts.  In our scripture text, the Judaizers, through the works of circumcision, sought to rob Christians of their freedom in Christ.  Legalists always avoid the themes of persecution and “the offense of the cross,” by insisting on circumcision and law-keeping.  If Paul preached legalism, he would not be persecuted.  Circumcision and the cross are opposed – Paul could not preach both – if he did – the offense of the cross would cease.  The “offense” is the foolishness and stumbling block of the cross.  The cross uproots the doctrine of salvation by human merit.  Salvation is through grace alone – and there can be no compromise.  The offensiveness of the cross to self righteous legalists is that salvation is by grace without circumcision and obedience to the law.  “A little leaven leavens the whole lump.”  (Galatians 5:9)  One work added to the cross perverts it all!

Addressing Apostate Pulpits In America

When a nation plummets into gross immorality and apostasy, God will use the most unlikely of sources to expose the current form of anemic “Christianity” in America.  The following article is what one might call a “Wake Up Call”: 

 

ARTICLE

A Secular Rapper Calls American Pastors To Account

image: http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/images/recent/lamarmay102017.jpg

News ImageBy Michael Brown/Ask Dr Brown May 10, 2017

Share this article:


You know we’re in trouble when a secular rapper urges pastors to get back to preaching that the Lord is a jealous God of “discipline and obedience.”
As a recent article declared, “Chart-Topping Rapper Kendrick Lamar Is Preaching More Spiritual Truth Than Most of the Dead Churches In America.” So sad, but so true.
Lamar is a 29-year-old, Grammy Award-winning rapper, and his lyrics are typical, hardcore rap: filled with content, packed with protest, laced with profanity.
Suffice it to say that he is not a pristine pure, born-again, Christian rapper. Yet he sees a gaping hole in many churches today, and it mirrors his experience as a boy.
In an email to Hip Hop website DJ Booth he wrote, “I went to a local church some time ago, and it appalled me that the same program was in practice.
A program that I seen as a kid the few times I was in service. Praise, dance. Worship. (Which is beautiful.) Pastor spewing the idea of someone’s season is approaching. The idea of hope.”
He continued, “After being heavily in my studies these past few years, I’ve finally figured out why I left those services feeling spiritually unsatisfied as a child.
I discovered more truth. But simple truth. Our God is a loving God. Yes. He’s a merciful God. Yes. But he’s even more so a God of DISCIPLE. OBEDIENCE. A JEALOUS God. . . .”
And in words that mirror the words of Paul in Romans 11:22, which urge us to consider both the goodness and severity of God, he wrote, “So in conclusion, I feel it’s my calling to share the joy of God, but with exclamation, more so, the FEAR OF GOD. The balance. Knowing the power in what he can build, and also what he can destroy. At any given moment.”
How ironic that a worldly rapper is more concerned to balance out his message than many a preacher in America. How ironic that someone whom the churches would damn in a moment (in fact, “Damn” is the name of his latest project) sees the imbalance in so many of our contemporary churches.
Today, in many of our churches, it’s all about making people feel good about themselves, all about the coming breakthrough (probably financial!), all about fulfilling our personal dreams.
But what about the biblical gospel? What about the fact that one day we’ll have to give account to God for our lives? What about the judgment that will come on the whole world?
What about the reality that “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23)? What about the fact that Jesus saves us from our sins so that we will live the rest of our lives for Him?
I’m all for preaching hope and encouragement and love, but that is not the whole message. What happened to the rest of God’s holy Word?
In my forthcoming book Saving a Sick America: A Prescription for Moral and Cultural Reformation, I devoted one chapter to the subject of “Restoring Thunder to Our Pulpits.”
In that chapter, I wrote, “Let the truth be told. There is very little thunder from our pulpits, very little preaching that creates an atmosphere of holy reverence (what the Bible calls ‘the fear of the Lord’), very little that challenges us and confronts us and stirs us and awakens us, very little that equips us to endure hardship or to be courageous or to confront the culture or to live a sacrificial life out of love for our neighbor.
“Many of our leaders preach a toothless, pep-talk gospel that fits in perfectly with our convenience store, quick-fix Christianity, promising all kinds of benefits without any requirements. What a deal! Who could refuse it?
No wonder we are producing consumers rather than disciples. What else can we expect when we so studiously bypass the cross in so much of our preaching? What else can we expect when we preach God the Genie rather than God the Judge?”
Do you affirm these words?
At the beginning of the chapter, I quoted from an 1873 sermon from Charles Finney. He said, “Brethren, our preaching will bear its legitimate fruits. If immorality prevails in the land, the fault is ours in a great degree. If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it.

If the public press lacks moral discrimination, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the world loses its interest,

the pulpit is responsible for it. If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it.
If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it. Let us not ignore this fact, my dear brethren; but let us lay it to heart, and be thoroughly awake to our responsibility in respect to the morals of this nation.”
Although the pulpit was more influential in his day than in ours, I believe that what he said remains largely true. If America is in serious moral and spiritual decline, many of our preachers are partly to blame.
I say it’s time that we restore thunder to our pulpits. A chart-topping, secular rapper says, “Please do!”
Originally published at AskDrBrown.org – reposted with permission.



Read more at http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=1223#oPRCeujPOylpez27.99

The Only Savior In The World ~ Holy Week 5

And in that same hour he cured many of their infirmities and plagues.   Luke 7:21

 

What if a doctor examined you and gave you the news that you were terminally ill?  You are, spiritually!  You were born with the congenital disease of sin, and it is fatal (Romans 6:23).  No doctor, medicine, diet, philosophy, or religion can cure this plague.  The Lord Jesus Christ is your only hope.  If you repent and call on Him in faith, He will save you in that same hour.  He alone has the power to cure you of sin and its deadly effect.  Come out of denial, recognize your condition and need, and call upon the Lord.  Time is running out.  Do it now!  -Carl Knott

Time is gliding swiftly by, death and judgment draweth nigh, To the arms of Jesus fly, be in time.  -Charles H. Mason

A 21st Century Spiritual Resurrection / David Lane

 

When they come to write the story of the spiritual resurrection of 21st Century America, a new type of shepherd will likely have come forward.

These forerunners will have stood in flat contradiction to everything that the Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton types holds dear.

***   Baby Butcher For President 2016   ***

How would you like to be aborted Hillary, just before you would have been born?  You are a murderer.

 

They will contradict, denounce and protest in the name of God what Secularism has done to America. They “will love Christ and the souls of men to the point of willingness to die for the glory of the one and the salvation of the other. But they will fear nothing that breathes with mortal breath.*

With a Hillary Clinton presidency America is about to learn something that can be learned in no other way, the ethical path is the only safe one. “When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I”, cried the sweet Psalmist of Israel.** ” Tribulation brings us to God and God to us.”***

The anointed eye recognizes that what is needed today are those with the ability to “appraise the religious scene as viewed from God’s position, and to tell us what is actually going on.”**** Most desperately needed is not another market research firm specializing in the study of religious beliefs and behavior of the American pews, but thermostats who impact and regulate the spiritual climate of the nation.

Evangelical pastors and pews must take our game to the next level. Fundamentally we must begin to comprehend that Religious Liberty will be won by organizing and notSunday sermons. A Sunday sermon is not a denomination of political currency; mustering and marshaling parishioners to the public square is. But be not mistaken, the teaching of the whole counsel of God in America’s pulpits, and the resurrection of prayer in America’s churches — led by the senior pastor — will determine if America remains free.

The disciples of godless Secularism are not cowed by sermons, marches, or prayer rallies. Those doing this to our country must be removed from the public stage, that’s the initial stopgap. Following secularists removal from office — if America is to be saved — Secularism will have to be demolished, eliminating its choke-hold on the media, public education, higher learning, Big Business, the Supreme Court, Federal Courts, and Hollywood.

What Secularism is doing to America is gambling with the very life of the nation; most Americans are unalarmed and clueless. What is the matter with the people of America?

If America is to receive a 21st Century spiritual resurrection, it will likely be by other means than deployed in the last three-quarters century. If the church in the 21st Century is to recover from the injuries suffered in the 20th Century, there must appear a new model in the public square. The “Inside the Beltway” and “Family Policy Boys” approach will never do. Running a bus across a state the week before an election, when 50% of the vote is already in from early voting, is political suicide…and naiveté.
We need a Gideon or Rahab to make a stand.

DL

* A.W. Tozer
** Psalm 61:2
*** Phillip Bennett Power
****Tozer

II Chronicles 7:14

Lord Help This Sin Sick Nation.  This Prayer Focuses On The Democratic National Convention (DNC) Meeting This Week In Philadelphia:

WILL YOU PRAY WITH ME BEFORE THE OPENING OF THE DNC?

Dear Friend,

A week ago, thousands of people prayed with me live before the start of the Republican Convention. Join me again tomorrow at 2 p.m. (Eastern time) on Facebook as we pray before the opening of the Democratic National Convention.

Join Franklin GrahamThis is an opportunity to intercede before God on behalf of our troubled nation. We will pray together that the Lord will bring healing, repentance, and revival across our land. We need to ask Almighty God to humble the hearts of America’s leaders—both Democrats and Republicans, change their lives, and turn their eyes toward Him.

Tell your friends, family, neighbors, and others in your church about this special event. We need the whole country praying for our broken political process and the future of our nation.May God richly bless you—and I look forward to praying with youtomorrow.

Sincerely,

Franklin Graham
Franklin Graham

“The Lord was moved by prayer for the land.” —2 Samuel, 24:25, NASB

2 Chronicles 7:14  King James Version (KJV)

14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Pray For Revival In America!

The Pastor’s Conference And Southern Baptist Convention ~ June 12-15, 2016 ~ Part 4

Monday Morning, June 13, 2016

Pastor’s Conference of the Southern Baptist Convention in St. Louis

*********************

David Platt  International Mission Board (IMB) President    Theme Of Conference   II Timothy 4:5

David’s Text  Ephesians 2:1-10

Ephesians 2:1-10  King James Version (KJV)

And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Not of works, lest any man should boast.

10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

King James Version (KJV)Public Domain

********************

  • David Platt goes straight to the message and ignores small talk, jokes, etc.

GOSPEL

God’s character    Ephesians 2:4  Never preach Gos as a means to an end.  (Name it, claim it.  Blab it, grab it).

Offense of sin    Ephesians 2:5  We are dead in our sins.  Everything obeys God except for man.  We must emphasize the severity of sin.  Ex.  Lot’s wife, the man picking up sticks in the Old Testament on the Sabbath, Ananias and Saphira.

Sufficiency of Christ   Ephesians 2:5-6  How can God justify us without condemning us?  Through the cross!

Personal response   Faith   Ephesians 2:8-9  Salvation is a gift we receive.  It cannot be earned.

Eternal urgency   We do not emphasize hell.  Ephesians 2:7   Hell is a burning fire and smoking sulfur.  “Forever and ever.”  There is a real wrath for those outside of Christ.

Life transformation  Ephesians 2:10  New life!

****************

This aforementioned outline used by David Platt is used to share the Gospel one on one with people.  It was developed by a pastor in Texas and is taught by a ministry called “One Conversation.”  They commence by using the phrase “Can we talk?”  Their history and ministry is as follows:

“Can We Talk?” is a six-week emphasis to equip church members to share the Gospel conversationally. Pastor John Meador of FBC Euless, Texas, began this program in 2013, and since then we’ve seen hundreds of members become equipped and confident in sharing their faith. It equips church members through 20-minute pastor-led teaching sessions, and provides hands on experience by going on visits to share the Gospel in the community.
In response to increasing interest from other churches, Pastor Meador launched a non-profit organization called “One Conversation” to host conferences for pastors and other church leaders to learn how “Can We Talk?” can work in their church. In this short amount of time thousands have heard the Gospel and hundreds have come to faith in Christ. The renewed emphasis on sharing the Gospel is transforming communities and church cultures. “Can We Talk?” is easy to learn, easy to teach, sustainable, and it’s working.

Massive Full-Scale Version of Noah’s Ark Comes to Life in Kentucky

 

 

There might not be a flood of biblical proportions in the forecast, but Noah’s Ark is coming to Williamstown, Kentucky, this summer.

Massive Full-Size Version of Noah's Ark Comes to Life in Kentucky

A full-size version of Noah’s Ark is expected to be completed before Ark Encounter, a Bible-themed park, opens July 7.

Ken Ham had the massive ship built to match the dimensions set out in the Bible. The entire project is expected to cost $100 million.

“The message that we have — it’s making the Bible come alive, really. By building Noah’s Ark, we’re saying, ‘This really happened. This is plausible,'” Ham told “Nightline.”

According to Ham, his ark is 510 feet long, 85 feet wide and 51 feet high. “It gets bigger and bigger. When you get inside, it gets bigger again,” he said.

Ark Encounter is just a few miles from Ham’s Creation Museum, which attracts nearly half a million visitors a year and teaches a young Earth theory of creation. Ham calls his ministry Answers in Genesis.

“We have a lot of people who are not Christians who come here, and they appreciate the way it’s presented. It’s presented very tastefully,” said Ham. “It’s educational.”

Visitors to the Creation Museum can find exhibits like Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, which is next to one showing dinosaurs playfully eating fruit.

One of Ham’s biggest critics is Bill Nye, an evolutionist who is known as the television personality the Science Guy. He dismissed Ham’s creationist exhibits as biblical propaganda. Nye said dinosaurs died out long before human beings ever came along.

“I can prove that beyond any reasonable doubt. That is what’s very troubling. Allosauruses and humans did not live at the same time. Teaching the earth is 6,000 years old is completely wrong and inappropriate,” he told “Nightline.”

“When they dig up dinosaur bones, they don’t dig them up with labels on saying, ‘Hi, I’m 70 million years old,’ or whatever it is,” Ham said. “We’re saying that most of those bones they dig up are actually from the flood of Noah’s day, not from millions of years ago.”

Ham rejected mainstream science institutions as evolutionary doctrinaires.

“Museums like the Natural History Museum inWashington, D.C., Smithsonian or Chicago Field Museum, mostly they teach that we supposedly evolved [from] apelike creatures. Why shouldn’t we be able to use the same technology and really challenge people to consider the Bible as the true history of the world?” he said.

Ham’s Noah’s Ark project took advantage of $18 million in tax benefits and tourism incentives.

The state of Kentucky attempted to block the project from receiving public funding, but Ham took his case to court and won. “Christians pay taxes in this world. We live in this world. We’re not second-class citizens. The federal judge rule in our favor,” he said.

“It’s just inappropriate. To me, [it’s] a clear violation of the First Amendment, for crying out loud,” Nye argued.

To work at Ark Encounter, job applicants must sign a statement of faith, professing a Christian belief in the creation story. For instance, they agree that the “great flood of Genesis was an actual historic event, worldwide in its extent and effect.”

Ham said this is necessary because “we are a Christian organization and we have a Christian message.”

Among the construction workers who have helped build the ark are Amish carpenters who said part of their faith included accepting the Bible as truth. The artists who created the ark’s exhibits are believers too.

“There’s a lot of people that scoff,” Ham said. “We get a lot of attacks by some of the aggressive secularists. Sometimes I feel a bit like Noah.”

Admission to Ark Encounter will be $40 for adults and $28 for children, and Ham said he expects that fascination with Noah and his ark will result in 1 million to 2 million visitors in the first year.

“We really do believe that if we build it, they will come. And they’re going to come,” Ham said.

**************

About 4,000 years ago, the people laughed at Noah because he built the ark on dry land.  Today, the people laugh at Ken Ham for building a replica of the ark on dry land.  Yes indeed, the more things change, the more they stay the same.  Pagan evolutionists like Bill Nye, actually despise the replica of the ark being built because they hate the truth.  The Scopes’ Monkey Trial of 1925 asserted that evolutionists simply desired an equal voice.  That “equal” voice has snuffed God and prayer out of the classroom, and contributed to moral decadence throughout this once great nation.  Abortion, euphanasia, fornication, and every other form of debauchery find their roots in this godless philosophy.  A mere generation ago, Christianity ruled the land as we enjoyed a wonderful way of life.  We have “sown the wind, and we are reaping the whirlwind.”  Hosea 8:7    Maranatha, Pastor Steve

For comprehensive information on the ark to be displayed in Kentucky on 7/7/16, go to arkencounter.com

 

The Day The Lord Allowed A True Prophet Of God To Use The Pulpit Of “Name It Claim It, Blab It Grab It” Seeker Friendly Joel Osteen

Scheduling Error Causes Paul Washer To Preach At Lakewood Church; Thousands Dead

  

 Below are further articles from the Christian satire publication: The Babylon Bee: