Thursday, June 21, 2012

Some good stuff: recommendations

Roman siege and destruction
of Jerusalem (David Roberts, 1850)
If you wonder about the fate of Israel and the city of Jerusalem in prophecy, the prophet Zechariah has the entire sweep and scope of the past and future of Israel in one book. Last Sunday, Dr. John MacArthur preached on the prophecy of Zechariah regarding Israel's national salvation in the last days. It is a great sermon. He exposits the text verse by verse, explaining what will happen in the last day, what will happen at Armageddon, and then the glorious afterward with the promise of national salvation fulfilled. His sermon is here: "The Salvation of Israel."

This is a book with good reviews and is solid in truth. "Evangelicalism Divided: A Record of Crucial Change in the Years 1950 to 2000" by Iain Murray. It records the 'history of the change within evangelicalism over the last 50 years is both impressive and frightening. He shows how decisions by some noted evangelical leaders in Britain and the U.S. for the sake of "unity" or "results" have compromised the church and watered down the message of the Gospel' writes reviewer David Vosseller. This decline includes chronicling the history of unfortunate decisions by including well-known Gospel promoting pastors such as Billy Graham, J.I. Packer, and John Stott.

You might be surprised to find the beloved US pastor Billy Graham's name listed in a list noting pastors who have declined toward apostasy due to their unfortunate ecumenical decisions, indeed, an entire chapter in this book is devoted to his decline, but his decline is a true one. Mr Graham is among those who at once promote the Gospel while simultaneously undermine it.

The book isn't brand new but it is fairly new, but it does chronicle how apostasy happens and the danger of ecumenicalism, worthy subjects in light of today's mainline church regularly blaspheming the Holy Spirit, how the emergent church model is a harbor for pastors without a pastor's heart, and spiritual abuse. It's come to this, and Murray was right.

Joel Rosenberg wrote, "A positive development: southern Baptists choose African American pastor as president who says, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ.” He is Pastor Fred Luter.

Photo Christian Post
Mr Luter said, "There are a lot of things in this life … that I’m ashamed of. I’m ashamed of the number of babies that are being killed through abortion every year in America; I’m ashamed of the racism that still persists in our society; I’m ashamed that our elected government officials cannot put aside their personal agendas for the betterment of our cities, our states and our nation; I’m ashamed that brothers and sisters in the body of Christ can’t put aside their petty differences for the cause of Christ. Maybe if the world saw us getting along, … then maybe we can be an example; I’m ashamed of the number of preachers who don’t practice what they preach; I’m ashamed of the high divorce rate among Christian couples in America; I’m ashamed of our drive-by shootings; I’m ashamed of our child pornography. Yes … there are a lot of things … that I’m ashamed of. I’m so glad to proclaim that in spite of all the things I am ashamed about … I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!"

Me, either! How about you? Promote the name of Jesus everywhere, preach sin and redemption, grace and mercy, extol the virtues of a Spirit filled life by being salt and light.

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