• Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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Pursuing The Heart Of Christianity

What should we consider to be the heart of Christianity? What does the Reformed faith teach us about this question? To be Christian is to be God-obsessed; that is, a delight in God-centeredness is a primary attribute of the Christian man or woman. There is that awareness in one’s life that God is satisfied with you because you find that all you need is most satisfied in Him. God is at the center of Christianity and the Christian life. He is the satisfaction that is missing from so many lives.

The Reformed Christian faith is a God-centered faith. Our beliefs are governed by this premise. For example: Our great salvation is seen in the light of the glory that it brings to God. Would you truly want to go to heaven if God was not there? Of course not! Heaven would not be heaven without the presence of God! Sin is sin because it is rebellion against the glory of God.

You probably have never wondered what the most used word in the book of Romans is. If you were asked to guess, what would you say? Would you guess that it was “Love”, “Predestination”, “Salvation”, or “Grace”? Most of us would probably answer wrongly, but according to Leon Morris the most used word is “God”!

If you truly understand the doctrines of Christianity, you will live in awareness of the glory of God and this awareness will be a great joy to you. This will result in a life directed toward holiness. You will not only want God’s glory, you will seek His fellowship and presence. The Spirit of God will also give you a burning desire to pursue the moral character of God in your own life.

Christians attend church with many issues of their own to work out. Some ask, “Is there a good single’s program?” Others want to know – “Will the music be modern and upbeat?” There are many such questions that may be asked. However, the most important questions to ask yourself about the church you choose to attend are: “Will I grow to know God better in this place?” and, “Do I see God glorified here?”

God, himself, must be our greatest concern. We carry out The Great Commission to obey God, glorify God, and to tell the story of the coming of God’s Kingdom. Evangelism, community outreach, Bible study, small groups, preaching, and music must all be God-centered to lead us to greater communion with God. Otherwise, we have no right to expect the blessing of the Holy Spirit upon our endeavors.

Therefore, God is the Heart of Christianity. In our modern world, we often believe that everything should be about me, for me, and make me look good. The great protestant reformers throughout history knew that Christianity does not abide this attitude. John the Baptist illustrates this when he speaks of Jesus, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30) Paul explains it thus: “For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:19-20) To “live by faith in the Son of God” is God-centered theology. Such a happy state is truly the heart of Christianity.


Apocalypse Today!

“In many cases sheer fanaticism has been the result of exclusively dwelling on prophecy, and probably more men have gone mad on that subject than on any other religious question.” (Charles H. Spurgeon)

Today, May 21, 2011, is the last day according to Harold Camping and some Christians. According to reports, some have shut themselves inside to pray for mercy as they wait for the world’s end. Around


the world, Camping’s followers believe that the Bible points to today as the Day of Judgment.

There have been many so-called “prophecy experts” who have made these sort of predictions only to be discredited time and time again. Back in the day, Oswald J. Smith predicted that Benito Mussolini was the predicted antichrist. Hal Lindsey told us that the 1948 reestablishment of Israel determined that the end was to have been in 1988. Do you remember that Edgar Whisenant assured us that there were 88 reasons why the rapture would be in 1988. Harold Camping’s doomsday message has been sent far and wide. Camping is an 89-year-old retired civil engineer who has built a multi-million-dollar nonprofit ministry based on his apocalyptic prediction.

It really bugs me when the “prophecy experts” make their unbiblical predictions. The Book of Matthew states plainly:

36 “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. 37 For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, 39 and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left. 42 Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

Yet, the “prophecy experts” continue to make their predictions at the cost of the Bible’s and Christianity’s reputation. They sacrifice the glory of God for their silly moment in the sun.

Once it is evident that their predictions have failed, they come forth with their excuses. Yet, the world will look at the consequences of this day and they will make light of Christ; criticize the Bible, and say that Christians are dumb and uneducated. The world will be right about one thing; Christians are uneducated about their own Bible. Damage is done to the cause of the Great Commission and the devil’s work is made easier. Lord, help us to cease such idle and unbiblical curiosity!

See follow-up article here. . . .

Recommended reading:

Last Days’ Madness by Gary DeMar

The Days of Vengeance by David Chilton

The Last Days According to Jesus by R. C. Sproul

“Post-Christian”: I Think Not!


The world was once a more comfortable place to be a Christian, especially in the family, school, church, marketplace, and public arena. It was more comfortable to be a Christian because the enemies of Christ were more subdued. The enemy seems less subdued today, but the world is not less Christian. We often describe modern America as “post-Christian”, but this analysis is not true. Bojidar Marinov writes:

No, we don’t live in a “post-Christian world.” A “post-Christian world” cannot possibly exist. There has never been such a world; there will never be one. Stop using the phrase. It is bad theology. It is bad philosophy of history. It is bad evangelism. It is bad psychology. And it is false view of reality.

It is bad theology because it presupposes a change in sovereignty. A Christian world is a world where Christ is present and has all authority. Therefore a “post-Christian world” presupposes that Christ isn’t present and He doesn’t have all authority. This goes directly against the starting and the concluding lines of the Great Commission. As long as Christ has all power, and He is with us, this will be a Christian world, period.

It is bad philosophy of history because it presupposes that history somehow operates on a logic of its own, and thus controls the destiny and actions of cultures irrespective of the actions or beliefs of men. A “post-Christian world” would mean that history has turned in another direction, opposite to the one it was going before. History doesn’t turn back and forth. It goes only in one direction.

It is bad evangelism because it gives ammo to the enemies of Christianity who want to portray it as a temporary historical factor that has lived its purpose and will inevitably go to the dustbin of history. They have a word for the “Christian world” of the centuries past: Middle Ages. Middle, that is, between the early and the later ages of paganism. The phrase “post-Christian world” plays so good into their hands; of course, of course, it is a “post-Christian world,” they say, because Christianity has played its role and it’s about time for it to retire from the world.

Continue reading. . . .

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