Friday, October 23, 2009

Blessed Assurance: How to Know?

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. (I John 5:13 ESV)

And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end.
(Heb. 6:11 ESV)

Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? — unless indeed you fail to meet the test!
(II Cor. 13:5 ESV)

You're giving a talk to the youth of your church (6th - 12th grade) and their parents. Your topic - The Assurance of Salvation: Ya Got It?

OK, so now what? What resources would you reference in your preparation? What references might you suggest and recommend to the parents to go through with their youth?

And what would you say to these kids about assurance? Can you have it? Keep it? How to fight against the doubt of one's salvation? How can you be sure that you're even saved in the first place?

Love to hear your thoughts.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

False Prophets: Who, What are They?

I've heard it said that the Bible's only reference to "false prophets" is of those who know the truth, and know that what they're saying is not true, or is false; and that it's not correct to use that title for someone who is not knowingly teaching a falsehood - like someone who's just ignorant, immature, impulsive or unwise in their speech or teaching. Do you agree?

So, who's a real "false prophet?" Benny Hinn? Tim LaHaye? Paula White? Robert Tilton? Any one of many on TBN?

What's the Biblical definition of a false prophet? What your definition? Are they the same or different?

Friday, October 02, 2009

God's Sovereignty: Over All (or Not at All)

God has nothing to do with your sickness. That's the work of the devil, and you need to take authority over him, exercise your faith and claim your victory.

Sickness and disease does not come from God. It never has come from God. It always has originated from Satan.

Oh, really?

Here's what R.C. Sproul, in his work The Invisible Hand, has to say to such statements:

"Such sentiments do violence, not only to our understanding of the providence of God, but to our understanding of the whole character of God. Christianity is not a religion of dualism by which God and Satan are equal and opposite opposing forces destined to fight an eternal struggle that must result in a tie. God is sovereign over His entire creation, including the subordinate domain of Satan. God is Lord of death as well as life. He rules over pain and disease as sovereignly as He rules over prosperity.

If God had nothing to do with sickness or death, Christians, of all people, would be the most to be pitied. It would mean living in a universe ruled by chaos where our Father's hand was tied by fate and bound by the fickleness of chance. His arm would not be mighty to save; it would be impotent. But, the preachers to the contrary, God has everything to do with sickness and death. God majors in suffering. The way of redemption is the Via Dolorosa, the road to the cross. Our Lord was Himself a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. No, God is not removed from or aloof from human suffering; it is contained within the scope of His providence."

So, where do you fall on this? What's your response to the italicized quotes above? To Sproul's responsive argument?

Other resources:
2005 Desiring God National Conference, Suffering and the Sovereignty of God
Ligonier Ministries' Fall 2007 Conference, The Sovereignty of God