Posted by: johnnyp1978 | August 9, 2010

Doomsday Myths

Everyone is freakin’ out about these theoretical Doomsday scenarios. Here’s something from Stephen Hawking: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/08/09/abandon-earth-face-extinction-warns-stephen-hawking/

Stephen, it ain’t gonna happen. I know 100% certain how the Doomsday is gonna happen. Doomsday will happen when Christ returns to judge the earth and He separates the sheep from the goats. Earth is guaranteed safety. Earth has been promised to God’s chosen. One day Christ will return and established His throne on earth and earth will be made perfect. I can give you another guarantee, this earth will never be destroyed by a flood again, that was promised by God who doesn’t go back on his Word. If anyone remembers what the rainbow truly represents (which isn’t gay pride), that was a promise made between God and man that the earth will never be destroyed by a flood again. I couldn’t even get into the movie 2012 because I was all like, ain’t gonna happen! We won’t need to build an ark again. Something I learned from one of my Old Testament profs is that the significance of the rainbow is that it is a bow pointing upwards away from earth representing that God’s wrath isn’t directed towards earth anymore. The next time God comes to clean house it will be for once and final. Earth is safe, it’s the unredeemed that are doomed.

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Posted by: johnnyp1978 | August 2, 2010

Americans and Booze

Yes, two entries in one day! But they’re just short and sweet mainly just responding to articles I have read.

I would like to believe that the reason why more Americans are drinking is because the Reformed faith is growing and legalism is dying, but sadly it seems that the reason why drinking is increasing in our country is because the faith is shrinking: http://www.gallup.com/poll/141656/Drinking-Rate-Edges-Slightly-Year-High.aspx

Posted by: johnnyp1978 | August 2, 2010

The need for a day of rest

Really all we need for us to believe in the need for a day of rest is the Scripture’s instruction for a Day of Rest. But could this be natural revelation also revealing the fact that we were created in such a way that we need a day of rest? http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/7921117/Lying-in-at-the-weekend-boosts-your-brain-power-study-shows.html

Tell you one thing, this shows that sleeping in on Saturday isn’t a waste of time. And it also shows why those Sunday afternoon naps are just awesome. I got up earlier this past Saturday than I would have had to get up for work. Then I didn’t get my Sunday afternoon nap in. Now I have a super bad case of the Mondays.

Posted by: johnnyp1978 | July 20, 2010

The Bubble Syndrome

In many ways this is ironic that I’m using a blog to write about what people write on the internet. I’m writing this because my blood is just boiling reading the comments people are writing about Glenn Beck going blind: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/2010/07/20/2010-07-20_fox_news_personality_glenn_beck_i_could_go_blind_within_the_next_year.html

You ever noticed how confident people get once they are inside their car? I mean, many people would never flick someone off on the street, at a ball game, or anywhere where they could possible get their butt kicked, but once you are in that safe bubble of a car you feel like you’re invincible and gain this false confidence that you can now flick people off with no consequence (unless that person has a gun and isn’t afraid to use it). You cuss people out inside your car, but you wouldn’t dare do that without that metal frame separating you from them. The same thing has happened with the internet. I mean, I’ve even had comments written on some of my blogs that a person would have never said to my face, or at least they wouldn’t have been as rabid.

I am not a fan of our president. Obama is screwing up majorly, but I do not wish cancer upon him or death. I just don’t want him in office anymore; just because someone disagrees with my views doesn’t mean I should hate them. I mean, if this is some evil dictator who is killing people, then yes, I wish justice on their head. But what happened to sticks and stones? No one is forced to listen to Glenn or Rush. I shared similar views to them way before I ever listened to them, and I don’t always agree with them at all. I don’t know why people assume that if you are a conservative you must be brainwashed by Glenn or Rush. Aren’t all you liberals brainwashed by NPR and the media???

But back to the main point, Glenn is using his Constitutional given rights to speak what he wants to and it’s fine to disagree with him. But how sick have we gotten where we get giddy over a person we don’t like getting ill? I mean, to wish death upon Glenn??? The same people who are all about tolerance and cry peace can have some of the most hateful hearts you can find.

Posted by: johnnyp1978 | July 7, 2010

Finding meaning in meaninglessness

My pastor preached through the book of Ecclesiastes. It was really good. I have learned how to look at this book in a different manner than I used to. I remember in my younger days I dealt a lot with depression and this was one of my favorite books to turn to. This book definitely deals a lot with depression. Life does carry with it a whole lot of burden and evil. It seems that most people look at this book as the Preacher teaching what life is like for those who don’t know God. But a thorough reading you will see that the Preacher actually recognizes that life is hard for both the wicked and the righteous. That in the end all are heading towards the grave. There are lies being spewed from the health and wealth preachers that if a Christian is truly faithful they don’t have to suffer in this life. But this so far from the truth. Christians don’t get cancer because they haven’t been faithful enough. Even the most upstanding Christian can lose their job and lose all of their money. No human on earth is void of the effects of the Fall. Some people get through life in ease and some get dragged through broken glass and thrown into lemon juice. Some people end up having a rough life because of sinful choices, true, but some don’t. Some people end up with a cushy life because of sin as well. I wouldn’t consider Hugh Hefner the most righteous man on earth but he’s lived a very profitable life. Then you meet a very strong Christian person who comes down with a horrible disease. Ecclesiastes recognizes the hardships of life. Now, life isn’t all horrible. And yes, God does shower goodness upon all of  His creation and especially upon His children. But until the second coming this life is still under the effects of the Fall. The Preacher repeatedly uses the word vanity to describe life. No matter what you do, no matter how good you are, no matter if you exercise every day, you refrain from smoking, and drink only soy milk and eat veggies you will one day be worm food. We should not cling so tight to this life as to make an idol out of it for just like idols this life is also crumbling. Not until Christ returns to set this world straight and destroys the effects of sin completely will life have true meaning.

Posted by: johnnyp1978 | July 6, 2010

July 4th Sunday

So, this past Sunday was July 4th which is a very interesting thing to ponder. Do we celebrate the Lord’s Day, Independence Day, or do we mix up the two? I talked to my mom and at her church the pastor didn’t even preach but instead they watched a video about the Constitution. I discussed this with my mom and I told her I felt that wasn’t appropriate for a Sunday service. That would have been fine to do on a Wednesday evening service or even a Sunday school class, but it wasn’t appropriate for worship. I remember in my past, before my Reformed days, I sat through services praising America. Yes, people’s faith might have been increased, but their faith was increased in America not Christ.

Before I go any further, most people who know me know I love this nation and that I lean toward very conservative positions. If you look through my blogs you will find topics showing my conservative views, but I will not say this is a “Christian” nation, but instead we are a nation founded on Christian principles. In fact, if you study the history of Calvin and Calvinistic politics you will find much influence upon Capitalism can be rooted there. So, I believe Capitalism to be founded on biblical principles, but we aren’t a theocracy and I’m definitely not a theonomist, so I believe the true Christian nation is one that is invisible and will be made visible at the return of Christ.

So, back to the July 4th Sunday, I wore red, white, and blue to church. I did have pride in that I’m an American, and I was thankful to live in a nation where I was able to worship freely. But I was grateful to sit under a sermon that did not focus on America at all. I am a pilgrim in this land before I am an American citizen. I came before the throne of God that is not in America but is in heaven. Now, I can’t say if it had been a nice clear evening that I wouldn’t have gone to see fireworks, but would that have been a violation of the Sabbath? I have to struggle with that before I can answer, but I will say that I’m fully convinced that a “sermon” on the greatness of America is never appropriate. Preaching Christ (I Cor. 1:23) is the job of the preacher on Sunday. God’s involvement with America is tremendously different from his involvement with His Church. God has used America as a tool to aid His Church with the religious freedoms we have in this GREAT nation, but the Church has been around long before America was created. And should this nation ever collapse the Church will still exist (Matt 16:18).

Pray for this nation. Pray that God would allow us to keep our religious liberties and that the church will grow in America. Patriotism is not idolatry as long as you recognize your citizenship  in the Kingdom of God before your citizenship in America. Some churches call for passivism, but I don’t think fighting for the freedom of this nation to be sinful. Next year July 4th will be on a Monday. If you go to a church that is very patriotic then I have no problem gathering together on Monday to celebrate Independence Day, but Sunday is to remain holy and set apart exclusively to worship our Lord and Saviour.

Posted by: johnnyp1978 | June 2, 2010

Living Pure

I haven’t been writing blogs in such a long time. When I started this blog I had more time on my hands. Now after working an eight-hour day I usually don’t feel like doing anything. But I want to change that trend. I need to start using my brain again because it is getting sluggish. There are a lot of issues I want to work out. One thing that has been laying heavy on my heart is the issue of living a pure life. It just seems that too many people in my life aren’t living a life of purity as they should. Even in my own life there are things I need to have the Holy Spirit cleanse and wash me inside and out, and it’s the inside that’s the hardest to clean. Many people do a great job at looking spotless on the outside but on the inside they are filthy (Matt 23:25-26). Here’s a great article I read on the OPC’s website on sexual purity: http://opc.org/qa.html?question_id=63

Well, I hope to start writing again and not allowing such a large gap between writings.

Posted by: johnnyp1978 | April 26, 2009

More on the Shack

I wrote a blog not long ago talking about Christian literature and had a link to a review on the very popular Christian book The Shack. Here is another review with many warning about this book:  http://opc.org/os.html?article_id=149

Posted by: johnnyp1978 | April 16, 2009

Fighting the Good Fight

I Timothy 6:12 – Fight the good fight of the faith.

I am definitely not a righteous man, well at least not by my own works. I have sinned horribly. I have betrayed my God hundreds of times. God has broken me in so many ways… I mean He has crushed me and torn me to shreds. God has revealed my dark heart and shown me my wicked ways. There is salvation in God and Jesus’ blood can cover all my sins, but there is a cost of discipleship. One day in heaven there will be complete peace, but right now here on earth there will be suffering and hurting. The health and wealth gospel is a sham. Jesus did not present to us an awesome life on earth as one of His disciples. He told His disciples the world would hate them, that they would be persecuted, He told them to take up their cross and follow Him. I believe these things that the Bible teaches about the present suffering of the Christian, but really I still want that health and wealth. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe that a Christian has to suffer, but a Christian shouldn’t expect satin sheets and leather seats. I also don’t believe a Christian has to run towards the lions. But when the lions attack and they begin ripping your skin and gnawing on your body don’t turn to Rome for relief. I started this blog with Paul’s teaching on fighting the good fight and here’s where all this ties in. I’ve noticed way too many “Christian” friends throughout my life who just can’t handle even the roaring of the lions in their cages. They are tired of putting up with the constant fear of being eaten. They don’t want to fight anymore. Life is supposed to be easy and happy and if you don’t fight you don’t hurt. Yet remember what Peter has said (I Peter 5:6-11):

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Things aren’t so great in this life. Temptations are hard to resist. Some temptations gnaw on you like a lion and after a while you just don’t want to hurt any more so you cry out and say “I GIVE UP! I want peace NOW not LATER.” Satan offers all the pain to end if you just give up on God. Paul asked God to take the thorn in the flesh away from him and yet God replied no and said that His grace was sufficient for him. But who was the bringer of this thorn? Paul says it was a messenger of Satan. I bet if Paul just turned his life over to Satan the pain would  have gone away. I mean, not turning his life over to Satan and becoming  a devil worshiper but giving up on this painful mission God had called him to.

Following God is rough. It ain’t smooth sailings. You tell this to people and I’m sure you’ll get a whole bunch of converts… yeah right! But maybe if we did tell people the truth and the cost of being a disciple of Christ we would generate genuine converts. When the rich ruler asked Jesus how to inherit eternal life Jesus tells him to sell all of his possessions. Wow! Jesus didn’t say just come and follow me, no he told the man to sell all of his possessions. Following Jesus requires sacrifice. It means you don’t have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness… at least not in this life. Of course these things aren’t wrong to desire, but they just aren’t a guarantee.

Can we abuse “God is Love” any more? I mean, the God of the New Testament is the same God of the Old Testament. People used to shake in their boots when He was around. All of the sudden Jesus comes along and God become one big teddy bear. Let me make this clear before I go on, yes, I do believe Jesus is our advocate and that He shields us from the Father’s wrath… that is if He really is your shield. But God is still a holy and righteous God and should still be respected and feared. He should be worshipped in reverence and awe. God still frowns upon sin, but Jesus ended up taking the penalty for those sins rather than His children. Obedience is still a requirement not just a suggestion when living in covenant with God. Man’s chief end is not to be saved, but man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever (WSC Q.1). This means that the ultimate goal of man is not just to pray the sinner’s prayer but to have a relationship with God. Salvation is the only means of achieving this goal, but it isn’t the chief end.

Romans 6:1-4 – What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?  By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

Don’t give up my brothers and sisters. We are pilgrims in this land. We are going to face many hardships and Satan is going to try his best to trip us up. Just remember fear no evil when you walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death for Christ is with you even if you can’t see  Him.

Proverbs 3:5-8 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.

Summer storms

Posted by: johnnyp1978 | April 14, 2009

Doctrine Matters

I thought this article by Chuck Colson was very good: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2009/april/10.72.html?start=1

Doctrine is very important to the Christian faith. Without doctrine Christianity becomes nothing but man’s imagination. Titus 1:9 gives this instruction to elders:He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.” This is not something that should be held only by elders but is important to all believers. In order to fight the good fight we must hold on to the foundational doctrines of the faith which are eroding in this present age. No longer do people in the church care about rock solid doctrine. The Bible has become something completely obscure and the meaning is defined by the reader rather than the Holy Spirit. They might attribute their interpretation to the Spirit but if they were to test their doctrine by the light of Scripture they would quickly see their doctrine as false.

This article brings up some great points:  http://opc.org/os9.html?article_id=138

Debating over theology is not something that is wrong. Yes, we often end up feuding over doctrinal views, but that doesn’t mean we should shy away from debate. Proverbs 27:17 says, “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” Healthy debate helps sharpen doctrine; it helps you defend your position, strengthen your position, or even change your position.

So many people talk about theology as putting God in a box. But it isn’t putting God in a box if used rightly. Theology is there to help our pea brains comprehend the infinite God, at least the things He has revealed about Himself. Theology is not meant to limit God but to limit man to what he is to believe about God (WSC Q.2 & 3):

Q. 2. What rule hath God given to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him?
A. The word of God, which is contained in the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him.

Q. 3. What do the scriptures principally teach?
A. The scriptures principally teach what man is to believe concerning God, and what duty God requires of man.

Man should not be allowed to just believe what ever he wants to about God. People of other religions are not the only people guilty of believing things about God that are not true. Many people in the church today believe things about God and the Bible that are not found in Scripture. A lot of these beliefs are based on feelings rather than Scripture. While it sounds really spiritual to follow your heart when searching for God this is really dangerous. Our hearts have been corrupted by sin. Only through Scripture can we find the truth of God. One may feel free staying away from theology but they are really only heading for disaster and creating a faith invented by their own imagination. It may look like Christianity, it may sound like Christianity, but unless it is founded in Scripture it is not true orthodox Christianity.

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