Wednesday, January 30, 2013

"One Night With the King" the Movie

We've been walking chapter by chapter through the book of Esther on Wednesday night. A few years ago, a movie was made based on the story of Esther called One Night With the King. Its fairly good though at times a bit over the top. One of the things we have noticed is just how imperfect both Esther and Mordecai were. The movie does not reflect that. Nonetheless, if your wanting to watch a fairly well done Christian movie based on a book of the Bible, this is a good one.

Here is the trailer for the movie:

For more:
God's Providence - Esther 4

Come Like Children: MacArthur Explains the Riddle

What does Jesus mean in Matthew 18:1-4 (our text for Sunday) when he says that we must first become like children in order to enter the Kingdom of God? In a debate over a different issue, John MacArthur comes to our text and gives a good summation. Here it is:

So this is not a Scripture that deals with anything that deals with actual children and their role in the Kingdom, but rather using a child as an illustration of the necessity of entering His Kingdom as a child would. What does that mean? With no achievement and no accomplishment, having done nothing, learned nothing, gained nothing, accumulated nothing, bringing nothing to bear upon that entrance. He is simply saying you come the way a child comes, and a child has nothing to offer, having achieved nothing, to come bare and naked with no accomplishment and no achievement and you come totally dependent. I think that’s the issue that He’s talking about, offering nothing to commend yourself to God, realizing your utter bankruptcy, it’s really a Beatitude Attitude.

His reference to the first Beatitude in Matthew 5 is perfect. We could also add all of the miracle stories. In each, there is a sense of desperation that drives their faith. They, that is the leper, the Gentiles, the sick, the paralyzed, the deaf, the blind, the mute, the demonized, and the dead, are desperate for healing and thus knowing, in full faith, that Jesus is their only hope, they come humbly to Jesus.

The context of Matthew 18:1-4 regards pride. So in short, when we realize that we are like children and cannot contribute to our own salvation, we come to Christ humbled and in the spirit of humility, we enter the Kingdom of God.

John MacArthur - Case for Believer's Baptism: The Credo Baptist Position

For more:
We Are Children: MacArthur Introduces Matthew 18:1-4

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

We Are Children: MacArthur Introduces Matthew 18:1-4

This is good. Sunday we will be looking at Matthew 18:1-11 and John MacArthur's introduction on the theme of Christians being described as children in the New Testament is helpful.

Now, as we look at that passage, we basically are struck by the fact that Jesus picks up a little child in verse 2. And that child becomes the object lesson. The people of God are called by many names in the Bible, many beautiful names, many expressive names, many that describe various and sundry elements of belonging to God. But the most common name by which we are ever called is that of children. Beyond anything else, we are the children of God, the children of the Lord, the children of promise, the children of the day, the children of light, beloved children, dear children. Over and over again hundreds of times in the Old Testament and the New Testament, the people of God are called children.

And we rejoice in that reality. I think, however, for the most part we...we tend to see that as a term which links us to God. And when we hear that we are children, we celebrate the idea that that means we belong to God who is our Father, and surely that is true. And we have every reason to rejoice in that.

But the richness of the concept of being a child of God is not limited to the fact that that means we belong to God and we are His children and we are in His family. Inherent in the concept of children is the fact that we are children and we are well described as children. It not only means we belong to God, but it means like children we are imperfect, like children we are weak, like children we are dependent, as children we are simple and submissive and unskilled and ignorant and sometimes stubborn and very vulnerable. So that we see in the concept of children, not only that which implies a relationship to God, but that which describes us as marked out as children, with all of the foibles and failings and weaknesses that children have. John tells us in 1 John 2:12 that we are children. And so he says, "I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven."

So, as we look at the concept of the believer, we see him as a child. Now the whole of the eighteenth chapter of Matthew describes the child likeness of the believer, the child likeness of the believer. Somewhere in your Bible at the heading of Matthew 18, you need to write that down. This chapter is all about the child likeness of the believer. We're not the high and the mighty. We're not the noble. We're not the lofty. We're not the mature and the adult and the profound. We are children with all that that conveys, lowly children at best.

John MacArthur - Entering the Kingdom 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

January 20, 2013 | The Kingdom of God is at Hand!: A Sermon Preached on Sanctity of Life Sunday

This past Sunday we recognized the Sanctity of Life Sunday for the first time since we arrived at Goshen. 2013 marks the 40th anniversary of that wretched day where the murder of the unborn was legalized by the oligarchs at the Supreme Court. The point of the message is to show that to be pro-life in general and to be Christian pro-lifers in particular must go beyond the issue of abortion and demonizing those who have participated in it. We must understand, see, and work towards the Kingdom of God in all aspects of our lives.


For more:
Russell Moore on Why We Should Hate the Sanctity of Life Sunday
Repost | A Letter & Gift From God: Palin's Letter on Trig & the Challenge of Down Syndrome
Mephibosheth and the Sanctity of the Disable: God's Glory In the Face of Deformity  

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Russell Moore on Why We Should Hate the Sanctity of Life Sunday

Sunday is Sanctity of Life Sunday and it looks like this year we will be participating in it. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the cursed day that abortion was legalized by an oligarchy at the Supreme Court.

To prepare for this service and this day, I want to encourage you to read the helpful article by Dr. Russell Moore, the VP at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (my alma mater), on why he hates that such a day is necessary, but is hopeful that it won't always be.

I hate Sanctity of Human Life Sunday because I’m reminded that we have to say things to one another that human beings shouldn’t have to say. Mothers shouldn’t kill their children. Fathers shouldn’t abandon their babies. No human life is worthless, regardless of skin color, age, disability, economic status. The very fact that these things must be proclaimed is a reminder of the horrors of this present darkness. . . . 

I hate Sanctity of Human Life Sunday because I’m reminded that as I’m preaching there are babies warmly nestled in wombs who won’t be there tomorrow. I’m reminded that there are children, maybe even blocks from my pulpit, who’ll be slapped, punched, and burned with cigarettes before nightfall. I’m reminded that there are elderly men and women languishing away in loneliness, their lives pronounced to be a waste.

But I also love Sanctity of Human Life Sunday when I think about the fact that in our churches there are ex-orphans all around, adopted into loving families. I love to reflect on the men and women who serve every week in pregnancy centers for women in crisis. And I love to see men and women who have aborted babies find their sins forgiven, even this sin, and their consciences cleansed by Christ.
We’ll always need Christmas. We’ll always need Easter. But I hope, please Lord, someday soon, that Sanctity of Human Life Day is unnecessary.

Read the rest of the article here.