Christian scholar claims ‘shocking similarity’ between biblical ‘antichrist’ and Muslim messiah called the ‘Mahdi’

Prescribing Hospitality for Growth in the Christian Life


As biblical counselors, we’re always looking to suggest practical ways of living out what we believe. How often do we hear from friends and counselees (herein just “friends”) that they know what the Bible says, but are unsure what to do or how to connect doctrine with their struggles? In response, we typically remind them to remember God’s purposes for trials, to trust, to pray, and to fill themselves with God’s Word. All of which should be done. But most of us forget about Peter’s prescription of hospitality to a suffering people (1 Peter 4:9) as a way to demonstrate faith even in the midst of persecution and hardship.

Hospitality offers a vital prescription for growth, because it touches so many aspects of how we live our lives. According to the New Testament we need to consider the needs of others, to share the gospel, to love, and to be intentional with our resources; hospitality provides a tangible way to practice all of that. This post aims to encourage counselors to understand hospitality biblically and to prescribe it as one way to help friends grow in Christ-likeness and connect belief with action.[1]

What Biblical Hospitality Entails

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The Last Supper

In case you are missing this series, a taste from Don Merritt

Matthew 26:17-30

This passage opens with Jesus giving instructions to the disciples about the arrangements for the Passover meal that remind us of His instructions to them in 21:1-3 about the arrangements for His entry into Jerusalem. After everything had been arranged, the scene opens at the meal itself. This narrative is broken into two sections, each beginning with the words “while they were eating”. The first, 26:20-25 is all about the betrayal of Jesus, the second (26:26-30) covers Jesus’ institution of the Lord’s Supper.

Matthew’s account, though it gives these details, omits most of the details that John includes, such as Jesus’ washing their feet, and John’s lengthy account of the final discourses, and in this, Matthew is continuing the choppy pace that began at the beginning of this chapter; he reminds us a little of the way Mark covered most everything. Yet while he is leaving out some of the dramatic discussions of that evening, Matthew is once again focusing our attention of the ultimate mission of Jesus: His appointment with the cross.

In the first part, notice that when Jesus tells them that His betrayer is in their midst, the disciples are “sad” and say “surely you don’t mean me, Lord” (26:22). Matthew gives a direct quote from the denial of Judas in 26:25: “Surely you don’t mean me, Rabbi”. It may be nothing, but there is a slight difference between the eleven who said “Lord” and the one who said “Rabbi”, for in calling Jesus “teacher”, Judas seems to be expressing respect for Jesus as a teacher, but withholding his obedience to the Lordship of Jesus. Whatever his intent, Judas’ remark was disingenuous at best.

In His reply to Judas, Jesus seems to be revealing that He isn’t buying the denial.

In 26:26-30, we have the institution of the Last Supper, one of the most hotly debated aspects of the Faith traditionally, as disagreements among believers have literally divided the Body multiple times for the past thousand years or so. Ironically, however, everyone agrees that the partaking of the bread and the cup point us to the cross, the one thing that unites all Christians.

When you think about it, the sheer stupidity of this behavior almost makes a person want to stop debating altogether… almost.

found on The Berian Call

Professional Atheist Dawkins Says Christianity “Bulwark Against Something Worse”


In a text that is coursing about on social media, professional God-slayer Richard Dawkins begrudgingly admitted that Christianity may actually be our best defense against aberrant forms of religion that threaten the world.

“There are no Christians, as far as I know, blowing up buildings,” Dawkins said. “I am not aware of any Christian suicide bombers. I am not aware of any major Christian denomination that believes the penalty for apostasy is death.”

In a rare moment of candor, Dawkins reluctantly accepted that the teachings of Jesus Christ do not lead to a world of terror, whereas followers of radical Islam perpetrate the very atrocities that he laments.

Because of this realization, Dawkins wondered aloud whether Christianity might indeed offer an antidote to protect western civilization against jihad.

“I have mixed feelings about the decline of Christianity, in so far as Christianity might be a bulwark against something worse,” he said.

Although the text originated in 2010, it has taken on a second life, being sent to and fro on Facebook and Twitter and providing fodder for discussions, even among atheists, of the benefits of Christianity for modern society.

Dawkins was trained as an evolutionary biologist, but achieved his greatest celebrity not through biology but through his pop atheism, regularly debating theists in public and penning diatribes against God and faith.

For a generation of young atheists, Dawkins gave disbelief a thin veneer of intellectual cachet and offered a justification for the belief that atheism was somehow grounded in science.

In his 2006 bestseller, The God Delusion, Dawkins famously compared religious education to the sexual abuse of children, concluding incredibly that the latter was actually preferable to the former.

Referring to the clerical sex abuse crisis, Dawkins wrote that as “horrible as sexual abuse no doubt was, the damage was arguably less than the long-term psychological damage inflicted by bringing the child up Catholic in the first place.”

Faced with the suicide bombers and child rapists of radical Islam, however, Dawkins finally found something that he thought was worse.

(Williams, “Professional Atheist Dawkins Says Christianity ‘Bulwark Against Something Worse’,” Breitbart News Network, 1/12/16)

Faith to Weather The Storm

by Ann V. Friend

Keeping the faith and praying the Word of God defeats negativity every single time. Prayer and faith is powerful in any storm.

~ Ann V. Friend ~

Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?
~ Jeremiah 32:27 ~

Hello friends. Keeping the faith and praying as we weather the storm. I love the Book of Psalms. It provides comfort to dwell and abide in The Lord with faith and trust in him.

These days, almost everything spoken is negative.

Thank God for balancing life by raising up encouragers with the gift of faith. Thank you Lord.

Abundant blessings and keeping the faith as we weather the storm praying and meditating on his Word.

©afriendofjesus2013Blog, Aug 2013.

Worship that costs

Bible Pixabay

“And while he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he was reclining at table, a woman came with an alabaster flask of ointment of pure nard, very costly, and she broke the flask and poured it over his head.”(‭‭Mark‬ ‭14:3‬)

What some called a waste, Jesus honored in the highest possible terms. From Cape Town to Bejing, everywhere the gospel is preached, he said “tell of what this woman has done.”

The one who for eternity enjoyed the adoration of angels, laid all that aside. As he prepared to die for us, someone did something special for him. Costly sacrifice. Precious praise. All in.

When we remember how much he has done for us, surely we too should say “thank you Lord, what can I do to show my appreciation for you?”

Worship that is halfhearted is not worthy of the King who gave his all. Praise that prevaricates devalues his glory. Turning Sundays into a spectator sport is an insult to our savior. A lifestyle that mimics this world mocks his majesty. Passivity belittled his passion. Greediness forgets the gratitude we owe to the one who gave us everything.

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Muslims dreaming about Jesus

Hmmm – interesting read

Whom Shall I Fear? – video

From the Very Beginning: NT Wright

by Michael Brown of CharismaNews blog

Michael Brown
Michael Brown

Over the years, I have committed to memory numerous quotes that have stirred my heart and impacted my life, and in the days of the Brownsville Revival, we used to post some of the best, most succinct quotes on the large marquees in front our ministry school.

Today, with the explosion of social media, we can post and tweet these quotes day and night, to the edification and even transformation of many. Here are 10 of my all-time favorites:

1. “For the sake of a dying, suffering world count the cost, pay the price and set the captives free” (John G. Lake). It is true that God freely shares His gifts with His children. It is also true that many times, there are obstacles to overcome and prices to pay before we attain the goal of our faith. How badly do we want to see Jesus touch this dying world by His Spirit through us?

2. “How shall I feel at the judgment, if multitudes of missed opportunities pass before me in full review, and all my excuses prove to be disguises of my cowardice and pride” (W.E. Sangster). I read this quote more than 30 years ago in Leonard Ravenhill’s classic book Why Revival Tarries, and I have reflected on it as much as I have quoted it. It still pierces the heart.

3. “The man whose little sermon is ‘repent’ sets himself against his age, and will for the time being be battered mercilessly by the age whose moral tone he challenges. There is but one end for such a man—‘off with his head!’ You had better not try to preach repentance until you have pledged your head to heaven” (Joseph Parker). This quote was another of the jewels found in Why Revival Tarries, and it ultimately inspired Keith Green to write the song “I Pledge My Head to Heaven.” Are you really ready to preach repentance?

4. “When I really enjoy God I feel my desires of Him the more insatiable and my thirstings after holiness the more unquenchable. O this pleasing pain. It makes my soul press after God” (David Brainerd). People who are sick sometimes lose their appetite, and when the appetite returns, it is often a sign of health. The same applies spiritually. How hungry are you? That says a lot about your spiritual health.

5. “Satan is so much more in earnest than we are—he buys up the opportunity while we are wondering how much it will cost” (Amy Carmichael). This lifelong missionary challenges us afresh today. Why are Satan’s people often so much more devoted to their cause than we are to ours? And why were some of us more zealous for sin before we were saved than we are zealous for the Lord now that we are saved? (While I’m at it, here’s a bonus quote from Amy: “I don’t wonder apostolic miracles have died. Apostolic living certainly has.”)

6. “Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried” (G.K. Chesterton). This brilliant thinker had a way of getting straight to the point, and he nailed it here. What is stopping you (or me) from taking God at His word and going for it? That question leads right into this next quote.

7. “One of these days some simple soul will pick up the Book of God, read it and believe it. Then the rest of us will be embarrassed” (Leonard Ravenhill). Enough said.

8. “The world may frown—Satan may rage—but go on! Live for God. May I die in the field of battle” (James B. Taylor). I have said for many years that what the world calls fanaticism and much of the church calls extremism, God calls normal. So it is with this quote.

9. “If God were not my friend, Satan would not be so much my enemy” (Thomas Brooks). The Puritans had a way with words and specialized in short, pithy sayings ideal for tweeting. Let the 17th century meet the 21st century, and let’s be sure that God is our friend and we are His.

10. “The greatness of a man’s power is the measure of his surrender” (William Booth). Here’s another one that’s easier to tweet than it is to live out, but God is not impressed with our great abilities and frenzied activities. He is looking for a surrendered life. How powerful in God are you, really?

Now that I have shared these, I’m thinking of scores of others that have rocked my world in the past, but chewing on these 10 and seeking to live them out will keep us busy for some time. You can start by sharing them with your friends.

Michael Brown is author of Hyper-Grace: Exposing the Dangers of the Modern Grace Message and host of the nationally syndicated talk radio show The Line of Fire on the Salem Radio Network. He is also president of FIRE School of Ministry and director of the Coalition of Conscience. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or at @drmichaellbrown on Twitter.


A Sunday School Lesson On Serving Others


Here is a Sunday school lesson or Bible study on serving others.

Serving Employers

Philippians 2:22 “But you know Timothy’s proven worth, how as a son with a father he has served with me in the gospel.”

Timothy, like Titus, served Paul in proclaiming the gospel but the Apostle Paul reminds us that “Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful on the ground that they are brothers; rather they must serve all the better since those who benefit by their good service are believers and beloved” (1st Timothy 6:2). This could just as easily apply to those of us who work for an employer. Paul sees our work as not really being done for an employer but for God as he writes “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ” (Col 3:23-24).

Have you served someone in proclaiming the gospel?

How can we serve God at our employer?

Who do we ultimately work for?

Serving others with our Gifts

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