Sunday, May 27, 2012

Families who are Together stay Together
One of the main things I got from a recent conference was this thought: "It is not the actual things you do together a family so much as the quality of time together as a family that makes the difference."

Are we vegging out in front of a TV together, or am I truly communicating with my wife and children and enjoying them personally?

I used to believe that "the family that prays together stays together." Obviously that is quite simplistic and unrealistic. In truth, the family that spends enough quality time together in communication will be able to form the depth of relationship needed to grow together and pray together each day. Even for families that are really busy, simply turning off the TV and shutting down the computer for an evening or two a week can do wonders!

My kids and wife need to see me live my life for Jesus, not just hear a good message or devotion time. They need to see me repenting for my mistakes, not just hear me telling them what to do. My kids and wife need to see practical acts of love, not just words and good intentions. The crux of the issue: My family is the best way for me to grow, the most important ministry to be involved in, and my most important legacy. What we do at home, with the family, really matters.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Letter to a 12-Year-Old Girl About the Eternal Destiny of Those Who Have Not Heard the Gospel
From John Piper:

Dear [Sarah],
You asked what happens to people who live far away from the gospel and have never heard about Jesus and die without faith in him. Here is what I think the Bible teaches.

 God always punishes people because of what they know and fail to believe. In other words, no one will be condemned for not believing in Jesus who has never heard of Jesus. Does that mean that people will be saved and go to heaven if they have never heard of Jesus? No, that is not what God tells us in the Bible.

The main passage in the Bible that talks about this is Romans 1:18–23. Here is what it says. Then I'll make a comment or two.

 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature,have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

Notice several things: All people "know God," even if they have never heard the Bible. "What can be known about God is plain to them" (verse 19). "Although they knew God..." (verse 21). The way they know God is by the way God has made the world and their own consciences (verses 19–20). Even though they know God, no one who knows God anywhere in the world "honors God as God or gives him thanks" (verse 21). Instead, they "suppress the truth" (verse 18). That is, they resist the truth deep in their hearts and "exchange it" for other things that they would rather have (verse 23). Therefore, they are "without excuse" (verse 20). That is, they are guilty and deserved to be punished.

 So I don't think the Bible teaches that people can be saved without hearing the gospel. Look at what Paul says in Romans 10:13–17. You need to hear the gospel to be saved. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 14How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 16But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” 17So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

So let's pray for missionaries and ask God if maybe we should be one. The world really needs more people to tell all the lost people in the world about Jesus and the amazing good news that he died for sinners so that whoever believes will be saved.

Thank you for your good question. Keep praying and reading your Bible. God will give you growing understanding.
Pastor John

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Jim Downing on Meditation
Back in my early 20s, I met Jim Downing of the Navigators at a training program. What a rich store of wisdom Jim passed into my life. Immediately I made Bible reading my #1 priority every morning and every night. What a difference this has made to me. Now at 99 years of age, Jim passes a lifetime of close walk with God to us in this video. You can get his e-book for only $1.99

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Finish the Mission: John Piper interviews David Platt

Sunday, May 13, 2012

"More to Life than That"

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Let's Keep Praying for Japan!
Great video and information here.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Is Japan Really Unreached?
Japan has Toyota, Sony and McDonald's. Surely it has Jesus, right?
Is Japan really an unreached country? Could such an advanced, rich country truly be unreached?
The short answer, yes. In fact, Japan was only recently passed as the largest unreached people group in the world. (It is now #2.) In the scale below, Japan is rated as a 1.2.  Please pray for us and for Japan.
Level Description
Unreached / Least-Reached
Less than 2% Evangelicals and
Less than 5% Christian Adherents
Very few, if any, known Evangelicals.
Professing Christians less than or equal to 5%.
Evangelicals greater than 0.01%, but less than or equal to 2%.
Professing Christians less than or equal to 5%.
Formative / Nominal Church
Less than 2% Evangelicals and
Greater than 5% Christian Adherents
Very few, if any, known Evangelicals.
Professing Christians greater than 5%.
Evangelicals greater than 0.01%, but less than or equal to 2%.
Professing Christians greater than 5%.
Significant / Established Church
Greater than 2% Evangelicals
Evangelicals greater than 2%, but less than or equal to 5%.
Evangelicals greater than 5%.