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Results 1 - 10 of 60
Results from: Answers, Notes On or After: Mon 04/7/14 ordered by Date
Following Christ has great cost associated with it. For some it can mean the loss of their homes, the loss of their families, and the loss of their possessions. It is the abandonment of the temporal things of the world for the eternal things of the Kingdom of God (cf Matthew 19:27ff).
I suspect this is a comment is in a veiled rebuttal to something I said earlier. However I never said draw people to Jesus when I commented about Jesus feeding the thousands.
I said what I said because that is what happened. Jesus' disciples wanted to send the people away so they could find food. But Jesus not finished with his teaching told them to stay and then provided for them.
They were drawn to Jesus not by promise of food but by the drawing of the Holy Spirit. However reality is still reality and they needed to eat.
As in my example reality is what it is today in our society and many times the church must learn it needs to meet physical needs along with spiritual needs.
There is nothing the church can do in the physical to top the drawing of world. And yes it is foolishness to try. However that does not mean the church can't use some things of the world to make church life more enjoyable. If not then perhaps we should get rid of our heat and air conditioning. :-)
I read recently where a "preacher" actually suggested that the feeding of the 5,000 was an effort by Christ to draw non-believers to Himself! Really? A cursory -- very cursory indeed -- reading of John 6 will make such a theory as shipwreck as the seeker sensitive techniques themselves.
Our Lord Jesus did, indeed, feed the 5,000 (v10b). Furthermore, there was a great response to this miracle: "This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world," they said (v14b) and they were going to forcibly make Him king. As a consequence, our Lord left them. Now, these folks weren't about to leave it be. Indeed, they followed Him all the way to Capernaum (v24).
What a perfect opportunity to draw all those seekers in! But Christ doesn't do that. Instead, He faults their motives (vv26-33). Even that does not deter them, however, they want in (v34). Jesus presses them, asserting His own purpose (vv35-59). This teaching was so problematic, in fact, that even His followers had issues with it (vv60-65).
Christ finally explicitly says, "No one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father" (v65b). "As a result of this," John then tells us, "many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore" (v66).
All manner of techniques may be employed by one group or another. With little understanding of the purpose of the church, they rest their success by counting noses. Such efforts are probably not to be unexpected in groups that draw their thinking from the world. What is far more worrying is the final destruction of the untaught and unstable who twist the Scriptures (2 Peter 3:16). How much worse will it be for those who teach! (Matthew 23:14; James 3:1)
As we are particularly in this time of year in remembrance of our Saviour's death and resurrection, let us remember Paul's admonition to pray for all men (1 Timothy 2:1-2). Let's petition our Lord to grant mercy and grace to such as these and the many who follow them. Further, let us ask that the Lord will grant that we rightly use the treasure of His Word to His glory (2 Peter 3:18).
Yes, In Luke 8:1-3, Dr. Luke identifies Mary Magdalene by name. However, in Luke 10:38-42, he identifies Martha's sister, also known as Mary of Bethany, as simply Mary. Given that Dr. Luke is known for his detail and precision, he would have identified her as Mary Magdalene if they were one and the same person.
I do not believe that the origins of holiday has much to do with how it is commemorated ages later. Nobody sees a Christmas tree in someone's home thinks, "Oh, that family must be Druid." :-)
Nonetheless, I have attached a response by R. C. Sproul, Jr. that might be of interest.
In Him, Doc
Question: "Should Christians celebrate eggs, bunny rabbits and candy with the risen Christ on Easter?"
Answer: "No, though it is possible that Christians ought to celebrate the risen Christ in and through colored eggs, chocolate bunny rabbits and candy. At least candy. Before we even begin to try to answer questions like these we need to be sure we are on solid ground on foundational issues. This particular application or that is less important than this bedrock commitment or that. The first principle here is that the resurrection of Jesus is something worth celebrating. This is why we celebrate it each and every Lordís Day. All of our lives should be marked by joy in light of this reality that changes everything.
"I would argue in turn that there is nothing wrong with devoting a particular Lordís Day to a particularly strong focus on this reality. It is true enough that the Bible does not command that the church set apart a solemn holy day each year to commemorate the resurrection. And it would be wrong for the church to impose such a thing. But there is nothing at all wrong with a service focusing on this event or that in the life and ministry of Jesus. Iím allowed, though not required, to preach from a resurrection text in the Spring, just as I am allowed, though not required to preach from texts regarding the birth of Christ in December.
"If we, either as a family, or as a church, do give peculiar attention to the resurrection of Christ in the Spring, it is fitting and proper that said attention should be marked by joy and feasting. We are not remembering a somber occasion, but the great definitive victory over the serpent, and the vindication of our Lord. This is why I suggest that candy may be perfectly fitting. It is a time to feast. We ought not let any concern over the way the rest of the world marks the day make us so reactionary that we are left being grumpy because they are having fun.
"What I would warn against, on the other hand, is an attempt to replace or fill in for the more secular versions of the worldís holidays. That is, I donít like the idea of Bible egg hunts or chocolate Reformers. One reason is that we donít want to take our cues from the world. The second is that our celebrations are genuine and purposeful, and so ought to shame theirs rather than mimic them. This, as we argued in a previous ask RC, is why we donít celebrate Halloween. We have something far more significant to celebrate in the Reformation. In like manner, though this may be picking at nits, we donít celebrate nor observe ďEasterĒ but rather we feast on Resurrection Sunday.
"Finally, remember this. While it could be argued that the birth of Christ is good news to all men, and thus it may be fitting that their celebration and ours has some overlap, the resurrection of Jesus is only darkness to those outside the kingdom. To join them in their ďcelebrationĒ is to be, in my estimation, unequally yoked, and to fail to love our enemies.
"To celebrate as we ought, on the other hand, is to recognize that the resurrection of Jesus has set us apart from the world. He will come again to judge both the living and the dead. For those found in Him, we will without shame or fear, rejoice to behold His appearing. They will cry out for the mountains to cover them. The difference is the resurrection." --R. C. Sproul, Jr (2012)
I can't speak for your pastor but if he is like every pastor I know he is faced with a two edged sword. How to make Resurrection Sunday special without commercializing it too much.
Easter egg hunts and basket giveaways attract non regular attenders to church, that gives opportunity to share the Resurrection Story with people that might otherwise never hear it.
What do you do? Stay high and holy and miss a world that might never hear the truth or offer a draw and take your best shot? Perhaps too blunt but I'm trying to contrast both edges of the two edged sword.
Easter is what we make of it. If we focus our thoughts on candy colored eggs, Easter bunnies and such we are feeding our flesh. If however we reflect on the cross, the blood and resurrection we are feeding our spirit.
Surely we can understand a little feeding of the flesh to see people become receptive to be spiritually feed.
Even Jesus feed the thousands so they would stay and have their spirits feed.
On Passover what saved the children of Israel? Was it not the blood of the chosen Passover lamb. Jesus the Passover Lamb chosen by God shed his blood to save us from death. Just as the Passover lamb saved those of first Passover.
One explanation that I read once on why they call it Easter is because it was not only during Passover week, but also near a pagan holiday that paid honor to the ancient Babylonian goddess of sensuality Ishtar. Easter is apparently supposed to be a variant spelling of the name Ishtar.
How true that explanation is, I don't know, but it is one that I've read in the past.