The world is not in an endless, meaningless spin, but is swiftly moving to an end. Though “creation was subjected to futility,” or meaninglessness or vanity, it will be "set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.”
From out of the Pharaoh's wicked scheme to destroy all Hebrew babies came Moses, the redeemer of Israel. Out of the remnant from Babylon, God brought Joseph and Mary to be the earthly parents of the Messiah. Out of Herod's wicked plan came the baby Savior, the event Matthew described as, "out of Egypt I called my son."
Baptism is not a Christian's public profession of his own decision to believe in Christ (a truly Arminian idea), but the sign and seal of Christ's own work of washing of a sinner to save him.
To thousands of new Jewish converts to Christianity, this was the meaning of believers-only baptism: as soon as they believed in Christ, their children, formerly members of God's own treasured people, now have become unclean, detestable pagans, cut off from God's covenant promises. And not one of them dared question the apostles; they just sheepishly accepted this horrific fact.
In most Good Friday sermons, it is often preached that in this first saying, Christ is modeling forgiveness among the brethren in the church. But is this what Christ meant when he prayed this first word while he hung on the cross?
A husband promises to love and to cherish his wife, but would he keep this promise if his wife was unfaithful? Not so with Christ, who, like Hosea, kept his promise, even to an adulterous Bride: he â€œloved the church and gave himself up for her.â€
â€œThink positively, because I'm here to talk with you and walk with you along life's narrow way. Give me all your tears of sadness and all your years of pain, and youâ€™ll enter into life in my name. By being strong-willed, you will be able to overcome the obstacles of a long and winding, dry and hot desert road and arrive at your blessed assurance. Now you can testify that I'm alive because I live within your heart. Then, because I'm a loving and healing Bro, you can be happy and blest, praising your Savior all the day long."
In many evangelical churches, pastors invite unbelievers to become Christians so that they may reap material blessings from God. Very few call on the congregation to listen to the voice of God and to seek after righteousness given by Christ.
For many, being born again means that they walked to the front, raised their hands, prayed the â€œsinnerâ€™s prayer,â€ signed a commitment card, or shed buckets of a sinnerâ€™s tears. But is this really how a person is â€œborn againâ€?
Jesus told the Pharisees that God will evict the Jews, the old tenants, and bring in new tenants into the vineyard. The Jews perceived what Jesus meant: God will take the kingdom away from the Jews as his chosen people, and his new kingdom will now be expanded to include the Gentile nations.
For Pastor Ruben Malabuyo, the most important day in his whole life was always the Lord's Day. He trained his eight children to prepare every Saturday all things needed for the Lord's Day worship services: clothes, time, and even lunch for the Lord's Day.
Do not fear when others proclaim the end of the world is near, because of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in Japan and the war in Libya. All of these are part of God's unshakable plan for the eventual redemption of his elect from sin, death, and Satan. As David says, â€œI shall not be shakenâ€ because the Lord â€œgives me counsel â€¦ [and] he is at my right handâ€ (Psa 16:7-8).