Tens of thousands of people in the Metro Manila area and several provinces suffered in the onslaught of record rainfall from Storm Ketsana. God has encouraging words for them as well as those of us who were not affected much by the storm. Psalm 46 is one chapter that assures and quiets our souls, especially in times of great distress such as this.
When the focus of The Beatitudes becomes “you” instead of Christ and his kingdom, it merely becomes a moral lesson no different from all other religions that teach salvation by good works–helping the poor and those who grieve and are oppressed, being humble and honest, and promoting peace among people.
In 1 Peter 4:12-19, the apostle reminds us that as pilgrims in this fallen world, we are not to be surprised, we are not to be ashamed, and we are not to doubt God’s faithfulness when sufferings come. This was how believers throughout history endured unimaginable sufferings.
“The service was, in many ways, a multifaceted microcosm of a lot that is wrong with the church at large today. I remember sitting in the room and looking around at the earnest faces as they concentrated on the crashing waves, or empathized with the linguistic struggles of the spontaneous inclusive language guy, or were carried heavenward by the mellifluous tone of Mr G’s saxophone” – Carl Trueman
“Apart from election, no one will be saved because we are all totally depraved. Election compels evangelism. Election leads to holiness. Rejecting particular redemption leads to a confusion among the Persons of the Trinity in the work of salvation.” — Dr. Joel R. Beeke
“We are the generation that will see the end times… and the return of Jesus,” Hal Lindsey wrote in the 1980’s. Like all false prophets dating back 2,000 years ago, from Montanus (150) to Melchior Hoffman (1533) to William Miller (1843-4), all of the current false prophets believe that ours is the “terminal generation.”
In contrast to Philip Yancey’s three qualities of an “alive” and “healthy” church – diversity, unity and mission – are the three marks of a true church – gospel, sacraments, church discipline – set forth by the Protestant Reformers.