November 29, 2009

A Post for Atheists

God created everything

God owns everything

God explains everything

God judges everyone

God loves those sinners He chooses to save

God chooses who knows and experiences His salvation in Christ

The physical resurrection of Jesus from the dead is a fact

Genesis 1:1; John 1:1-3; Ephesians 1:4-7; Romans 9:16; 1 Corinthians 15:3-10

November 28, 2009

The World is not Worthy

a 23-year-old Christian, converted from Islam, that was killed earlier this month. He was reported to an Islamic militant group by a boy whom he had witnessed to. The statement of what happened to this brother is graphic:

"In an attempt to extract evidence against him and to gain information about other Somali Christians, the militants knocked out all of Yusuf's front teeth and broke several of his fingers. They then shot him twice in the head and discarded his body on an empty residential street."

...continue reading over at Thirsty Soul

November 22, 2009

Isaiah 61

Isaiah Chapter 61

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;

to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion-- to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified.

They shall build up the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations.

Strangers shall stand and tend your flocks; foreigners shall be your plowmen and vinedressers;
but you shall be called the priests of the LORD; they shall speak of you as the ministers of our God; you shall eat the wealth of the nations, and in their glory you shall boast.

Instead of your shame there shall be a double portion; instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their lot; therefore in their land they shall possess a double portion; they shall have everlasting joy.

For I the LORD love justice; I hate robbery and wrong; I will faithfully give them their recompense, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them. Their offspring shall be known among the nations, and their descendants in the midst of the peoples; all who see them shall acknowledge them, that they are an offspring the LORD has blessed.

I will greatly rejoice in the LORD; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to sprout up before all the nations.

November 21, 2009

Grace Abounding: Premillennial/Amillennial Calvinism - I'm still learning

I'm learning that the debate over the return of Christ and the meaning of the 1,000 year reign (Revelation 20:4,5,6) is not one that is easily resolved.

I've considered both amillennial views and premillennial views of calvinism, and can say that both make a strong case.

I would say that Kim Riddlebarger (one of the lead amillennial Calvinists) and John MacArthur (Calvinist in favor of dispensational premillennialism) both have a lot of good points they are making. However, I see that both have the tendency to argue from their presuppositions without carefully considering the other side. I guess I could be wrong, I am only now learning from their messages. They are smart guys, but even smart guys can be mistaken. So I'm listening with care.

Whichever view most accurately represents the return of Christ, I want to say this, that we must always reform our understanding according to the entire Bible and look forward with eager longing for the eternal reign of our King and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

May His name be praised as Christian brothers sharpen one another through such debate.

Grace to all in Jesus Christ our Lord!

November 19, 2009

Contemplating Premillennial Calvinism

For a long time I was sort of a mix of amil/premil eschatology, depending on what passage of Scripture I was reading at the moment. That was long before I knew what amillennialism or premillennialism were about. Now I have had to think the issues over a little more.

Recently, I have been contemplating premillennial calvinism. Especially Why Every Calvinist Should Be A Premillennialist by John McArthur.

No Condemnation - Romans 8:1

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1 ESV

(Some manuscripts add the end of verse 4 after this: "who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.")

It literally says from Greek: "None therefore now sentence of condemnation them in Christ Jesus", which could be translated, 

"Therefore, there is now no sentence of condemnation* for those in Christ Jesus."

*The word for condemnation (katakrima G2631) is legal and means to be judicially sentenced to condemnation, to receive the death penalty.

The word "therefore" indicates a conclusion drawn from what has already been taught in all the chapters before this, specifically that one is justified by faith in Christ Jesus apart from works of the law (Rom 3:28).

A man or woman who is united to Christ by faith is freely forgiven of all sin (Rom. 4:7-8), freely granted the perfect righteousness of God as a gift (Rom. 3:22,24; 4:5-6,24), and therefore it must be concluded that there cannot be any condemnation for them.

It is impossible to condemn one whom God has justified (Rom 8:33), and all who are united to Christ Jesus by faith (resulting in obedience from the heart) are completley justified and totally free from all condemnation (see Acts 13:39).

Praise be to our wonderful God!

Picture by Lee Tomassetti, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic 
Copyright 2009 All Rights Reserved

November 17, 2009

A Portrait of Jesus in the gospel of Mark, part 5

This is the 5th part in a series of short chapter summaries from the Gospel According to Mark.
Here are chapters 9 & 10:

9. About six days later, Jesus took three of his chosen students up to a mountain, and there they saw him transfigured so that his clothes shone bright with whiteness. They were terrified, and a cloud overshadowed them with a voice in it that said, "This is my beloved Son, listen to him." (Mark 9:7). After the vision, he charged them not to tell anyone, not until after he had risen from the dead. They came to a man who was in distress over his boy who was oppressed by a spirit, so that the boy was mute and convulsed. The man asked Jesus, "if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us." Jesus answered, "If you can! All things are possible for one who believes." Immediately the father cried out, "I believe; help my unbelief!" (Mark 9:22-24). Then Jesus healed the boy and commanded the spirit to never come back. Later, Jesus told his disciples again that he would be delivered into the hands of men and killed, and after three days he would rise from the dead. But they still did not understand him.

10. When questioned about divorce, Jesus reminded them of what God said in the beginning of creation, when He made a man and a woman for unity in marriage, so they should not be separated. He also welcomed little children, took them in his arms and blessed them. He taught that the kingdom of God must be received as a little child in order for anyone to enter in (since it is only by faith one is saved). A young man came to Jesus asking him, "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" (Mark 10:17). Jesus told the man that God alone is good, and he quoted the last five of the Ten Commandments. The man claimed to have kept them all, so Jesus looked at him with love and said, "You lack one thing; go, sell all you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." But since he was very wealthy, he left Jesus disheartened. Then Jesus taught how hard it is for rich people to be saved, so his followers asked if anyone could be saved. He told them it is impossible with men, but all things are possible with God, and promised a great reward for any who leave things they cherish to follow him. After this, he travelled toward Jerusalem, where he said he would be condemned to death, mocked, spit on, flogged and killed, but after 3 days would rise again. Jesus also corrected his students about those who desire to be great in his kingdom, teaching them to be the least and servants of all. He taught that he had come to serve and give his life as a ransom for many. Then he healed a blind man who called for mercy, and blessed him for his faith in Jesus as the "Son of David" (the one prophesied to be the Messiah or Christ).

November 14, 2009

Grace Abounding: Dominica Orphanage

During my trip to the Dominican Republic over a week ago, we visited this orphanage and school called Dominica.

The sad thing was that most of these kids were not really orphans but are the offspring of people who have had multiple sexual partners and/or use alcohol or drugs. It moved my heart to see the great needs these kids have, and not only them but their parents and people all around the world.

This made me think of the greatest need of all, the need for reconciliation and life with God through Jesus Christ His Son.

My brother, Lee, put together this video. He has posted this video, along with other video that he has and will be posting from our evangelism and missions at his You Tube channel called LiveBOLDLYforChrist.

November 12, 2009

Being Satisfied

As a single 26 year old Christian man, I am writing to my fellow single brothers and sisters in Christ about satisfaction with God's will in Christ Jesus our LORD.

Sometimes we can hear so much about what we "should" be doing, that we begin to think, "Oh no, not another reminder that I have to be satisfied with whatever God wants for my life, even if it is exactly what I dread."

But that is not the Biblical view of being satisfied with God's will. Biblically, God only gives to the wicked what they most fear and dread will happen to them (Prov. 10:24).

But to the righteous, God gives them the desires of their hearts, satisfies them with good things, renews them and fills them with joy (Psa. 34:9; 37:4; 81:16; 103:5 Prov. 10:24; Isa. 40:31; Rom. 14:17; 15:13).

This is His will for you in Christ: that you always rejoice, pray without ceasing, and give thanks in everything (1 Thes. 5:16-18).

If this is God's will for us, then why would we want anything different?

"Because what if God does not give me what I want," you might think.

But listen to me, if you know God's Son and you know the Father, and you know His great love for you, then how can you doubt that He wants anything but what is the best for you?

What it comes down to is this: are you satisfied with doing the will of God? His will is simple and clear: 1) always be joyful in Him, He loves you and is making you holy; 2) always pray, because God loves to answer the requests of His children in unexpected ways; and 3) always be thankful, because you are getting way more than you deserve and God is giving you good things to bless you.

If you are rejoicing in Christ, continuing in prayer and thankful in Christ, then you are doing God's will. You can be satisfied with that.

Whether we get married or not, live or die, have this or that, what matters is that we are doing the will of God in the midst of it. I believe that there is no other way for a married couple to not be disappointed with each other than for them to first be satisfied in Christ. There is no other way for singles to be who they are created to be than to first be satisfied in Christ.

I firmly believe that being content takes action. First let's be content with God's will for our lives, if we are saved it is always going to be good, even in hard times. Second, let's do what He commands us to do. This starts with loving Him and loving His people. Get out and work by visiting other Christians, be happy with the godly friends you have, help each other out more, out-do one another in showing honor to each other, do things to help the poor, encourage the downcast and build each other up in the faith, preach the gospel to the lost and visit the hospitals.

If you are a young man and you don't have the gift of celibacy, then get busy ordering your life and finding a wife for yourself. I know she is already getting tired of waiting for you to do something. Remember you can only pick one, so find the one you like and stick with her. Learn to be the kind of guy noble women are crazy about. Read the book of Proverbs as many times as you can in one year and by the grace of God practice it. Experience knowing Christ for real and be gentle, kind and gracious.

If you are a lady, then do all you can to encourage, support and help others out as you wait for that guy to finally do something. Babysit people's kids, learn to be a great cook, help your sisters out, delight in the Word of God, be self-controlled. Every relationship in your life matters. Remember, God knows what you need.

If you are doing these things already, then don't get tired of doing it. Keep in mind that God is blessing you and has great things in store. Maybe your future husband or future wife will see you doing these things and will be irresistibly attracted to you?

Maybe it won't matter to you if anyone sees you or not, because you know what it is to be saved by grace? You know what it is to be loved by God, to have His Son die and rise for your redemption, to be eternally, irresistibly and stubbornly loved in Christ Jesus, to receive His Holy Spirit and to have a future hope of an eternal inheritance. You will one day reign as kings in the Kingdom of our Lord.

If this is you, be happy and keep doing good. If not, then get alone, get silent, get on your knees, get your Bible open and plead to know this love of God through faith in Jesus Christ.

"Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint."
(Isaiah 40:30-31 ESV)

"Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain."
(1 Corinthians 15:58 ESV)

"Trust in the LORD and do good..."
(Psalm 37:3)

Hope this helps you out a little my friends,

Penn T.

(If you have anything you would like to add, comments or questions, please do.)

November 9, 2009

Grace Abounding: Back in the United States

By the grace of God I am home from my trip to Santo Domingo after a week of visiting and evangelism there.

I enjoyed being in the Dominican Republic for many reasons...

I am glad to be back in the U.S. for some also...

1. God's will
2. Fellowship with Christians
3. Spreading the gospel by proclaiming and sharing what God has said in Scripture (2 Timothy 3:15, 16, 17).
4. Time with family
5. Able to speak the language ;) lol
6. Work to do
7. (Last-but-not-least) the grace of God in my life

You can watch some video of the trip on my brother Lee's You Tube Channel, but keep in mind that there will be more video to come in the near future.

Looking to Jesus (Heb. 12:2),

- Penn T.

November 4, 2009

Grace Abounding: Estoy en Santo Domingo

I am in Santo Domingo (estoy en Santo Domingo), Dominican Republic, for the week. My pastor, brother and a fellow evangelist friend are here on a mission - to spread the glorious gospel of God's grace through His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

So far, it has been an amazing learning experience for us. The Dominican people are very warm people. Yesterday, we visited an huérfanato (orphanage) and spent most of the day learning about the needs and conditions of the orphanage/school and the community. We taught the older kids from the Bible, then later spent a lot of time playing with the little children (los niños).

Our evangelism experience has also been very good. Keep us in prayer as we continue to share the gospel with more people, spreading tracts, booklets and portions of the Bible in Spanish for the people of Santo Domingo to read.

Grace to all who love our great Lord and King!
- Penn