It’s Friday But Sunday’s comin’ by S.M. Lockridge

It’s Friday
Jesus is praying
Peter’s a sleeping
Judas is betraying
But Sunday’s comin’

It’s Friday
Pilate’s struggling
The council is conspiring
The crowd is vilifying
They don’t even know
That Sunday’s comin’

It’s Friday
The disciples are running
Like sheep without a shepherd
Mary’s crying
Peter is denying
But they don’t know
That Sunday’s a comin’

It’s Friday
The Romans beat my Jesus
They robe him in scarlet
They crown him with thorns
But they don’t know
That Sunday’s comin’

It’s Friday
See Jesus walking to Calvary
His blood dripping
His body stumbling
And his spirit’s burdened
But you see, it’s only Friday
Sunday’s comin’

It’s Friday
The world’s winning
People are sinning
And evil’s grinning

It’s Friday
The soldiers nail my Savior’s hands
To the cross
They nail my Savior’s feet
To the cross
And then they raise him up
Next to criminals

It’s Friday
But let me tell you something
Sunday’s comin’

It’s Friday
The disciples are questioning
What has happened to their King
And the Pharisees are celebrating
That their scheming
Has been achieved
But they don’t know
It’s only Friday
Sunday’s comin’

It’s Friday
He’s hanging on the cross
Feeling forsaken by his Father
Left alone and dying
Can nobody save him?
Ooooh
It’s Friday
But Sunday’s comin’

It’s Friday
The earth trembles
The sky grows dark
My King yields his spirit

It’s Friday
Hope is lost
Death has won
Sin has conquered
and Satan’s just a laughin’

It’s Friday
Jesus is buried
A soldier stands guard
And a rock is rolled into place

But it’s Friday
It is only Friday
Sunday is a comin’!

Re-blogged from Justin Taylor over at the The Gospel Coalition

Do Christians, Jews and Muslims Worship the Same God?

Do Christians, Jews, and Muslims all worship the same God? One doesn’t have to venture far to hear the claim that they do, but is that claim correct? The content of this essay will take a look at this claim from a Christian and Biblical perspective. Since words do have meanings, this essay will examine the use of the word ‘worship’, and also other questions that go along with the original question stated above. An ultimate answer of the negative or affirmative will be stated below.

What is worship? Merriam-Webster in his dictionary writes that worship means to honor or respect. He also connect with worship with love for a god. When the Bible refers to worship it refers to bowing down one’s desires before another. Jesus said that true worshipers must worship God in Spirit and in truth. All of these definitions of worship work well together. What must be understood is that when worship is done towards a god, the god himself or herself is the one whom defines what worship is and looks like. It would make no sense to say that a person worships a god when that person does the opposite of what the god wishes. That would be insulting to the god, not worship. Since true worship is always honoring a god on their terms, contradictory forms of honor cannot both be true worship towards the same god.

Is it possible for someone to worship a god that they do not claim as their god? This may seem like a different question, but the answer needs to be teased out to answer the original question. This question is answered by Jesus’ words. Jesus once confronted some people who claimed to worship the God of Abraham. Jesus though did not say they worshiped the God of Abraham, but that they worshiped the devil. It is clear Jesus thought that one very well could be worshiping a god that the one did not claim to be. Jesus’ thought perfectly aligns with the conclusion anyone would come to in a similar situation. He was confronting a group of people who worshiped in a contradictory way in which he did. Since worship is done on a god’s terms, both forms of worship could not have been received by the same god. A god who would receive contradictory forms of worship would be trivial and unstable.

Many people claim that all three of these religions really do worship the same god. It should be noted that most of the adherents to the Islamic, Christian, and Jewish religions would not say that they worship the same god. Most adamantly deny it that claim .But even if the three religions did make that claim, that claim would be unsubstantiated. There would be no basis for that claim since these three religions worship in contradictory ways. With observation it can easily be seen that the three religions worship in different ways, the easy conclusion is that they are in fact not worshiping the same god on that god’s terms.

The Christian religion also has a different understanding of who God really is. The Christian religion worships a triune God, commonly referred to as the trinity. More specifically, Christians believe that Jesus was God in the flash, known as the doctrine of incarnation. Islam fundamentally opposes that nature of God. Islam teaches that there is only one god and deny that Jesus had any divinity. They abhor the idea of a trinity. To place Islam in the same faith as Christianity is non-sense because it came hundreds of years after Christianity. Judaism also denies the incarnation of Jesus. The rejection of Jesus actually caused the adherents to the Judaic faith to put to death Jesus. The Christians at the same time period, rather than put to death, believed in Jesus that He was God incarnate and followed Him. This is a fundamental difference between followers of the Christian faith and the followers of Judaism. The followers of Judaism reject that Jesus is the messiah and reject God by doing that.

Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are three separate religions. It has been established that they understand the nature of their gods differently and have oppositional ways of honoring their gods. Service and worship are always done it accordance to the will of the person being served. All three do share an attempt to worship a higher being. In their effort to do so, all three of these religions worship and serve a different god.

Subsequence of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit

One Area Where John Piper and I Agree: Subsequence of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

This short blog post was written by Roger E. Olson. It talks a little bit about the history of the baptism of the Holy Spirit and also what it is. Click the link above and read, you won’t regret it.

One of the Most Important Lesson’s I’ve Learned About Church Order

markblock:

Here is an interesting and helpful post on dealing with demon possession and casting out devils.

Originally posted on beholdtheSon.org:

It was June, 1999 at a youth camp in Tennessee where I learned one of the most important lessons on church order.  My wife and I were counselors, she a Team Captain and I a teacher.  For some reason, we had an enormous amount of rebellious activities from the teenagers that week.  It was just issue after issue we dealt with, very emotionally draining. Kids were talking back, bringing drugs and other paraphernalia, general restlessness.  God was doing some amazing things, but it was like running underwater, you made progress but every movement was laborious.

On Wednesday evening during the alter call, the students had brought their piles of filthy CD’s, alcohol, needles (seriously!), and other junk, to the front to be rejected and repented of totally in the presence of God.  Just as we begin to pray, we heard a sudden onset of hellacious screaming.  The young man was quite…

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Background and Content for Hebrews 12:1-2

The two verses in the beginning of chapter twelve of Hebrews are a favorite to many Bible readers and scholars. Sometimes when things become a favorite, they are twisted and often misunderstood. This paper examines what was happening at the time the letter was wrote and interacts with the background and context. It also looks at the grammar and the content within this certain passage of scripture. As with all things that become familiar, there is a need to re-examine certain ideas that become engrained in the mind.

Much ignorance surrounds the background information regarding the recipients of this letter as well as the author of this letter. What is known about this Letter, and especially Hebrews 12:1-2, is that it has been an encouragement to many Christians and is full of deep doctrine and theology. Below, in the first section, an attempt is made to show what is known about the background and context of this letter. Since little is known church leaders should not be overly dogmatic over their views and hold to them too tightly.

The writer of this letter is a mystery. Historically, many people have been credited for writing it: Paul, Barnabas, Luke, Clement of Rome, Philip, Priscilla, and Jude.(Hubbard) No name is assigned to the author in this paper. The historical audience of this letter is also mysterious. It is likely that the audience was near Rome or familiar with the happenings of Rome. From the letter it can be deduced that, “Wherever the readers are located, they resonate with the intensely Greek rhetoric and interpretation of Judaism that come naturally to this author.(Keener)” The recipients had to have been familiar with the Old Testament to understand the content of the letter. The Letter to the Hebrews was most likely written in between 60 and 70 A.D.(Keener) Lastly, is can be understood that the audience of this letter was probably familiar with persecution because of their open faith in Christ, especially the theft of their property.(Heb. 10:4)

Hebrews 12:1-2 encourages the recipients of the letter to lay aside sin and endure the race while keeping their eyes upon Jesus. The two verses read, “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Chapter 12 begins with the word “therefore.” As the old and popular saying goes, “If you see the word therefore, look and see what it’s there for.” The Author’s implementation of the word “therefore” intentionally ties what is about to be said in with what was said in the previous verses, and in this case, section. Chapter Eleven, commonly called the “Faith Hall of Fame,” spends a fair amount of space dealing with people in the Old Testament who had great faith. More specifically, the people of great faith mentioned endured various adversities. It is at the beginning of chapter twelve that the writer shifts his focus from “historical recital to pastoral exhortation.” With the shift from recital to exhortation, the author also changes his word usage and begins to use the word “we” and “us.” The “we” and “us” that the writer is referring to is a Christian believer. A non-Christian would not be in the race. (MacArthur)

By using the words, “Therefore we also,” the author is bridging the gap between the historical people of great faith and the audience of faith filled believers to whom he was writing. The writer also “Challenges this community to recognize themselves as part of the great host called to live by faith.(Guthrie)” It is only after reading the previous section that the reader can understand who the witnesses are that the author mentions.

The author of Hebrews uses the metaphor of a race to help the recipients better understand the Christian life. The race metaphor would have been familiar for the audience of the letter.(Keener) The race in question is also to be understood as a long distance race, not a short sprint, since there is a repeated call for endurance in this race. Not only is there a race but there are runners in the race. Runners, it is assumed, are to be trained and prepared for a long distance race. An untrained and out of shape runner could in by no means complete a long distance race, let alone win one in a competition. As with most races, there are also various types of witnesses.
The cloud of witnesses is a direct reference back to the people mentioned in chapter eleven as well as all who have gone before and lived by faith. George Guthrie gives a good explanation as to of what nature these witnesses are and were:

“Some, in light of the race imagery, have understood this confession to mean that the countless thousands of God’s faithful throughout the ages now sit in the ‘stands’ of eternity, observing Christians as they seek to live for Christ in the world. The words ‘witness’ (martys) certainly can carry the meaning ‘spectators,’ as in 1 Timothy 6:12, and ‘surrounded’ (perikeimenom) brings to mind the ancient amphitheater with its tiered rows of seats. However, the author intends more from this image than to conjure the faithful of the ages as passive spectators. Rather, they are witnesses in the sense that they bear witness to the Christian community of God’s faithfulness and to the effectiveness of faith.”(Guthrie)

With the focus being on God’s faithfulness and effectiveness of the faith, shown in the examples given in chapter eleven, the writer seeks to motivate the recipients of the letter.

The author seeks to elicit in the readers the type of motivation that would cause them to lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares, and to endure the race. Building off the race imagery, the removing of weights would bring to the mind of these readers the thoughts of removing excess clothing so that they could run uninhibited.(Keener) Some of these weights may not even be inherently sinful, but rather something that can distract or become a hindrance.(Bruce) The author also does not interrupt his discourse to mention specific sins that need to be laid aside, but rather he includes all sin by using the word sin. All sin is to be understood as hindering a person from running a race with endurance.

Endurance is a key word and topic throughout this section in the Letter to the Hebrews. The writer mentions endurance in three consecutive verses and once more. (vv. 1-3,7) The purpose of laying aside the weights and sin is so that the runner can run with endurance. When running a long distance race, even runners today do not wear bulky boots or a sweater. Runners today, as with the runners in this historical context, wear only what is necessary. Without endurance, the race a Christian is on will never be completed.

After establishing the Old Testament witnesses and other witnesses, the writer of Hebrews brings up the ultimate witness; Jesus. Jesus fits both uses of the word witness; He is both watching the Christian run the race and a witness to God’s faithfulness. In the context of the race, the runner is to keep his or her eyes upon Jesus. The runner is not to be looking at the pathway or looking behind him, but looking solely at Jesus. Jesus is the only person or thing deserving the attention of the eyes. The Christian is not to look at themselves or other people running but to Jesus.

It is by Jesus’ example that the Christian is to run the race. Jesus ran the race perfectly. By using the words “author and finisher of our faith,” the writer is stating that Jesus completely accomplished everything necessary for the new covenant faith to become real.(Guthrie) The full accomplishment took place when Jesus died on the cross as a sacrifice. Jesus did not die the atoning sacrifice kicking and screaming, but rather, saw the results that it would bring and did it out of joy. The death was not a pleasant experience. The writer records that Jesus endured the cross and despised the shame. In both Roman and Jewish culture, a death on a cross was considered shameful.(Keener) The Romans used the cross as an execution instrument, especially for criminals and slaves. The Jews pointed back to the Scriptures where it was written, “His body shall not remain overnight on the tree, but you shall surely bury him that day, so that you do not defile the land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance; for he who is hanged is accursed of God.” (Deut. 21:23)

The writer of Hebrews wants to draw upon Jesus’ endurance as to why the Christian can have endurance. The author, by using “The simple personal name ‘Jesus’ shows that the accent is upon his humanity, and especially his endurance of pain, humiliation, and disgrace of the cross.” Since Jesus endured, so can any Christian in his own race. Jesus was the finisher of the faith by overcoming the death on the cross and rising again, hence why the author included that Jesus sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Jesus endured the momentary shame but that was nothing compared to His exaltation to the right hand of God. Note that the author regularly makes slight references and parallels back to Psalm 110 within the Book of Hebrews; the same is done here. The writer is once again calling his audience to look past the momentary trials and circumstances and look to the rewards, just as Jesus did.

The application of these two verses in Hebrews to the church today is great. As the last days draw nearer and many throughout the world are beginning to experience increased persecution, this verse can be a challenge and a comfort. Like the recipients of the letter to the Hebrews, Christians today can also recognize and see that witnesses abound and surround. Like the people receiving the letter, Christians today can look at God’s faithfulness to the believers who have gone before. Christians today can look at the examples set in the Scriptures but also look at the believers who have endured similar persecution after the canon of Scripture closed. There is a need for endurance today as much as there was at the time of the letter. All Christians throughout time have a race to run. There is also a need for all believers to strip themselves of unnecessary hindrances to finishing the race. Ultimately, the Christian should keep his or her eyes upon Jesus, who set the perfect example and enabled everyone to complete the race.

Pastors and preachers today can call with conviction upon listeners to prepare to run and to run the race every Christian is set to run. This would be a great passage for teachers, preachers, and church leaders to connect the local church to the universal church while at the same time connecting it with the historical church. Christians must remember there are examples to look toward in the Bible. This is also an opportunity to get Christians interested in reading God’s Word. It is stories like these than captivate the mind of the believer. The church can learn from the examples set and receive motivation.

Like the people in the faith hall of fame, and especially Jesus, Christians today need to look to the faithfulness and the promises of God. F.F. Bruce stated it well,

“’The joy set before him’ is not something for himself alone, but something to be shared with those for whom he died as sacrifice and lives as high priest. The throne of God, to which he has been exalted, is the place to which he has gone as his people’s forerunner. That is the goal of the pathway of faith; the pioneer has reached it first, but others who triumph in the same contest will share it with him.”(Bruce)

Every person apart of the church of God has the hope of sitting on the throne with Christ.(Rev. 3:21) Preachers much preach that there is a promise of God and that Christians too can run this race with joy, knowing that there are better things to come.

In conclusion, the background, context, content, and application of this passage were examined. These factors should always be looked at when interpreting a biblical passage. There is throughout this passage of scripture a call to endure. The main idea presented in this paper is that these two verses call for people to endure the race before them by laying aside sin and most of looking unto Jesus.

Bibliography
Bruce, F F. The Epistle to the Hebrews. Rev. ed. The New International Commentary On             the New Testament. Grand Rapids, Mich.: W.B. Eerdmans, ©1990.

Guthrie, George H. Hebrews. The Niv Application Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI:                         Zondervan, ©1998.

Hubbard, David Allan, and Glenn W. Barker. Word Biblical Commentary. Vol. 13, Word                 Biblical Commentary. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson. 2011-, n.d.

Keener, Craig S. The Ivp Bible Background Commentary: New Testament. Downers                     Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, ©1993.

Lane, William L. Word Biblical Commentary. Vol. 47b, Hebrews 9-13. Nashville, TN:                     Thomas Nelson, 1991.

MacArthur, John. Hebrews. The Macarthur New Testament Commentary. Chicago: Moody            Press, ©1983.

Music Monday: “I Wouldn’t Take Nothing for my Journey Now”

The song this week is a fun one and an old one. If you can get over the double negatives in the lyrics, you might just enjoy the song. This song elicits fond memories for me. I heard the song for the first time a while back at the church I attend, sung beautifully by three people. Enjoy this short old song. Watch and listen below.

 I Wouldn’t Take Nothing For My Journey Now by The Happy Goodmans

Kingdom of God: Rescuing Children from Satan’s Power

Children are not exempt from the casualties in war. The war I am talking about is the war that Satan started in his revolt against God’s and His authority. This post will examine treatment of children in the two opposing kingdoms; the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan.

Contrary to what we like to think, children are not exempt from the oppression and possession of evil spirits. To get a perfect look at how Satan treats children, we can take a look at a passage of Scripture in the Gospel of Mark.

“When He (Jesus) came to the disciples, He saw a great multitude around them, and scribes disputing with them. Immediately, when they saw Him, all the people were greatly amazed, and running to Him greeted Him. And He asked the scribes, ‘What are you discussing with them?’ Then one of the crowd answered and said, ‘Teacher, I brought You my son, who has a mute spirit. And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast it out, but they could not.’ He answered him and said, “O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me.” Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth. So He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him.” (Mark 9:14-22) NKJV

Satan does not exempt children from the lives he seeks to devour and destroy. (1 Peter 5:8) Under the stronghold of Satan’s kingdom the very life of this child was being attacked. This boy was driven to attempted suicide, sickness, muteness, and torment. Satan wanted this child dead. Satan is a thief and a liar, we know that he comes to steal, kill, and to destroy. (John 10:10) He intended for all three of these things to happen to the young boy. It should also be noted that the unclean spirit tormented the boy even from the time of childhood.

What was Jesus’ response to this situation? Jesus did not question the father of the boy to find out if the father or the boy had sinned. Jesus did not even condemn the boy. What did He do? Jesus commanded the spirit to leave and not return. (Mark 9:25) We can see from this story and historical event that the kingdom of Satan and the kingdom of God are in stark opposition. There is no room in the kingdom of God for possessed or oppressed children. Jesus came to set all children free who are the casualty of Satan’s revolt. Jesus shows His power and authority over the kingdom of Satan.

Jesus welcomes children into His kingdom. When some of Jesus’ disciples attempted to stop people from bringing kids to Him, Jesus became indignant. Rather than seeking to destroy children, Jesus uses children as an example of who will inherit the kingdom of God; “When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” (Mark 10:13-15)

This post gave us a glance at how children are treated differently in each of the two kingdoms. A forthcoming post will explain how Christians should fight to protect children from Satan’s kingdom and how to bring about healing.

Millennials and the false ‘gospel of nice’

Originally posted on CNN Belief Blog:

Opinion by Daniel Darling , special to CNN

(CNN) – Perhaps you’ve heard that there is trouble brewing among evangelicals.

Younger Christians are weary of pitched cultural battles and are longing for the “real Jesus” – a Jesus who talks more about washing feet and feeding the poor than flashpoint issues like same-sex marriage and the sanctity of life.

If key evangelical influencers don’t listen, we are told, they are about to lose the entire millennial generation. Or, maybe that generation is already gone.

This story has been told with testimonials, chronicled in best-selling books and posted on popular blogs.

Here’s the short version: If only orthodox evangelical leaders would give up their antiquated beliefs, get more in step with the real Jesus, the church and the world would be better off.

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Music Monday:”My Lighthouse”

This song is upbeat and a great song for the warmer weather. (At least that’s how I reason it out in my mind.) This song causes the listener to call to mind that Christ is a solid rock and a constant help. Not only does it involve metaphors that we could imagine being in the psalms, but the song also pushes us towards action. Since we have that constant help and light that will lead the way, let’s do something. That something, in my mind, is to live out the ramifications of the gospel and also share the gospel. Take a listen below.

My Lighthouse by Rend Collective