Posted on June 19th, 2013 by Austin Baker
“The vision of God’s holy love will deliver us from caricatures of him. We must picture him neither as an indulgent God who compromises his holiness in order to spare and spoil us, nor as a harsh, vindictive God who suppresses his love in order to crush and destroy us. How then can God express his holiness without consuming us, and his love without condoning our sins? How can God satisfy his holy love? How can he save us and satisfy himself simultaneously? We reply at this point only that, in order to satisfy himself, he sacrificed — indeed substituted — himself for us.
‘Beneath the cross of Jesus
I fain would take my stand –
The shadow of a mighty rock
Within a weary land…
O safe and happy shelter!
O refuge tried and sweet!
O trysting-place, where heaven’s love
And heaven’s justice meet!’”
–John Stott, The Cross of Christ, 132
Posted on June 19th, 2013 by Jonathan Lenning
Gaaliin of Sudan
Religion: Islam (91.00%)
What are their beliefs?
Like so many other Sudanese people groups, the Jaaliyin follow the Islamic faith, and are generally very committed Sunni Muslims. Only a small percentage of the Jaaliyin have been exposed to the Gospel in a positive way. This has mainly been accomplished through penetrations by Sudanese believers into the Jaaliyin areas. Churches comprised of Southern Sudanese members and evangelistic outreaches led by national Christian groups have helped reach the Jaaliyin. They are a people who are critical in reaching the whole of Sudan, for they are the pulse of the cities and a key stone in breaking through the Islamic grip that holds the nation of Sudan.
What are their needs?
They need education and to shun their out dated rituals such as child marriages etc. They need to be uplifted from their backwardness by incorporating policies such as of reservation for them in jobs and by teaching them the latest techniques in animal husbandry and agriculture. Efforts should be made to inspire them to leave their pastoral nomadic life by lending them material support they require.
- Ask the Lord to call people who are willing to go to Sudan and share Christ with the Gaalin.
- Pray for the effectiveness of the Jesus Film among these people.
- Ask God to use the few Gaalin believers to share Christ with their own people.
- Ask the Lord to raise up prayer teams who will begin breaking up the soil through intercession.
- Pray that God will open the hearts of Sudanese governmental and religious leaders to the Gospel.
- Ask the Lord to reveal Himself to these precious people through dreams and visions.
For more information, check out Joshua Project.
Posted on June 17th, 2013 by David Burnette
Three years after writing Radical, Pastor David Platt talks about how reactions to the book have been both encouraging and concerning. This is the first of a series of questions we’ve asked Pastor David related to Radical, Follow Me, and a number of related issues.
Stay tuned to hear more of this conversation in the days and weeks ahead, and to learn more about the Follow Me simulcast on August 14th at 6pm (EST).
Posted on June 17th, 2013 by Jonathan Lenning
In a brief statement released this past Saturday, Open Doors made clear their position on Israeli and Palestinian Christians. In a conflict consisting of bitter sentiments and deadly violence, Open Doors has chosen to be fully supportive of the Church on both sides of the ongoing battle in the Middle East.
“Open Doors is not against the Jews, nor are we for or against the Palestinians. We are for the Church in the Middle East, both Messianic congregations and Palestinian churches.” They go on to say that their organization “does not take sides, but rather, we support the Church wherever it is struggling for survival, and that certainly is the situation among the Palestinians and Messianic Jews.”
It’s a politically-charged issue that’s as complex as it is turbulent, and regardless of your position on what steps should or should not be taken by governments and militaries, one thing is certain: we must support the hurting Church on both sides of this conflict. As Open Doors put it, “An important part of strengthening the persecuted Church is involvement of the body of Christ living in the free world, which needs to pray for them and provide the resources required to assist their persecuted brethren.”
Open Doors’ support of both Israeli and Palestinian Christians is instructive for us as we seek to honor Christ in our love for his global Church. Let’s not be selective in our love and support of different members of the Body. To better inform your prayers, here is a recent Open Doors prayer update on some of the struggles facing Israeli believers as well as some ways you can pray for Palestinian believers in Gaza and the West Bank.
This post was originally published on the Secret Church blog. Be sure to check it out for info and updates about the persecuted Church as well as Secret Church gatherings.
Posted on June 17th, 2013 by David Burnette
“O God, the Author of all good, I come to thee for the grace another day will require for its duties and events. I step out into a wicked world, I carry about with me an evil heart, I know that without thee I can do nothing, that everything with which I shall be concerned, however harmless in itself, may prove an occasion of sin or folly, unless I am kept safe by thy power. Hold thou me up and I shall be safe.”
– “Morning Needs,” Valley of Vision, 218
“When I thought, ‘My foot slips,’
your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up.” (Psalm 94:18)
Posted on June 14th, 2013 by David Burnette
Beginning next week, we will be posting a series of videos in which Pastor David Platt answers questions about a number of issues related to Radical (his first book), Follow Me (his latest book), and a number of things in between. You can read his initial post from last week by going here.
In addition to these video interviews, we’ll posting some related sources in order to answer questions like, “What role does the church play in living radically?” and “Is living radically just another form of religious legalism?” We’ll also be letting you know more about the upcoming Follow Me simulcast on August 14 at 6pm (EST).
Stay tuned for a good discussion.
Posted on June 14th, 2013 by Cory Varden
1. Reflections on #SBC13 by Tim Brister: It’s been a while since I posted on Southern Baptist life. It is not that I have become uninterested in all things SBC but that my blog focus has focused mostly on the gospel and church-related issues. I’d like to offer a few personal reflections for what they’re worth as I know many others will be doing the same in the coming days.
2. Ten Things Every Christian Should Know About Islam by Zane Pratt: Islam is a fast-growing religion, especially in the Western world. Increasingly, Christians need to be aware of Islam and, most importantly, how to engage adherents with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Here are ten things I learned about Islam during my 20 years as a missionary in a Muslim-majority country that I think every Christian should know:
3. The Sufficiency of Scripture by Carl Trueman: The doctrine of the sufficiency of Scripture lies at the heart of what it means to be a Protestant. Protestantism and Roman Catholicism share much in common in terms of basic theology, such as a commitment to the doctrines of the Trinity and the Incarnation. When it comes to matters of authority, however, there are major divergences. One of these is on the matter of Scripture: is Scripture sufficient as an authority for the church or not?
Posted on June 13th, 2013 by Eric Parker
Pastor David, speaking at the recent Advance the Church conference, answers the question of whether or not we should be preaching the gospel in the church or to the world.
Posted on June 13th, 2013 by David Burnette
Is it a struggle for you to read and understand the Old Testament? You can be honest. Many of us say that the Old Testament is important because it’s in God’s Word, which is obviously true, but in reality we’re not very motivated to read it.
If that’s you, then consider going through the Survey of the Old Testament from Secret Church 1. Pastor David Platt gives an overview of every book in the Old Testament, as well as principles for how to interpret this sometimes intimidating portion of Scripture. Below you’ll find a excerpt taken from the opening section of this study.
Have you bought into one of these myths about the Old Testament?
- The Old Testament is insignificant. Many times we think this is just background material for the New Testament. Why would we want to pay attention to the first half of the game if we already know the result of the second half of the game? Why would we want to sit in the stands with a blocked view when you can already see on the field what unfolds in the New Testament? It is really not that significant for us in the 21st Century.
- The Old Testament is irrelevant. It contains a lot of things we don’t observe, things which don’t seem to relate to our lives anymore. There are a lot of people, even in Christianity, who say that the Old Testament is more for Israel and not for us. Let’s be honest, what relevance does an ancient animal-slaughtering religion that talks about God in a portable tent have for Christianity in the 21st Century? What does that really have to do with us? Have you ever read a passage in the Old Testament and just thought, “Why, Lord, did you decide to include that?”
- The Old Testament is inconsistent. It doesn’t make sense in light of the New Testament. This is where a lot of people disconnect the Old Testament from Christianity as a whole. They look at the Old Testament as a Jewish book. There are cults that use the Old Testament as well, such as Mormons. Even Muslims use parts of the Old Testament as part of their Scripture. The most commonly asked question is, “Why would the God of grace, love, mercy and compassion we see unfold in the New Testament, pour out judgment, wrath and punishment of sin in the Old Testament?” How do they go together? How do you explain the judgment that we see in the Old Testament, where entire nations are wiped out? How do you justify that with the God of love and grace and mercy? It seems inconsistent.
- The Old Testament is incomprehensible. What we basically think is that it is too cumbersome, or it is confusing and doesn’t make sense. It often leads us to boredom, apathy and neglect. It is just plain hard to understand. The books are large. They are filled with all kinds of history that many of us don’t know, as well as unpronounceable names that we never could begin to talk about. How do you really begin to understand this? It is overwhelming. It is long. It is tedious. We are a lot more familiar with the Gospels where we see Jesus. As a result, we use the Old Testament every once in a while in our quiet times, but the bulk of our faith is dependent on the New Testament. The Old Testament just doesn’t make sense.
The Central Message
Well, these are myths I hope will be dispelled by one central message: The Old Testament is invaluable. If we abandon the books of the Old Testament, then we abandon the revelation of God. More than that, we hinder our ability to understand the New Testament’s revelation of God. If we abandon the Old Testament, we will never get the picture that the New Testament is trying to teach us. The key to the New Testament is the Old Testament. There are at least 1600 direct quotations of the Old Testament in the New Testament, in addition to all kinds of allusions and references to it. If we don’t get what the Old Testament teaches, we will never get Christ. It is important for us to remember that the Lord of the universe who gave us this book does not waste words. He gave us this entire book for a reason. It doesn’t mean that it is not confusing or tedious or doesn’t make sense. I will go ahead and be honest; I am not going to be able to answer all the questions that come up in the Old Testament. My desire is for us to see an overall picture of what God is doing and why the Old Testament is so important.
Visit our Resource Library where you can find this and other Secret Church material. The audio and video downloads are free, as is the Study Guide that accompanies the teaching. You also have the option of purchasing DVD’s and hard copies of Study Guides through our online store.
Posted on June 12th, 2013 by Austin Baker
Joni Eareckson Tada grew up like most girls. Playing outside, running with friends and enjoying the carefree life of young girl filled her time. However, in 1967, she had an accident that left her a quadriplegic. Confined to a wheelchair the rest of her life, Tada has been an inspiration to many on what it looks like to suffer with the reality of resurrection in full focus. Let these words remind you of a day when all suffering, sickness, pain, and ultimately death, will be no more:
“I hope in some way I can take my wheelchair to heaven. With my new glorified body I will stand up on resurrected legs, and I will be next to the Lord Jesus. And I will feel those nail prints in his hands, and I will say, ‘Thank you, Jesus!’ He will know I mean it, because he will recognize me from my inner sanctum of sharing in the fellowship of his sufferings. He will see that I was one who identified with him in the sharing of his sufferings, so my gratitude will not be hollow. And then I will say, ‘Lord Jesus, do you see that wheelchair over there? Well, you were right. When you put me in it, it was a lot of trouble. But the weaker I was in that thing, the harder I leaned on you. And the harder I leaned on you, the stronger I discovered you to be. I do not think I would ever have known the glory of your grace were it not for the weakness of that wheelchair. So thank you, Lord Jesus, for that. Now, if you like, you can send that thing off to hell.’”
- Reaching the Unreached (69)
- Well Said (59)
- Voices from the Past (56)
- Featured Resource (51)
- Platt Excerpts (45)
- Videos (34)
- Interviews (24)
- Christmas/Advent (18)
- Pray for the Persecuted (17)
- Featured (15)
- Multiply (12)
- Current Events (12)
- Secret Church (11)
- Conferences (8)
- Uncategorized (6)
- Threads (6)
- About Radical (5)
- Follow Me (5)
- Biblical Insights (4)
- Black History Month (3)