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The First Thing Missing in Today’s Evangelical Church

By Al Baker - Posted at Banner of Truth:

‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’
— Matthew 4:17

In what Biblical scholars call Jesus’ early Galilean ministry (beginning in Matthew 4:12), after his baptism by John and his temptation in the wilderness, Jesus began his ministry in Capernaum which was located on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee. Matthew cites the words of Isaiah who says that those who were dwelling in darkness have seen a great light (Isaiah 9:2)/ So from that beginning Jesus preached, heralded, proclaimed the truth. And what was the first word of his message? It was the word ‘repent’. Mark records the same thing in his gospel, ‘The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel,’ (Mark 1:15).

Which begs the question, what does the word ‘repent’ mean? The Greek word is metanoia which literally means a change of mind resulting in a change of behavior, speech, and values. Jesus uses the word repeatedly in the gospels. He says, ‘I came not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance,’ (Luke 5:32). He says that is Tyre and Sidon has seen his mighty works in their day, then they would have repented and avoided judgement (Matthew 11:21; Luke 10:13,14). In commenting on the demise of several men who perished in a construction accident when some were wondering if they were simply getting what they deserved, he said to them, ‘No, but unless you repent then you will likewise perish’ (Luke 13:3). Paul, in his Areopagus address, declares that all men everywhere must repent (Acts 17:30). Acts 11:8 speaks of repentance unto life. In Luke 16 in the story of the rich man and Lazarus, Jesus says that even if someone from hell could warn the rich man’s relatives of hell, they would still not repent. (Luke 16:30).


Previously Featured Posts

Bill Hybels Resigns from Willow Creek

By Bob Smietana - Posted at Christianity Today:
Former leaders have accused the church of failing to adequately address several allegations against Hybels, including inappropriate comments, private meetings with female staffers in his hotel room and at his home, intrusive hugs, and, in one case, an unwanted kiss.Megachurch pastor “accelerates” October retirement weeks after former colleagues went public with misconduct allegations.

Bill Hybels has stepped down as senior pastor of Willow Creek Community Church, the Chicago-area megachurch he founded over 40 years ago, citing the controversy over recent allegations against him.

Many in the wider Christian community have been confused by those allegations, he said, and the controversy has distracted his church’s leaders from their mission and has hurt the church’s ministries. “They can’t flourish to their fullest potential when the valuable time of our leaders is divided.”

Hybels, who previously planned to retire in October, revealed the…

The Gospel Is The Remedy For Racism

By Dr. R. Scott Clark - Posted at The Heidelblog:

Racism is sin. There can be no hedging or qualifying here. To regard another image bearer as inferior because of his ethnicity is sin and has no place in the church of Jesus Christ. God’s Word is clear about the only remedy for racism: the good news of Jesus Christ.
But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise. (Galatians 3:23–29; NASB). N…

Two Lessons from Two Radically Different Funerals

By Jordan Standridge - Posted at The Cripplegate:

Funerals are a gift from God. I know that sounds crazy, but they are a God-given tool to force us to reflect on the brevity of life, and how finite we are as human beings. I truly do believe that humans should attend as many funerals as possible during their lives, it is that good for your soul.

I have the privilege of attending two last Friday, and they could not have been more different from each other.

The first was of a believer. One of the sons (who is an elder at our church) gave the eulogy, and the other son, who is a Presbyterian pastor, gave the message. At least 100 people were there.

The second was of a non-believer. I had the privilege of giving the message at this one to a crowd of 10 people at the local funeral home.

I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the incredible difference between the two funerals. Both individuals were in their 80s, both had lived long lives full of experiences, and yet, the outcome of their fune…