CONTENDING FOR THE FAITH
Survey: More Than 1/3 of Senior Pastors Believe Being a ‘Good Person’ Can Earn You Salvation
September 7, 2022 — ChristianHeadlines.com reports: “According to a new survey by the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University, at least one-third of senior pastors across the United States believe that people can go to Heaven based on good works.
According to The Christian Post, the nationwide study found that at least one-third of senior pastors say that being a ‘good person’ can get you into Heaven.
Additionally, one-third or more of senior pastors surveyed believe that the Holy Spirit is ‘a symbol of God’s power’ rather than a ‘living entity,’ moral truth is subjective, and ‘sexual relations between two unmarried people who believe they love each other is morally acceptable.’
They also believe that socialism is preferable to capitalism, the Bible is ‘ambiguous’ when it comes to abortion and reincarnation is ‘a real possibility.’…” (Saved by our works? Let’s see what the Bible has to say: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast – Ephesians 2:8,9 [emphasis mine]. For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him. Thou meetest him that rejoiceth and worketh righteousness, those that remember thee in thy ways: behold, thou art wroth; for we have sinned: in those is continuance, and we shall be saved. But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities. But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand – Isaiah 64:4-8 [emphasis mine]. Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus – Philippians 3:4-14. For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin – Romans 4:2-8. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began – II Timothy 1:8,9 [emphasis mine]. If God has called us before the world began, how can our works have anything to do with it?)
Christian Photographer Beats City in Court: Won’t Be Forced to Work Same-Sex Weddings
September 1, 2022 — ChristianHeadlines.com reports: “The city of Louisville, Ky., cannot force a photographer to work at a same-sex wedding under a federal court ruling Tuesday that sided with a Christian businesswoman in her lawsuit opposing the application of a new ordinance.
Chelsey Nelson sued Louisville in 2019 and claimed its Fairness Ordinance – which bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity – would require her to photograph same-sex weddings, violating her First Amendment rights.
On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Benjamin Beaton sided with Nelson, who owns a studio, Chelsey Nelson Photography.
‘Although Louisville may require restaurants and hotels and stores to provide services regardless of the proprietors’ views or their customers’ legal status, the government may not force singers or writers or photographers to articulate messages they don’t support,’ Beaton wrote. ‘Because speech is categorically different under the federal Constitution, local laws must treat it differently, too. … However worthy and widely supported the government’s commitment to equal access and respectful speech, these are concerns the First Amendment resolves in favor of the dissenting speaker.’
Beaton’s decision does not overturn the Fairness Ordinance but prevents the city from enforcing it against Nelson’s business. The decision also allows Nelson to state on her website that her faith prohibits her from working at same-sex weddings. The text of the Fairness Ordinance bans such statements…” (In Acts 5, the high priest and the Sadducees arrested Peter and the Apostles and put them in prison. The Angel of the Lord opened the prison door to release them and told them to Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life [Acts 5:20]. The captain and his officers brought them back before the council who stated: …Did we not straitly command you that ye should not teach in his name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us. Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than man [Acts 5:28, 29]. After a long discussion, we read in verses 40 – 42: when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ. Throughout the ages there have been those who have followed this example, obeying God rather than man, and many have paid the price for it. In Hebrews 11 we have the “Hall of Fame of Faith” and it lists many that were delivered by their faith, but is also says: …others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. Hebrews 11:35 – 38. God’s promise to His people – Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. – Revelation 2:10.)
Franklin Graham Preaches the Gospel to over 17,000 in First-Ever Evangelistic Event in Mongolia
September 15, 2022 — ChristianHeadlines.com reports: “Hundreds of people surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ after evangelist Franklin Graham preached the Gospel to them during a special evangelistic event in Mongolia last weekend.
‘Are you broken in your spirit? Are you spiritually empty? Have you wasted your life? Will you come to Him?’ Graham, the president of Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, told the crowd. ‘You need Jesus Christ— He is the only way to God.
According to CBN News, the free two-night event, ‘Festival of Joy,’ was held in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar, where more than 17,300 people attended. The event also highlighted Mongolian culture through music and the arts.
The idea for the evangelistic event goes back about 20 years when Mongolian leaders began praying that BGEA would hold an outreach in their country.
Over 250 Mongolian local churches worked together to bring about the ‘Festival of Joy,’ which was the first time that the local church in Mongolia had held an event of this magnitude…” (But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth – Acts 1:8. That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! – Romans 10:9-14. God bless Franklin Graham for proclaiming the Gospel.)