DefCon reaches 2 million visits.

On December 31, 2011, at approximately 10:00 pm (EST), DefCon received its two-millionth hit.

In the four years and four months that this blog has been active, we’ve published 3,768 posts (counting this one) and accumulated 22,220 comments.

I wanted to thank our writers as well as our many loyal readers, some of whom have been with us for years and some of which are newcomers. I am truly grateful for all that the writers and commenters have contributed to this work, and I am thankful that God has allowed us to do this for so long.

Thank you all, and Happy New year.

- Pilgrim

Sermon of the week: “Why We Believe and Others Reject” by John MacArthur

Your sermon of the week by John MacArthur explains Why We Believe and Others Reject.

As a side note, the day that DefCon posts its sermons of the week will change this week. Our sermons of the week will no longer post on Thursday mornings but will now post on Sunday mornings beginning this Sunday, January 1st.

The Context of the Law

For the first time in my ministry, I have been studying in some depth the Ten Commandments. This has been a most profitable study in my own heart and life. I have been encouraged to share my notes, and while it is not the same as the message, I pray that someone might gain some profit from what is written. Lord willing, I will seek to share my notes on each message over the coming weeks. Please note these are the sermon notes I worked from, and do not contain the complete text of what I shared in the ministry of the Word.

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“The Context of the Law”

Text: Exodus 20:1-17, “And God spake all these words, saying, 2I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 4Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 5Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 6And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. 7Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. 8Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 10But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 11For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.12Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. 13Thou shalt not kill. 14Thou shalt not commit adultery. 15Thou shalt not steal. 16Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. 17Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.”

Intro: Our introduction to the Decalogue began by considering seven main points. We looked at their 1) Appearance summed up the law as the two great commands given by Christ, namely, a) Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind, and b) Love your neighbor as yourself. With 2) Access we can understand that all are guilty because the law is written on the heart of mankind. 3) Authority tells us that God is the Giver and Fulfiller of the law. 4) Ability of the law is devastating in that it can only bring condemnation and separation from the holy, righteous God of heaven. 5) Assurance comes from the precious passage found in Psalm 19 and describes the perfect law of God. 6) Adversary of the law pointed directly to Satan. And 7) Acceptance of the law for a believer helps us love what provides protection. The main aspect we learned is that in order to live a life pleasing to the Lord we must learn to adore what God adores. He has given the law and it is in this law that we are to meditate day and night.

As with the purpose of every one of the 1189 chapters in God’s Word, the 20th chapter of Exodus is for the purpose of focusing on God. We do not need a chapter to show us how bad we are. Our depravity is always evident and even after salvation, the flesh can choose at times to revolt and bring dishonor to a holy God. This can and will result in discipline if the correction from God’s Word and the Holy Spirit do not bring changes to our heart and life.

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Great Heresies – and the Worldviews that Spawn Them

1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.” – 2 Peter 2:1-3

Lack of clear thinking – which is impossible for the unregenerate mind – will lead one to hold to an unbiblical worldview.

And the five major heresies that have been around since man grew too big for his britches keep popping up with different clothes on the same old bag of lies from Satan.3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. 5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. 10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. 11 For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 12 Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have.” 2 Peter 1:3-12

Quotes (921)

Does any Christian reader imagine for a moment that when he or she shall stand before their holy Lord, that they will regret having lived “too strictly” on earth? Is there the slightest danger of His reproving any of His own because they were “too extreme” in “abstaining from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul” (1 Peter 2:11)? We may gain the good will and good works of worldly religionists today, by our compromising on “little points,” but shall we receive His smile and approval on that day? Oh to be more concerned about what He thinks, and less concerned about what perishing mortals think.

- A.W. Pink

1886 – 1952

Quotes (920)

We speak with disdain of politicians not limiting their spending to available revenues. But our national  debt is an extension of the same irresponsible mentality many of us demonstrate in our own lives. Home mortgages, auto loans, and credit cards all seem normal to us . . . . We drive our bank-financed cars, running on credit card gas, to open a department store charge account so we can fill our savings and loan-funded homes with installment-purchased furniture. We’re living a lie and hocking the future to finance it.

- Randy Alcorn