The two hardest words for a Christian to say.

Anyone who’s been around the church for any length of time will no doubt be able to recall a time when they were hurt by a fellow Christian. It’s not something that we ever expect to happen among those that are called to love even their enemies, but when we’re dealing with fallen human beings it is inevitable.

But what’s more troubling is that there seems to be a vital component in human relationships today that is utterly lost, and sadly, it’s even missing from those relationships within the Body of Christ. What I am speaking of is our inability and unwillingness to say the two hardest words in the human language: “I’m sorry.”

It’s amazing when you think of it. “I’m sorry” struggles violently to be liberated from our mouths while almost anything and everything else we say flows off our tongues without any restraint whatsoever (and is often the impetus behind many of our reasons we need to say sorry).

We are quick to displace blame, justify our actions, or simply ignore the hurt that we’ve caused another, but consider how much progress could be made in our relationships if we would simply bring ourselves to sincerely utter those two humbling words. And oh, how the gospel of Jesus Christ would be beautifully displayed.

The refusal to admit wrong is a burden that both parties have to bear. The wrongdoer for their wrong that has gone unconfessed, and the one wronged who now struggles to remain forgiving toward the wrongdoer and fights vigilantly to prevent animosity and bitterness from taking root in their hearts against the wrongdoer for not only the wrong, but also for the wrongdoer’s refusal to simply say that they’re sorry.

The wrongdoer may be able to sear their conscience enough to move on after the incident as if nothing happened, but the one wronged has to not only forgive the one who wronged them, but will spend a lot of time guarding themselves from the bitterness and resentment that will be ever-creeping at the door of their heart because the one at fault simply will not say, “I’m sorry.”

Ingrid Schlueter wrote a poignant piece on this very subject entitled I’m Sorry. Here’s an excerpt from her blog article (which I highly recommend):

“The words ‘I’m sorry’ when said honestly are the most healing in the human language. It seems sometimes like I spend an inordinate amount of time having to use those words for one reason or another. But I’m not sorry about that. Relations among professing Christians are in a shameful state because so few can bring themselves to say it and mean it. So unresolved issues lie there like rotting corpses, bringing a spiritual stumbling block to the offended, and a hindrance between God and the unrepentant offender.”

Is there someone you have offended or hurt (it does not matter whether they are a fellow believer or not) that you still have not told that you’re sorry or asked forgiveness of? If so, before you do anything else, humble yourself and do what needs to be done.

If you don’t know of anyone you need to ask forgiveness from, then seek the Lord in prayer and ask Him to show you if there is someone that you’ve hurt and didn’t realize it, then go and make it right.

“By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35

Sermon of the Week: “The Lordship of Christ” by Dr. Adrian Rogers.

This last week I was blessed to hear a sermon once preached by the late Pastor Adrian Rogers on the lordship of Jesus Christ. I found this sermon to be a very powerful reminder that every aspect of my life must be surrendered to Christ, that He is to be Lord over it all. So often I can get prideful because of what I think I am capable of. Yet, God must constantly remind me there is not one thing in my life that is my own. He consistently humbles me and brings me back to the place where I remember I am merely the clay pot He has created and used for his glory. It is my sincere hope that this sermon serves to remind you of that as well.

Please follow the link provided and click on the “play” button to hear this sermon:

The Lordship of Christ

The God of gods

That men may know that Thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH art the Most High over all the earth! ⎯ Psalm 83:18

In the beginning was the WORD, and the WORD was with God, and the WORD was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made… And the WORD was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. ⎯ John 1:1-3,14

For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: All things were created by Him, and for Him: And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist. ⎯ Colossians 1:16-17

As it is written: No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him. ⎯ 1 Corinthians 2:9

For in Him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said: For we are also His offspring. ⎯ Acts 17:28

Shall a man make gods unto himself, and they are no gods? ⎯ Jeremiah 16:20 → (Allah = Satan)

Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! ⎯ Isaiah 45:9

Woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed. It would have been good for that man if he had not been born! ⎯ Mark 14:21

And Pilate asked JESUS: Are You the KING of the Jews? JESUS replied: You have said it! ⎯ Mark 15:2

I said therefore unto you, that you shall die in your sins: for if you believe not that I AM He, you shall die in your sins. ⎯ John 8:24

For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called: Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. ⎯ Isaiah 9:6

I and My Father are One. ⎯ John 10:30

Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the KING of heaven; All whose works are truth, and His ways judgment: and those that walk in pride He is able to abase. ⎯ Daniel 4:37

But let him that glories, glory in this: that he understands and knows Me, that I AM the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, says the LORD. ⎯ Jeremiah 9:24

I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. ⎯ Isaiah 45:7

Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. When his breath goes forth, he returns to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish. Happy is he that has the God of Jacob (Israel) for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God: Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: Which keeps truth forever. ⎯ Psalm 146:3-6

For all those things has Mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor (humble) and of a contrite (repentant) spirit, and who trembles at My Word. ⎯ Isaiah 66:2

Remember the former things of old: for I AM God, and there is none else; I AM God, and there is none like Me; declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying: My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure… Yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it. ⎯ Isaiah 46:9-11

Seek ye the LORD while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts… So shall My Word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: It shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. ⎯ Isaiah 55:6-9,11

For the LORD your God is the GOD of gods, and the LORD of lords ⎯ Deuteronomy 10:17

Wherefore, God also has highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name: That at the name of JESUS every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that: JESUS CHRIST is LORD to the glory of God the Father. ⎯ Philippians 2:9-11

And He has on His vesture and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. ⎯ Revelation 19:16

And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said: The LORD, He is the God; The LORD, He is the God! ⎯ 1 Kings 18:39

A quiz for Arminians.

I found the following quiz for Arminians at Chosen by Grace Alone via Bob Hanks’ blog.

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Eph. 1:11 …[W]ho [God] worketh all things after the counsel of His will.

Q. If God works all things after the counsel of His will, how much does He work to the will of you, me, Satan, etc.?

A. None.
B. 20%
C. 50%
D. 85%

Is. 14:24 Jehovah of hosts hath sworn, saying , Surely, as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand.

Q. How much of what He wants to come to pass, doesn’t?

A. All of His thoughts will come to pass
B. Some of His thoughts will not come to pass
C. A few of His thoughts will not come to pass
D. A lot of His thoughts will not come to pass

Rom. 8:29 For whom He foreknew, He also foreordained to be conformed to to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many bretheren: and whom He foreordained, them He also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified.

Q. How many do you think have been called, justified, or glorified that He did not first foreknow or foreordain?

A. Write in your answer: ___________________

John 10:14 I am the good shepherd; and I know my own, and mine own know me, even as the Father knoweth me, and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.

Q. Where does this scripture say that Jesus laid down his life for the sheep and the goats

A. It doesn’t
B. It doesn’t, but I just know He meant the goats, too

John 6:65 No man can come unto me, except it be given unto him of the Father.

Q. How many come to Jesus that were not first given to him by the Father?

A. 0
B. 5,000
C. 5,000,000
D. 10,000,000

John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come unto me

Q. How many that the Father gave Him will not come to Him?

A. Two
B. A couple of thousand
C. A couple of million
D. Trick question, it says they will all come unto him

John 10:28 I [Jesus] give unto them the (true followers, or ‘sheep’) eternal life; and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who hath given them unto me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.

Q. How many sheep do you think have been snatched from either God’s or Jesus’ hands?

A. None
B. 50,000
C. 500,000
D. 1,000,000

Rev. 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Rev. 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Q. Considering this, and other related scripture, God having to blot out a name from the book of life would mean:

A. God makes mistakes.
B. Some have been snatched from Jesus’ hands?
C. God didn’t know that some of His sheep were really goats.
D. None of the above.

Q. Could a person whose name was written in the book of life from the foundation of the world not have become a Christian (or have saving faith in God if born before Jesus)?

A. No
B. Yes
C. This confuses me, but I’m going to believe the Bible.
D. This confuses me, and I’m going to pretend this isn’t in the Bible (be honest).

Matt. 13 10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? 11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.

Q. Jesus himself declared that one of the reasons why He spoke in parables was that the truth might be concealed from whom it was not intended. Is this fair?

A. No.
B. Yes.
C. Who are we to question God?
D. I’m going to pretend I didn’t see that verse.

Rom. 8:28 To them that love God all things work together for good, even to them that are called according to His purpose.

Q. How many things do not work for the good of those who love God?

A. 10% of all things
B. 40% of all things
C. 85% of all things
D. Trick question, the Bible says all things work for the good of those who love Him

Mark 14:30 And Jesus said unto him (Peter), Verily I say unto thee, that thou, today, even this night before the cock crow twice shall deny me thrice.

Questions:

A. Could Peter not have denied Jesus three times before the cock crowed twice?
Answer here: ____________________________
B. Did Jesus make Peter deny him, or did Peter do it of his own free will?
Answer here: ____________________________

Exodus 4:11 [God Himself asks the rhetorical question] Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or dumb? Who gives him his sight or makes him blind? Is it not I the Lord?

Q. Is this fair?

A. Yes.
B. No.
C. Who are we to question God?
D. I’m going to pretend this isn’t in the Bible.

When it comes to sharing the gospel, is there ever a time to be silent?

I wanted to share with the readers of DefCon an article by Bobby Gonzales that raises a good question:

“One of the marks of a Christian is a desire to share the good news of the life-transforming gospel with others. In the words of the apostles, ‘We cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard’ (Acts 4:20). But what if a friend, fellow worker, schoolmate, or family member asks us to desist? Does there come a time when we should refrain from speaking to a person about Jesus and Christianity?”

Continue reading the article here on the It Is Written blog.

Sermon of the Week: “Letter from a Jericho Ditch: God, Neighbor, and the Questions We Ask” by Russell Moore

I am always blessed when I stumble across a sermon that is so practical and beneficial in our daily lives that I am compelled to listen to it multiple times and each time I am freshly encouraged. This one, I’ve listened to 3 times. Russell Moore lays out a convicting challenge through his teaching of the Parable of the Good Samaritan in his sermon from 2010 at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Chapel (Louisville, KY), “Letter From a Jericho Ditch – God, Neighbor, and the Questions We Ask”

I pray you are encouraged and challenged by this sermon as much as I was.

Download the MP3 sermon here

Dr. Moore is the Dean of the School of Theology and Senior Vice-President for Academic Administration at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He also serves as a preaching pastor at Highview Baptist Church, where he ministers weekly at the congregation’s Fegenbush location. Moore is the author of several books, including The Kingdom of Christ, Adopted for Life, and Tempted and Tried.

Find more great teaching from Russell Moore on his blog: Moore to the Point