Worldly Culture

A marketing executive from a Fortune 50 company was presenting his firm’s plan for success in the world’s market place. He laid out three key points that he lifted from various sources that are essential to his plan:

Corporate marketing says:

#1 “To reach the wallet, hit the heart.” How many commercials for expensive items aim for one’s emotional center (prestige, self-worth, happiness), making no effort to justify their product on its merits? Where’s your heart supposed to be?

#2 “Family is the target & kids are the key.” Politicians and marketing people all know most Americans worship their children – or at least feel guilty because they don’t and end up letting children lead the family. Too many parents surrender decisions to cultural experts or their selfish kids, who learn very quickly how to manipulate mom & dad. What’s the proper role of children?

#3 “Top 4 influences in culture are sports, music, film, & fashion.” This is the one that made me take notice and write down all three points. Who – or what – is your god?

Let’s put aside the wisdom of the spirit of the age and find out what the Bible says about these 3 points.

#1 Where’s your heart supposed to be?

Matthew 6:19 – 21 “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Proverbs 15:6 “In the house of the righteous is much treasure: but in the revenues of the wicked is trouble.

Isaiah 33:5 – 6 “The LORD is exalted; for he dwelleth on high: he hath filled Zion with judgment and righteousness. And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the LORD is his treasure.

Luke 12:16 – 21 “And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.

Luke 18:22 – 24 “Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich. And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!

James 5:1 – 3 “Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.

#2 What’s the proper role of children?

Exodus 20:12 “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

Exodus 21:15 & 17 “And he that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death. … And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death.

Proverbs 10:1A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.”

Proverbs 23:22 “Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old.”

Matthew 15:4 – 9 “For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

Ephesians 6:2 – 4 “Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”

#3 Who – or what – is your god?

1 Corinthians 8:1 – 6 “Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. But if any man love God, the same is known of him. As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one. For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

Matthew 13:22 “He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.”

John 17:14 – 16 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

James 4:4Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

1 John 2:15 – 16Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”

Be known as a child of the King, be not mistaken for a worldling. 1 Peter 2:9 “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.”

Quiz: Are you loving or unloving?

Here’s a quick and simple six-question quiz to determine whether you’re loving (“tolerant”) or unloving (close minded and “intolerant”).

  1). You’re sitting in a coffee shop when a woman at another table gets up–leaving her coffee unattended–to get a napkin. As she does, a man walks by her table, pours a powdered substance into the woman’s coffee and quickly exits the shop. You immediately warn this woman of what just happened. Your reaction is:

A. Loving

B. Unloving. This is none of your business. Quit interfering with other people’s lives.

2). A small child runs toward a bush to retrieve his ball that rolled into it. You know that the bush contains a rattlesnake nest. You yell out for the kid to stop. Your yelling at this child is:

A. Loving

B. Unloving. Who are you to impose your beliefs onto this kid. His parents have a right to raise him how they see fit without your close-minded “snakes are bad” views being forced down his throat.

  3). You are woken to the sounds of fire alarms and the smell of smoke in your apartment complex. As you hastily exit your apartment you notice that no one has alerted your elderly neighbors who are  deaf. You bang on their door (and even kick it in if necessary) to alert them of the pending doom. This action that you’re taking is:

A. Loving.

B. Unloving. Have you considered that perhaps this couple is happy where they are? Why wake them from their slumber? If they’re happy, then leave them be.

4). On a dark and rainy night you observe a family in a car heading home in the direction of a washed-out bridge. You holler and flail your arms, making every effort you can to get their attention to warn them. Your behavior is:

A. Loving

B. Unloving. All roads lead to their house. Who are you to tell them that the road that they’ve chosen to go home will lead to their deaths?

  5). While sitting in your car waiting for your friend in a bank, you observe a man walk into the bank wearing a stocking on his face and carrying a gun. You call 911.This judgment of the man’s intentions is:

A. Loving

B. Unloving. “Judge not lest ye be judged!” Who are you to judge this man’s heart. Maybe his intentions are good and he will do no harm to those inside. You’re always so negative and have no faith in other people. You’ve condemned this man already. Jesus would have never done that, He would have befriended him. You need to be more like Jesus.

6). Your friend is going to die in his sins, and when he wakes up on the other side of eternity, will find himself in Hell. You share with him the fact that his unrepentant sin will condemn him before a holy God and that he deserves God’s wrath (just like everyone else) because he’s transgressed God’s laws. You further explain that any of his attempts to purchase God’s forgiveness by his own obedience to the Law or good works is futile because not only are we saved by faith apart from the works and the Law, but God’s grace is not earned, it is a gift. You share with your friend that through the death of one Man, God has provided forgiveness to sinners, but this unmerited favor for sinners is only found in God’s Son, Jesus Christ, who ransomed us with His own blood. God’s only Son took our sin upon Himself on the cross and, in turn, imputed his perfect righteousness to us. You tell your friend that Jesus became a propitiation for him in order to absorb the wrath of God that he deserves. You urge your friend to repent and put his trust in Jesus Christ alone for salvation. This discussion with your friend is:

A. Loving.

B. Unloving. Insert any of the above “B” answers (or all of them) here: __________.

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.

3 Diagnostic Questions for the Christian

Every child of God ought to know what his Father desires for him. I seem to find three basic questions people ponder that leaves me with the impression that many who claim Christ struggle with the very idea of determining God’s will for their lives.

1.)      How do you determine the will of God for your life?  First – make sure you know and obey the revealed will of God, those things He has made clear for each of us.  For example: 1 Thessalonians 4:3 – 7, 1 Thessalonians 5:16 – 22, and 1 Peter 2:13 – 17.  His first priority for each of His children is to conform us to His Son (Romans 8:28 – 30).

Beyond God’s revealed will, theologians categorize the will of God as providential – pleasing to Him because it aligns with His revealed will.  How does one determine God’s providential will?  First, study, know, and obey God’s revealed will, paying attention to principles found in Scripture on the topic at hand.  Secondly, ask the Lord for wisdom – for He loves to give such to His children, and He is wiser than we.  Thirdly, get godly counsel.  Fourthly – decide.  If we live believing God’s will for our mate, job, vacation, car, or dinner is a unique choice that He has hidden from us, we will be frustrated.  Knowing His character and living in humble obedience to Him – as we study His revealed will – will equip us to make choices that please Him, as we exercise His providential will.

When we make what seem to us as stupid choices – we should review how we made the decision.  If we were aligned with the Lord, we can be assured it was right and we now face decisions on how to respond.  If you marry “the wrong woman”, know and obey God’s revealed will for how to live with your wife.

2.)      Can anyone have assurance of salvation?  Before having assurance of salvation, a man should make sure he is redeemed.  Scripture tells us we can know we are in Christ (1 John 5:13). and Scripture also tells us how to know: we keep His commands – 1 John 2:3 – 6; love the brotherhood – 1 John 2:9 – 11, 1 John 3:10, and 1 John 5:1 – 3; love not worldly things – 1 John 2:15 – 17; believe in the Lord Jesus – 1 John 5:10 – 12; confess Him as Savior – 1 John 4:13 – 15; love God – 1 John 4:16; keep ourselves from wickedness – 1 John 5:18 – 21.  We cannot do these things to be saved – we diagnose our spiritual condition by examining if and how we do them.

3.)      Is every Christian supposed to witness?  Many people look to Ephesians 4:11 and think only those called to be an evangelist are required to witness, to proclaim the gospel.  What does Scripture say?  As we saw from 1 John 4:13 – 15, one mark of a Christian is that he testifies (V 14) and confesses (v 15) Christ to be the Son of God.  To testify means “to bear record of”, “to give witness of”; to confess, in this context, means “something said, a reasoned statement, an account or communication, preaching”.  In John 10:22 – 25, Jesus told the Jews that His works bore witness of Him.  Since we are the workmanship of Christ, we ought to willingly be witnesses of Him.  We see Peter and John, in Acts 4, unable to keep from telling people of Jesus, even in the face of threats from the government (Acts 4:19 – 20).  We need to keep in mind that it’s not our job to convince people to save themselves – which we can’t do and neither can they.  Salvation is the work of the Holy Spirit and since He abides in every Christian, He will do His work when we are witnesses of Jesus.  Every Christian can do this work and every Christian should do this work.  In the Great Commission, the Lord first tells us to “Go and teach all nations”.  The only rational conclusion is that those to be taught must first be witnessed to and redeemed before they can be taught.  So don’t think this commission doesn’t apply to you if you aren’t a teacher.  Finally, look to the reward we gain by being faithful in this ministry – Revelation 12:11 shows martyrs recognized by God for their testimonies of Him.  It’s always good for the Lord of Creation to approve your work – even if it’s as simple as telling people about Jesus.

4.)      A bonus question, as follow-up.  What is “the Gospel”, beyond simply being “good news”?  Paul tells us (Romans 1:16) “it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”  In 1 Corinthians 1:17 – 18,  we see that the Gospel is about the cross: “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”  Further in this passage, we see that it’s also foolishness and a stumbling block to men – so no man can win a soul to Christ by force of intellect or smooth speech.  We find in 1 Corinthians 15 what is perhaps the best summary of the Gospel of Jesus: “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;

By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.  For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;  And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:  And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:  After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once.”

The Gospel declares that Christ died as prophesied and required by the law as punishment for our sins.  Man is wicked and sinful and in desperate need of a savior – Christ is the One.  He was buried and raised from dead – as foretold in Scripture – though man tried everything to obscure the Truth of the resurrection.  And Christ was seen by hundreds of people who were still alive when Paul wrote this, meaning they could have called him a liar to his face – if the Gospel was false.  Your personal testimony is good news, but it’s not the Gospel of Jesus Christ and it won’t save anyone.  Your walk of obedience is pleasing to the Lord, but your lifestyle is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ and it won’t save anyone.  Trust God when he says “the Gospel of Jesus is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believes.

Are you a Roman Catholic or a Christian?

Are you a Roman Catholic or a Christian?

Grab pen and paper and take the following ten-question quiz (formulated by Dr. J. Ronald Blue of Dallas Theological Seminary). How you do will determine whether you’re a Roman Catholic or a Christian.

Choose the position which is most true:

1:

A). God gives a man right standing with Himself by mercifully accounting him righteous.

B). God gives a man right standing with Himself by actually making him into a righteous person.

2:

A). God gives a man right standing with Himself by placing Christ’s goodness and virtue to his credit.

B). God gives a man right standing with Himself by putting Christ’s goodness and virtue into his heart.

3:

A). God accepts the believer because of the moral excellence found in Christ.

B). God makes a believer acceptable by infusing Christ’s moral excellence into his life.

4:

A). If a man becomes born again, he will achieve right standing with God.

B). If a sinner receives right standing with God, he will then experience a transformation of character and life.

5:

A). We receive right standing with God through faith alone.

B). We receive right standing with God by faith and love.

6:

A). We achieve right standing with God by having Christ live out His life of obedience in us.

B). We achieve right standing with God by receiving the truth that he obeyed the Law of God perfectly for us.

7:

A). We achieve right standing with God by following Christ’s example by the help of enabling grace.

B). We follow Christ’s example because His life has given us right standing with God.

8:

A). God first declares us good, and then His Spirit begins making us good.

B). God sends His Spirit to make us good, and then He will declare that we are good.

9:

A). Christ’s finished work on the cross and intercession at God’s right hand gives us favor in God’s sight.

B). It is the indwelling Christ that gives us favor in God’s sight.

10:

A). Only by the imputation of Christ’s righteousness can we fully satisfy the claims of the Ten Commandments.

B). By the power of the Holy Spirit living in us we can fully satisfy the claims of the Ten Commandments.

Bonus Question 1:

You get to Heaven by works: True or False

Bonus Question 2:

Our faith is the ground of our salvation: True or False

Answers . . .

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Quiz: What points sinners to Christ?

Sacred or secular?

Can you identify which of the following three lyric excerpts come from Christian musical artists and which are from secular musical artists? I admit it won’t be easy, but differentiating between Christian lyrics and worldly lyrics shouldn’t be that difficult, right?

For more, be sure to check out DefCon’s other Christian music lyrics quiz.

1.

Lack of understanding lack of communication
Lack of a desire for expanding education
Lack of inspiration lack of innovation
The fact you can’t respect another mans creation
Lack of motivation lack of restoration
The fact we lack unity and enjoy separation
Lack of destination because you know what I feel
I feel that humans lack the ability to be real

Do not tell me what I can and cannot do when I rock

2.

Welcome to the world of a girl named Susie
Susie’s only crime was that she was born a cutie
Physically abused by her uncle and his friends
Alcohol let ‘em all leave the house with grins
But Susie couldn’t shake off the memories
Forced to find her own kind of remedy
A man-eater for the rest of her days
Three kids, three men, no daddies by eleventh grade

3.

The secret side of me, I never let you see
I keep it caged but I can’t control it
So stay away from me, the beast is ugly
I feel the rage and I just can’t hold it

It’s scratching on the walls, in the closet, in the halls
It comes awake and I can’t control it
Hiding under the bed, in my body, in my head
Why won’t somebody come and save me from this, make it end?

I feel it deep within, it’s just beneath the skin
I must confess that I feel like a monster
I hate what I’ve become, the nightmare’s just begun
I must confess that I feel like a monster

I, I feel like a monster
I, I feel like a monster

Answers . . .

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