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I approved a SlantRight 2.0 comment to the post “If your school allows 'Day of Silence', keep your child home this Friday”. The comment politely upbraided me on my criticism of homosexuality asking the typical: Where is LGBTQ+ in the Bible. Followed by a Love thy neighbor guilt trip. I answer all: http://bit.ly/2GGnm6Z

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I am a Christian Zionist. Ergo, I am no friend of the Arabs that claim to be the made-up people known as Palestinians. I was writing an intro to a Bussel submission about blessing Israel to be blessed. Even so, I needed to establish the Christian duty to support Israel’s existence: http://bit.ly/2GtndDW

What is the reason why God has decided to save some people and not to save the others? So why do he people suffer?

18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills. 19 You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” 20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? 22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— 24 even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles? (Romans 9:18-24)

What does Romans 9:18-24 teach us? In verse 18 mercy and hardening explicitly relate with the salvation and with the destruction of people. When a human being is hardened means that he is rebellious toward God, and therefore will not inherit eternal life if he is hardened at the time he dies. The opposite is true for mercy. Verse 20 makes it clear that God, being God, does what he wants and no one can answer back to him. What is molded is the human being. In verse 21 the potter metaphorically refers to God, while the vessel, still metaphorically speaking, refers to the human being. In verse 22 the vessels of wrath are all people in the history of humanity who will not inherit eternal life, while in verse 23, the vessels of mercy are all those who will inherit it. These verses make us understand that everything is God's will, both for good and for bad. By the will of God, throughout the history of humanity, some people (most of them) had to be born not to inherit eternal life, and some to inherit it. I want to be more specific saying this: by the will of God, the person A will be born, in the course of his life will be enriched and he will die rebellious toward God, therefore not saved; the person B will be born, will be poor and will die rebellious toward God, therefore not saved; the person C will be born, will be enriched and will die as a follower of God, therefore saved; the person D will be born, will be poor and will inherit eternal life; the person E will be born, will not be enriched, will become very intelligent and will not inherit eternal life; the person F will be born, will be good-looking and will not inherit eternal life; the person G will be born, will not be good-looking and will inherit eternal life, etc. etc.
Why did God decided that? So why do people suffer? The reason, as the verses 22, 23 and 24 say, was to make known his glory to the people who will inherit eternal life, and this also happens by manifesting his wrath. So, the purpose is to bring glory to himself. He wanted to do it and so he did. He is God and there is no one above him.

What is the plan of salvation / way of salvation?

Are you hungry? Not physically hungry, but do you have a hunger for something more in life? Is there something deep inside of you that never seems to be satisfied? If so, Jesus is the way! Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty” (John 6:35).
Are you confused? Can you never seem to find a path or purpose in life? Does it seem like someone has turned out the lights and you cannot find the switch? If so, Jesus is the way of salvation! Jesus proclaimed, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).
Do you ever feel like you are locked out of life? Have you tried so many doors, only to find that what is behind them is empty and meaningless? Are you looking for an entrance into a fulfilling life? If so, Jesus is the way of salvation! Jesus declared, “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture” (John 10:9).
Do other people always let you down? Have your relationships been shallow and empty? Does it seem like everyone is trying to take advantage of you? If so, Jesus is the way! Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me” (John 10:11, 14).
Do you wonder what happens after this life? Are you tired of living your life for things that only rot or rust? Do you sometimes doubt whether life has any meaning? Do you want to live after you die? If so, Jesus is the way of salvation! Jesus declared, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die” (John 11:25-26).
What is the way? What is the truth? What is the life? Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
The hunger that you feel is a spiritual hunger, and can only be filled by Jesus. Jesus is the only one who can lift the darkness. Jesus is the door to a satisfying life. Jesus is the friend and shepherd that you have been looking for. Jesus is the life—in this world and the next. Jesus is the way of salvation!
The reason you feel hungry, the reason you seem to be lost in darkness, the reason you cannot find meaning in life, is that you are separated from God. The Bible tells us that we have all sinned, and are therefore separated from God (Ecclesiastes 7:20; Romans 3:23). The void you feel in your heart is God missing from your life. We were created to have a relationship with God. Because of our sin, we are separated from that relationship. Even worse, our sin will cause us to be separated from God for all of eternity, in this life and the next (Romans 6:23; John 3:36).
How can this problem be solved? Jesus is the way of salvation! Jesus took our sin upon Himself (2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus died in our place (Romans 5:8), taking the punishment that we deserve. Three days later, Jesus rose from the dead, proving His victory over sin and death (Romans 6:4-5). Why did He do it? Jesus answered that question Himself: “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). Jesus died so that we could live. If we place our faith in Jesus, trusting His death as the payment for our sins, all of our sins are forgiven and washed away. We will then have our spiritual hunger satisfied. The lights will be turned on. We will have access to a fulfilling life. We will know our true best friend and good shepherd. We will know that we will have life after we die—a resurrected life in heaven for eternity with Jesus!
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

How to share the gospel with atheists

Last week I sat next to James on a flight from St. Louis to Denver. As we talked the subject turned to spirituality and religion. I confessed that I was a preacher and he confessed he was an atheist. What unfolded on the rest of the flight was a deep, thought-provocative, laughter-laced gospel conversation.
Over the years I’ve had the privilege of engaging many atheists like James in various settings. I’ve discovered five helpful tips when sharing the gospel with someone who claims to not believe in God.

1. Don’t be shocked and do ask tons of questions:

Some atheists like to shock believers with the fact that they don’t believe in God. This brand of atheist pulls the pin on the “there is no God” grenade and drops it in the middle of the conversation, expecting believers to run for cover.
Don’t be phased. As a matter of fact start asking questions about their atheism. Find out what they mean by atheism (some are agnostics but call themselves atheists). Ask questions about their background.
And remember that, as you ask questions, your goal is not to trap them but to understand them. Find out areas where you agree. Just like Paul found common ground with the athenians when he discovered an altar “to the unknown God” we can find common ground in a mutual rejection of legalistic religion, a passion for science and reason and, usually, an overall positive view of the historic Jesus.
Although James spoke somewhat negatively of religion he spoke well of Jesus. While he didn’t view Jesus as the Son of God he did perceive him as an enlightened soul. At the minimum that was something I could build on in making my own case for Christ.

2. Listen deeply for the real “why”:

Often atheists have a reason (other than “reason“) for becoming atheists. Listen for it. Sometimes it’s anger over losing a loved one or because they were hurt by the church in some way. Sometimes there other reasons, like the fact that they are afraid of the truth, because if they embraced the truth, they would be submitted to God, and would not be free as they were before; so they prefer to embrace a lie which makes them freer. Whatever the reason, there’s always a “why” behind the lie they are embracing.
In John 4 Jesus masterfully attacked the why behind the lie that the woman at the well was embracing. She was not an atheist but a hedonist who thought that satisfaction could be found if she finally found the right husband. But Jesus offers her living water to satisfy her deepest needs and, finally, her thirst was fully quenched.
James shared with me about his upbringing in England and his regular attendance at The Church of England. He told me about how his wife had left him and how he could only see his kids every other weekend. James shared how he reads at least a book a week and how he loses himself in novels.
As he shared I couldn’t quite nail why he was an atheist but I could sense that he was a lonely man. My heart went out to him and I think he could sense my sympathy.

3. Connect relationally:

Atheists are real people with real feelings. They laugh, cry, talk and connect like anyone else. I think that too many times believers treat atheists as objects and not people.
James and I joked together as we sparred each other. I listened to him and he listened to me. Bottom line is that I like James. He is an interesting guy with an interesting story.
We should heed Paul’s reminder to Timothy about how to deal with those who disagree with us theologically,
“Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.” (2 Timothy 2:23-26)

4. They do believe in God:

There are no people who totally rejects the existence of God. Sure, there are many who claim that God’s existence is lie but they really do believe there’s a God.
Why? Because Scripture makes it clear in that there are no real atheists:
"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools." (Romans 1:18-22)
They may try to suppress their belief in God but, sooner or later in the discussion, atheists say something like, “well if God is so good then why does he allow…” This is the point in the conversation where they have “forgotten” their atheism and revealed some of their challenges with, not the reality of God, but the nature of God.
When you assume that an atheist does really believe in the existence of God it gives you the freedom not to have to prove God’s existence but to share God’s story. You can be sure that, the gospel is churning in the soul of the atheist.

5. Frame the gospel as a love story (that just happens to be true):

When I shared the gospel with James I wasn’t trying to prove God’s existence, I was simply sharing the story of God’s love. I said something like, “James, at the core of Christianity is a love story. Jesus put it this way, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him will not perish but has everlasting life." (John 3:16)
I could tell that James was intrigued by this view. He listened respectfully and asked thoughtful questions.
Yes, I dipped into some apologetics at this point (C.S. Lewis’ Lord, lunatic or liar argument, teleological argument, etc.) but only after I had framed the gospel as a love story. In the words of my friend Bill Jack, too many times too many believers use apologetics as a sledge hammer instead of a crowbar to pry open closed minds. As a result the conversation turns argumentative instead of respectful.
James and I had a respectful conversation where I heard him and he heard the good news of Jesus. My job is not to lead him to Jesus but to “set forth the truth plainly” and let the Spirit of God continues his work.
James didn’t say the sinner’s prayer when the plane pulled up to the gate after landing. But I believe that somewhere between Denver and St. Louis the Spirit of God nudged him closer to Jesus. It is my prayer that, in God’s perfect time, he will cross the line of faith and receive Jesus as his Savior.

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The British baby Alfie Evans passed away 2:30 AM 4/28/18 British time. The lessons that must be remembered as the moral of the story is that a govt. applying socialized medicine decides your fate despite the compassion of influential people & compassionate foreign govts. Unalienable Rights terminated by DEATH PANEL: http://bit.ly/2vWPHGp

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The AFA is exposing a pro-homosexual event that is a part of the LGBTQ agenda to further brainwash Americans into accepting the ungodly homosexual lifestyle as legitimate. On 4/27/18 (Fri) the LGBTQ is calls for Public School Day of Silence for legitimacy. Do you want your kids brainwashed? http://bit.ly/2r06QsJ

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I have been seeing Social Media posts claiming California has legislation in the works to ban the Bible. I chalked the information up to Fake News to rile up Conservative Values supporters. The Bill nowhere mentions the Bible. However, using commercial practices as a pretext AB 2943 declares all things associated with the LGBT lifestyle are natural & any person selling literature contradicting the LGBTQ can be subject to civil suit (e.g. Bible) http://bit.ly/2Jm6Tqs
Bible Banning Despite 1st Amendment
Bible Banning Despite 1st Amendment
slantedright2.blogspot.com

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Learn about the Second Amendment and be entertained by Penn & Teller: http://bit.ly/2JkhMJs

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