MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.

The Cold Civil War and the Future of America

June 7th, 2018 Viewed 88 times, 4 so far today

In an article in the Federalist, Ryan Williams suggests that we are currently in a cold civil war in America.

Both elites and the public have expressed much recent anxiety about increasing political “polarization.” The moderate “center” that used to be the basis for compromise on all manner of policy has been disappearing for at least the last three decades, as the distance between the most liberal Republican in Congress and the most conservative Democrat continues to grow.

The two parties trade national congressional majorities and the presidency, but gridlock is the rule rather than the exception. Even the occasional policy victory, like Obamacare or the recent tax cut, is passed on strictly partisan lines and subject to reversal after the next narrow electoral victory by the other side.

Our political divisions and policy instability are symptoms of a growing conflict of visions over America’s past and future. At both elite and popular levels, Americans have become partisans of one or the other of what my colleague Charles Kesler calls our “two constitutions.” The stakes could not be higher: this is a fight over what kind of national political life we will choose for ourselves and the next generation. So we find ourselves in the midst of what another colleague, Angelo Codevilla, has labeled a “cold civil war.”

photo by: familymwr

What if He Asked You To Preach to Your Worst Enemy? (Jonah)

May 29th, 2018 Viewed 43 times, 4 so far today

Jonah 1:1-3 – Jonah was asked to go to the enemy of the Israelites to preach a message that would call them to repentance

In this famous story, we all know that Jonah didn’t want to go. He went the furthest he could in the opposite direction. God brought Jonah back through the most inconceivable way possible– via the belly of a fish.

Jonah did not want to see them repent. He wanted them punished for who they were. He believed he had righteous indignation against these opponents of the chosen people.

God wanted to show mercy.

What would you do?

We are probably more like Jonah. It’s easy to tell people that we like about the Gospel. It’s hard to tell our enemies that Jesus loves them and that they need salvation. God wants us to tell the world of His love, and more often than not, it’s the weak of this world that hear and follow than those that have confidence in themselves.

And there are plenty of modern day Jonah’s waging holy war against those they believe have the wrong view on all sorts of issues. They believe that if God won’t take care of it, then they certainly will take the fight to them. And yet God saved the people of Ninevah, and He cares about that person online or in person that you disagree with. His call is to repent, turn from sin and get right with Him.

photo by: Chris Yarzab

The Couples of Acts – Ananias & Sapphira, Aquila & Pricilla, and Timothy’s Mom

May 28th, 2018 Viewed 51 times, 4 so far today

Whose plan was it and why did they do it? (Acts 5:1-2)

There was much praise heaped upon Barnabas for selling his land and buying it. Therefore, Ananias figured that he could get praise for doing the same—except he didn’t want to give it all, but figured that he wouldn’t get as much praise unless it was for the total amount. So they decided to lie and thought that no one would know the difference.

Sapphira decides to do the same thing, why?

It would seem that it would not make sense. Certainly they would know that they were a married couple and that Sapphira knew the plan means that he would have already claimed that it was the entire proceeds, this makes one wonder what she was trying to do or prove? In either case, she was given a chance to go against her husband (for she did not know that he was dead at the time) and be honest, and yet she did not.

What’s significant about Timothy’s parents? (Acts 16:1-2)

His mom was a Jew and was a Christian. His dad was a Greek, and unsaved. Yet Timothy was a disciple of Christ. This spoke to him learning the truth from his mother.

What is Aquila and Pricilla’s background? (Acts 18:1-4)

They were part of the Jews that were exiled from Rome because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. They cross paths with Paul in Corith. They were tent-makers just like Paul. This shows that Paul was not silent about his faith even while at work.

How do we know that they got close to Paul? (Acts 18:18)

They traveled with him, and in many of the Epistles Paul makes mention that greetings are coming from them or that they are present with him.

How did they minister to Apollos? (Acts 18:24-26)

Apollos was a great speaker and many were coming to Christ because of him. Yet he only knew of John’s baptism. Aquila and Priscilla took him along side and educated him in the truth. This wasn’t something they did in public, but they both shared in that ministry to Apollos.

Do we see any couple in Acts being separate in their decisions?

No. While there are many men that are referenced, we know that it was possible to have saved and unsaved being together, but ministry happened together.

photo by: holl7510

What If He Asked You to Preach, Though Telling You No One Would Listen? (Isaiah)

May 25th, 2018 Viewed 42 times, 4 so far today

Isaiah 6:1-13 – Isaiah was confronted by the greatness of God in the temple while he mourned the loss of good king Uzziah

After cleansing Isaiah from the sin that he knew he had, God asked who should be sent to the children of Israel to deliver a message. When Isaiah volunteered, God told him that the people would not hear, they would not understand, and the children of Israel would be taken into captivity.

What would you do?

Many of us are worried about what a coworker might say if we tell them the Gospel, and many of us are concerned that giving a tract would look weird.

The most sobering reality in the world today is that people are dying and going to Hell today.

God gave us a clear message in His Word for us to tell. It’s a message that judgment is coming, but there is a way of escape. Atheists will say that part of the reason that they believe Christians are hypocrites is that Christians say they believe that people around them are going to Hell, but don’t do everything in their power to keep them from going.

What’s really stopping us?

photo by: Chris Yarzab

What If He Asked You to Marry a Spouse That Would Cheat? (Hosea)

May 24th, 2018 Viewed 42 times, 3 so far today

Hosea 1:1-3 – Hosea was asked to marry a woman that would be unfaithful, just like Israel

He knew that she would be unfaithful from the beginning. He knew that it was to show that Israel was going to be unfaithful to God.

What would you do?

Many of us spend years thinking about who we will marry. Many of us come up with lists of traits. On none of those lists is someone that we know is or would be unfaithful to us.

God sometimes asks of us a difficult thing, or has something happen to us to be an example or an encouragement to others.

photo by: Chris Yarzab

What if He Asked You to Die of Stoning? (Stephen)

May 23rd, 2018 Viewed 44 times, 3 so far today

Acts 6:8-15 – Stephen is chosen as one of the first Deacons, and while preaching the word is brought before the council

Up until this point, no one had been killed for their faith. Sure, the religious leaders were not happy that people spoke of Jesus and had captured some and then let them go when they showed how they had been with Him, but no one had died. Stephen could have kept quiet and low key. Instead, Stephen proclaimed the Gospel and paid for it with his life.

photo by: Chris Yarzab

Who Will Go?

May 22nd, 2018 Viewed 40 times, 3 so far today

If Jesus were to come in here today and ask you to do something, who in here would jump at the chance to do it? Can I see a show of hands?

Before you jump on board, eagerly raising your hand, let’s look at a Survey of God’s Requests.

photo by: Chris Yarzab

Jesus on Marriage – Divorce and Heaven

May 21st, 2018 Viewed 92 times, 3 so far today

What does Jesus have to say on the topic of Divorce? (Matt 5:31-32, 19:3-12; Mark 10:1-12; Luke 16:18)

The religious leaders ask if a man can divorce his wife for any reason, hoping to catch him in between two different sets of beliefs on the topic—hoping to alienate Him with one group. Instead, He takes it back to Genesis, showing that it wasn’t good for man to be alone and that God made the two into one flesh. Therefore, there is no provision for divorce. This is consistent across all passages.

So the religious leaders take him to Deut 24, and ask why Moses included divorce. Jesus tells them that it is permission, not rule, and that it was because the Jewish men had hard hearts. This goes toward the fact that the Jewish men could have treated their wives harshly before the law, and Moses was protecting the women while respecting the rights of the man. The rule did not change.

This World is Not Our Home

May 18th, 2018 Viewed 40 times, 4 so far today

Husbands and wives, when you were dating you wanted to find out everything you could about your significant other. You would give them presents wrapped in their favorite color, jewelry in their favorite color metal, and maybe bring them their favorite treat. There was no bounds, and you prioritized that person over everything—work, school, family (just ask them!).

While Jesus does not want to be your boyfriend or girlfriend, He demands that kind of passion—that He is the center of your life and that you will seek Him and His glory first and foremost. That you will repent of your sin, turn and follow Him wherever that leads.

May I encourage you—spend time in God’s Word, and as you do, look at it like that love that you had (and hopefully still have!) for your spouse. Look for ways that you can please Him, and don’t let the culture, what others may think, etc. get between you and giving praise and glory to your Savior.

Don’t get trapped in the lies of the world, that this is the best that it’s been. This world is not our home, and the best is yet to come.

photo by: bsabarnowl

Jesus Calls Us to Follow Him

May 17th, 2018 Viewed 62 times, 3 so far today

Matthew 8:18-27: Jesus cuts through all of this and calls us back to seeing things from His perspective

The scribe comes up to him and asks to follow Jesus wherever He will go. Jesus responds by telling the man that he will not have the comforts that He’s used to.

This is the same for us: The world tells us that there are certain things that we must have, certain expectations to have a good life. The world would call you insane if you gave up that which you could have to follow Christ, and yet God calls for all of us.

Another comes up and asks to bury his father first. Jesus tells him to let the spiritually dead bury the physically dead. The culture told him that it was right to go bury his father, Jesus said that following Him was more important than cultural practice.

photo by: DrGBB

MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.