Battling the Unbelief of Anxiety

Thursday, March 31, 2011

John Piper, in Future Grace (p. 59-61):

We should battle the unbelief of anxiety with the promises of future grace.

When I am anxious about some risky new venture or meeting, I battle unbelief with one of my most often-used promises, Isaiah 41:10. “Fear not for I am with you, be not dismayed for I am your God, I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you, with My victorious right hand."

When I am anxious about my ministry being useless and empty, I fight unbelief with the promise of Isaiah 55:11. “So shall My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”

When I am anxious about being too weak to do my work, I battle unbelief with the promise of Christ, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

When I am anxious about decisions I have to make about the future, I battle unbelief with the promise, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you” (Psalm 32:8).

When I am anxious about facing opponents, I battle unbelief with the promise, “If God is for us, who is against us!” (Romans 8:31).

When I am anxious about the welfare of those I love, I battle unbelief with the promise that if I, being evil, know how to give good things to my children, how much more will the “Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7:11). And I fight to maintain my spiritual equilibrium with the reminder that everyone who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for Christ’s sake “shall receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life” (Mark 10:29-30).

When I am anxious about being sick, I battle unbelief with the promise, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous but the Lord delivers him out of them all” (Psalm 34:19). And I take the promise with trembling: “Tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Romans 5:3-5).

When I am anxious about getting old, I battle unbelief with the promise, “Even to your old age, I shall be the same, and even to your graying years I shall bear you! I have done it, and I shall carry you; and I shall bear you, and I shall deliver you” (Isaiah 46:4).

When I am anxious about dying, I battle unbelief with the promise that “not one of us lives for himself and not one of us dies for himself; for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living” (Romans 14:7-9).

When I am anxious that I may make shipwreck of faith and fall away from God, I battle unbelief with the promises, “He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ” (Philippians 1:6); and, “He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25).

Let us make war...with our own unbelief. It is the root of anxiety, which, in turn, is the root of so many other sins. So let us...keep our eyes fixed on the precious and very great promises of God.


Preach Christ, and You Will Have Morality

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

"I believe that as people's confidence in Christ grows, they do, ordinarily and inevitably, bear fruit that accords with faith. Thus, there is no need for some trade-off here, or some alleged dichotomy suggesting that we need to preach morality if we are to have morality. No; preach Christ, and you will have morality. Fill the sails of your hearers' souls with the wind of confidence in the Redeemer, and they will trust him as their Sanctifier, and long to see his fruit in their lives. Fill their minds and imaginations with a vision of the loveliness and perfection of Christ in his person, and the flock will long to be like him. Impress upon their weak and wavering hearts the utter competence of the mediation of the One who ever lives to make intercession for them, and they will long to serve and comfort others, even as Christ has served and comforted them."

- T. David Gordon (Why Johnny Can't Preach [Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R, 2009], p. 78)


A New Book From Rob Bell... Heresy On Display?

Friday, March 4, 2011

For those of you who follow these things within the Evangelical church, you know that for quite some time Rob Bell, pastor of Mars Hill Church in Grand Rapids, has been a very controversial figure. He is a well-known and widely followed guru within the Emergent Church movement, which has from its inception denied cardinal doctrines of the faith. Well, it appears that Bell's latest book will be a complete repudiation of the historical and Biblical doctrine of Hell. I hope I'm wrong here, but there are plenty of reasons to have doubts.

I encourage you to read more about it here at Phil Johnson's blog Pyromanics, and be sure to watch Bell's video promotion of this latest offering from him. I have to admit, its slick. Very well done, compelling video... And this is why I think he's actually so dangerous. He knows how to communicate to a young, sensory and image-oriented generation.
Check it out here.

Love Wins has been released for review:
"Does Rob Bell deny the existence of hell? He would say no. We would say yes. He affirms, but only after redefining. And that’s just a clever form of denial."


The Prosperity Gospel: "A Ponzi Scheme"

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The 3-minute audio below is a clip from a panel discussion during the 2010 Together for the Gospel conference. Mark Dever poses a question to John MacArthur regarding the prosperity gospel.

MacArthur compares the prosperity gospel to "a Ponzi scheme: the guys at the top get rich and everybody else is left in shredded rags, in the name of Jesus Christ."

MacArthur's comments also include an interesting comparison to Luke 21:1-6: "Any religious system that takes the last two pennies from a widow is coming down."

Metro Detroit does not need more gospel; Metro Detroit needs the right gospel.


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