A Christian View of War and the Need for a Military

This coming Sunday at Harvest Bible Chapel of Jacksonville is “Military Appreciation Sunday.” I am excited about this opportunity to give honor to those our active military and our veterans. I will be sharing a special message about the two kinds of war we are prepared to fight: the physical and the spiritual.

There are generally three views of war among Christians. Supporting Bible verses are appealed to for each view. The vast majority of Christians fall into the view I hold to, what is commonly called the “Just War” position. I fully recognize that there are many variations within each of the three views:

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I believe a strong and prepared military is a necessity for our country. I also believe that we have biblical justification for being ready to fight:

1. Because there is evil in the world (Genesis 6.5; Romans 3.15-18; 2 Timothy 3.1-4).

2. Because God has established the right of self-defense (Exodus 22.2-3; Nehemiah 4.13-14; Luke 22.36).

3. Because one of the major reasons God ordained government is for protecting the people (Romans 13.1-4).

4. Because sometimes governments must act with force to stop injustice (Psalm 82.4; Ecclesiastes 3.8; Proverbs 24.6; Genesis 15.16).

Therefore, God has the government the authority to have a military:

> to protect us from harm.

> to enable us to live in freedom.

As Richard Grenier wrote, “People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”

Best-Selling Bibles (October 2014)

Based on Dollar Sales

1  New International Version (various publishers)

2  King James Version (various publishers)

3  New King James Version (various publishers)

4  English Standard Version (Crossway)

5  New Living Translation (Tyndale)

6  Holman Christian Standard Bible (B&H Publishing Group)

7  New International Readers Version (Zondervan)

8  Common English Bible (Common English Bible)

9  New American Standard (various publishers)

10  Reina Valera 1960 (American Bible Society and licensees)

Based on Unit Sales

1  New International Version (various publishers)

2  King James Version (various publishers)

3  English Standard Version (Crossway)

4  New King James Version (various publishers)

5  New Living Translation (Tyndale)

6  Holman Christian Standard Bible (B&H Publishing Group)

7  New International Readers Version (Zondervan)

8  Common English Bible (Common English Bible)

9  Reina Valera 1960 (American Bible Society and licensees)

10  New American Standard (various publishers)

*This data is from the Christian Booksellers Association (not including sales through Amazon.com or at Walmart and other stores that are not a member of the CBA).

**By posting this data, I am not attempting to persuade readers to choose a translation based upon it’s popularity.

Examine Yourself… Are You Truly a Christian?

A person is a Christian by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone to the glory of God alone. Works don’t contribute anything to our standing before God, but are simply evidence of our faith. Someone has said that the root is faith and the fruit is good works. You simply cannot be born again without it making a significant difference in your life. As 2 Corinthians 5.17 says, “If any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away. Behold, all things are become new.”  The Bible also tells us to examine ourselves to make sure we are in the faith (2 Corinthians 13.5). The book of First John (in the New Testament) was written for that purpose. Near the end of the book it says: “These things I have written unto you so that you may know what you have eternal life” (emphasis mine). The entire book contrasts real faith with false faith. John MacArthur has come up with 11 questions based upon the tests of 1st John. Here they are:

11 Tests of True Faith
1. Do you Enjoy Fellowship with God and Christ?
2. Are you Sensitive to Sin in your Life?
3. Do you Obey the Scriptures?
4. Do you Reject this Evil World?
5. Do you Love Christ and eagerly await His Return?
6. Do you see a Decreasing Pattern of Sin in your Life?
7. Do you Love other Christians?
8. Do you Receive Answers to your Prayers?
9. Do you Experience the Ministry of the Holy Spirit?
10. Can you Discern between Spiritual Truth and Error?
11. Have you Suffered on Account of your Faith in Christ?

Now, it’s not like you have to score an A+ in all those areas. But if you have not seen a change in your life since professing faith in Christ, then you have reason to be concerned about your salvation.

One Day, Two Tragic Deaths, and James 1:19

On Saturday, August 9th, 2014 two tragic deaths occurred that sent shockwaves across the country. At one minute after Noon, officer Darren Wilson approaches Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. An altercation ensures that results in the shooting death of the 18-year-old Brown.

That evening, 832 miles east of where Michael Brown had died, Kevin Ward, Jr., was living his dream by Sprint Car racing at the Ontario County Fairgrounds against NASCAR legend Tony Stewart. On lap 14 of the short dirt track, Stewart appears to spin young Ward in to the wall, causing a flat tire and, thus, eliminating the younger driver from the race. Ward breaks protocol and exits his vehicle, walking toward the vehicles circling the track under caution. He aggressively approaches Stewart’s car on the short track and ends up apparently hit by the tail end of Stewart’s car, which results in the death of the 20-year old Ward.

Continue reading One Day, Two Tragic Deaths, and James 1:19

Why I Have Come to Prefer the KJV (and perhaps you should too!)

We are living in an era when, as English speakers, we have a multitude of choices when it comes to translations of the Bible. Throughout the history of my Christian journey, I have used many translations for my daily reading, including the New International Version (NIV), New American Standard (NASB), English Standard Version (ESV), and New King James Version (NKJV). However, the older I get and the longer I’ve studied the Bible, the more I have grown to prefer the King James Version (KJV) as my primary daily reading Bible. Here’s why…

THE KING JAMES VERSION IS A COMPLETE BIBLE

This is the main reason I prefer the King James Version: I have come to believe that the King James Version (and, likewise, the New King James Version) is based upon the best collection of ancient manuscripts. I believe that this is the textual tradition that has been preserved and cherished by most Christians for the entire history of the Christian church.

I admit this is not a huge deal, but it does matter to me because when I read the King James (or the NKJV) I like having in my hands what I consider to be a complete Bible.

Continue reading Why I Have Come to Prefer the KJV (and perhaps you should too!)

Recommended Reading: Encounters with Jesus by Timothy Keller

Tim Keller Encounters

The more I watch Keller, the more I listen to Keller, and the more I read Keller, the bigger I fan I become of him and, more importantly, a more grateful follower of Jesus I become. In many ways, Keller is a modern C. S. Lewis, able to powerfully communicate the truths of Christianity in a way that engages the culture.This particular volume is an edited collection of talks he gave in two settings: the first half of the book was a series of talks he gave about Jesus to believers and unbelievers at Oxford University in England. The second half of the book is a series he delivered to the Harvard Club in Manhattan, New York. But lest you think this book is for Mensa (genius level intelligence) types only,  I’m not Mensa material and I found it very straightforward and accessible. Like the teaching of Jesus Himself, it has depth and profundity, but yet is simple enough for a child to understand.

This book is highly recommended for believer and unbeliever alike.  ****5 stars

Opening up the Scriptures, Pointing People to Jesus

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