Sunday, June 28, 2009

Brevity and Eternal Life

This is from a blog called Downshore Drift, I thought it was a great summation of the death of two American icons and the "fleeting nature of life."

Two major icons from the 1970's and 80's have died today, according to internet reports. Michael Jackson has died according to (via Drudge Report). Apparently, he had a cardiac arrest. He was 50 years old. Farrah Fawcett also succumbed to cancer today. She was 62.

Was Michael Jackson a Christian? Was Farrah Fawcett a Christian? What happened to them when they died? I am not aware of any confession of faith in Christ or attempt to follow Jesus by either of them (UPDATE: apparently, Farrah Fawcett was a Catholic - I still don't know what Jackson believed). The Bible says that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except by Him (John 14:6). The only way to Father God and to receive His love and forgivness for our sins is through faith in Jesus Christ. Apart from faith in Christ, we will all perish in our sins, separated from God. Hollywood and the media will tell us that the good life can be found when we are famous, popular, wealthy, and beautiful. Image is everything, they say. We believe it and we fawn over celebrities and movie stars and live our lives through them. But, Jesus says that that is not where real life is found. Real life, abundant life, eternal life, is only found in a relationship with Him. I pray that all those who hear about the death of these two celebrities today will think about the shortness of life and think about if they have been reconciled to God themselves through a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Advance 09 (pt 1)

I'm attending Advance 09 this week in Durham. Yesterday was awesome and I am sure today and tomorrow will be more of the same. If you want to listen to the lectures from yesterday (4/4) go here. And the Matt Chandler lecture plus the panel Q&A is here.

Driscoll is speaking on, "What is the Church?" (You wouldn't think we need this lecture but WE DO!! There is so much confusion over the word "church" we all need this message. Driscoll was about 30 minutes in and suggested something kind of revolutionary to the Southern way of doing things that shocked one dude so much he audibly said "What!?" and all 3,000 of us heard him. Driscoll's rapid fire response was to say, "and that was the Baptist dude." It was hilarious! (Maybe you had to be there...listen to the podcast and maybe you will think it is as funny as I did.)
Tyler Jones is speaking on, "The Decline and Resurgence of the Church"
Bryan Chapell is speaking on "Christ Centered Preaching."
Matt Chandler rarely discussed his topic... he was all over the board, but it is great content and very funny!!

I'll summarize some of my notes in a later post.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Religion vs The Gospel (pt. 2)

I listen to A LOT of sermons. It's borderline nerdy even in my book, so most likely, if you are anywhere near the "cool side" of the spectrum you would straight up lump me in nerdville. Whatever...I'm not seeking your approval anyway. I go to chapel at least 20 times per semester here at SEBTS and most of them are really good. Outside of chapel Leslie and I have a great pastor in J.D. Greear. In addition to chapel and church I like to listen to podcasts when I am in the car. Some of the guys I'm listening to right now include Matt Chandler, Mark Driscoll, David Platt and of course John Piper.

A common sermon topic I have been hearing from some different pulpits over the last year is the idea of Religion vs. the Gospel. Each time I have listened to a preacher comment on how religion chokes out the Gospel and how often we get it wrong in the church, I have felt myself confronted and guilty. It is so easy to fall into "religion" but during the life and ministry of Jesus, He saved His harshest rebukes and insults for the Scribes and Pharisees who were the religious ones of the day. It is so easy to see this conflict in others from the past but we rarely to never see it in ourselves. These preachers have all done an excellent job, each in their own way, of helping me to see how religion has crept into the church here in America and all too often into my own heart as well. Since these messages have been having such a big impact on me I thought you might like to listen to some of them. These links take you directly to the sermon audio files, you can also find them on iTunes if you prefer to download them and take them with you.

Matt Chandler. The Village Church. 8/31/08. The Great Gospel.

Mark Driscoll. SEBTS Chapel. 2/5/09. 9 Distinctions Between the Gospel and Religion.

Hollie Miller. SEBTS Chapel. 4/2/09. 7 Differences Between Cultural Christianity and Biblical Christianity.

J.D. Greear. Summit Church. 5/31/09. Unexpected Opinion.