Friday Church News Notes
Volume 20, Issue 16 - April 19, 2019
Graphical Edition
The Friday Church News Notes is designed for use in churches and is published by Way of Life Literature. Unless otherwise stated, the Notes are written by David Cloud. Of necessity we quote from a wide variety of sources, though this does not imply an endorsement.
Israel
ISRAEL’S MOON LANDER CRASHES (Friday Church News Notes, April 19, 2019, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - Israel’s moon lander Beeresheet crashed on the far side of the moon on April 11. Beeresheet, meaning “in the beginning,” was the first attempt by a private enterprise to put a spacecraft on the moon’s surface. (The project was a joint project between the privately-funded SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries.) The craft successfully made the journey to the moon and entered moon orbit, but there was a glitch in the engine as it neared the surface. Morris Khan, president of SpaceIL, announced that a second attempt will be made. Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who had won his re-election bid the day before and was watching the landing attempt from the control room near Tel Aviv, said, “If at first you don’t succeed, you try again.” Beeresheet accomplished great things on a shoe-string budget of about $76 million with a team of less than 50 engineers. This is the cusp of privately-funded space exploration. On the same day as SpaceIL attempted a moon landing, SpaceX’s massive Falcon Heavy rocket made its second successful launch and all three of its boosters successfully landed back on earth to be reused. SpaceX’s are the first space rockets to achieve this goal, thus greatly reducing the cost of launches. This technology is a fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy about the time of the end, that “many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased” (Da. 12:4). The day is approaching when Israel will be converted and be the light to the nations that God intends that she be. “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising” (Isaiah 60:1-3).

AT LEAST 290 SELFIE DEATHS (Friday Church News Notes, April 19, 2019, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from “More than 250,” The Washington Post, Oct. 2, 2018: “More than 250 people worldwide have died while taking selfies in the last six years, according to a new study from researchers associated with the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, a group of public medical colleges based in New Delhi. The findings, which analyzed news reports of the 259 selfie-related deaths from October 2011 to November 2017, were published in the July-August edition of the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care. Of the 259 deaths, researchers found the leading cause to be drowning, followed by incidents involving transportation—for example, taking a selfie in front of an oncoming train—and falling from heights. Other causes of selfie-related deaths include animals, firearms and electrocution. “The selfie deaths have become a major public health problem,” Agam Bansal, the study’s lead author, told The Washington Post. … ‘Taking a toll on these many numbers just because you want a perfect selfie because you want a lot of likes, shares on Facebook, Twitter or other social media, I don’t think this is worth compromising a life for such a thing.’” (At least 31 selfie deaths have occurred since November 2017 - “List of Selfie-related Injuries and Deaths,” wikipedia.org.)

CHINA’S FACIAL RECOGNITION SYSTEM ALREADY A FINE-TUNED ORWELLIAN NIGHTMARE (Friday Church News Notes, April 19, 2019, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from “If You Jaywalk in China,” Futurism.com, Mar. 30, 2018: “Residents of Shenzhen don’t dare jaywalk. Since April 2017, this city in China’s Guangdong province has deployed a rather intense technique to deter jaywalking. Anyone who crosses against the light will find their face, name, and part of their government ID number displayed on a large LED screen above the intersection, thanks to facial recognition devices all over the city. If that feels invasive, you don’t even know the half of it. Now, Motherboard reports that a Chinese artificial intelligence company is partnering the system with mobile carriers, so that offenders receive a text message with a fine as soon as they are caught. The system is just one cog in the vast surveillance machine that the Chinese government has been building over the last several years. Its aim is in part public safety and security, but the information on citizens’ whereabouts and activities will also feed into China’s national social credit system. The social credit system, which will roll out in 2020, is intended to rate individuals according to a national scoring system for how trustworthy a citizen each person is.”

PREACHER FINDS GOOD USE FOR WAY OF LIFE BIBLE STUDY MATERIALS (Friday Church News Notes, April 19, 2019, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following testimony is by Don Whitecar, former missionary to Belize who is currently starting a church in Pocatello, Idaho: “After one year in Belize, we had a little over 100 saved and in various stages of Christian growth. The attendance was consistently over 100, and a few had grown to the point to be workers in classes, etc. It was at this time that I used Way of Life’s 52 week One Year Discipleship books. I gave every family one that they read and answered the questions during the week. In the Sunday evening service announcements, I would go over the answers. We had great participation, and it is this effort that grounded the largest group that made up the foundation of that church. After that point, I used those discipleship books by assigning a newly saved person to a grounded Christian who had already been through the book. They would work through the book together. Before the service began on Sunday evenings, it was common to see several places around the auditorium where people were going over the books. That church has used over 250 copies of that text. After the second anniversary of the church I began a Bible Institute to teach more in depth. We met on Monday evenings for 1.5 hours per class (2 classes). My wife offered speech classes (Bible story telling, etc.) for the ladies. Our classes were always well attended, and Way of Life’s Advanced Bible Studies books were always the text (for the Bible classes). The students were turning in their answers to the review questions for homework. We went over the answers in class. The questions from the homework became possible test questions at the end of each section, in addition to the information from my lecture notes. Later, I added to this. We picked a textbook, and I assigned due dates (always Sunday evenings) for the review questions to be due. We offered this to the entire church. We had upwards of 40 to 50 reading and answering the questions. This method was my favorite because it brought the information to so many more people. In December of 2017, just before I left, I remember going in to the evening service and overhearing two of our church ladies commenting to each other of how hard a life the Waldensian Christians had to live. Most Christians around the world don’t even know who the Waldensians were! Thank you for the hard work to provide these materials for our ministry. We are using the discipleship book again here in the new work, and one of the ladies is reading the history of the churches already. Your Sowing and Reaping book is another great tool to train new workers. I taught through that in Belize on Saturday morning visitation meeting. I pray every day for your ministry, and I am thankful for your enormous efforts to put out good material.”

A MAGAZINE THAT IS NOT OUTSPOKEN IS A LITERARY NUISANCE (Friday Church News Notes, April 19, 2019, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following words by Charles Spurgeon are from The Sword & Trowel, 1870: “This Magazine has not been conducted in a timid, crouching spirit, neither have we pandered to popular tastes. Some of our articles have brought down upon us upbraidings which we have borne without regret. Our reviews, when we have felt conscientiously bound to censure, have cost us many a postal lecture. We are not, however, penitent; we have nothing to retract, but doubt not that we shall sin again; we would not needlessly irritate, but we will not be silent in the presence of error, neither will we bespatter with flattery where honesty demands denunciation. A magazine which is not outspoken, and is destitute of principle, is a literary nuisance. We use the trowel wherever we can to aid every good cause, but we have a sword also and mean to use it. We expect to receive blows, and therefore when we do we are not overwhelmed with dismay. Christ’s truth is too dear to us for us to flinch from its defense. In the widespread defection which is now so sadly apparent in certain quarters, we see not only signs of coming struggles, but calls to duty, stern and arduous, from which only cowards will desire to be excused. The ancient faith, assailed by foes on all hands, must not lack for champions.”

THE SANDS OF PLUTO (Friday Church News Notes, April 19, 2019, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is from Creation Moments, Feb. 26, 2019: “‘When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; what is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?’ (Psalm 8:3-4). What would it be like, standing on the surface of Pluto? As a boy, fascinated by astronomy, I avidly devoured any books that I could about the planets. One of my favorites was called Challenge of the Stars, published in 1972, with text by TV astronomer Patrick Moore and space artist David A. Hardy. My copy was even given to me and signed by Mr. Moore himself. In the section on Pluto, Hardy had painted a scene where one seems to be looking out through the entrance of an icy cave. Icicles are hanging over the opening. The sky is black and full of stars, but one star is noticeably brighter than the others. The text told me that this was the Sun, appearing so far away, it just looked like the other stars, albeit a bit brighter. The text also told me that the ice was actually solid nitrogen—and so were the icicles. Roll on 45 years. The New Horizons space mission has now visited Pluto and taken photographs, along with lots of measurements. This data from that 2015 fly-by is still being analyzed today. Research just published has suggested that nitrogen frost at the edge of Pluto’s ice plain has split the rock into tiny particles, looking like sand. Winds of methane have moved the grains into dunes. At -230°C, this must be the coldest beach property in the Solar System. It is truly amazing when we consider that Scripture refers to the universe as the work of God’s fingers. Ref: ‘Methane ice and winds on Pluto,’ www.newscientist.com.”

CONCLUSION: The Friday Church News Notes is designed for use in churches and is published by Way of Life Literature’s Fundamental Baptist Information Service. Unless otherwise stated, the Notes are written by David Cloud. Of necessity we quote from a wide variety of sources, but this obviously does not imply an endorsement. We trust that our readers will not be discouraged. It is God’s will that we know the times (1 Ch. 12:32; Mat. 16:3) and that we be as wise as serpents and harmless as doves. The News Notes remind us that the hour is very late, and we need to be ready for the Lord’s coming. Are you sure that you are born again? Are you living for Christ? “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof” (Rom. 13:11-14).

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Distributed by Way of Life Literature., publisher of Bible Study Materials and reports for Fundamental Baptists and other fundamentalist, Bible-believing Christians. Established in 1974, Way of Life Literature is a fundamental Baptist preaching and publishing ministry based in Bethel Baptist Church, London, Ontario, of which Wilbert Unger is the founding Pastor. Brother Cloud lives in South Asia where he has been a church planting missionary since 1979. OUR GOAL IN THIS PARTICULAR ASPECT OF OUR MINISTRY (REPORTS AND FRIDAY NEWS) IS NOT DEVOTIONAL. IS TO PROVIDE INFORMATION TO ASSIST PREACHERS IN THE PROTECTION OF THE CHURCHES IN THIS APOSTATE HOUR.

David Cloud, Way of Life Literature, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org

The Way of Life Literature preaching and publishing ministry is based at Bethel Baptist Church, London, Ontario, of which Wilbert Unger is the founding Pastor. A mail stop is maintained in Port Huron, Michigan.

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