Way of Life Literature

 

Publisher of Bible Study Materials

Friday Church News Notes
Volume 21, Issue 11 - March 13, 2020
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.
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GLOBAL PANIC DRIVEN BY AN IRRESPONSIBLE, COVETOUS MEDIA (Friday Church News Notes, March 13, 2020, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The global panic surrounding the coronavirus outbreak is breathtaking in its overreaction. Two nations quarantined. Major events cancelled in areas where there is no coronavirus! Airlines going bankrupt. Hotels vacated. Borders locked down. Stock markets plummeting. (Warren Buffett says it’s time to invest!) “One would think it is the bubonic plague, but it isn’t. COVID-19, the virus at the heart of the global panic, is a coronavirus, which is a contagious respiratory virus similar to influenza. It kills some people, mostly elderly over 70 in poor health, but it is not particularly deadly in the broad scheme of things in this dying world.” The vast majority of people who contract it have flu symptoms of varying degrees and go on with their lives. The death rate is 1-2%. (The death rate on the Diamond Princess was 1%, all over 70 years of age, and in South Korea, where statistics are candid, the fatality rate is 0.6%.) William Schaffner, professor of preventive medicine and infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, warns, “There’s a large epidemic of coronavirus anxiety” (“Early mortality rates for coronavirus are likely misleading,” ABC News, Mar. 9, 2020). To put this business in right perspective, while a few thousand have died of COVID-19, MILLIONS have died of other things. About 3 million people die of all causes in America every year, and 56 million worldwide. That’s MILLION. Leading causes of death in America are, in the following order, heart disease, cancer, accidents, lower respiratory diseases, stroke, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes. Those are the first seven. Number eight is influenza (the flu) and pneumonia. About 39 thousand died of the flu last year in America. Worldwide the annual number of flu deaths is about 200,000. Where are the constantly-updated, red-blotched charts tracking those deaths? In part, it is irresponsible media entities and omnipresent social media that have stirred up the frenzy by focusing 24/7 on fear-mongering. There are warnings that 70% of the world will contract COVID-19; 20% of Americans could die; it is an escaped Chinese bioweapon; Trump is lying.... Quacks and nutcases are in “hog heaven.” Everyone has become an expert. I have a wiser source of information. The world’s most authoritative book on the future informs us that the really big epidemics are ahead. BILLIONS will die during a seven-year period that is approaching and that precedes the return of Christ to establish His kingdom. We read about them in the book of Revelation. “And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth” (Revelation 6:8). As for death, the fact that multitudes are in panic mode from a flu virus with a small fatality rate proves that men are terribly afraid of dying. And CNN, MSNBC, FoxNews, BBC, UPI, Yahoo, Bloomberg, etc., are not giving the most important warning, which is that “it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” Hebrews 9:27), and they are not giving the most important information, which is how to be saved from eternal judgment. If you are not ready to die, you better get ready, because the mortality rate is 100%! According to the world’s most authoritative history book, only two men have left this world without dying, and that was Enoch and Elijah, and those were special cases personally superintended by God. That same book tells us the fundamental reason for death, and it is not COVID-19. It is sin, and all are sinners. The good news, in that same book, is that the compassionate Creator sent His Son to be the Saviour of the world. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

GOD, GIVE US SPIRITUAL WARRIORS LIKE PAUL! (Friday Church News Notes, March 13, 2020, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The apostle Paul was a fighter. His bodily presence might have been weak, as his enemies claimed (2 Co. 10:10), but he was a special forces-caliber warrior for truth. On the very first stop of his first historic missionary journey, he called out a prominent member of Salamis with these shocking words, “O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord,” and struck him with blindness for good measure (Ac. 13:10-11)! What a fireball for God’s truth! As for two preachers of that day, Hymenaeus and Alexander, Paul turned them over to the devil “that they may learn not to blaspheme” (1 Ti. 1:20). In an epistle meant to be read by all of the churches, Paul called out two other preachers by name, Hymenaeus and Philetus, labeling their teaching “profane and vain babblings” (2 Ti. 2:16-18). In the same epistle, Paul publicly exposed Alexander the coppersmith’s evil (2 Ti. 4:14-15) and called out the preacher Demas, a former coworker, for “having loved this present world,” holding him up as a bad example and a warning to all the churches. Paul even rebuked Peter publicly for hypocrisy (Ga. 2:11-14). The apostle to the Gentiles taught a vast amount of truly deep, “positive truth,” but he was never content with that. He fought against Galatian Judaizers and Corinthian spiritualizers and Colossian gnostics. He stood against false christs and false gospels and false spirits of any and every sort, but he didn’t stop there. He stood against carnality, worldliness, man-centeredness, pride of scholarship, unqualified pastors, dishonesty, laziness, every type of sin in the churches. He was an unwavering disciplinarian (1 Co. 5; 1 Ti. 20). He was big on rebuking (2 Ti. 4:2; Tit. 1:13; 2:15). Unlike many preachers since then, Paul never backed down, never softened his stance, never regretted or repented of fighting for truth’s sake. At the very end, Paul summarized his Christian life with these words, “I have fought a good fight” (2 Ti. 4:7). Indeed! Any preacher who is not a fighter is not walking in the footsteps of Paul. God, give us spiritual warriors!

“GAY CHRISTIANITY” MOVEMENT INVADES MENNONITE CHURCHES (Friday Church News Notes, March 13, 2020, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from Reformation Charlotte, Mar. 4, 2020: “Posture Shift is a ‘gay Christianity’ Conference held by a ministry called Lead Them Home that seeks to change how the church views homosexuality and pushes for full inclusivity of gays, lesbians, and other sexually-confused individuals such as ‘transgenders.’ Many of the Posture Shift speakers and team overlap with the Revoice Conference and one conference was even held at a Southern Baptist Church a few years ago. While the ministry claims according to their website to hold to a biblical ethic on sexuality and marriage, the notion that they actually practice what they preach is clearly absurd. In fact, just taking a look at some of the staff on the ministry’s website will paint a completely different picture. For example, look at Lesli Hudson-Reynolds--the ministry’s ‘Gender Identity Ministry Director.’ A simple glance at her shows she doesn’t hold to a biblical worldview on gender and sexuality. Further, upon a quick glance at her public Facebook profile reveals that she has embraced a gay-inclusive form of Christianity that is found nowhere in Scripture. According to the ministry staff bio page, Lesli ‘currently serves as Gender Identity Ministry Director for Lead Them Home.’ She also ‘mentors youth and adults seeking God’s will in their gender identity,’ and is developing a re­source de­signed to ‘thought­ful­ly en­gage church lead­er­ship in the gender conversation.’ These people believe that it’s perfectly fine to express your aberrant sexuality--you can be a ‘gay Christian,’ or a ‘transgender Christian’--so long as you don’t perform sexual acts. Lesli, herself, appears to identify as a ‘non-binary’ person. In fact, her entire public profile is littered with gay propaganda.”

EMERGING CHURCH PASTOR SAYS YOUNG PEOPLE NEED A CALLING, NOT RULES (Friday Church News Notes, March 13, 2020,, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) - Rock & roll loving Steven Furtick of Elevation Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, says that what this generation needs is not more rules to live by, but a calling to live for (“Charlotte Pastor,” The Christian Post, Nov. 26, 2010). This is typical emerging church philosophy. In reality, what youth need is both a call to real discipleship and biblical rules to live by. (The first thing they need is born again salvation, which a great many church youth don’t have.) In Scripture, discipleship involves keeping God’s rules. The Lord Jesus instructed the churches to teach converts to “observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20), and those “all things” are found in the New Testament Scriptures. Consider the epistle of Ephesians. It teaches the glorious truth that salvation is by God’s grace without works, but it also contains three chapters packed with rules for believers to live by, rules that cover every aspect of life, private, family, and work. I have counted 88 specific “rules” in the epistle of Ephesians that every saved by grace child of God is commissioned to keep. Addicted to the pop culture, this generation has rejected rules for a “me first” lifestyle and philosophy, and the emerging church is tickling itching ears with a lusty Christianity, which is a fulfillment of Bible prophecy (2 Timothy 4:3-4). Assuming an upbeat emerging stance, Furtick claims that this is “the most driven, most opportunistic, most positioned generation in history to take the gospel of Jesus Christ all over the world.” In fact, this is a generation that generally lacks the self-sacrifice, discipline, and long-term commitment to accomplish such a great task, but when a young person rejects his “generation,” repenting of his love for the ungodly, vain pop culture, and becomes a true disciple of Christ, submitting himself to Christ’s rule as expressed in Scripture, he can indeed help take the gospel of Christ to this needy world. This is the objective that every church should have for its young people. What we do agree with is that young people in Bible-believing churches don’t need JUST rules, and they particularly don’t need a mere list of shallow external standards divorced from training in genuine heart-level discipleship and in how to apply the principles of God’s Word to daily living. The essence and fundamental of the Christian life is not rules; it is Christ Himself. True discipleship is to know and serve Jesus Christ, and that will make one a pilgrim and stranger in this present world.

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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