Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
1. And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach. 2. In that day shall the branch of the LORD be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel. 3. And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem: 4. When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning. 5. And the LORD will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defence. 6. And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain.
9. That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 12. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 14. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15. And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! 16. But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? 17. So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
5. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 9. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. 10. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
11. Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun. 12. And I turned myself to behold wisdom, and madness, and folly: for what can the man do that cometh after the king? even that which hath been already done. 13. Then I saw that wisdom excelleth folly, as far as light excelleth darkness. 14. The wise man’s eyes are in his head; but the fool walketh in darkness: and I myself perceived also that one event happeneth to them all. 15. Then said I in my heart, As it happeneth to the fool, so it happeneth even to me; and why was I then more wise? Then I said in my heart, that this also is vanity. 16. For there is no remembrance of the wise more than of the fool for ever; seeing that which now is in the days to come shall all be forgotten. And how dieth the wise man? as the fool.
7. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. 8. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 9. Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10. And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12. That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
4. Let them be confounded and put to shame that seek after my soul: let them be turned back and brought to confusion that devise my hurt. 5. Let them be as chaff before the wind: and let the angel of the LORD chase them. 6. Let their way be dark and slippery: and let the angel of the LORD persecute them. 7. For without cause have they hid for me their net in a pit, which without cause they have digged for my soul. 8. Let destruction come upon him at unawares; and let his net that he hath hid catch himself: into that very destruction let him fall. 9. And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD: it shall rejoice in his salvation.
1. Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. 2. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. 3. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. 4. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 5. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? 6. This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. 7. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 8. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.
. In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 2. For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. 3. Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops. 4. And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. 5. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.
Throughout the extensive history of the Church, there have been numerous events of lasting significance.
Each week brings anniversaries of impressive milestones, unforgettable tragedies, amazing triumphs, memorable births, notable deaths and everything in between.
Some of the events drawn from over 2,000 years of history might be familiar, while other happenings might be previously unknown to most people.
Here are three events that happened this week in Christian history. They include the birth of Increase Mather, the final sermon of John Flavel, and a Quaker treaty with Native Americans.
Increase Mather born – June 21, 1639
This week marks the anniversary of when Increase Mather, a prominent leader in Puritan Massachusetts, was born in Dorchester to Richard and Katherine Mather.
A graduate of Harvard College in 1656, Mather would later become a Puritan minister and serve as president of the academic institution, as well as be the father of Cotton Mather.
“Even more than his illustrious son Cotton, Increase Mather is representative of American Puritanism in seventeenth-century New England,” explained the Mather Project.
“As a leader of Boston’s ministry, he became the defender of Puritan orthodoxy during its decline; as president of Harvard, he guided the college through its most difficult period; as a political figure, he secured a new charter for Massachusetts when the old had been revoked; and as a voluminous writer, he published in widely diverse disciplines.”
William Penn signs treaty with Native Americans – June 23, 1683
This week marks the anniversary of when influential Quaker leader William Penn, founder of the modern state of Pennsylvania, signed a treaty with a local Native American tribe.
Penn made the treaty with a northern tribe known as the Lenni Lenape, making the agreement under a great elm tree located at Shackamaxon in Philadelphia.
There is some dispute as to the exact date for the treaty, with some placing it as actually having happened at other dates, such as sometime in 1682.
Nevertheless, the treaty was famously described by 18th century French intellectual Voltaire as “the only treaty between those persons and the Christians which has not been sworn to, and which has not been broken.”
John Flavel preaches final sermon – June 21, 1691
This week marks the anniversary of when John Flavel, an influential English Puritan author and preacher, preached what became his final sermon, dying from a severe stroke five days later.
His final message centered on the biblical passage of First Corinthians 10:12, rendered in one translation as “Wherefore let him that stands take heed lest he fall.”
“His life was representative of the best of England’s seventeenth century nonconformists. He was known for his passion at prayer,” noted the Institute.
“For instance, learning that a sea battle was in progress, and knowing that many Dartmouth boys were in the navy, he led his people in prayer and fasting. Not one of Dartmouth’s many sailors perished.”
Displaced Iraqi Christian children in Erbil, the largest city in Iraqi Kurdistan, hold a sign for the Catholic charity organization Aid to the Church in Need (ACN). (Credit: ACN.)
ROME – According to Bishop Mathew Kukah of Sokoto, the Church in Nigeria is one of martyrs. However, he said it wasn’t a Church of sorrows, because despite the persecution perpetrated by Islamic terrorist organizations, “our people have risen to the challenge.”
“The great news for us Christians in Nigeria is that we’ve been quite relentless, and this persecution, which is part of the life and oxygen of Christianity, has found a greater witness of faith and confidence of our people,” he said on Friday.
The prelate also said that Nigeria is a “very troubled country, almost on the verge of internal explosion,” which has created “serious pressure” for the Christian community, with Boko Haram no longer restricted to Nigeria’s northeast, reaching even Kukah’s diocese in north central Nigeria.
“Every day, we see death and destruction at a massive scale,” he said, noting that two days ago, schoolchildren and their teachers were kidnaped, and their whereabouts remain unknown.
Kidnapping girls and selling them as slaves has long been one of Boko Haram’s strategies to finance its crimes.
Kukah’s words came during the presentation of the 2020 financial report of the pontifical charitable agency Aid to the Church in Need (ACN). According to the annual report, ACN raised almost $150 million last year, a 15 percent increase from 2019.
One of the questions raised during the presentation was the impact of the allegations made earlier this year against the founder, Father Werenfried van Straaten, who after an apostolic visitation to ACN in 2009 was found guilty of “serious violations” in four areas of Catholic moral and social teaching.
Dr Thomas Heine-Geldern, executive president of ACN International, said that the donors of the charity “understand that our mission is an important one, and they’re continuing to support our work with their donations.”
He also noted that most of the benefactors were “satisfied” with the way the papal charity had handled the allegations, claiming the past five months have been the most successful in raising funds in the charity’s history.
“Not only did the pandemic turn our own work upside down, but it also dramatically worsened the plight of Christians in many regions of the world, who found themselves — literally almost overnight, without work, pay or food. And many priests and religious were also left not knowing how to make ends meet,” he added.
“In this emergency, however, ACN‘s benefactors remained true to the charity. This great generosity leaves us feeling profoundly grateful,” Heine-Geldern continued. “It was quite unforeseen, especially since the crisis has inflicted profound economic insecurity and difficulties on us all. We were particularly pleased to note that the number of our benefactors has also increased worldwide.”
In 2017, at the age of 20, Chacón was working in the cosmetics industry when she felt a need to find a greater purpose in her life. She took some time off and joined her grandmother, Michelle Corral, in Egypt where she was engaged in humanitarian and missionary work.
John Burger reported in Aleteia that while living among Egyptian Christians, Chacón was inspired to devote her life to helping persecuted Christians:
“It was in Egypt, traveling with my grandmother, that I experienced the face of the persecuted Church for the first time. I realized that there are Christians suffering for their faith, and that these were not just the older generation, but people my age were willing to risk everything for their faith, willing to risk their lives to go to church, to serve Christ and live their lives for the Gospel,” said Chacón.
Jonathan Roumie from The Chosen marches
On September 20, the first March for the Martyrs was held in Long Beach, California. Hundreds of people from many Christian denominations took part, including the actor Jonathan Roumie, who plays Jesus in the popular series The Chosen.
Roumie addressed the marchers, recalling America’s founding and his own family’s experience as Christians in Egypt.
“The United States was founded by men and women who fled religious persecution,” he said. “My own father left Egypt in the 60s because of religious persecution. He brought his family over in search of a better life.”
“The fact that we can be here praising Jesus’ name together without apology deserves a round of applause. God called you here to celebrate with us, to march with us,” said Roumie.
Only 6% of Americans have a “biblical worldview,” according to research from notable evangelical pollster George Barna released as part of a new endeavor with the Christian conservative advocacy organization Family Research Council.
In a statement Wednesday, FRC announced that Barna, who founded the influential evangelical polling organization Barna Group, joined the organization as a senior fellow of their newly launched Center for Biblical Worldview.
FRC President Tony Perkins said that the center is “designed to give Christians a firm foundation so that they can engage the culture by being rooted in God’s Word.”
“Every Christian can and should obtain a biblical worldview — which is only achieved when a person believes that the Bible is true, authoritative, and then taught how it is applicable to every area of life, which enables them to live out those beliefs,” Perkins stressed in a statement.
As part of the center’s launch, FRC released research conducted by Barna’s Metaformation research group. Some of the new report includes questions and data compiled for the American Worldview Inventory produced by the Barna-led Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University.
The data found, among other things, that while 51% of American adults said they have a “biblical worldview, only 6% of American adults actually hold this worldview.
Barna drew the conclusion of inconsistency among the 51% reporting a biblical worldview by noting that many of the questions to determine worldview found this group technically outside of what the pollster defined as a “biblical worldview.”
For example, of the 51%, 49% said that reincarnation was a possibility after they die. Meanwhile, only 33% said they believed that “human beings are born with a sinful nature and can only be saved from the consequences of sin by Jesus Christ.”
Data for the research came from a May survey featuring a nationally representative sample of 1,000 adults, with a sampling error of about plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.
“Christians have a duty to stand against the prevailing cultural tides and proclaim God’s truth to a dark and wandering world,” Perkins stated. “But before you stand, you need solid ground.”
The data comes as similar results have been found by other surveys in recent years. Last September, the Cultural Research Center revealed survey data compiled in January 2020 that showed that 2% of millenials hold a biblical worldview even though 61% identify as Christian.
In 2017, a survey from the American Culture and Faith Institute found that about 10% of Americans hold a distinctly biblical worldview even though 46% claimed to lead a Christian life.
In addition to Barna serving as a senior fellow, FRC’s new Center for Biblical Worldview will be headed by David Closson, author of FRC’s “Biblical Worldview Series” who has written pieces for publications including National Review and The Gospel Coalition. Owen Strachen, the provost and research professor of theology at Grace Bible Theological Seminary in Arkansas, also joined the center as a senior fellow.
“I am excited to work more closely with FRC to apply the research findings in ways that help to transform individuals’ lives and American culture,” Barna said in a statement. “Given FRC’s track record of making a difference in our society based upon its unwavering commitment to biblical principles, I look forward to an effective and fruitful partnership using research to guide our efforts.”
The founder and namesake of the Barna Group, Barna also founded the Cultural Research Center in March 2020.
Family Is Reunited with Late Mother’s Bible after an Oklahoma Man Finds it on His Lawn
An Oklahoma family has been reunited with their late mother’s Bible after a man found it on his front lawn.
Terry Ward, the man who found the Bible, had been mowing his front lawn last week when he noticed a Bible in his flower bed.
“It rained all night, so it must have just been there for a little while because it wasn’t wet,” Ward told NBC affiliate KFOR-TV. “Just laying there with some screws and some bullets.”
Ward immediately thought about getting the Bible back to its rightful owner after he noticed that it had the name Pearl Williams in it and was dated 1946.
“Who is Pearl Williams, and where does she live?” he recalled asking himself. “I asked City Hall, and they had no record of her.”
Ward continued this effort by calling the Nicoma Park Police Department, who found the Del City address inside the Bible.
“So, I contacted the Del City Police Department, and they went by the address,” said Lt. Mike Weiss with the Nicoma Park Police Dept. “Luckily, the Bible’s owner – her son – still lived at that address.”
Lisa Bennett, Pearl’s daughter, told KFOR-TV that her family couldn’t believe that their late mother’s Bible made its way to their home.
“It was very emotional,” Bennett said. “We lost my mom in October. So that was hard enough, and now to find out that I have her Bible gives me part of her.”
She added that the Bible also included many precious memories that her late mother tucked inside.
“Her wedding announcement was in the Bible from where she and my dad got married,” Bennett explained. “She kept different things that were very important to her.”
“She was a big part of my life, so when I lost her, I lost a lot of her,” she continued. “Finding little bits and pieces and keeping little pieces of her helps me rebuild that little loss in my heart.”
Bennett also expressed gratitude to the man who found the Bible as well as the police for their investigative work.
“This is the kind of story that makes it nice to be a police officer,” Weiss said. “It makes it nice to be an investigator that you can find somebody’s family Bible and return it to them.”
Police have since conducted a further investigation to determine whether the Bible and other items were stolen from Pearl’s home after she died.