Archive for October 21st, 2006

New York City Officials to Keep Searching Ground Zero for More Sept. 11 Remains

Saturday, October 21st, 2006

NEW YORK — The city said Friday that it will search parts of the World Trade Center site again for remains of the Sept. 11 dead after several bones were pulled out of an abandoned manhole — a discovery that stirred up new fury and disbelief among victims’ families.

The family members demanded that construction stop at ground zero until remains of all their loved ones are recovered. They also called for state and federal investigations into the failure to completely remove remains from ground zero.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg called an emergency meeting at City Hall that included police, fire officials and the city medical examiner after the discovery of bones Thursday in a manhole in the 16-acre site. Remains as big as arm or leg bones were found, along with personal effects including at least one wallet, officials said.

The meeting yielded a plan that would have utility companies that are inspecting manhole and utility areas be accompanied by staff from the police and fire departments and the medical examiner’s office. Searchers will examine about six more manholes in the next few days, officials said.

City officials will also analyze underground areas to see whether there could be places that weren’t searched or need to be searched again. Authorities said it is possible that crews will have to tear up surface areas in order to reach those subterranean cavities.

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Human Remains Found by Workers at World Trade Center Site.

The Economy…What the Media Shows

Saturday, October 21st, 2006

What the Media Shows

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No Media Bias Here…Yeah Right!!

Sorry…I’m Not a Democrat

Saturday, October 21st, 2006

Sorry...I'm not a Democrat

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Foley, the Poster Child of Democrat Duplicity.

“The Oldest Lie in The Book” by Jack Kinsella

Saturday, October 21st, 2006

Q. “I have a friend who was once saved and baptized and seemingly on fire for the Lord. Then, gradually, he turned away from the Lord, and now actively scoffs at those who believe the Bible and actually tries to convince them that it is all a myth. You say salvation is eternal. How, then, can you explain my friend?”

I get this question, or some variation of it, almost every day. If I do, then you probably do, as well. Or maybe you have wrestled with that same question yourself. In either case, it is worth addressing fully here.

A. Although we play no active role in our own salvation, we do play a passive one. Salvation is a gift of grace, obtained by faith in the promise that ‘whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved.”

The question here involves sincerity of the heart. If you are saved, you know whether or not you meant it when you turned your life and your will over to Jesus Christ. You know how sincere YOU were when you recognized that you were a sinner. You know how sincere YOU were when you asked Jesus to come into your life and make the changes He saw fit, and whether or not you were willing to let those changes take place.

You know where YOU were spiritually when you cried out to God for salvation. You may have had ups and downs in your walk with the Lord, but YOU know if you have genuinely changed your mind (ie, repented) about your sin.

As far as your friend is concerned, however, you do NOT have that information. You have no way of knowing what motivated him to come forward at an altar call. Maybe it wasn’t repentance, but rather, one of seeking the acceptance of someone they cared about, instead.

For example, I knew a man who was in love with a woman who would not marry him because he wasn’t saved. She explained she could not be unequally yoked with him. He came forward at an altar call, professed faith in Jesus and was baptized. His relationship with her still didn’t work out, and later, he became one of the most vociferous God-haters I’d ever met.

Was he sincerely crying out to be saved that day? Or was he sincerely seeking the approval of his girlfriend? That is something known only to God.

We are saved according to God’s promise to us as individuals. It is an individual relationship with Jesus that saves us. To question the sincerity of God’s promise based on the witness (good or bad) of another individual will always result in the wrong answer. God was sincere enough to send His only Begotten Son to pay the penalty for our sins.

Whether or not one sincerely believes in God, or sincerely believes he is a sinner, or sincerely believes his sins NEED forgiving, these are all unknown quantities, except to God and to the individual involved.

Here is the KNOWN quantity. “. . . if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2nd Corinthians 5:17)

“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.” (Galatians 6:15)

Can a new creature, by an act of his own will, revive that which is dead? Can a butterfly go back into a cocoon and re-emerge as a caterpillar?

The unknown quantity is whether or not someone’s profession of faith was motivated by a sincere desire to be accepted by Christ, or whether it was motivated by a desire to be accepted by someone else. Was the old man willing to be ‘crucified with Christ?’

Or was he motivated to profess Christ for some other reason?

It is not up to us to judge the salvation of another by his current state of witness. Or to judge the sincerity of God’s promise to us according somebody else’s current state of witness. Each day of our lives is but a slice of the whole thing.

Each of us has had some period of time during our walk with the Lord that we are not particularly proud of. (Or at least, in my case, that is true.)

I would not want to be judged according to my lowest spiritual point. And I would certainly not judge God by that standard.

God isn’t done with me yet.

The answer, then, is simply that I CAN’T explain your friend. I can only explain what God has revealed in His Word. It isn’t your friend’s witness that is evidence of eternal salvation. It is God’s witness that is evidence of eternal salvation. When someone becomes a ‘new’ creature, the old creature dies.

“Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.” (Romans 6:6)

I’ve noted in the past that pretty much every doctrinal heresy in existence is directly traceable to the very first lie ever foisted upon human beings by Satan. (Genesis 3:5)

That lie comes in three parts.

“Your eyes shall be opened.” Satan wants us to believe that somehow, as Christians, we can understand the Mind of God. But God Himself says that is impossible.

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9)

The idea that “our eyes shall be opened” carries with it some suggestion that we are privy to some secret, hidden knowlege of God. The truth is that we are made privy to some secret, heretofore hidden, knowledge about OURSELVES.

That we are sinners who stand guilty and without excuse before a Righteous God.

To try and divine the truth about God’s promise based on the witness of another implies our eyes have been ‘opened’ to something only God can know. The condition of another’s heart.

The second part of that lie is like unto the first; “Knowing good from evil.” Human beings know right from wrong. Good and evil are outcomes — and outcomes are known ONLY to God.

Each of us has tons of personal examples in our own lives we can look to for confirmation of that truth, usually those things of which we say, “I wouldn’t go through that again for anything, but I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.”

What seemed exceedingly evil at the time, as time goes on, reveals itself to have been, in fact, a good thing. Who knows what God has planned for someone else’s life that will come out of their current state of witness? What is impossible for God?

But we’ll stick with the Scriptural evidences for now.

One need look no farther than Joseph for Biblical evidence of that fact. Joseph’s brothers threw him down a well, and later sold him into slavery because they were jealous of his relationship with their father.

Joseph subsequently rose to the position of the second most powerful man in Egypt, just as a famine threatened to wipe out the sons of Israel and their families. They went to Egypt, where Joseph, having been warned by God, had stored up food against the coming famine.

Had Joseph not been in the position he was at the time, his brothers, who were not Egyptians, would have been turned away to starve. God had a plan for Israel and it didn’t involve them starving to death before it could come to fruition.

As Joseph himself noted, his brothers meant it for evil, but God meant it for good. Good and evil are outcomes, and outcomes are known only to God. We find in our original question, elements of this lie, as well. We don’t know how this guy’s life will turn out.

But the question that DOES arise out of his life is about whether or not God is faithful in His promise of eternal salvation.

Do you see what I am saying here? We see some guy’s witness, and it causes us to question GOD’s faithfulness. In setting up the Oldest Lie in the Book, Satan questioned God’s Word; “Yea, hath God said . . .” (Genesis 3:1) The question led to Eve’s ADDING to the Word of God: “neither shall ye touch it” — God didn’t say that.

God said, “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Genesis 2:19)

We are indirectly questioning God’s faithfulness based on the evidence of some individual’s unfaithfulness. We judge the guy as evil without certain knowledge of the outcome and we end up questioning God as a result. Do you see it?

The third part is “Ye shall be as gods.” If we can question God’s ability to preserve one’s salvation based on the bad works of the one who we believe is saved, then it follows that we play a role in saving ourselves. But only God has the power to save:

“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

“I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” (Galatians 2:21)

Is the fact that someone who was saved and then turned away from God evidence that one can lose, surrender, give back or walk away from his salvation?

Hebrews 10:26-27 is often cited as Biblical proof that we can:

“For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.”

We ALL sin willfully. It is impossible to sin unwillingly. And we continue to sin even after we are saved.

But there ‘remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment,’ the Scriptures say.

Taken to mean we can lose our salvation, it then follows that we are forever lost. There “remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment.”

In other words, once a Christian sins, there is no reason to turn away from sin, since there is no more sacrifice to be offered for it. Is that what the verse means? It is not logical, since it means we are all lost, since nobody, saved or unsaved, is capable of a sinless life. (Read Romans 7 — even the Apostle Paul wasn’t capable and he admits it in detail)

What Hebrews 10:26-27 teaches is actually quite the opposite. There “remaineth no more sacrifice for sins” because the sacrifce of Jesus Christ is all-sufficient. If it isn’t all-sufficient, then logic dictates that what ‘remaineth’ WOULD be ‘a certain fearful looking for of judgment.”

Read any other way, it would mean NOBODY can be saved, including the Apostle Paul.

“And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.”

Some interpret this ‘thorn in the flesh” as a physical disability. But Satan is an angel, which means ‘messenger’ and Satan is in command of a third of the angels (messengers) who revolted against God.

And Paul clearly identifies his ‘thorn’ as a ‘messenger of Satan,’ which served to keep Paul’s spiritual ego in check. What is the function of Satan’s messengers? Temptation and sin, is it not?

“For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me,” Paul writes in 2nd Corinthians 12:7. And Jesus replies in the next verse:

“And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness. . . ”

Now let’s logic this out together. Is Jesus referring to physical strength? Are only physically weak people adequate witnesses of the Gospel? Or only physically strong people? Is there ANY way to read that as PHYSICAL strength without tossing logic out the window?

Logic dictates that what is at issue here is spiritual strength and weakness. What does spiritual weakness signify? What is spiritual ‘strength’?

What does ‘staying strong in the Lord’ mean? Working out three times a week at the gym? Obviously not.

The Oldest Lie in The Book is the one that caused the fall of mankind. Satan uses that lie the same way today as he did then. To convince us that WE have power that belongs only to God. Only God can save us. Only God can keep us. We play no role in our own salvation because if we do, then “Christ is dead in vain.”

“For by grace are ye saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” If grace is a gift, it could never be understood to be of ourselves, since one cannot ‘gift’ oneself. The ‘that’ in this verse that is not of ourselves is ‘faith.’

We can know this because of the next verse which says; “Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9) Nobody could logically boast about himself because God extends grace to all men. One could only logically boast that he had the faith, in and of himself, to accept it.

To prevent such boastfulness, the Scriptures reveal that even saving FAITH is a gift from God. It leaves our own efforts COMPLETELY out of the equation. It is the opposite of the Oldest Lie in the Book, that ‘our eyes shall be opened, we shall know good from evil, and that we shall be as gods’ by playing some participatory role by our works, either good or bad, in our own salvation, when our salvation comes as a sovereign act of God.

Our salvation is instantaneous, but the Scriptures teach that our sanctification is a process. . .

“Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:” (Phillippians 1:6)

HE ‘began’ a good work in you (sanctification) and He will perform it. You play no role apart from trusting His Word on it and not hindering Him in His efforts. ‘Hindering Him’ is an action. Not ‘hindering Him’ is NOT taking an action.

It appeals to human pride that we somehow participate in our salvation, and it is therefore popular to assume we can either earn our salvation by our good works or lose it by our bad works. But logic dictates that works are works, whether they are good or bad.

And Scripture tells us that it is Jesus Who secured our salvation, that He offers it as an act of grace, and that even the faith necessary to accept it is a gift from God, and not a work of our own, lest any man should boast.

Scriptures don’t tell us to look unto others for evidence of salvation, but rather;

“Looking unto Jesus the AUTHOR and FINISHER of our FAITH; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right Hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2)

There is no other logical way to understand salvation that doesn’t include some element of the Oldest Lie in The Book.

Original Link.

Further to this topic from GotQuestions?org:

Question: “Once saved always saved?”

Answer: Once a person is saved are they always saved? When people come to know Christ as their Savior, they are brought into a relationship with God that guarantees their salvation as eternally secure. Numerous passages of Scripture declare this fact.

(a) Romans 8:30 declares, “And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified.” This verse tells us that from the moment God chooses us, it is as if we are glorified in His presence in heaven. There is nothing that can prevent a believer from one day being glorified because God has already purposed it in heaven. Once a person is justified, his salvation is guaranteed – he is as secure as if he is already glorified in heaven.

(b) Paul asks two crucial questions in Romans 8:33-34 “Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died more than that, who was raised to life – is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? No one will, because Christ is our advocate. Who will condemn us? No one will, because Christ, the One who died for us, is the one who condemns. We have both the advocate and judge as our Savior.

(c) Believers are born again (regenerated) when they believe (John 3:3; Titus 3:5). For a Christian to lose his salvation, he would have to be un-regenerated. The Bible gives no evidence that the new birth can be taken away. (d) The Holy Spirit indwells all believers (John 14:17; Romans 8:9) and baptizes all believers into the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13). For a believer to become unsaved, he would have to be “un-indwelt” and detached from the Body of Christ.

(e) John 3:15 states that whoever believes in Jesus Christ will “have eternal life.” If you believe in Christ today and have eternal life, but lose it tomorrow, then it was never “eternal” at all. Hence if you lose your salvation, the promises of eternal life in the Bible would be in error.

(f) For the most conclusive argument, I think Scripture says it best itself, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39). Remember the same God who saved you is the same God who will keep you. Once we are saved we are always saved. Our salvation is most definitely eternally secure!

Original Link.