Tuesday, September 6, 2011
All traffic to airō will now be redirected to the new website. Please update your RSS feeds, blog rolls, and other subscriptions to the new page at http://airocross.com and be sure to subscribe at the new location. Looking forward to seeing you on the other side!
Posted by Justin Edwards at 11:00 AM
Thursday, September 1, 2011
I am pleased to inform you airō has gotten a major face lift and will be moving to the Wordpress platform. I am still transitioning a bit as I update formatting issues with older blog posts, but for the most part the new site is ready for you to enjoy. This blogspot will remain active for the next week, and then all traffic will be redirected to the new website. Eventually, this blogspot will be turned off. So with that, please join me at the new website and share with all of your friends - it's a much needed improvement and I think you will be pleased. The new URL is http://airocross.com or simply click airō. Don't forget to subscribe to the new website! :)
Posted by Justin Edwards at 10:30 AM
Friday, August 19, 2011
By Justin Edwards
Justice is getting what you deserve, mercy is not getting what you deserve, and grace is getting what you don’t deserve.
When we are witnessing to the lost, it is oftentimes important to define the terms we are using to communicate the Gospel. In one conversation last night during our weekly outreach, after one gentleman expressed he must prove that he was deserving of salvation, I quickly asked him what grace is. He defined it as love, so I proceeded to explain to him what justice, mercy, and grace is as defined by Scripture. These terms and their meanings seem to largely be lost among today’s society, so let’s briefly take a look at each in hopes they will help you better understand and communicate the glorious Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Justice is getting what you deserve.
When we hear of justice today, it’s usually in the form of its antonym, injustice. We hear of social justice and perceived abuses of justice, but it is rare on the streets when someone can provide a correct definition of justice. The best way to do this is to figuratively take the individual into the courtroom.
If we break the law, there is a consequence. For example, if we get a ticket for going 55mph in a 35mph speed zone, the right or just thing for the judge of the court would be to fine us for our violation of the traffic law. If 20 people showed up in the courtroom that day with traffic violations in the same speed zone, the judge should still fine every person for the violation against the law, regardless of “everybody else was doing it”. We, individually, are responsible to obey the law, and when we violate the law, we each are responsible to pay the debt owed. The judge is a good and just judge when he gives us what we deserve.
In the same way, we have all broken God’s law. We have all lied, stolen, blasphemed God’s holy name, lusted and murdered in our heart, among many other offenses against Him. Because God is a good and just judge, the Supreme Judge of the universe, He must punish the crimes committed against Him. If He overlooked our crimes as if they never happened, or merely accepted an apology from us on the day of judgment and let us go free out of His holy courtroom, then He would be corrupt and unjust. It is because of His goodness that our sin must be punished, and it is why we deserve His justice and death sentence to eternal hell.
See this article for more on the justice of God: Jesus: Holy and Righteous God of Love and Wrath – Part 3
Mercy is not getting what you deserve.
Mercy is deliverance from the justice we deserve. The Bible says that God is rich in mercy (Ephesians 2:4) and saves us not because of anything we have done, but because of His mercy alone (Titus 3:5). We deserve His justice and His wrath against us in the eternal lake of fire because we have sinned against an infinitely holy God. Even so, God has chosen according to the counsel of His own will (Ephesians 2:5) to be merciful to some (Romans 9:22-23) to forgive them their debts owed to Him.
It’s important to understand that God does not show mercy at the expense of His justice. In fact, overlooking these crimes would be a great injustice as mentioned before. The Bible says that God’s wrath must be satisfied (1 John 4:10), which means every sin, or crime, that has ever been committed against Him by any human that has ever walked the earth, whether thought, word, or deed, must be punished. That’s why Christ had to die on the cross – to shed His blood to make atonement (to pay the debt) for these sins. All who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ by repentant faith had their sin transferred to Christ and their crimes were punished through Him. The very wrath we deserved was poured out on God’s own Son – He bore our iniquities and took our punishment (Isaiah 53).
So though God shows mercy to His sheep, their sins do not go unpunished. Justice is either served through the shed blood of Christ, or justice is served through the punishment of unrepentant sinners in hell for eternity. Christ paid a debt He did not owe because we had a debt we could not pay. Because God’s wrath was satisfied and justice served, His mercy abounds for those He saves. That is justice and mercy working together.
Grace is getting what you don’t deserve.
Catholics and Mormons believe. Indeed, if we had to work for grace, then it would not be grace at all, it would be merited favor. The Bible teaches that salvation is absolutely and completely of the Lord (Ephesians 2:8-9; Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 1:6; 1 Corinthians 1:26-31). Even our faith and repentance are gifts, otherwise they would be works (2 Timothy 2:25; Ephesians 2:1-10).
In the last moments of Christ’s crucifixion, as He hung there in spiritual agony as the result of the weight of sin of the world and God crushing His Son with His full wrath, Jesus said, “It is finished”, and then He gave up His spirit (John 19:30). Not only was His work to save men from their sins completed, but He affirmed there is nothing left to be done. No more work, no more sacrifice, nothing at all. There is nothing any of us can do to add to the finished work of Christ. It is finished! The person who believes they have to prove themselves worthy of salvation does not understand the price paid for sin, nor do they understand grace and are still dead in their sins.
We are born spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1), we are blinded by the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4), and it is impossible for us as natural men to understand the things of God (1 Corinthians 2:14). We are deserving of God’s justice, but according to His will (John 1:12-13) and the glorious riches of His mercy, He has chosen to deliver His people from His wrath and give them what they don’t deserve.
God’s justice and mercy are hinged upon the cross by His sovereign grace. He gives us what we can never earn, namely eternal life, while meeting all the requirements to satisfy His justice. Now that is amazing grace!
This article was originally posted at The Speak:Truth Project
Thursday, August 18, 2011
By Justin Edwards
Curious of Elevation Church's method of evangelism? Invite them to church! That's right, Elevation's position on evangelism is to train their congregation to invite people to church so they can be wooed by the flashing lights, rock music and hip hop, and anything else culturally relevant to the itching ear. Who needs to know the Gospel and proclaim it when all you have to do is work up the courage to invite people to hip entertainment ala Steven Furtick and his team of rock stars?
The following is a snippet from an email response to a dear brother of mine. I marked out his name to keep him anonymous. My friend's inquiry to Elevation was as follows:
What does elevation do as far as evangelism? Any training or witnessing ministries within the church?
Here is the August 16, 2011 response from Elevation Church "Connections Pastor" Larry Brey:
In case the above image is difficult to read, the text is as follows:
Great hearing from you and thanks for your question. The best evangelism training we have is to teach people how to invite their friends to come to church with them. We view it as a partnership, they invite them and we do everything we can to create an amazing worship experience. Most people have to work to be comfortable to invite people to church and the best witness they can be is to live their life out in front of the people. Hope that helps. Have a great day and God bless -- Larry Brey, Connections Pastor
|Evangelism at Elevation Church (source)|
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ...
The job of the local church is to equip the saints for the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ. In other words, it's to equip them to GO, fulfilling the commands of Christ in Matthew 28:18-20 and Mark 16:15. Larry Brey's response is further proof that Elevation Church is not for the Body of Christ, but rather for catering to the lost, which Steven Furtick himself so eloquently said when he declared a few years ago,
If You Know Jesus This Church is NOT for you! (source)
Elevation Church is not for the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry and shepherding the flock to grow in holiness (1 Thessalonians 2:11-12), but for feeding spoiled milk to nonbelievers and false converts alike. In other words, Elevation has redefined church from God's intention and design.
Perhaps even more disturbing, is the exhortation to be "the best witness they can be is to live their life out in front of the people." That sounds an awful lot like the unbiblical advice from the popular quote,
Preach the Gospel always, and if necessary, use words.
On the contrary, this is what Scripture says,
For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” - Romans 10:13-15
Indeed, how beautiful are the feet who GO out into the world to preach Christ and Him crucified! How marvelous that God has made us to be vessels to proclaim His unspeakable love, grace, and mercy to sinners everywhere - outside the church doors! How humbling it is that we are to be used as instruments in God's plan of redemption, proclaiming the glories of Christ, the holiness and righteousness of the Just Judge of creation, and the salvation offered through the blood sacrifice by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.
Yet, all Elevation Church aims to do is teach people how to invite people to church and "live the Gospel"? There is no such thing as "living the Gospel"! The Gospel is God satisfying His own wrath against mankind in order that man might be saved from his enslavement to sin and the wrath of God to receive eternal life in Christ. We are to not be "ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek" (Romans 1:16). That is the Gospel, and we are to proclaim it!
This is serious, my friends. If you attend Elevation Church, please do consider what is at stake here. Do you know the Gospel and can you communicate it? Does Elevation's position line up with Scripture? Are you learning more how to socially interact with people than learning the deep things of God? Are you being shepherded unto holiness, being exhorted to no longer be conformed to the world and be transformed by the renewing of your mind, or are you learning new ways to mix churchianity and the things of this world?
Elevation's method of evangelism is preposterous, and anyone caught up in this mega-business should seriously consider fleeing - for your sake and the sake of those you meet who will never come to church with you. Asking people to come to church is a good thing, but it is absolutely no substitute for your commission to share the Gospel by your own lips. I recommend you begin here.
I also recommend the following article as it relates to the Church's mission of evangelism: The Gospel Is for Christians.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
By Justin Edwards
The Response prayer event in Houston, Texas on August 6, 2011. I shared Brannon Howse's warning on the blog a couple of weeks ago, and other warnings can be seen at Sola Sisters, an extensively detailed piece from Apprising Ministries entitled IHOP Enters Dominion/Christian Rights Politics, another piece from Howse titled The Emergence of The New Religious Right And Its Threat To The Church, Chrystal Witt's piece Divorcing America from Baal?, and Marsha West's response post-prayer event that offers great insight to the good, the bad, and the ugly that took place at The Response.
What, or who, exactly has Rick Perry aligned himself with? The links above clearly show what is taking place behind the scenes unbeknownst to many conservative Christians. Many participated or supported Perry's prayer event last week, including best-selling author and watchman on the wall, Joel Rosenberg. In fact, Rosenberg said in this article the day after the prayer event,
Some evangelicals were critical of ”The Response.” They urged people not to attend because they have serious and fundamental theological differences with some of those involved in the event. A few emailed me and urged me not to participate. I heard those concerns and I have strong disagreements with some of the participants, too. But the truth is the vast majority of organizers and participants of this prayer meeting were theologically, morally and ethically solid evangelical, Bible believing followers of Jesus Christ.
It is unfortunate that Rosenberg has not done his research and cannot see the undercurrent of deception that is taking place. What's more, despite the "serious and fundamental theological differences" and having "strong disagreements with some of the participants", he chose to endorse the event anyway. Those whom we have serious and fundamental theological differences with happen to believe that before Christ will return to this earth, it is the church's mandate to pave the way for the Kingdom, that Christ won't return until the Kingdom has been established by Christian world domination. This domination, according to dominionists, will occur by taking over the government and cultural landscape. Lighthouse Trails has a recent piece titled, Will the Evangelical Church Sell Out the Gospel for a Dominionist Political Agenda? that offers the following definition:
The Gospel of Salvation [according to dominionism] is achieved by setting up the “Kingdom of God” as a literal and physical kingdom to be “advanced” on Earth in the present age. Some dominionists liken the New Testament Kingdom to the Old Testament Israel in ways that justify taking up the sword, or other methods of punitive judgment, to war against enemies of their kingdom. Dominionists teach that men can be coerced or compelled to enter the kingdom. They assign to the Church duties and rights that belong Scripturally only to Jesus Christ.
These, then, are not merely "strong disagreements" that we can just push to the side for the sake of unity as Rosenberg has suggested. The compromise at hand is one that is centered on the Gospel and has major implications for the Body of Christ, of which many believers are being deceived into co-mingling, or even substituting, patriotism and moralism with our mandate in the Great Commission. As was said in this article concerning Glenn Beck and Evangelicals from last year, "we must not compromise the Gospel on the alter of ecumenical patriotism!"
With this background, I now share with you something from the secular media. I by no means am a fan of Rachel Maddow, but she brings up some very serious concerns even though the root of her concerns are not the same for Christians. The following video shows just who Rick Perry has aligned himself with, and that the New Apostolic Reformation has chosen him to be their vessel to establish the Kingdom of God on earth. After showing various clips of C. Peter Wagner, Mike Bickle, Cindy Jacobs, and John Benefiel, Maddow closes with the following:
Rick Perry did not just do a prayer event in Texas that was a no-non Christians allowed event, Rick Perry did a prayer event that involved a specific Christian political movement, a movement that has political goals, and wants a political vehicle, and that seems to want a Rick Perry presidential candidacy to be their political vehicle. The Texas Observer begins its story about these new self-styled apostles with a story about a visit two of them paid to Governor Perry in Austin in 2009, quote, "The pastors told Perry of God's grand plan for Texas. A chain of powerful prophecies had proclaimed that Texas was "The Prophet State," anointed by God to lead the United States into revival and Godly government. And the governor would have a special role." The New Apostolic Reformation appears to have chosen Rick Perry as their candidate, as their vehicle for their political goal, which is of course, world domination, blah blah blah. Rick Perry is announcing his unofficial start to his presidential campaign this weekend in New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Iowa, after hosting a stadium prayer event with all of these folks, and frankly, getting away with no one in the beltway media reporting on who those folks are or why they did just this stadium prayer event with Rick Perry.
Here's the video in full:
So the secular media is picking up that these self-appointed prophets and apostles are getting behind the presidential candidacy of Governor Rick Perry. They have seemingly "chosen Rick Perry as their candidate, as their vehicle for their political goal, which is of course, world domination". This is not just something to have "strong disagreement" with, but to accept that we indeed have "serious and fundamental theological differences" that include the Gospel itself. As such, we have clear guidance from Scripture as to what to do in this type of situation:
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, 18 and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.” - 2 Corinthians 6:14-18
We must separate ourselves from these false teachers, and continue to admonish, rebuke, and warn our brothers and sisters in Christ who are being caught up in the deception of ecumenical patriotism.
At this point, I do not see myself getting behind Rick Perry, even if he is a born again believer. He is clearly deceived and lacks discernment, and if his candidacy has any role in the NAR, Joel's Army, the Manifests Sons of God, Latter Rain, etc., gaining a
Monday, August 15, 2011
By Justin Edwards
facebook on Saturday,
Repentance means to let go of what you shouldn't love, and embrace Whom you should love. You can't love God and love sin at the same time, nor can you live for Christ and continue to live in sin at the same time. Love God and live, or love sin and die.
Let's now take a look at another biblical definition of repentance as defined in the note for Acts 26:20 in The New Geneva Study Bible:
"Repentance means changing one's mind, so that one's views, values, goals, and ways are changed, and one's whole life is lived differently. Mind and judgment, will and affections, behavior and lifestyle, motives and plans: all are involved. Repenting means starting to live a new life.
"The call to repent was the fundamental summons in the preaching of John the Baptist (Matthew 3:2), Jesus (Matthew 4:17), the Twelve (Mark 6:12), Peter at Pentecost ( Acts 2:38), Paul to the Gentiles (Acts 17:30; 26:20), and the glorified Christ to five of the seven churches in Asia (Revelation 2:5, 16, 22; 3:3, 19). It was part of Jesus' summary of the gospel that was to be taken to all the world (Luke 24:47). It corresponds to the constant summons of the Old Testament prophets to Israel to return to the God from whom they had strayed (e.g., Jeremiah 23:22; 25:4, 5; Zechariah 1:3-6). Repentance is always set forth as the path to remission of sins and restoration to God's favor, while impenitence is the road to ruin (e.g., Luke 13:1-8).
"Faith and repentance are themselves fruits of regeneration. But as a practical matter, repentance is inseparable from faith. Turning towards Christ in faith is impossible without turning away from sin in repentance. The idea that there can be saving faith without repentance, and that one can be justified by embracing Christ as Savior while refusing Him as Lord, is a dangerous error. True faith acknowledges Christ as what He is, our God-appointed king as well as our God-given priest, and faith that trusts in Him as Savior will submit to Him as Lord also. To refuse this is to seek justification with an impenitent faith, which is no faith.
"The Westminster Confession says that in repenting
a sinner, out of the sight and sense, not only of the danger, but also the filthiness and odiousness of his sins, as contrary to the holy nature and righteous law of God, and upon the apprehension of His mercy in Christ to such as are penitent, so grieves for and hates his sins as to turn from them all unto God, purposing and endeavoring to walk with Him in all the ways of His commandments (Westminster Confession, 15.2).
"Feelings of remorse, self-reproach, and sorrow for sin generated by fear of punishment, without any wish or resolve to forsake sinning should not be confused with repentance. David expresses true repentance in Psalm 51, having in his heart the serious purpose of sinning no more, and of living a righteous life (Luke 3:8; Acts 26:20)."
Have you this repentance, my friend? If your faith is absent of this repentance, then you do not understand life-saving faith. Please see the link on Eternal Life, or contact me if you'd like to talk about it. Don't waste your life, and don't wait until it's too late - you are not promised tomorrow. Repent and believe the Gospel.
Friday, August 12, 2011
By Justin Edwards
In the following must-hear message titled America: The Modern-Day Valley of Slaughter, Tony Miano warns:
Judgment begins with the house of God. There are many in the American church today who are not truly pro-life. They claim to be pro-life yet they vote as if they are pro-choice. When they vote, they put their own quality of life over the lives of unborn children. They vote for candidates who are on par with their views on fiscal and defense issues, while willingly turning a blind eye to their murderous views regarding the unborn. If you claim to be pro-life, but vote for ANY reason for candidates who are pro-choice, then you are pro-choice! Stop lying to yourself, stop lying to God, you are pro-choice! You are not pro-life if you allow for the murder of the unborn because of the crimes of the father. If you think that it is OK to abort children because of rape and incest, you are willingly allowing for the murder of children because of the crimes of their father. Repent. If you don't repent, then you are co-conspirators and accomplices to the murder of the unborn.
Please take an hour to watch or listen to this message and share with your professing Christian friends who vote for pro-choice candidates. I also highly recommend the following message by Curt Arend:
Abortion: America's Holocaust
Posted by Justin Edwards at 9:46 AM