Jared McCoy – Adult Bible Study Power Point 6-27-2010
Last Lord’s Day in our adult bible study we looked at the book of Deuteronomy. One of the passages we focused in on was Deuteronomy 6:6-8 where God states His reason for choosing Israel as His totally free decision. ‘He loved them because He loved them.” Unconditional election is very often a challenge to hear – especially when hearing it for the first time.
One of the reasons (not the only one) that some people reject the biblical teaching of unconditional election is that it seems and feels to them out of sync with other teachings in the Bible – like the compassion of God for people or the moral accountability of people before God. It seems to many that God can’t choose unconditionally to save some and not others and then also feel compassion for those He does not choose and hold them accountable for their sin.
The Bible gives us a heads up on this and warns us to expect mental challenges when we think about God. It teaches us that our familiar ways of seeing things may be replaced. For example, it says, “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!” (Romans 11:33). Or again, “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).
Our instinct or intuition for what is right or possible for God sometimes does not fit Scripture. And the danger we must avoid is trying to shape Scripture to fit our feelings. The Scriptures teach that God chooses who will be saved before we are born or have done anything good or evil (Romans 9:10-12). “It depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy” (Romans 9:16). The Scriptures also teach that we are responsible for the obedience of faith and will be judged if we are disobedient. “But for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury” (Romans 2:8). We are chosen (or not chosen) unconditionally for salvation. And we are accountable for our faith (or unbelief).
If this is a struggle for you, I can offer to you that you are not alone. I do not fully understand how God renders certain the belief of the elect and the unbelief of the non-elect. If you want to go deeper into this, I recommend Jonathan Edwards’ book The Freedom of the Will and Ian Murray’s book Spurgeon vs. Hyper-Calvinism as two great resources. Neither are particularly easy reads, but you will grow more from the effort than you can imagine.
I believe God intends for us to live with felt tensions like unconditional election and human accountability. There are others in the Scripture. Think about these two similar ones from the example of Christ.
First, we see Jesus weeping over Jerusalem because the things of the kingdom were “hidden from [their] eyes.” But on the other hand we also hear Jesus say that God has “hidden these things.”
Luke 19:41-42. And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.”
Luke 10:21. In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.”
Second, we see Jesus feeling compassion for those who were sick – irrespective, it seems of their faith. On the other hand, we know from illustrations and teachings elsewhere in the Bible that God is finally and decisively in control of sickness. So we have Jesus feeling sorry for people who have sicknesses that God’s wisdom has ordained (at least for a time).
Matthew 14:14. When [Jesus] went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
Exodus 4:11. Then the LORD said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?”
1 Samuel 2:6. The LORD kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up.
Surely this means at least that we can’t cancel one truth in the Bible because it feels out of sync with another AND we shouldn’t draw emotional or behavioral implications from God’s sovereignty that contradict faith, compassion, accountability, prayer, evangelism, or hard work. Just the opposite - consider Colossians 3:12 and let your unspeakably joyful condition as “chosen, holy and loved” produce “compassion, kindness, humility and meekness.”
Looking forward to worshipping our mind staggering God with you tomorrow! Pastor Joe Blankenship
June 28th CAMP BEGINS:
Arrive at Springs of Grace (7123 East 7th Street) 3:00 PM
Arrive at Keystone
Community Center by
PROJECT 61 CAMP
July 2nd CAMP ENDS:
Leave from Comanche
Apartments at 12:30
PM or Springs of Grace
Bible Church at 1:00
What is Project 61?
Project 61 is unique youth camp that pairs God-centered urban ministry training with the opportunity for youth to reach out in the inner city. Every morning youth help local coaches staff a sports camp at the Comanche government housing projects in Tulsa as a way of expressing love to kids
and communicating to them the life-giving hope of the gospel. In the afternoon and evenings the youth participate in crazy games, awesome worship, and Christ-exalting teaching. Campers stay in cabins at Keystone State Park (just outside of Tulsa) and commute to Comanche.
Project 61 was inspired by Isaiah 61: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has
sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion—to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified. They shall build up the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations.”
- Bedding: pillow, blanket, & sleeping bag
- Shower stuff
- Bible, notebook, & pen
- Appropriate clothing…
- Tennis shoes
- Athletic Wear
- ONLY MODEST CLOTHING!
* No short shorts
* No spaghetti straps
* No tight fitting clothing
* No low cut shirts
* No sheer clothing
* No all red or all blue &
orange outfits (gang colors)
- Willingness to participate in everything
Do NOT Bring:
- IPODS, CD-players, CDs, electronic
games, or accessories (Trust us…you will
not need them…);
- Weapons or anything else stupid
- Bad attitudes
- Cell Phones (If you do bring one, it can
only be used for calling home!)
Project 61 Registration and Release Form
This form is due ASAP. Contact Nate Boone at 9185578230 or firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Camper may NOT attend
Project 61 without it.
Name: ___________________________________ Gender: ________
Age: _____ Grade: ________ Camper Cell #: _________________
Home Church: ____________________________________________
T:Shirt Size (circle one): S M L XL XXL
Student or Staff? (circle one)
Date of last tetanus booster (month/year): _________________
Bringing any medications to camp (circle one)? Y N
If yes, please specify medication and instructions
Any special medical issues, allergies, or other concerns?
Any special parental concerns or requests?
Emergency Contact Information
Name: ___________________________ Relationship: ___________
Home #: _____________________ Cell #: ______________________
I am aware that during participation in activities at PROJECT 61,
certain risks and dangers may occur. These include, but may not
be limited to, the hazards of being in an urban area, the forces
of nature, and other reasons because of the content of some of
the ministries and activities. In consideration of these ministries
and activities, I do hereby assume all risks and will hold PROJECT
61 and its staff harmless from any and all liability, actions, cause
of action, debts, claims, and demands of every kind and nature
whatsoever which I now have or which may arise from or in
connection with my minor camper’s/staff’s or my participation in
any activities arranged for me by PROJECT 61. The terms hereof
shall serve as a RELEASE AND ASSUMPTION OF RISK for my heirs,
executors, and administrators and for all members of my family.
In case of accident or illness, PROJECT 61 will attempt to provide
first aid and arrange transportation to medical services if
needed. I give them permission to authorize medical services or
transportation as needed. Cost of medical care beyond first aid
is the financial responsibility of the ill or injured person. I
assume full responsibility for my minor camper’s/staff’s or my
health being such that the activities will in no way aggravate any
conditions present. I declare the statements on this form to be
true. I also agree that my minor camper/staff or I will follow the
camp rules at PROJECT 61 Camp; that I may be requested to take
my minor camper/staff home or to leave camp for violation of
camp rules; and I authorize PROJECT 61 Camp to seek necessary
emergency treatment for myself or my minor camper/staff.
Parent or Guardian signs for Students or Staff under 18; Staff
or Student signs if over 18
Pray For…The Minangkabau of Indonesia
•Population – 5,500,000
•Percentage of Evangelicals – 0%
•Language Spoken – Minangkabau
•Major Religion – Islam (Sunni)
•Human Development Rank of Indonesia – 111
•Persecution Index of Indonesia – 48
•Global Evangelical Status – Level 1, Less than 2% Evangelical. No active church planting in the past 2 years.
Situated in the province of West Sumatra, the Minangkabau are one of Indonesia’s largest people groups. The Minangkabau have been relatively successful in education and business. In December of 2006, the island of Sumatra was hit by a large tsunami that devastated the Aceh province and affected a large portion of the western part of the island. Response of the international community to bring relief opened the door for workers to share the Gospel. Many came to faith in Christ but very few among the Minangkabau. Minangkabau culture is strongly tied tho their adherence to Islam. In fact, to not be a Muslim is said to not be Minangkabau. If one comes to faith in Christ, they are rejected by their family, community, and live under the threat of persecution. Today, it is very difficult for foreigners to live in the areas where the Minangkabau due to the dangers and government restrictions. Due to this, there are few if any able to share the message of faith in Christ. (Sources: IMB Global Research, Joshua Project, Window on the World, UN Human Development Index, Open Doors)
•Pray that God would soften the hearts of this people and send laborers into this region.
•Pray for those who come to faith in Christ that they would have the grace from God to endure persecution and ostracism from their family and community.
•Ask God to give wisdom and courage to our Minangkabau brothers and sisters that they may share the gospel of Christ boldly with love.
•Pray for the missionaries who God has led to take the gospel to the Minangkabau that they would be faithful to opportunities God gives them.
•Pray for God to redeem many from the Minangkabau people.
Project 61 Camp is just over a week away. There are very few experiences in life that have impacted me as much as Project 61. It is an amazing opportunity to learn tremendous truth in the context of pouring yourself out for others. PJ 61 is June 28th -July 2nd. The cost is $150 and that doesn’t cover all the cost but we want you to come. If you can’t afford the $150 there are several options available. You can come and work the scholarship car wash on Saturday, June 19th at 51st and Memorial; you can check with Nate Boone about multiple child discounts or other scholarship offerings or you can take advantage of our “pay what you can afford policy.” We want all of the youth of our church to be able to come. We are praying that it will be a life changing week for each one of them. It sure has been for me in the past.
Blessings – Brother Joe
•Population – 242,968,342
•Percentage of Evangelicals – 4%
•Total Number of People Groups – 680
•Number of Unreached People Groups – 182
•Language Spoken – Bahasa Indonesia, English, Dutch, local dialects
•Major Religion – Muslim (86.1%), Protestant, Roman Catholic, Hindu
•Human Development Rank – 111
•Persecution Index – 48
Indonesia gained its sovereignty in 1949 after centuries of Dutch colonization and years of Japan occupation during World War II. Indonesia’s first parliamentary elections however did not occur until 1999. Indonesia is the world’s third largest democracy. Over 200 million Muslims live in Indonesia making it home to the world’s Muslim population. In recent years, Indonesia has tried to solve issues such as widespread poverty, corruption, and terrorism from Muslim militants. The World Food Programme states that, “52% [of Indonesians] live on less than US$2 per day with an estimated 35 million poor people who live on less than US$0.65 per day”. Indonesia is also made up of about 680 people groups spread out over its 6,000 of its over 17,000 islands. This archipalegic structure of Indonesia adds to the difficulty of spreading the Gospel. Of Indonesia’s 680 people groups, 182 of them are considered unreached. These 182 people groups account for over 170 million people. On top of the terrain, Indonesia is considered a “hostile nation” which means Christians experience widespread persecution due to their faith in Christ. Native believers and Christian missionaries alike must face many hurdles and dangers for the sake of sharing the good news of Christ. (Sources: CIA World Factbook, World Food Programme, IMB Global Research, Open Doors, Operation World, Joshua Project)
•Pray that the gospel will spread vigorously in a country so grounded in Islam.
•Pray that God sustains our brothers and sisters living in Indonesia and gives them grace to persevere.
•Pray for God to work in the hearts of the peoples of Indonesia and draw them to saving faith in Christ.
•Ask God to sustain those taking the Gospel of Christ to the remote portions of Indonesia.
•Pray that God would raise up a strong and beautiful church in Indonesia for His glory.
A 8 year old boy came to VBS this morning and ran up to me and said, “I have an offering.” We never take a formal offering in our church much less in Vacation Bible School.
I answered – “That’s great. Why?”
The young boy answered – “I thought this morning, (with a huge smile) I love this church – I ought to bring an offering.”
I took him to the little box on the wall and he stuck in his fifty cents.
I was convinced that it was a sweet smelling aroma to the Lord!
This week is Vacation Bible School at Springs of Grace. I don’t think there is another VBS like it on earth. I wish our entire church family could be a part of every song, verse, skit, conversation, catechism time, and bible story. Most likely, you would do what I did today after the kids had gone home and the interns were cleaning up the church preparing for the tutoring program – I got on my knees and gave thanks to God for the tremendous privilege of being a part of a church who cares deeply and invests like heaven is more real than earth. May God forever be praised.
Our missionary story this year is about Hudson Taylor. He said this:
“…we are not only to renounce evil, but to manifest the truth. Bring it to the front; speak the Truth; live the Truth. We tell this people the world is vain; let our lives manifest that it is so. We tell them that our Home is above — that all these things are transitory — does our dwelling look like it? O to live consistent lives! The life of the Apostle was thoroughly consistent. Every one saw that he was a stranger and a sojourner; no one could feel that his home was here; all saw that it was up there.”
“Every time we look at the cross Christ seems to say to us, ‘I am here because of you. It is your sin I am bearing, your curse I am suffering, your debt I am paying, your death I am dying.’ Nothing in history or in the universe cuts us down to size like the cross. All of us have inflated views of ourselves, especially in self-righteousness, until we have visited a place called Calvary. It is there, at the foot of the cross, that we shrink to our true size.”
- John R. W. Stott, The Message of Galatians
I believe this writer is moved by the same things I spoke of Sunday.
A Parody of Ourselves
What a field-day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly saying, hooray for our side
It’s time we stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
- From “For What It’s Worth” by Stephen Stills
Every so often I’ve contemplated what a Saturday Night Live type of variety program might look like if the topic was “Christendom.” There’s definitely enough material. One of the recurring skits would involve some Christians from the 1400’s about to be burned at the stake. They would be visited by contemporary Christians who would thank them for their sacrifice and tell them how such a great sacrifice gained later Christians ________. You could fill in the blank with all sorts of things. “Your sacrifice has helped give us a world in which our children can learn theology from talking vegetables. Your suffering will all seem worth it when a handsome Texan with a great smile can renovate a sports stadium and broadcast feel-good, gospel-free theology to all the world. Thank you for your noble sacrifice, brother.” Tyndale might have been willing to face the stake for the sake of the Bible, but would he have faced it for a Bible-zine for girls that looks and reads like Cosmo?
I’m a writer, not a comedian, so perhaps it’s not that funny. But the point is that real people died real deaths to pass to us a heritage of the gospel. They were serious, dead serious, and weren’t in the business of printing silly bumper stickers. We evangelicals have long done a remarkable job of trivializing that heritage. Maybe this is what happens when the danger of persecution passes and we enjoy a time of safety, a time of freedom. Or maybe this is what happens when we lose sight of the seriousness of the gospel and the countless sacrifices that made it available to us, when we begin to replace theology with something else, something less.
1 Persecution of Christians increased during the 1990s.
2 Church growth has increased in the 1990s with a multiplication of workers and new believers despite harsh state ‘anti-conversion’ laws
3 Tribal peoples of Orissa are the most responsive to the gospel, as are their brethren in adjoining south Bihar
4 The unfinished challenge:
a) The forward (high) castes, such as the Brahmin and Korono, have never been confronted with the claims of Christ
b) There are many areas with very few Christians
c) The tribals
5 The ministry of the Bible. A good new Oriya Bible was published in 1998
6 Radio broadcasts have been getting encouraging response from Hindus during the 1990s
INDIA’S north-eastern state Orissa continues to be in grip of gory anti-Christian riots in June 2010. Scores of Christians, have been burnt alive. Countless churches, houses and shops have been gutted. Even Christian orphanages have not been spared. To justify massacre of hapless Christians, Hindus spread the canard that eminent Hindu leader, Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati, had been killed by Christians recently. Kandhamal district was the epicentre of the communal riots. Most of the Christians were killed there. In the village Barakhama Hindus attacked Christian dwellings with guns and bombs.
Pray for our brothers and sisters in Phulbani (Orissa) who are being persecuted: Two women and a girl died after their house was set on fire in Orissa’s Kandhamal district, (Sangita Tripathy (29), her daughter Simran (4) and mother Janaki Panda (45) were charred to death at Hatapadasahi locality of Kotagada town last night, the sources said. Petrol was suspected to have been poured on the house before it was set ablaze.
A week ago Jared Tabor shared with our interns an overview of the Book of Romans. In that overview he quoted Christopher Ash in regards to Romans thrust towards mission and unity. This quotation has been immensely helpful to me and catches what I believe to be the Lord’s direction for our church. It is a false dichotomy for a church to choose between an outward focus or an inward focus. The most unified are those who offer grace outwardly in the broadest of ways. If grace is not extended widely inside the church then it will not be extended widely outside and vice versa. Christopher Ash gets it right. – Pastor Joe
“When a church ceases to reach out, they become practical unbelievers in the gospel of grace; and when they become practical unbelievers in grace reaching out they become practical unbelievers in grace bringing harmony within. If I don’t really believe that the offer of grace is for all outside the church, then I will not believe that it is for all inside the church. And as soon as I forget that, my relations within the church become marked by non-acceptance of those who are not like me. And so my lack of evangelistic zeal bounces back into divisions within the church.” ~ Christopher Ash
Pray For…The Gond of India
•Population – 11,396,232
•Percentage of Evangelicals – Unknown
•Language Spoken – Northern Gondi
•Major Religion – Ethno-Religion
•Human Development Rank of India – 134
•Persecution Index of India – 26
•Global Evangelical Status – Level 3, Less than 2% Evangelical. Widespread church planting within past 2 years.
Once the rulers of India long ago, now the Gond people are agriculturalists and on occasion herders of goats and cattle. The Gond are a large people group that stretches across India. They live simple lives. However, the Gond live in fear of spirits in the forest who they believe constantly attempt to harm them. Sacrifices are made to these spirits for their crops, harvest, and their health. Signs of these sacrifices can usually be seen when approaching Gondi villages. Many older Gond are illiterate and therefore are sometimes taken advantage of at market. But the Indian government has made it a point to ensure that subsequent generations have proper education. Out of the over 11 million Gondi people, it is unclear how many are Christ-followers. But the Lord has been working amongst the God, and there has been a number of people turning to Christ from within the Gond. Some of them are even training to become missionaries to their own people. (Sources: IMB Global Research, Open Doors, Joshua Project, Window to the World)
•Pray for the Gospel to release the Gond people from their fear, oppression and superstition.
•Pray for God to continue to bring people to saving faith in Christ from among the Gond.
•Ask God to strengthen believers among the Gond so they would glorify Christ and have courage to persevere in the faith.
•Pray that God would supply every need of Gondi church planters as they proclaim the Gospel of Christ.
•Population – 1,173,108,018
•Percentage of Evangelicals – 1.8%
•Total Number of People Groups – 1030
•Number of Unreached People Groups – 808
•Language Spoken – Hindi (41%), Bengali (8.1%), Telugu (7.2)
•Major Religion – Hindu (80.5%), Muslim (13.4%), Christian, Sikh
•Human Development Rank – 134
•Persecution Index – 26
The country of India is home to one of the world’s largest population, over 1 billion people, second only to China. Most of India’s population live in rural towns connected by rough roads. Nonetheless, India still claims some of the world’s largest cities. This population is made up of hundreds of languages and hundreds of peoples across a landscape that varies just as much. India is also considered one of the most spiritual places in the world with a diversity of religions ranging from Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, and Sikh just to name a few. However, India is considered one of the most unreached places concerning the gospel with over 25% of the world’s unreached (based on population) and almost 10% of the population of peoples who do not have a known Christian witness. Indian Christians have recently faced increased persecution from both radical Hindus in places like Orissa and radical Muslims in places like Kashmir. Along with a need for the gospel, poverty is widespread in India. UN World Food Programme statistics show that nearly 50% of the world’s hungry live in India. Although India’s economy has been strengthening due to the growing global economy, most of the people of India still live in poverty. It is also said that around 35% of India’s population (350 million) are considered food-insecure, consuming less that 80% of minimum energy requirements. Along with this, nearly 9 out of 10 pregnant women between ages 15 and 49 years suffer from malnutrition and anemia. All that said, India is a land of varying cultures, numerous peoples, and one of great need. Brook Hills is focusing on urgent spiritual and physical needs through the Radical Experiment Global Initiative. This initiative looks to provide: basic needs (clean water, food, etc.) to families and communities; translation of the Word of God; training of church planters to go out into unreached areas; and strengthen churches to spread the Gospel. (Sources: IMB Global Research, Operation World, UN World Food Programme, CIA World Factbook)
•Pray for God to raise up Christians, both believers out of each people group and missionaries from outside, to spread the Gospel throughout this land.
•Pray for God to comfort, protect, and strengthen His children in the country of India and give them courage to continue spreading the Gospel.
•Pray for God to continue to strengthen His church in India so they would not be tossed by every wind of doctrine but be established firmly in God’s Word.
•Pray for God to provide the people of India with necessities such as food, clean water, basic sanitation and knowledge of health and life skills.