Category Archives: Church

ISLAM IS DYING

PMT 2016-049 by Christian Muslim AnswersIslam killing

During the last centuries, the number of Muslims in the world has been increasing steadily. Statistics for the year 2010 are telling us that the Muslim population is 1.6 billion. 1 In 1973 the Muslim population was only 0.5 billion. 2 Many Muslims believe that Islam will be the world’s religion in future, because Islam is growing. However new statistics show that Islam is dying a slow death. The following reasons: Continue reading

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WHY THE LOCAL CHURCH IS TRENDING UP

PMT 2016-048 by Brian DouglasUPward

Fear for the church’s future is trending. It’s almost too easy nowadays to fall into despair: Christians’ interactions with culture and politics can often seem clumsy or foolish, and you don’t have to look far for biblical compromise, destructive power-plays, or “scandal du jour” moral failure. Compounding the problem is the fact that the modern church has been shattered into 30,000 to 42,000 denominations (depending on which study you read)-a degree of division that further damages its credibility. Continue reading

CHURCH AS KINGDOM NATION

Church kingdomPMT 2016-042 by Don Strickland

Acts 17:26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place,

Jeremiah 31:33 “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the LORD, “I will put My law within them, and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

Psalm 74:2 Remember your congregation, which you have purchased of old, which you have redeemed to be the tribe of your heritage!

Ephesians 1:5 He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will.

Every nation (ethnos, from which we get our word “ethnicity”) comes from God. As the word implies, nation denotes a common people. Thus, a nation’s origin pertains to common ancestors, or ethnicity, with a common language, culture, and religion. Of course, that fact does not mean that those who are outside that common ethnic group cannot be a part of the nation. In the Old Testament, those outsiders wishing to join themselves to the nation of Israel, for instance, were allowed to do so (Isaiah 56.3). However, for those outsiders to join themselves to the nation, they had to assimilate themselves completely into the nation with its laws, customs, culture, and most importantly, religion (Num 15.13-16 and Ex 12.48-49). Remember Ruth’s words to Naomi, “Your people shall be my people, and your God my God” (Ruth 1.16). Continue reading

COVENANT THEOLOGY = REPLACEMENT THEOLOGY?

Replacement TheologyPMT 2016-037 by R. Scott Clark

[Note: This is a helpful article by R. Scott Clark that responds to dispensational confusion regarding covenant theology.]

Recently I had a question asking whether “covenant theology” is so-called “replacement theology.” Those dispensational critics of Reformed covenant theology who accuse it of teaching that the New Covenant church has “replaced” Israel do not understand historic Reformed covenant theology. They are imputing to Reformed theology a way of thinking about redemptive history that has more in common with dispensationalism than it does with Reformed theology. Continue reading

CHRIST AND EUROPE

Churches burnt in EuropePMT-2016-032 by David Stoddard in Tabletalk

[Below is the first part of an excellent article titled “Christ Will Build His Church” that appeared in the April, 2016 Tabletalk devotional guide. I hope you will click the link and keep reading. – Ken Gentry]

Christ Will Build His Church

Europe is the new “dark continent.” Africa now sends more missionaries to Europe than Europe sends to Africa. The health reports of the European church aren’t terribly encouraging. Churches are closing and are being converted into mosques, museums, bars, and book depositories. In most European countries, less than 5 percent of the population attend any church. In France, there are more practicing Muslims than baptized Catholics. In England, more than 70 percent have no intention of stepping into a church—ever. In Berlin, the city where we live, 95 percent of church plants fail. Continue reading

POSTMILLENNIALISM AND CHURCH

Church attendPMT 2016-028 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Postmillennialism holds a high view of the church. And of Christian worship in the church. And membership in the church. The church is the central focus of the kingdom of God. Much of the decline of Christianity that we are witnessing in America is related to Christians failing to understand the significance of the church for the Christian life.

In this article I will briefly present a biblical argument for church membership. Revival and reformation in our land must begin with the church, the household of God. Continue reading

NEW COVENANT, OLD ISRAEL, AND THE CHURCH

New Covenant IsraelPMT 2015-118 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

I am cleaning up my in box where I have piles of questions sent in by readers. These should be helpful not only for the individuals who asked them, but for anyone who is interested in studying biblical eschatology. So, here goes today’s question:

Reader’s question:

Dispensationalists point out that God promises the new covenant to Israel only. The Jeremiah 31 text clearly mentions only “the house of Israel and the house of Judah.” How can we say that the new covenant finds fulfillment in the Church?

My response:

Thanks for your question. I hope the following brief answer will be helpful. First, please note that Jesus and Paul both apply the new covenant to the Church. Continue reading