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No Need For A ‘Bucket List’ (via Randy Alcorn)

Randy Alcorn provides a helpful perspective on why resurrection life makes the notion of a bucket list redundant.

Here’s the beginning:

The term “bucket list” was popularized by the 2007 movie of that name. It’s an inventory of things people want to do before they “kick the bucket.” The idea is, since our time on earth is limited, if something is important for us to do, we have to do it now, because this is our only chance to do it.
This makes sense from a naturalistic worldview, one which doesn’t recognize any afterlife. It also makes sense from various religious worldviews that maintain there may be existence after death, but without resurrection and physical properties, and with no continuity between this life and the next. The one worldview in which the bucket list makes no sense is biblical Christianity.
Don’t misunderstand. My wife Nanci and I enjoy life—going new places and doing new things. I don’t believe this is wrong, nor is it wrong to list things you’d like to do if God gives you the resources and strength. But the “bucket list” mentality, that this life is our only chance to ever enjoy adventure and fun, is profoundly unbiblical. It disregards the teaching of the resurrection:

  • But your dead will live; their bodies will rise. You who dwell in the dust, wake up and shout for joy. . . . The earth will give birth to her dead. (Isaiah 26:19)
  • Many of those whose bodies lie dead and buried will rise up, some to everlasting life and some to shame and everlasting disgrace. (Daniel 12:2 NLT)
  • We will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. (1 Corinthians 15:52-53)
  • The Lord Jesus Christ . . . will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. (Philippians 3:20-21)

Despite the centrality of the resurrection in Scripture and church history, many Christians have never been clearly taught its meaning, so they imagine they will live forever in a disembodied state.

Read the rest here.

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Westminster Shorter Catechism – Lord’s Day 8

Westminster Shorter Catechism – Lord’s Day 8

Q & A 12
Q What special act of providence did God exercise towards man in the estate wherein he was created?
A When God had created man, he entered into a covenant of life with him, upon condition of perfect obedience; forbidding him to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, upon the pain of death.*1

*1 Genesis 2:16-17; James 2:10.

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Join In The Chorus (via Stephen Altrogge)

Stephen Altrogge recommends that those who don’t feel like singing with the gathered church are at odds not only with those singing in the room, but all of creation.
It’s not a voice problem, but a vision problem.
Look around and then join in the chorus.

An excerpt:
Psalm 19:1-4 declares that the entire creation is singing the splendor and glory and wonder of God:

“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.”

The birds begin every day with loud, caucophonous praise to God. The little lizard who lives under my deck, who can change colors in a flash, loudly declares, “I was created by a brilliant God!” The sun, which is so blazing hot in Florida, proclaims, “Look at what God hath wrought!”
And it’s not just the creation that sings to God. All of the angels declare the glory of God as well. The angels who fly around the throne of God have one, constant refrain:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” (Isaiah 6:3)

As the angels behold God, in all his brilliant, blinding, terrifying splendor, they can’t help but explode in praise. They behold and they extol, behold and extol, behold and extol.
The saints in heaven are not silent either. Revelation 5:11-12 gives us a sneak peek into the worship that is taking place in heaven:

“Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!”

As the saints behold the glory of the Lamb of God, they erupt in thunderous, overwhelming praise. There is no stoicism in heaven. There is no introversion. There is only loud, glorious, heart-felt praise.
If all the universe sings loudly and passionately to God, maybe the problem is with us. When we don’t feel like singing, the problem isn’t a singing problem, but a seeing problem.

Read the whole article here.


On World Down Syndrome Day Watch This Video

Down Syndrome International invite you to wear lots of socks to mark World Down Syndrome Day this March 21.
Watch this video in which 15 people with Down Syndrome respond to a letter from an expecting mother asking what life will be like with the Down Syndrome child that she’s carrying.
The video originated in Italy, and has subtitles.
It is a wonderful production and the ending is sublime.

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Westminster Confession Of Faith – Lord’s Day 7

Westminster Confession Of Faith – Lord’s Day 7

Chapter 4 – Of Creation
I It pleased God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, for the manifestation of the glory of His eternal power, wisdom, and goodness, in the beginning, to create, or make of nothing, the world, and all things therein whether visible or invisible, in the space of six days; and all very good.
II After God had made all other creatures, He created man, male and female, with reasonable and immortal souls, endued with knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness, after His own image; having the law of God written in their hearts, and power to fulfill it; and yet under a possibility of transgressing, being left to the liberty of their own will, which was subject unto change. Beside this law written in their hearts, they received a command, not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; which while they kept, they were happy in their communion with God, and had dominion over the creatures.

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Westminster Larger Catechism – Lord’s Day 8

Westminster Larger Catechism – Lord’s Day 8

Q & A 19
Q What is God’s providence towards the angels?
A God by his providence permitted some of the angels, willfully and irrecoverably, to fall into sin and damnation,*1 limiting and ordering that, and all their sins, to his own glory;*2 and established the rest in holiness and happiness;*3 employing them all,*4 at his pleasure, in the administrations of his power, mercy, and justice.*5

Q & A 20
Q What was the providence of God toward man in the estate in which he was created?
A The providence of God toward man in the estate in which he was created, was the placing him in paradise, appointing him to dress it, giving him liberty to eat of the fruit of the earth;*6 putting the creatures under his dominion,*7 and ordaining marriage for his help;*8 affording him communion with himself;*9 instituting the sabbath;*10 entering into a covenant of life with him, upon condition of personal, perfect, and perpetual obedience,*11 of which the tree of life was a pledge;*12 and forbidding to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, upon the pain of death.*13

Q & A 21
Q Did man continue in that estate wherein God at first created him?
A Our first parents being left to the freedom of their own will, through the temptation of Satan, transgressed the commandment of God in eating the forbidden fruit; and thereby fell from the estate of innocency wherein they were created.*14

Q & A 22
Q Did all mankind fall in that first transgression?
A The covenant being made with Adam as a public person, not for himself only, but for his posterity, all mankind descending from him by ordinary generation,*15 sinned in him, and fell with him in that first transgression.*16

Q & A 23
Q Into what estate did the fall bring mankind?
A The fall brought mankind into an estate of sin and misery.*17

Q & A 24
Q What is sin?
A Sin is any want of conformity unto, or transgression of, any law of God, given as a rule to the reasonable creature.*18

*1 Jude 6; 2 Peter 2:4; Hebrews 2:16; John 8:44.
*2 Job 1:12; Matthew 8:31.
*3 1 Timothy 5:21; Mark 8:38; Hebrews 12:22.
*4 Psalm 104:4.
*5 2 Kings 19:35; Hebrews 1:14.
*6 Genesis 2:8, 15-16.
*7 Genesis 1:28.
*8 Genesis 2:18.
*9 Genesis 1:26-29.
*10 Genesis 2:3.
*11 Galatians 3:12.
*12 Genesis 2:9.
*13 Genesis 2:17.
*14 Genesis 3:6-8, 13; Ecclesiastes 7:29; 2 Corinthians 11:3.
*15 Acts 17:26.
*16 Genesis 2:16-17; Romans 5:12-20; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22.
*17 Romans 5:12; Romans 3:23.
*18 1 John 3:4; Galatians 3:10, 12.