One common sight in today's world is the prevalence of chaos. Look at the Middle East, Europe, and here in North America. It seems as though we just wait for the next act of violence. We wait to see what horror gets posted next.
Riots in California, lawlessness in Sanctuary cities, slanderous accusations made against decent people, and anarchy keeps raising its ugly head. Chaos occurs when events seem to spiral out of control. Chaos also occurs when forces behind the scenes keep stoking the fires. Of course the results of chaos are fear and anger. These become a vicious cycle. Chaos occurs, it is driven by anger, and people become afraid. And the cycle repeats itself, and the culture spirals downward.
If you want to gain some insight into what is driving all this insanity, pick up a copy of my latest book, Lectures from the Gates of Hell. You can get your discounted copy at DrJerrySutton.com.
One of the great challenges in contemporary Western culture is answering the question of how Christians can best help the next generation shape a Christian worldview in its children. Public education, government agencies, the media, and multiple student-oriented activities have embraced secularism as the norm. Lip service has been given to the legitimacy of religion in America, yet society's encroachment continues unabated. Churches and their leaders are constantly the target of criticism, and the facts surrounding the significant role of Christianity shaping our nation is systematically being marginalized, eroded and erased.
If parents do not aggressively assume the responsibility to educate and disciple their children, the culture will make absolutely certain that secularism and humanism will be the default worldview. Two non-negotiables of a Christian worldview are almost self-evident. One, it must be true to Scripture; and two, it must be true to reality.
Scripture is the normative authority for authentic Christianity. What it teaches about life, its origins, its problems, its meaning, its purpose, and its end constitute the Christian understanding of life. A Christian worldview must also be true to reality. By this, I mean it helps people to understand how to respond to circumstances, how to see cause and effect, how temptation, sin, and death factor into life, how to understand human need and scarcity, for example.
One reason I wrote Lectures from the Gates of Hell was to help Christians better shape a Christian worldview. There is more to life than meets the eye. Unseen realities exist that play significant roles in how the world operates. To gain a better understanding of this Christian worldview, let me encourage you to get your copy, and read it carefully. You can get yours at a discount at DrJerrySutton.com.
Much has been said in recent months about "leaked information," especially in our political deliberations. Democrats have concluded that the leaked emails from the DNC were a major factor in Donald Trump's election to the Presidency. Republicans are concerned with "leaks" from various government agencies. The complaints are not that the leaks were untrue, although some of this has been duly noted, but rather that these were confidential even secretive deliberations that no one needed to to see. When they were made public, they damaged credibility, cost jobs, and the election. Yet, it helped people see (as awful as it was) what was actually transpiring.
Last month, my newest book, Lectures from the Gates of Hell, was released. It is the fictional (not fantasy) accounting of Satan and his demonic hierarchy's strategies and tactics on how to destroy God's work and people's lives. If you are curious about how the enemy stalks, tempts, and attacks, then this book is must reading. A devious design exists with the intention of destroying your life, your family, your influence, and your work. Reading Lectures is like eavesdropping on the enemy's plans.
This book contains a warning that every serious person should consider. I wish that I had read it 40 years ago. It is like reading "leaked information."
During this time of year, I love to hear "Merry Christmas." When someone says, "Happy Holidays," it has an empty ring of secularism that, frankly, I do not appreciate. No matter how this greeting is dressed up, it still contributes to redefining the Christmas season. So, Merry Christmas!
My favorite part of Christmas is giving gifts. Fern and the girls will testify to the fact that I have always been one who gives Christmas gifts out of proportion to what is normal or expected. Why? I am not sure, but I just love giving gifts. Perhaps Gary Chapman can explain why I am like that.
I like to get gifts, too. I just like to give them more. My favorite gifts are books. I like to call them the gifts that keep on giving. I look back over my years of ministry and I recall giving hundreds of books to church leaders, deacons, staff members, teachers, parents, students, and young people in (or entering into) ministry. To me, books have been tools, and I have loved putting those tools into needy hands. As I have gotten older, I have had the privilege of writing five books. Number six is seventy-five percent completed.
If you are like me and want to put a solid, biblical, challenging book into the hands of someone you love for Christmas, let me suggest that you give them a copy of my newest book, Lectures from the Gates of Hell . It has a wealth of insight into the struggles we face against the unseen enemy. It is a warning of what can happen when believers are not on guard. It is an encouragement for everyone who is attempting to faithfully serve Jesus Christ. To get the best price consider ordering it from DrJerrySutton.com. I hope you are blessed by this labor of love. And, Merry Christmas!
Years ago, I read Presidential hopeful Jimmy Carter's autobiography, Why not the Best. The title for the book went back to the dreaded mandatory interview Carter had with Admiral Hyman Rickover prior to being accepted into the officer corp of the US Navy's nuclear submarine fleet. After the Admiral asked Carter if he had always done his best, his follow-up question (after Carter's admission of "no") was "why not?" This became the title of Carter's life-story up to the point of his quest for the presidency.
This conversation identifies a salient issue in our world today. Are we accustomed to consistently doing our best, or do we simply want to get by? I am amazed at how often people settle for mediocrity.
When Jesus was asked about the greatest commandment, He answered that it was to "love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself." Normative here is the word "all." Whole-hearted devotion, whole-hearted commitment, and whole-hearted discipline mark the person who consistently performs at an excellence level.
One reason I wrote Lectures from the Gates of Hell was to help believers understand that doing one's best will generate considerable opposition from a determined adversary. To you I say, do your best! God rewards the faithful. And should we not continuously look to Jesus who was a living demonstration of continuously doing His best even to the point of death on the cross?
Whenever you turn on the news, you get multiple assessments of our nation's and world's problems ad nauseam. Depending on which pundits, networks, or politicians you listen to, the explanations of the reasons for all the turmoil go on and on. In my latest book, Lectures from the Gates of Hell, I attempt to give Hell's perspective. Assuming you take seriously what Scripture teaches, this volume should offer some insight into what is happening all around us. Consider a few basic observations.
First, people are not the enemy. Spiritual forces are at work to destroy humanity. Jesus pointed out that Satan's agenda is to kill, steal, and destroy. Satan's goal specifically is to destroy the work of God, and to create as much misery in the process as he possibly can. Satan's attacks are against people, all of whom are created in the image of God. If you are a living breathing human being, you are a target.
Second, life is a massive battle-field where Satan is attempting to destroy God's work, God's people, and humanity in general. When you look at the sources of all your troubles, they are all rooted in the spiritual dimension. Consider what is driving the turmoil and misery you observe. Instead of pointing at a person (or a political party) to affix blame, consider the true source.
Third, the real problem for each person is the presence of sin in the human heart. That is the foot-hold of Satan in each of us. And that is what Jesus came to deliver us from. Until we see this clearly, we will continue to swirl around in the circumstances created by Satan.
Until we see life from God's perspective, we are simply spinning our wheels as the old saying goes. Learn more in my new book, Lectures from the Gates of Hell. You can get it on sale at DrJerrySutton.com, or your local bookstore.
Today is not just Halloween. Today also marks the 499th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. On this date in 1517, an Augustinian monk/professor, named Martin Luther nailed his
"95 Theses" to the church house door of the Wittenberg Cathedral. This action was the customary means of introducing a subject for academic debate. Luther had no idea that he was launching a movement of massive proportions. Yet, that is precisely what he did.
The root issue embedded in the proposal for debate was the understanding of salvation. The Dominican monk, John Tetzel, had been commissioned by Pope Leo X in Rome to raise money to complete the building of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. The means for raising these funds was the sale of Indulgences. Supposedly (and this theology was a complete fabrication by the Roman Catholic hierarchy) all the good works of past saints was collected in a treasury of merit. When someone purchased an Indulgence, they purchased enough merit to have a deceased loved one's sins forgiven and thus escape purgatory. The slogan used by Tetzel was, "As soon as the coin in the coffer rings, a soul from purgatory springs." Martin Luther, the Augustinian monk, had no love for Tetzel, the Dominican monk, nor his heretical theology. Hence, the challenge penned in the "95 Theses."
Luther had come through an excruciating spiritual ordeal that culminated in his his "tower experience," that moment when his eyes, mind, and heart were opened to the truth that salvation was by grace through faith, and not of works or even for sale. That was a monumental moment in history when western civilization made a cosmic shift back to biblical truth.
So, what truths did Martin Luther help rediscover and uncover for future generations? First, that the only authentic authority for Christians is the Bible, not traditions, popes, or even councils should they disagree with Scripture. Second, he declared that salvation was a gift received by faith and not something that could be earned by human effort. Third, he pointed out that salvation was by God's grace and that it was initiated by God's sending His Son to be the sacrifice for our sins. Truths that we take for granted had to be painfully rediscovered some 500 years ago.
As we think back to the Reformation, we are reminded that it was a time to refocus on biblical truth. My newest book, LECTURES FROM THE GATES OF HELL, is similarly, an attempt to refocus Christians' understanding on the biblical truth of who the real enemy is...lest we forget.
The lynchpin in Roe v. Wade which legalized abortion on demand in the United States was the sudden "right to privacy." In other words, if a woman wanted to terminate a pregnancy, the conclusion was that it was nobody's business but her own and her doctor's. This became a legal precedent. In the hearing before the Supreme Court, Justice Thurgood Marshall asked the Attorney General of Texas a critical question, "when does life begin?" The Attorney General was not prepared for the question, and subsequently had no satisfactory answer. Here was a two-fold fiasco which has led to all most 59 million abortions. Joseph Stalin liked to say that one death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic. In America, the catastrophic number of deaths through abortion is a statistic.
In assessing this phenomenon, I keep going back to this whole notion of "privacy." If a child was being abused physically, would the courts overlook it because it was done in private? If a child was being sexually molested, would the courts look the other way and conclude it was permissible because it was done in private? If a woman was being abused in the home, would the courts overlook it stating that it was a private matter? When does a privacy issue take priority over someone else's, anyone else's, health and safety? This whole idea is a fabrication.
The issue in abortion is the fact that a human person is being exterminated. No honest medical professional who understands modern medical science would fail to answer Marshall's question with the answer "life begin's at conception." Yet, the eventual outcome of the present mindset is that life becomes cheapened, and the only test for the value of a person is whether or not they are wanted. So, if an unborn child is wanted, they live, if they are not wanted, they are terminated. It is a matter of convenience.
When the architects of Nazi Germany termed the phrase, "Lebensunwertes Leben," (Life not worthy of living), they permitted themselves to play the role of God, determining who would and would not be allowed to live. In Nazi Germany this mind-set was a barbarity, in modern America it is a right. It appears to me that our nation has consumed a massive dose of propaganda. This is still evil of the worst magnitude even if everyone applauds it. This is a national decision which needs to be reversed.
I am an avid CS Lewis fan. My favorite volume is the Screwtape Letters which I have read and reread multiple times. It is a fictional account of the correspondence between senior devil, Uncle Screwtape, and his fledgling demonic nephew, Wormwood. The book consists of 30 fictional letters written to advise, counsel, admonish, and chasten young Wormwood in his work to corrupt his human client. Uncle Screwtape, whom I like to refer to as The Grand Old Demon, gives his young protege his best "wisdom from below."
What I like about this particular volume is the fact that Lewis is helping Christians to understand how Satan and his minions operate to "kill, steal, and destroy" as Jesus explained in John 10:10. Fiction is not the same as fantasy, and sometimes sober truth is actually communicated in the guise of a fictional narrative. One of the great ways Satan has opposed the work of God on earth has been to cast a cloak of secrecy over his own enterprise. Keeping Christians confused over who the real enemy is has been one of his most effective weapons in his ongoing attempt to destroy the work of God on earth.
If this volume had been written for the 21st century and subsequently addressed the issues found in the present circumstances of the world, I think it would look very similar to my newest work. My newest book is written in the genre of fiction, consists of a series of lectures given by demonic luminaries, and details from a demonic perspective Satan's strategies and tactics to destroy the work of God on earth. The title is Lectures from the Gates of Hell. I hope you find it enticing, provocative, and sobering.