Episode 504

American Christians Views On The War, The First Sin & Lessons On Prayer From The Christmas Story

Dec 19, 2023

American Christians tend to have nuanced perspectives on the circumstances surrounding the war between Israel and Hamas but clear views on the reality of Hamas, the rights of Israel and the need to protect innocent lives, according to Lifeway Research. A Lifeway Bible study says, in Genesis 3, we read of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. And, in the Christmas story, as told through the winding narrative of Luke, there briefly appears a mysterious man of prayer named Simeon (Luke 2:25-35).

Transcript

American Christians tend to have nuanced perspectives on the circumstances surrounding the war between Israel and Hamas but clear views on the reality of Hamas, the rights of Israel and the need to protect innocent lives, according to Lifeway Research.

Three in 4 self-identified Christians in the U.S. (75 percent) say Hamas is “an extremist group that is isolated from most other Arabs who live in Israel and neighboring countries.” More than 4 in 5 (83 percent) agree Israel “must take bold measures to defend itself against Hamas’ decades-long campaign of terrorism against Israel.”

Most American Christians (88 percent) say Israelis have the right to determine their own statehood and government. Around 3 in 4 (76 percent) say the same about the Palestinians’ governance. A similar number (74 percent) agree Palestinians “have the right to defend themselves and the land their families have lived on for generations.”
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A Lifeway Bible study says, in Genesis 3, we read of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Satan, in the form of a crafty serpent, approached Eve to inquire about eating from any tree in the garden. She responded by identifying the tree in the middle of the garden as being forbidden from eating and touching. The serpent questioned the consequences of partaking from the tree, explaining that she would not die but rather would become like God. The serpent also cast doubt on God’s motives for not allowing Adam and Eve to eat from the tree.

As believers, we should not underestimate Satan’s craftiness. He is actively looking for ways to deceive us. We learn in Genesis 3 that the promises that accompany the temptation to sin lead to brokenness. Thankfully, God offers grace in the middle of our rebellion against Him. When we repent, we turn from sin and to Him. This is the good news: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
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Good News for Today is sponsored by The Voice of the Martyrs

Good News for Today is made possible through our friends at The Voice of the Martyrs, a nonprofit organization that serves persecuted Christians around the world. Founded in 1967 by Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, VOM is dedicated to inspiring believers to deepen their commitment to Christ and to fulfill His Great Commission — no matter the cost. Find out more and sign up for their free monthly magazine at vom.org/goodnews.
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In the Christmas story, as told through the winding narrative of Luke, there briefly appears a mysterious man of prayer named Simeon (Luke 2:25-35). For our purposes, it is what he teaches us about prayer that matters. Simeon had learned how to wait in prayer. 

He had been “waiting” (presumedly for quite some time); and he was now content finally to die when at long last, in answer to prayer, God would let him “depart in peace” (v. 29) since he said, “my eyes have seen your salvation” (v. 30). 

The implication is that someone who had been waiting for a long time in prayer was suddenly rewarded for his patience. That is the lesson learned from the prayer life of Simeon.

The heroic prayer warrior George Müller once observed, “It is not enough to begin to pray, nor to pray aright; nor is it enough to continue for a time to pray; but we must patiently, believing, continue in prayer until we obtain an answer.” In the 21st century, our prayer lives are still blessed by patiently waiting.

 

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