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Posts By Dr. R.C. Sproul, Jr.


How can we tell the difference between the accusations of the devil, and the conviction of the Holy Spirit?

Jesus’ Betrayal Jesus, we ought to remember, was betrayed twice by His disciples. While the betrayal of Judas carried Jesus inexorably toward His passion, the betrayal of Peter was of the same dark hue. Both pushed Jesus away as the other, both left Him to the accusations of others. And, it should not be forgotten, both responded to their betrayal of our Lord with sorrow. Two duplicitous, disloyal cowards. Two grievous sins. Two hearts weighed down with despair. But there the paths diverge. Godly Sorrow Judas, in his anguish, took his own life. Peter, in his anguish, turned to the. . .
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Do Calvinists have too low a view of themselves?

Made in the Image of God Perhaps. It is virtually impossible to have too low a view of ourselves by ourselves. We, all of us who are human, do indeed bear the image of God. Even that, however, is ultimately extrinsic to us. The imago, we need to understand isn’t essential to us in a sense, but is added to us. By ourselves, apart from His grace, we are but dust and rebellion. In His grace, however, He has imposed upon us, stamped upon us, His image. We humans thus have worth, dignity and value, though these are ultimately from. . .
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I Mourned My Lack of Shoes Until…

Nearness of Suffering It is a dangerous folly to compare, much less compete in hardship. Each of us has our own, and the closeness of our suffering is a deeper barometer of the challenge than the hardness of it. I learned this the first time I ventured out to the movies without my wife. That was what we did on date night, as vanilla as it might seem — dinner and a movie. We both loved the movies, she more than me. Whatever our choices I always let Denise choose. If Attack of the Killer Killing Things was released the. . .
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Could Jesus have sinned?

The Liberty & Ability to Sin Yes, and no. How we answer depends totally on how we are using the word “could.” Augustine explored the issue well, and both Luther and Edwards followed after him in distinguishing two different kinds of abilities. We could say that Jesus had the liberty to sin, but did not have the ability, or alternately, that He had the ability but not the liberty. External Restraint The freedom, or the “yes” of the answer comes down to this — there was no outside force restraining Jesus from sinning. It’s not as though if He had. . .
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Sing for Jesus Sister

Blessings & Hardships of Dying There are, as I have long argued, blessings and hardships that come with every form of home-going. The surprise jolts us, but we remember that the deceased didn’t suffer. The long expected allows for fitting goodbyes, and getting our affairs in order. In between you usually get a bit of the blessings of both. There is, for those left behind, a peculiar hardship that comes with an expected death. For me, the pain of the last few months of my wife’s life comes back to haunt me this time of year. It was during the. . .
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What Realities May Come — Dreaming of Heaven

Dreaming of Heaven I suspect, if we had eyes to see, that we would know the Bible tells us more about heaven than we think. I suspect, however, given heaven’s glory and beauty, that the Bible’s descriptions would never satisfy us. I know that I don’t know exactly what happens, and so when I wonder about it, I try to do so cautiously, non-dogmatically. But what I usually end up doing is daydreaming. A Boy’s Heaven When I was a boy I had a pretty good vision of what awaited me. My parents determined that I should not have what. . .
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Is Ebola a judgment sent from God?

Ebola Virus—Hardship or Judgment It is natural, when confronted with hardship, whether it be personal, national, even global, to wonder where the hand of God is in the hardship. When that hardship hits us or those whom we love, we often fall into fear that somehow this means God is angry or unhappy with us. When it hits those whom we hate, we often fall into an ungodly joy that somehow this means God is angry or unhappy with our enemies. Sovereignty Over Ebola This much we know — God is sovereign over all things. If it happens, He ordained. . .
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Scary Witches

The Evil of Witchcraft Witches are real, and witches are evil. To be sure, while warts, brooms and cauldrons are also real the caricature that brings them all together is rather far from the truth. God, in His infinite wisdom, told His people Israel not to suffer a witch to live (Exodus 22:18). Our fathers the Puritans followed the same perspective. They rightly saw witchcraft as a great evil. They, in accordance with their times, saw it also as a capital offense. Neither of these, however, is the source of the great horror of the Salem Witch Trials. The Folly. . .
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How should I prepare my son to provide for his family?

Don’t Follow the Folly of the World An excellent question. Too often we in the church follow the folly of the world in taking a passive approach to the future. We tend to believe all we have to do is show up, and if things don’t work out well for us, it must be the system’s fault. Another key error we have embraced from the world is this notion — that if we acquire specialized skills we will be able to provide for our families. Such thinking often leads to violating the first principle of sound stewardship — never spend. . .
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Our Lord is at Work Near & Far

Trip to Brazil It is a dangerous habit, but a habit nonetheless. When I find myself on my way home from a trip overseas, I take fingers to keyboard and write a piece. I am tired. I miss my family, and I am emotional. I do it, even though it’s scary, because it makes sense. When I see the hand of God at work, I want to write about it. Tonight I write from Sao Paulo, Brazil. A little less than a week ago I landed here eager and ready to preach the Word. I had hopes in me that. . .
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What have we lost in the lost art of letter writing?

My Dearest Gaulips, You asked about some of the newest features our media consultants are working on, and how you might put them to good use in your treatment of your patient. I will explain a few of them, but do not lose sight of the simple principle — the more we can take these cursed humans away from their bodies, the better off we can be. Entice them with ease, with reach, with speed, with convenience, but take away from them the things that matter the most — actual communication. When we move them from aural communication to written. . .
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A Man Has a Right to Own Her Body

Root Causes of Abortion You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain James 4:2. Seeking to stop the slaughter of the unborn by merely declaiming abortion is like building a bridge by starting in the middle. James reminds us that we murder because we lust. Statistics tells us that nearly 9 of ten women who get an abortion in America are unmarried. That is telling. Abortion & Related Sins Too often we in the evangelical church have taken a binary approach to the problem. Either we separate the sin of abortion from all its related. . .
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How can I tell if someone has truly repented of grievous sin?

The Fruit of True Repentance There is one tell-tale fruit, but it may take a long time for it to happen. And even then you likely won’t see it. But here’s the fruit nonetheless — if the sinner ends up in heaven, you will know they had truly repented. If not, they likely had not. I understand the desire to know the sincerity of another’s repentance. I’ve been in countless pastoral situations wherein it seemed like the answer to that one question — is this person truly repentant — determined the answer to every other question about what should be. . .
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Are We Getting Better All the Time?

Horrors in History History is littered with the inhuman. That is, when we seek to take an honest look at those who have gone before us, we find what we manage to think is something different to us. We look at Nazi Germany as if it were some bizarre aberration, the cultural equivalent of a snowstorm in August. Even cultures we might otherwise admire have warts we think we’ve grown beyond. Whether it was the open sexual perversion and abuse of boys that marked the ancient Greeks, or witch hunts of our Puritan forebearers, the skeletons do not hide in. . .
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Did God act unethically in asking Abraham to sacrifice Isaac?

A Challenging Question There are any number of challenges that come from this account in Genesis. Some have used it to deny God knows the future, on the basis of God’s declaration, “Now I know that you fear God” in 12:22. Some have used it to argue that God is wicked, either for asking the father to kill the innocent son, or for lying to Abraham, telling Abraham He wanted him to do something He didn’t really want him to do. The first objection is answered easily enough — only God the Father has an innocent Son. While Isaac may. . .
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Lovers (of the World) Gonna Hate

Human Trafficking & Abortion Next month I will be participating on a Christian college campus in an intriguing discussion. I have been invited, due to my public labors on behalf of the unborn, to join a panel asking something along these lines, “Why is the slaughter of the unborn so low on the radar of so many evangelicals? Why do we get our dander up over Kony or human trafficking, but not so much over abortion?” Before I get to the remarks I am apt to share, let’s make one obvious thing perfectly clear. Human trafficking is wicked, vile, nauseating. . .
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What 5 things can I do to best take advantage of a conference?

Evangelicals these days seem to have something of a love/hate relationship with conferences. We grumble about the conference junkie who wanders from event to event looking for a greater mountaintop experience, and soon finds himself dissatisfied with home preaching. On the other hand, people can go from one conference to another looking for that experience in part because there are so many because so many seem to be having mountaintop experiences. Perhaps, with some wisdom, we can maximize the benefits while diminishing the dangers. Here are five suggestions. Do not go to see/get close to the celebrity preacher. Go to. . .
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The Folly of Keeping Up with the Joneses

The Good Mr. Jones I have two sets of neighbors. On the east side is Mr. Jones. He’s a decent man, a loving husband, and an attentive father. He serves at the local soup kitchen at least once a month. He loves to talk to people about Jesus, and all that Jesus means to him. Indeed Jesus is Mr. Jones’ hero — he aspires to be just like him. Mr. Jones is at peace with his life. He’s content with where he is, and has every confidence about where he will spend eternity. The Bad Mr. Smith Mr. Smith, on. . .
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If you could have done one thing differently as a husband, what would it be?

My Deepest Regret It is both awkward and encouraging the feedback I have received over the past few years for the writing I have done during my beloved’s illness, homegoing and absence. I especially rejoice when I hear that the things I have written have served another in a time of hardship. It remains my intention to use what I have written in a book in the future. That said, I still believe that the most vulnerable, most insightful, most helpful thing I wrote all along this journey was this brief tweet — I wish I had held her hand. . .
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Ray Rice, Domestic Violence, and Other Monsters

Connecting the Dots It is, I believe, a useful habit that I stumbled upon now more than 20 years ago. I have found that forcing myself to look at two issues at once often helps me see a new perspective on both issues that I otherwise would have missed. It started when I was an editor for Tabletalk magazine and I had an idea. Each issue, then and now, is sort of two magazines, a daily Bible study, as well as a thematic issue. “Why don’t we,” I asked the team, “publish a ‘bridge’ article each month? For our first. . .
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Dr. R.C. Sproul, Jr.

Dr. R.C. Sproul, Jr..

Dr. R.C. Sproul Jr. is a graduate of Reformed Theological Seminary, and Grove City College. He received his Doctorate of Ministry in 2001 and is Founder, Chairman and Teacher of Highlands Ministries.
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