Uncategorized

Uncategorized

Can We Be Saved by Faith “ALONE?”

What God’s word says about salvation is crucial to our condition in eternity. Most of the world’s population knows nothing of the God of the bible. Still more people reject knowledge of Him. Yet if the God of the bible exists and is Who He claims, then everything this book says about human salvation is the most urgently important information in all the world! There IS general agreement in Christendom (the religious groups and organizations who describe themselves as “Christian”)…

Are You An Enemy? (If You Tell the Truth)

The cartoon depicts a preacher shaking hands with a member of the congregation, and the caption reads, “Preacher, you made me see myself today as never before, and I’ll never forgive you for it!” TRUTH is not regarded – in our age – as the treasure it once was. Many now see it as nothing more than an illusion. Do you believe objective truth actually exists, and can be known? You must be a fanatic, not an honest, rational person!…

Are There LIMITS to Christian Fellowship?

Ephesians 5:11-12 answers this question: “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret.” “Fellowship” means common participation, sharing in a common cause – especially the mutual association of those whose beliefs and practices unite them with God through Jesus Christ. Does this mean we are “in fellowship” with everyone else who considers themselves “Christian?” It is…

“Joyful Noise?”

“Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth! 2 Serve the LORD with gladness; Come into His presence with singing.” (Psalm 100:1-2, ESV) Have you ever heard someone use this verse to justify using a piano (or an organ, or a praise band, etc.) in worship to God? Often, the appeal is based on a “tongue-in-cheek” reference to the word “noise,” as if that word justifies ALL sounds! (Other translations render it as a “joyful SHOUT.”) Folks often…

Words of Advice to Grandparents

“Grandparent:” Whether it refers to a feeble nursing home resident or a marathon-running, mountain-biking, adventureseeking 45 year-old, the only image this word conveys to many ears is “old.” My grandparents seemed “ancient” when I was a child (they were about the age I am now). Two were faithful Christians and two were not, yet all are precious to me and their examples are a large part of who I am now. Solomon wrote, “The memory of the just is blessed,…”…

The Church: God’s Benevolent Hand

God has always had a benevolent hand (caring touch) in the world, through laws (Ex. 22:25-27; Deut. 24:19-21), through Jesus Christ His Son (Acts 10:38) and through His church (Rom. 12:13). Jesus does His work in the world today through His church (Eph. 2:10) and if we do not do the work of Christ we become the corpses of Christ, not his body. Part of the work of the church involves benevolence and mercy. Jesus performed miracles of mercy (Matt.…

Don’t Be “USELESS”

“So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” (James 4:17, ESV – emphasis mine, DR) The old statement that one can sin actively (by “commission”) OR passively (by “omission”) is accurate, but it is a mistake to think that sins of omission are somehow “not as serious” as sins of commission. An “active” sin might be committed “in the heat of passion” (and thus be a “once in a lifetime”…

Who Are You? (Part 7)

When Jesus told of those who made excuses and so missed the blessing of the wedding banquet (Matthew 22:1-14), He concluded by observing that, “Many are called, but few are chosen.” What this parable makes obvious is that many who could receive His blessing of salvation do not! His invitation must be accepted for its blessings to be received! So “HOW” does God choose us? The first-century Jewish rulers supposed that God chose who to save based on who their…

Who Are You? (Part 6)

The United Nations created the modern nation of “Israel” in 1948 as a homeland for Jews displaced during World War II. Many English and American politicians supported this because their religious beliefs rested on the belief that a political nation of Israel MUST always exist, as God’s “eternally-chosen” people. The idea that the church could replace “national” Israel as the focus of God’s affection completely disrupts their theology! The bible’s image of a “Jew” is very different from the modern,…

Who Are You? (Part 5)

What does the word “married” bring to mind? For most folks, it means “a man plus a woman, committed for life” (this agrees with Jesus’ words in Matthew 19:5, quoting Genesis 2:24 – “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh”). The most significant part is what He then said in verse 6; “…what God has joined together, let not man separate.” This has been the basic…

Who Are You? (Part 4)

As Paul challenged Timothy to be a faithful Christian “soldier” (2 Timothy 2:2-4), he mentioned a crucial attitude for Timothy to cultivate in that role – the desire to “please” our “Captain!” One of the first lessons a new recruit learns in boot camp is “who’s in charge” (and it’s NOT the new recruit!). Christians are described as “soldiers” because Jesus calls us to “ENLIST” in His “army!” It’s no accident that He is described as the “captain” of our…

Who Are You? (Part 3)

“Disciple” is exclusively a new testament word, except for Isaiah 8:16. It appears more than 250 times. Even though Jesus didn’t actually use the word disciple when He called Peter and Andrew to “follow” Him (Matthew 4:18-20; Mark 1:17-18), their response is an excellent illustration of what it means. If we are going to be Christians like Peter and Andrew were, we too must be DISCIPLES of Jesus Christ! “What IS a ‘disciple’?” The Greek word means a “follower,” a…