Lasting service comes when we serve God from His acceptance, [...]
God will administer loving discipline for wrongdoing in order to keep His children from experiencing even more extreme consequences of sin. This discipline can be quite rigorous, because while the damage of sin unchecked can be so devastating, our wayward impulses can be so strong. There is an appropriate dread of divine discipline that motivates us to avoid sin. Still, in order for discipline to operate properly in the Christian life, we must remember that God’s discipline for his children is never punitive or damaging.
God will administer loving discipline for wrongdoing in order to [...]
Divine discipline is God’s merciful expression of His love for children who deserve His wrath but will never receive it.
Divine discipline is God’s merciful expression of His love for [...]
If thankfulness does not move us to serve God, then we do not truly understand who our God is and what He has done in our behalf. Without gratitude for Christ’s sacrificial love, our duty will become nothing more than drudgery and our God nothing more than a dissatisfied boss.
If thankfulness does not move us to serve God, then [...]
Since God’s justice has been fully satisfied, the remaining purposes of His discipline are to help those dear to Him to know more of the riches of His grace, and to grow more like Him. Divine discipline is intended to benefit the wayward rather than to exact retribution for wrong.
Since God’s justice has been fully satisfied, the remaining purposes [...]
If Christ has borne whatever our sins deserved, and by doing so has satisfied God’s justice to the full, then God cannot, in justice, punish us for sin, for that would require the full payment from Christ and yet demand part of it from us… God does not chastise us as a means of satisfaction for sin, but for rebuke and caution, to bring us to mourn for sin committed, and to beware of the like. It must always be remembered that, although Christ has borne the punishment of sin, and although God has forgiven the saints for their sins, yet God may God-fatherly correct His people for sin. Christ endured the great shower of wrath, the black and dismal hours of displeasure for sin. That which falls upon us is as a sun-shine shower, warmth with wet, wet with the warmth of His love to make us fruitful and humble… That which the believer suffers for sin is not penal, arising from vindictive justice, but medicinal, arising from a fatherly love. It is his medicine, not his punishment; his chastisement, not his sentence; his correction, not his condemnation.
If Christ has borne whatever our sins deserved, and by [...]
When God says, “I will not leave you alone,” He is not only promising His continuing presence, He is promising holy confrontation when we abandon Him.
When God says, “I will not leave you alone,” He [...]
God’s discipline is always loving in its intent. The love goal of discipline makes it gracious, but this is not easy to understand if and when pain is involved.
God’s discipline is always loving in its intent. The love [...]
The goal of God’s discipline is to correct, or to set right, or to improve, not to make someone suffer as an act of vengeance or retribution.
The goal of God’s discipline is to correct, or to [...]
How would we feel if we pray on Wednesday nights for revival, but it comes to a church down the road? How would we feel if another church is baptizing more converts? How would we feel if the decrease in our ministry might be needed for great success elsewhere in the church? I can provide countless examples, but the point is clear. Are we in this for ourselves – Grace Bible Church, our family our own identity, own kingdom – or are we solely about the Lord’s glory and ultimately His kingdom? Pride is all about me and my circles. Humility is all about Christ and being content if He receives all the glory, even if that means my actions are unappreciated or overlooked.
How would we feel if we pray on Wednesday nights [...]
There are no specific churches or denominations in God’s kingdom. If you are saved, you are on God’s team. God’s children are your teammates. Support each other. Encourage each other. Rejoice when God is working, even if it’s not under the banner of your ministry or your church or your country. The prideful competitive spirit often sees the enemy not as demonic forces, but rather other believers because they can steal your fanfare. The humble God-honor spirit sees those who do not oppose as being with us and (as Jesus said) “for us” (Luke 9:50).
There are no specific churches or denominations in God’s kingdom. [...]
We continue to confront sin and call for repentance, but we leave the final determination of judgment to God and as long as we have time, we cease from pronouncing judgment and plead with sinners to receive the mercy that we offer in the gospel… Mercy is at the heart of redemptive ministry. Mercy is to extend to all without regard for race, or status, or gender, or age. And mercy is to be offered patiently toward those who are ignorant in unbelief.
We continue to confront sin and call for repentance, but [...]
Discipling someone is walking them through life and teaching them to perceive all of its experiences with a divine insight. That’s what discipleship is. It’s not a class on Thursday night, or any other night. It’s not two hours of reading a book. It’s interpreting life with the mind of Christ.
Discipling someone is walking them through life and teaching them [...]
Nothing, in fact, has done more harm to Christianity than the practice of filling the ranks of Christ’s army with every volunteer who is willing to make a little profession, and talk fluently of his experience. It has been painfully forgotten that numbers alone do not make strength, and that there may be a great quantity of mere outward religion, while there is very little real grace. Let us all remember this. Let us keep back nothing from young professors and inquirers after Christ. Let us not enlist them on false pretenses. Let us tell them plainly that there is a crown of glory at the end. But let us tell them no less plainly, that there is a daily cross in the way.
Nothing, in fact, has done more harm to Christianity than [...]
For until men recognize that they owe everything to God, that they are nourished by His fatherly care, that He is the Author of their every good, that they should seek nothing beyond Him — they will never yield Him willing service. Nay, unless they establish their complete happiness in Him, they will never give themselves truly and sincerely to Him.
For until men recognize that they owe everything to God, [...]
When God works in a Christian’s heart, our primary attitude toward unbelievers is not rejection, frustration or exultation over their destiny. It’s compassion. It’s being able to see them as an image bearer of God (regardless of how they look or what they may do) lost in this world and on the road to an eternal hell. And that is our motivation for evangelism. It’s because God has given us a heart for all humans and in that love we are compelled to get them the message of Jesus so they may be saved from hell. After all, that was God’s love toward you before you accepted Christ, right?
When God works in a Christian’s heart, our primary attitude [...]
Now if you have a problem matching up that sovereignty of God with human responsibility, admit that you don’t know everything and the problem is solved. Because I also know that the gospel extends to the end of the earth and Jesus was the one who said, “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I’ll give you rest.” We understand the gospel invitation. We understand the call. We understand the tears of Jesus over those who wouldn’t come. We understand the responsibility of the sinner who rejects the gospel and perishes and he is being punished for his own choice. We understand that. How that harmonizes with this doctrine, I do not understand. I may never understand it even in eternity because I will never be God. But I will let God be God and I will not redefine God on my terms… I also understand at the same time that God holds every sinner responsible for their own rejection and gives them the opportunity to receive Him. And it makes perfect sense to Him though it’s apparently paradoxical to me. But I will not err on the severe side of diminishing the sovereignty of God by eliminating this glorious truth.
Now if you have a problem matching up that sovereignty [...]
Don’t let the doctrine of election get in the way. We don’t know who they are. Somebody said to Spurgeon, “You can’t preach that doctrine. You can’t preach that doctrine to everybody because they might not be elect.” And he said, “Well if you’ll go around and pull their shirt up so I can see if they have an ‘E’ stamped on their back, I’ll preach only to them.” I don’t know who they are and so we go to the ends of the earth because this is a secret decree known only after faith, not before. So I can with no hesitation cry out to all to come to Christ.
Don't let the doctrine of election get in the way. [...]
Don’t impose on God your sense of what is fair. Fair sends the whole human race to hell. You don’t want fair. God is God and He’s the sovereign of the universe and He doesn’t abandon His sovereignty at any point, particularly in the realm of redemption. I will have mercy on whom I have mercy. I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.
Don't impose on God your sense of what is fair. [...]
The more you know Him, the better you know Him, the more confident you become, the more secure your joy is… Joy is related to your knowledge of God: little knowledge, little joy; much knowledge, much joy. The more you know of God’s glorious truth, of God’s great covenants and promises, of God’s plans, of God’s faithfulness, of God’s power, the more joy you experience in life… Our joy is connected to the goodness of the Lord. And the more you understand His grace and mercy and goodness, the more stable your joy becomes, no matter what circumstances may come.
The more you know Him, the better you know Him, [...]
I believe that every particle of dust that dances in the sunbeam does not move an atom more or less than God wishes – that every particle of spray that dashes against the steamboat has its orbit, as well as the sun in the heavens – that the chaff from the hand of the winnower is steered as the stars in their courses. The creeping of an aphid over the rosebud is as much fixed as the march of the devastating pestilence – the fall of leaves from a poplar is as fully ordained as the tumbling of an avalanche. He who believes in God must believe this truth. There is no standing point between this and Atheism. There is no halfway between an Almighty God, who works all things according to the good pleasure of His will, and no God at all!
I believe that every particle of dust that dances in [...]
A church is not a group of friends you’ve picked, it’s a group of brothers and sisters God has picked for you.
A church is not a group of friends you’ve picked, [...]
Nothing can ever be done in the name of love [...]
Suffering is common for all. However, persecution (which is a form of suffering) can be avoided. All you have to do is compromise.
Suffering is common for all. However, persecution (which is a [...]
The attractiveness of idols is because they are visual, portable, tangible, manageable and servable.
The attractiveness of idols is because they are visual, portable, [...]
Is your wife more like Jesus Christ because she is [...]
Biblical love is not primarily about physical attraction, but spiritual contentment (Tom Pennington).
Biblical love is not primarily about physical attraction, but spiritual [...]
Every problem that our church has ever faced can be [...]
[Pastors], you are the ones most under your ministry. [...]
Those to whom God is faithful become faithful.
Humility, one’s humble stance before the Lord is the virtue [...]
Do you see why Christians can face death with peace? They are not so much “leaving behind” as much as “going to.”
Do you see why Christians can face death with peace? [...]
The anticipation of a joyous event in the future can oftentimes be as good as experiencing the actual event itself.
The anticipation of a joyous event in the future can [...]
[Being forgiving is] not the ground on which God bestows forgiveness but the ground on which man can receive it (William Manson).
[Being forgiving is] not the ground on which God bestows [...]
[When God tests us] discipline and purification are usually the object, not punishment and destruction.
[When God tests us] discipline and purification are usually the [...]
A forgiving spirit is the outstretched hand by which we [...]
We ought not to expect to receive from God what [...]
It is better to be occupied with Jesus than to [...]
When there is opportunity to sin may the Lord protect me from the inclination and when there is the inclination to sin may the Lord protect me from the opportunity.
When there is opportunity to sin may the Lord protect [...]
What is a sin? It’s a violation against God’s character when we disobey a command of His. Who sins? We all do and we do it on a daily basis. What happens when we sin? We often have natural consequences, but primarily we store up God’s judgment against ourselves. What does that result in? The violation of God’s commands results in God’s eternal judgment. Is there any hope? Yes, Jesus Christ lived the perfect life, died for our sins on the cross, conquered sin through the Resurrection and offers forgiveness to those who receive Him by faith. To what degree am I forgiven when I come to Jesus? Complete forgiveness because Christ died for all your sins – past, present and future.
What is a sin? It’s a violation against God’s character [...]
In a strange way, God’s good and perfect gifts (Jas. 1:17) abundantly lavished on our lives have not created a greater heart for the Giver, but rather have given us a greater love for lesser gifts.
In a strange way, God's good and perfect gifts (Jas. [...]
Hallowing God’s name at its most basic level is not saying God’s name in vain – a violation of the third commandment (Ex. 20:7). God’s name followed by the curse word. But even the notorious and ever-popular “Oh My…” Now we even tritely use the letters “OMG” as if the name of the Holy One can be taken as a figure of speech, a point of exclamation or a throw-away comment in our forms of entertainment.
Hallowing God’s name at its most basic level is not [...]
On one hand we have to say that the kingdom has already arrived. Didn’t both Jesus and John the Baptist say, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Mt. 4:17)? If the kingdom represents God’s reign, it has indeed arrived. God told us in Colossians 1:13 that He has already, “Rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son?” I would like to believe that Jesus is reigning on the throne of each heart of each person that has received Him as their Lord. As Christians it’s His will over our self-will. It’s His lordship over our self-governance. It’s ultimate submission to Him as King over our self-reliance. It’s an invisible reign that is manifested in our loyalty to King Jesus. It’s the tiny mustard seed, as Jesus said, that will grow to be a massive plant. The King as a spiritual kingdom. Yet as Jesus reigns in our hearts we desire to see Him reign over the entire world – a physical kingdom. We long for the day when sin is not in, but rather when righteousness prevails. We long for the day when, Philippians 2, “Every knee will bow…and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Phil. 2:10-11).
On one hand we have to say that the kingdom [...]
The same Greek word can be translated “temptation” and “test.” They are a world apart and context determines which translation to use. Satan is the one who tempts us to sin. God is the one who tests us to righteousness. Satan wants to destroy us. He wants to weaken our faith. He wants us to spiritually fail. On the other hand, our Lord is forever testing us. His goal though tests, often in the form of trials, is to make us spiritually stronger, refine our character and increase our faith. Part of the test at times is overcoming the temptation. It is the Lord in His sovereignty who sends test. “Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil” (Mt. 4:1). However, it is during these tests that Satan finds His greatest opportunity to tempt us. So when the heat in life is turned up, will we trust God and walk by faith in His commandments or will we listen to the “father of lies” and sin? The prayer here is that the Lord will help us pursue righteous actions as we emerge from the test spiritually victorious.
The same Greek word can be translated “temptation” and “test.” [...]
Forgiving others is the evidence we truly understand and have [...]
Why are we called in “The Lord’s Prayer” to ask for what appears to be additional forgiveness? One, because sin destroys. Confession helps our soul heal from the guilt we incurred. Two, because every sin we commit, though it does not forfeit our salvation, breaks fellowship with our heavenly Father. Three, because our forgiveness came at a great cost – the death of God’s very Son. Therefore we ought to take sin seriously and carefully recognize the specific areas we are falling short. Four, because true believers are committed to repentance. Confession of sin is important because without acknowledging the error of sin, we will never take the necessary steps toward what God ultimately desires, which is repentance (turning from the sin altogether).
Why are we called in "The Lord's Prayer" to ask [...]
Prayer is the means by which God’s infinite wisdom, infinite power, and perfect purpose are brought together to accomplish His will. You can’t be saved without believing. You can’t be sanctified without obeying. And you can’t enjoy the goodness of God in this life without participating in His unfolding purpose through your prayers and through your service to Him.
Prayer is the means by which God’s infinite wisdom, infinite [...]
Your view of God is really the benchmark of your spiritual maturity. Understanding the nature of God is critical to spiritual maturity because in the end you rest in the reality of your God. Superficial knowledge of God, a shallow knowledge of God, a limited knowledge of God contributes to limited understanding and limited faith and limited trust.
Your view of God is really the benchmark of your [...]
Prayer is not a spiritual crowbar or jackhammer that pries open God’s willingness to act but a means by which Christians open themselves up to God – to grasp God’s will and be grasped by it.
Prayer is not a spiritual crowbar or jackhammer that pries [...]
Prayer is yearning to see not my will, but God’s will done. Prayer is about aligning myself with Him. Prayer is about knowing that God has ordained all things – not just the end, but also the means by which it comes about. And it’s about knowing that my prayers are part of those means.
Prayer is yearning to see not my will, but God’s [...]
Ultimately, all of this is glorifying to God. He has sent His Son to die for sinners, and He has set up marriage to reflect that reality. When we understand this, we realize that marriage exists even more for God than it does for us. God has ultimately designed marriage not to satisfy our needs but to display His glory in the gospel. When we realize this, we recognize that if we want to declare the gospel, we must defend marriage.
Ultimately, all of this is glorifying to God. He has [...]
Husbands, love your wives not because of who they are, but because of who Christ is. He loves them deeply, and our responsibility is to reflect His love.
Husbands, love your wives not because of who they are, [...]
Headship is not an opportunity for us to control our [...]
As husbands sacrifice their lives for the sake of their wives – loving, leading, serving, protecting, and providing for them – the world gets a glimpse of God’s grace. Sinners see that Christ has gone to a cross where He suffered, bled, and died for them so that they could experience eternal salvation through submission to Him. They also see in a wife’s relationship with her husband that such submission isn’t a burden to bear. Marriage onlookers observe a wife joyfully and continually experiencing her husband’s sacrificial love for her and then gladly and spontaneously submitting in selfless love to him. In this visible representation of the gospel, the world realizes that following Christ isn’t a matter of forced duty. Instead, it’s a means to full, eternal, and absolute delight.
As husbands sacrifice their lives for the sake of their [...]
God made clear from the start that men and women are equal in dignity, value, and worth. Submission is not about denigrating the value of another’s life. Instead, this biblical word means to yield to another in love.
God made clear from the start that men and women [...]
What a breathtaking picture. For Christ to be the head of the church is for Christ to give everything He has for the good of the church. Christ takes responsibility for the beauty of His bride, ready to lay aside His rights and willing to lay down His life for the sake of her splendor. So this is who God has designed a husband to be: a man who gives everything he has for the good of his wife. A man who takes responsibility for the beauty of his bride, ready to lay aside his rights and willing to lay down his life for the sake of her splendor. God has designed a husband to be the head of his wife like this so that in a husband’s love for his wife, the world might see a picture of Christ’s love for His people.
What a breathtaking picture. For Christ to be the head [...]
From the moment marriage was instituted, God aimed to give the world an illustration of the gospel. Just as a photograph represents a person or an event at a particular point in history, marriage was designed by God to reflect a person and an event at the most pivotal point in history. Marriage, according to Ephesians 5, pictures Christ and the church. It is a living portrait drawn by a divine Painter who wants the world to know that He loves His people so much that He has sent His Son to die for their sins. In the picture of marriage, God intends to portray Christ’s love for the church and the church’s love for Christ on the canvas of human culture.
From the moment marriage was instituted, God aimed to give [...]
Behold the beauty of God’s design for man, woman, and marriage. Two dignified people, both molded in the image of their Maker. Two diverse people uniquely designed to complement each other. A male and a female fashioned by God to form one flesh, a physical bond between two bodies where the deepest point of union is found at the greatest point of difference. A matrimony marked by unity and diversity, equality with variety, and personal sanctification through shared consummation.
Behold the beauty of God’s design for man, woman, and [...]
Any and every time we indulge in pornography, we deny the precious gospel truth that every man and woman possesses inherent dignity, not to be solicited and sold for sex, but to be valued and treasured as excellent in the eyes of God. People are not inferior objects to be used and abused for selfish, sexual, sensual pleasure; they are equal image bearers of the God who loves and cares for them. We may scoff at how pre-Civil War churchgoers justified slaves in their backyards, but aren’t we dangerously like them when we participate in pornography (and promote the sex slavery to which it is inextricably tied) in our own homes?
Any and every time we indulge in pornography, we deny [...]
Clearly, pastors and church members in the pre-Civil War United States who used God’s Word to justify the practice of slavery were living in sin. For whether then or today, Scripture clearly considers any slavery that undercuts the value or dignity of any person as rebellion against God’s lordship, a violation of God’s law, and a denial of God’s love for every single person made in His image.
Clearly, pastors and church members in the pre-Civil War United [...]
For we are not rescuers giving our lives and families to save orphans and widows in need; instead, we are the rescued whose lives have been transformed at our deepest point of need. So now it just makes sense that men and women who have been captivated by the mystery of God’s mercy might be compelled to give themselves to the ministry of God’s mercy.
For we are not rescuers giving our lives and families [...]
Ultimately, the Lord of the harvest has showered us with His grace. Jesus is our kinsman-redeemer with the right to redeem us – made like us in every way, yet without sin (see Hebrews 4: 15). He has the resources to redeem us – possessing all authority over nature and nations, disease and demons, sin and Satan, suffering and death. Finally, He has the resolve to redeem us. His resolve drove Him to take responsibility for our sin, enduring the wrath of God that we deserve, so that through faith in Him, we might no longer be outcasts separated from God, but instead we might be called sons and daughters of God.
Ultimately, the Lord of the harvest has showered us with [...]
God does not desire for you or anyone else to live with the pain of regret. It is altogether right to hate sin in your history. The pain of past sin is often a powerful deterrent to future sin, but don’t let it rob you of the peace God has designed for you in the present. Remember what Jesus said to a woman who had lived an immoral lifestyle: “Your sins are forgiven… Your faith has saved you; go in peace” (Luke 7:48–50). God desires that peace to be yours today… To all who trust in Christ, remember this… You do not walk around with a scarlet A on your chest, for God does not look at you and see the guilt of abortion. Instead, he looks at you and sees the righteousness of Christ. God restores, and he redeems. Even as we saw earlier, God has a track record of working all things, including evil things, ultimately for good.
God does not desire for you or anyone else to [...]
The worst thing we can do for the needy is neglect them The second worst thing we can do is subsidize them, helping people get through a day while ignoring how we can help people get through their lives. Scripture does not call us to rescue lazy people from poverty. Instead, Scripture calls us to serve and supplement the responsible.
The worst thing we can do for the needy is [...]
God is our greatest treasure, and our lives will count on earth only when we invest them in His kingdom for eternity.
God is our greatest treasure, and our lives will count [...]
[Discipleship] is not merely another commitment which we add to the long list of our other commitments, but it is the commitment – demanding a reordering of our lives from the bottom up (Robert C. Tannehill).
[Discipleship] is not merely another commitment which we add to [...]
Violence is apparently an expression of strength, but the Israelite considers this strength a delusion, which can only exist for a time, because it does not draw directly from the source of strength, peace and its blessing, which rests in the divine forces (Johannes Pedersen).
Violence is apparently an expression of strength, but the Israelite [...]
If you allow physical selfishness, mental carelessness, moral insensitivity, or spiritual weakness, everyone in contact with you will suffer.
If you allow physical selfishness, mental carelessness, moral insensitivity, or [...]
When did Christ defeat Satan? Well, it was predicted immediately after the fall in the third chapter of the Bible, when it says Christ will “bruise [Him] on the head” (Gen. 3:15). 1 John 3:8, “The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil” (cf. Jn. 12:31). We see this victory ultimately happen through His Passion when our Savior defeated the devil and dealt Him a mortal wound. Hebrews 2:14, “That through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil.” Colossians 2:15, “When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.” And then He, 1 Peter 3:22, ascended to “the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him.” The war is over. The mission is completed. Satan is defeated. And while he still, 1 Peter 5:8, “Prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour,” his ultimate defeat is guaranteed. Romans 16:20, “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.” Revelation 20:10, “And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”
When did Christ defeat Satan? Well, it was predicted immediately [...]
Grace comes to those who have no other alternative than [...]
The cross must be borne before the crown can be [...]
It seems so many in the church today want to talk about their experience. True disciples should be talking more about their commitment.
It seems so many in the church today want to [...]
It’s said people today will not settle for a no-nonsense approach to discipleship. Maybe the church has failed because don’t trust our Lord’s words and don’t talk this way enough. Maybe this is what people really want. It is not some superficial religion with emotional ecstasy or countless man-made rules or trite worship. Where is the fulfillment in more of the world with an outward veneer of religion? The world can provide that better than us. That does not meet the human soul in its desperate condition for true satisfaction that only comes from a confrontation with the living God.
It’s said people today will not settle for a no-nonsense [...]
Strong Christians refuse to make it about themselves and the engagement in petty battles. It’s not about personal vendettas, but winning the war for Jesus. Weak people get easily offended and use their energy to defend their wounded ego. Their will and their kingdom now becomes more important than God’s will and kingdom. And when Christians get there, they are in the flesh and being used by the devil. They are defeated.
Strong Christians refuse to make it about themselves and the [...]
What are some traits that mark an Olympian? 1. They have a “whatever-it-takes” attitude. They’ve made the decision to pay any price and bear any burden in the name of victory. 2. They have a plan to push forward when they encounter obstacles. They know facing adversity is part of being successful. 3. They have strict accountability. 4. They consider “very good” (or worse, “good enough”) to be “bad.” They are driven to perform at an elite level. 5. They set high goals for themselves. Motivation is keeping your eyes on the goal. 6. They are humble to know others can provide advice to make them better. 7. Levels of priorities are set and their life stays in-tune with those priorities. The same single-minded devotion expected from an Olympian is the same single-minded devotion our Savior expects from His followers. Yes, the fruit of sacrifice and self-denial will be different. Yes, the goals and rewards are different. And yes, the source of strength is different. However, the traits that mark an Olympian that I mentioned earlier could also apply to the traits that mark a disciple of Jesus Christ. If anything, we should be more motivated (see 1 Cor. 9:24-27a).
What are some traits that mark an Olympian? 1. They have [...]
A kingdom is a domain ruled by a single monarch who has absolute sovereignty, who functions with unilateral authority, whose will is non-contradictable, authoritative, absolute. It is not representative, it is not democratic. The will of the people does not rule. The will of the people virtually has no impact. The duty of the people is to submit. The duty of the people is to obey. The duty of the people is to fall under the standards and commands that are determined by the king and do whatever it is he asks. This is true of the kingdom of God… The kingdom of God has come and those of us who know Christ are in it. We are in it and the Lord Jesus Christ is our King.
A kingdom is a domain ruled by a single monarch [...]
If you’re not in the kingdom of God, that doesn’t mean you’re free, you’re just in the kingdom of darkness and you’re under another sovereign, and that sovereign is Satan and you’re a slave to sin. Everybody lives in a kingdom. You just live in the kingdom of darkness or the kingdom of light, the kingdom of Satan, or the kingdom of the Savior. You live in a kingdom. You are subject to the authority and the power of the enemy of your soul, or you are subject to the authority and power of the Savior of your soul. You are either in the kingdom that ends up in hell, or the kingdom that ends up in heaven. You’re either a slave to sin, or a servant of righteousness. Don’t be under any illusion that somehow coming into the kingdom of God takes away all your freedom. You really have no freedom except the freedom to sin. You can choose your poison, that’s all.
If you're not in the kingdom of God, that doesn't [...]
What we’re asking people to do is to come into a kingdom and submit their lives entirely to a King, an absolute monarch who has the right to determine everything without our consultation and who has revealed His will to us in the pages of the Word of God and calls on us to live in absolute submission and obedience to that revelation.
What we're asking people to do is to come into [...]
Judgment is not limited to the degree of one’s sin; it’s much more associated to the degree of one’s rejection. That’s why I say, sitting under the gospel is very high-risk behavior.
Judgment is not limited to the degree of one's sin; [...]
Indifference is as damning as hostility. To reject the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ will render you as guilty as if you pounded the nails into His hands.
Indifference is as damning as hostility. To reject the truth [...]
If you knew how to be saved, you know how [...]
If you’re going to do evangelism, if you’re going to be a missionary, if you’re going to proclaim the kingdom of God, if you’re going to tell people about the King, the Lord Jesus Christ, it’s going to start with an attitude. It’s going to start in the heart. You could train people till you’re blue in the face, you can give them all kinds of information, you can load their theological gun, you can give them strategies and methodologies, but effective evangelism is done by highly motivated people. Understand that. It’s not about training, it’s about motivation.
If you're going to do evangelism, if you're going to [...]
Salvation is not a decision; rather it’s a faith commitment [...]
There is hope for the Christian because in our foolishness wisdom has come, it our weakness power has come, in our alienation love has come and in our brokenness peace has come. Get up and believe there is hope.
There is hope for the Christian because in our foolishness [...]
The Coming of the Prince of Peace is a promise that everything that is damaged by sin will be restored.
The Coming of the Prince of Peace is a promise [...]
Hope for the Christian is a confident expectation of a [...]
Remember God’s character. He is the holy and righteous Judge of all, and He hates injustice. He detests the taking of innocent life, and He is the Judge of all who participate in it. God is the Judge of mothers who have aborted babies, fathers who have encouraged abortion, grandparents who have supported abortion, and friends who have advised abortion. God is the Judge of doctors who have performed abortions, leaders who have permitted abortions, pastors who have counseled people to have abortions, and legislators who have worked to make abortion possible.
Remember God’s character. He is the holy and righteous Judge [...]
Scripture is clear: that womb contains a person being formed in the image of God. Any distinction between the unborn and a person (or a human and a person, for that matter) is both artificial and unbiblical. God recognizes the unborn as a person and designs the unborn for life from the moment of conception. While our culture is continually pushing against this idea, it is not possible to believe the Bible and deny that the unborn are persons. And once followers of Christ accept this, we can no longer sit idly by while people are mercilessly murdered in their mothers’ wombs.
Scripture is clear: that womb contains a person being formed [...]
No woman or man has a right to a private conversation with a doctor to conspire how to end someone else’s life. If the unborn are people, then we must protect them.
No woman or man has a right to a private [...]
Abortion is an affront to God’s sole and sovereign authority as the Giver and Taker of life. Abortion, like murder or suicide, asserts human beings as the ones who control life and death. But God the Creator alone has the right to determine when someone lives and dies, and abortion flies directly in the face of His authority.
Abortion is an affront to God's sole and sovereign authority [...]
It is impossible to be a follower of Christ while denying, disregarding, discrediting and disbelieving the words of Christ.
It is impossible to be a follower of Christ while [...]
Though gradually, though no one remembers exactly how it happened, the unthinkable becomes tolerable. And then acceptable. And then legal. And then applaudable.
Though gradually, though no one remembers exactly how it happened, [...]
[We must not let] the foundation for our morality…shift from the objective truth God has given to us in His Word to the subjective notions we create in our minds. Even when we don’t realize the implications of our ideas, we inescapably come to one conclusion: whatever seems right to me or feels right to me is right for me… We turn from worshipping God to worshipping self.
[We must not let] the foundation for our morality…shift from [...]
We as Bible-believing evangelical Christians are locked in a battle. This is not a friendly gentleman’s discussion. It is a life and death conflict between the spiritual hosts of wickedness and those who claim the name of Christ… But do we really believe that we are in a life and death battle? Do we really believe that the part we play in the battle has consequences for whether or not men and women will spend eternity in hell? Or whether or not those who do live will live in a climate of moral perversion and degradation? Sadly, we must say that very few in the evangelical world have acted as if these things are true… Where is the clear voice speaking to the crucial issues of the day with distinctively biblical, Christian answers? With tears we must say it is not there and that a large segment of the evangelical world has become seduced by the world spirit of this present age. And more than this, we can expect the future to be a further disaster if the evangelical world does not take a stand for biblical truth and morality in the full spectrum of life.
We as Bible-believing evangelical Christians are locked in a battle. [...]
[Jesus] put Himself in a moral category in which He was alone. Everybody else was in darkness; He was the light of the world. Everybody else was hungry, He was the bread of life. Everybody else was thirsty; He could quench their thirst. Everybody else was sinful; He could forgive their sins. Indeed, on two separate occasions He did so, and both times observers were scandalized. They asked, “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” (Mark 2:5-7; Luke 7:48-49). If Jesus claimed authority to forgive the penitent, He also claimed authority to judge the impenitent.
[Jesus] put Himself in a moral category in which He [...]
When we love money, we bring upon ourselves unnecessary sorrows that are inherited consequences of this sin. Grief, guilt, dissatisfaction, remorse, lack of fulfillment, worry, disregard and despair are some of the many wounds caused by the sword of money love.
When we love money, we bring upon ourselves unnecessary sorrows [...]
Contentment is simply acknowledging that God has given me enough. It is understanding that all of which I have is a gracious and sovereign gift from His hands. It is accepting what the Lord has entrusted to my care with an attitude of gratitude.
Contentment is simply acknowledging that God has given me enough. [...]
Money is a self-defeating pursuit. In my efforts to find contentment in money, I actually become more discontent if I love money. The more I believe money will satisfy my needs, the more I will depend on money, only to realize that I never have enough. As long as there is always a new item to purchase, I will never be satisfied or content with what I possess.
Money is a self-defeating pursuit. In my efforts to find [...]