Posts from 2021

Posts from 2021

Women in Your Ministry Context: An Appeal for Male Christian Leaders to Choose Male Assistants

A fine young pastor and his family take a small church in a rural area, or perhaps in a tired part of an otherwise thriving city. It’s their first opportunity to lead a church, and they have dreams of something deep, growing, and lasting. There is little money given by the church to hire anyone else other than this single leader. Well enough. It can’t be other than it is in the beginning. But right off the pastor is in…

Shadows of Hell: Fear and Emptiness Before Death

This poignant note came to a faithful friend of mine who is suffering from life-threatening cancer. It concerns a woman in the nursing home who has been a “good church-goer only.” The note reads: “It is sad beyond words to watch mom’s health failing and see her fear and anxiety or detached numbness as she faces each day. She wavers back and forth. It is all sad and full of despair. There is no longing for glory, no hope of…

Cremation or Burial?

There is no sin in cremation, that is for sure. And there is no inability on God’s part to raise a cremated body from the dead. But is cremation, a practice most often seen in Eastern religions, the best for the believer in Christ? It is clarifying to note that burial was God’s preferred method of disposing of the body of Moses. God had the power to cremate Moses’ body on the spot, but rather, this gentle and loving phrase…

Hard Work: The Spurgeon Way

Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the renowned preacher of London in the 1800s, was not only a gifted leader, but was a hard worker. By the time most pastors write a few emails, wrestle with the dates for VBS and read the junk mail, Spurgeon would have completed a mountain of tasks. For instance, each week he preached several times (often 10), trained pastors in the pastor’s college, wrote several hundred letters (“I’m immersed to my chin in letters.”), led an elders’…

Children Obey Your Parents? But How?

If you are a child, read this to your parents so that you can train them well. If you are an adult, then you may wish to read this together with your child. First of all, kids, it is YOUR parents you are to obey. It is up to your parents to tell you which other adults are to be obeyed. Probably they will want you to obey teachers, policemen, some church leaders, babysitters they chose, and your grandparents. If you…

Returning To Your First Love

But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.” Revelation‬ ‭2:4-5‬ ‭ESV‬‬ Are you and those who are with you dangerously close to experiencing this judgment? Is the Light of God’s presence dim, almost imperceptible? Do you have form without power…

The Rationale for Wrath

A cartoon depicted Noah’s ark surrounded by desperate people drowning in the water, begging for help. The rains were coming down hard while Noah and his family were safe inside. On the outside of the ark was a “smiley face” with the words, “Smile, God Loves You.” Are you sure God loves everybody? John the Baptist didn’t think so. He said, “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not…

Preparing to Be an Amazing Old Man or Woman: Six Motivating Suggestions

Like it or not, if you continue to live, you’ll get old. As you look around at all those ancient people in the grocery store, the golf course, the retirement village and the nursing home, don’t be smug — you’ll be there soon enough. It will do you well to prepare to make those years the best they can be for the glory of God. It’s not uncommon for God to use older people. Take Caleb who fought giants as…

Is Baptism a Requirement for Church Membership?

In our view, baptism and membership in a local church are inseparable, the former necessarily preceding the latter. While baptism is never explicitly said to be a prerequisite for church membership, the following biblical factors lead to that conclusion: Baptism is commanded of every believer.Baptism is an act of obedience, not only on the part of the individual Christian, but on the part of those who are commanded to baptize new disciples (Matthew 28:19-20). Disciples who will not submit to…

Suffering and Seeking the Kingdom

Below are some thoughts on Matthew 6 that I wrote one year ago. I sent them to my wife, Rachel, who read them and saved them on the eve of an impossibly difficult year. Today, still in the midst of our darkest suffering, I want to tell you that I have often failed to believe and do what I am encouraging you toward. Rachel sent my words back to me last week, and there they were: staring into my heart,…

Do Hurricanes Just Happen?

Though some postulate that hurricanes are spawned merely by natural causes, this answer is one “cause” too short. The Bible teaches they are first decreed by God. The Psalmist wrote: “Whatever the Lord pleases He does, in heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deep places. He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth. He makes lightening for the rain; He brings the wind out of His treasuries” (Psalm 135:6-7). “Is it not…

Music in the Church: How Special Should We Make It?

You could put the entire teaching about church music in the New Testament in a paragraph or two. Add to this teaching those spirited illustrations of corporate singing in heaven displayed in the last book of the Bible, when angels and throngs of people fill the air with thundering six to eight line choruses. When it comes to intentional instruction about music, however, there are really only four passages in the New Testament: Speaking to one another in psalms and…