Posts by Jim Elliff

Posts by Jim Elliff

Book Hoarding

“Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance of books does his life consist of his library.”      A pastor in a small church received his first book allowance, provided by the church. He began to purchase the books he needed to stimulate his thinking, improve his understanding, and jolt his conscience. His library grew. Later, at a larger church the book allowance increased, and he was able…

What the Book of John Says About Eternal Life

If you would have eternal life, something must change. The man, woman or child who remains as he is will die forever. The Gospel of John, from which all the following verses come, was given to present Christ and this eternal state. “Many other signs therefore Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book,” John wrote. “But these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son…

Check Your Guns at the Door: Responding Like Christians to Social Media, Blogs and Web Forums

Those of us who have a ministry of writing are usually pretty tough folks. Many of us have been in the combat zone for quite a while and can take almost anything that is said by readers of our articles. This short is more about my embarrassment for all of us who are web-interactive Christians than it is for my own hide. In short, I’m appealing for etiquette characteristic of believers in reader’s responses to articles, blog entries, and social…

Seriousness In Children and Teens

It is increasingly obvious that children and young people in many evangelical churches are anything but serious about Christ. There are notable exceptions, but in many churches a cursory look at the behavioral signals put out by the young people reveal a profound disinterest. On the one hand there is a sort of giddiness and silliness by some who believe that church is there only to provide them a place for enjoying friends and impressing the opposite sex. On the…

What they Did Before TV

My mother was the youngest of fourteen children growing up on a farm in the first part of the last century. The old home place burned down when she was a girl. It was a typical Southern house divided into a boys’ room, a girls’ room, a kitchen (they ate in the open breezeway during the summer), and the parents’ room. A porch surrounded the entire home. “Mom and Dad’s” room was the gathering place at night. The fireplace blazed…

Reading Scripture Rightly

When reading a section of Scripture, we will find that a passage almost always comes across weighted on one side of an issue or another. I mean this: a passage is written intended to drive a certain point home, aimed at a particular audience, for a specific reason by an author who knew what was needed. He drives his nail to the heart. That passage should stare at us, disturb us and call us to action and faith. We should…

Personal Evangelism Under New Testament Scrutiny: Becoming a Biblical Presenter

Our evangelism, on the main, begs for a complete makeover, and leaders are tirelessly inventive in the ways they are attempting to do that. They are as frantically creative as cutting edge businesses, and not at all ashamed of comparing themselves to them. You will find the Bible way down on the list of books about evangelistic strategy, even in most seminaries. This is so not only in corporate evangelism, but sadly, this is true concerning personal evangelistic methods as…

Pastors Moving to Other Churches: Why?

There is no biblical record of a pastor leaving one established church to become a pastor of another. This is clearly seen in the starting of new churches. The biblical precedent was for a new church to start without any official leadership. Outside of the Jerusalem church where the apostles were the first leaders, I’m not aware of any church in the New Testament starting with a pastor in place. This may come as a surprise to many, but it…

35 Reasons Not To Sin

Because a little sin leads to more sin. Because my sin invites the discipline of God. Because the time spent in sin is forever wasted. Because my sin never pleases but always grieves God who loves me. Because my sin places a greater burden on my spiritual leaders. Because in time my sin always brings heaviness to my heart. Because I am doing what I do not have to do. Because my sin always makes me less than what I…

My Darkest Night; Hopefully Not Yours

At 3:30 a.m., I awoke to a black room, so dark that my eyes could not see even one inch away, much less to the other side. The simple room in a Romanian home in Brasov had one of those metal external shades that is lowered over the window, capable of completely deleting light. I was in the darkest place I had been in perhaps for years. And, since it was night and I was alone in the house, I…

What Did Jesus Mean by “The Broad Way?”

In the Sermon on the Mount, the broad way that leads to destruction is the external religious way. The narrow way is the way Jesus taught. This is seen particularly in the “antitheses” section in Mt. 5. For instance, the broad way is fulfilling the command, “You shall not murder,” but the narrow way is found in Jesus’ statement: “but I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother is guilty . . .” Or again, “You shall not…

In A Body

What did the writers of the New Testament mean when they claimed that Jesus Christ was resurrected? It certainly was not that he only appeared to be resurrected when in fact it did not happen. That is, resurrection to these writers did not mean that he appeared in some apparitional way, or some imaginary way, or some spiritualized way similar to the kind of thing a person might say about a deceased relative (i.e. “Mother is here with us whenever…