Articles (Page 2)

Articles (Page 2)

Walking to Death: Isaac and Jesus

How beautifully and intricately the Old Testament prefigures Christ. I read the following words concerning Abraham and Isaac walking to the mountain where Isaac was to be slain. Some, not all, believe this to be the same mount where the Temple was later to be built and close to the very place where Jesus was later crucified. “Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son, and he took in his hand the fire…

Another Concerning Report About SBC Churches

If you were a pastor of a church of 80 members, with 23-24 people attending on average each Sunday, would you say the church is healthy (or 800 members with 230-240 attending)? If 4 or so of those 23-24 were not members, but children or guests, how would that affect your view of the health of the church? What if more than a third of those 23-24 didn’t attend any small group? I’ve just described the SBC churches (and some…

A Merciful Awakening, Please Lord

Though one can in some ways understand the desire to be inclusive (without expecting repentance) in the name of love as espoused in most mainline churches, it is a sad pattern that has emerged by that conviction —- the more inclusive they have become, the more they disintegrate. This pattern has been almost painful to watch, as literally millions have left these churches while they press on to disregard the true exclusivity of the gospel, that is, the good news…

Don’t Let God Rob You

The music was quietly playing before the offertory when my brother Tom stepped up solemnly to the podium and uttered these words: “Don’t let God rob you.” There was a pause. Clearly he was in a hard place. He had misspoken, but he wasn’t one who liked to admit such blunders at such moments in those days. He had said it very deliberately. I know, you would have said, “Whoops! I meant, ‘Don’t rob God.” Not Tom. His strengths were…

Let Us Resolve This . . . A Few Thoughts About Personal Resolutions

As this year draws to a close and the prospect of a new year reminds us again that time marches on, many will see the turning of the calendar as a their annual stimulus for personal change. Those who are stirred in this way will often try to make January 1st the day to make significant and hopefully lasting improvements in health or physical fitness, or in the area of personal or spiritual disciplines. We have come to call these…

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…

The Change of Mind

The young man was dying—without Christ. “I have a habit,” he said, as he looked up from the bed that had been moved into the living room for his last few weeks on earth. “I know that it is sin and that God does not permit it. I want to continue my habit, however, and I honestly don’t intend to stop it. On the other hand, I desperately want to go to heaven. May I become a Christian?” How would…

God’s Purpose Isn’t Ruined by Unbelief: Don’t Be Discouraged

It isn’t “The Parable of the SOILS” in Mt 13:1-23, but The Parable of the SOWER, as Jesus himself called it (v18). The importance of this title is to show that it was CHRIST’S word, or the gospel, that is sown and that it is HIS intention to sow seed on the soil (people) who will NOT believe, as well as on those who would. Jesus is not ambiguous. He clarifies that the gospel is able to be understood by…

Fiscal Hilarity

It would be difficult to imagine any giver doing so often or generously without joy in doing it. I began to be curious about giving early on. In fact, I can still picture the book on giving that my mother read to me, one of only two children’s books I remember. Later in college, my first book on George Muller, the man who fed and clothed over 10,000 orphans, made the deepest impression. I was drawn into a lifestyle that…

A Dangerous Religious Presumption

There is a religious assumption that each of us is worthy of God’s love, even though some of us tragically think so little of ourselves that we struggle to have any morsel of self-worth. But this view is more therapeutic than true. No, we are not worthy of God’s favor. The self-respecting Pharisee thanked God he was not like others, even that compromised, broken tax collector praying close by who couldn’t lift his head up to God. He had no…

A More Spontaneous and Genuine Evangelism

It was not Jesus’ intent to say that the individual Christian must change locations in order to evangelize. But it is most certainly the whole church’s responsibility to see to it that we make disciples where we are, now. Evangelism is not to be done later when the move takes place, or when the trip is taken to another far off country, or when the special evangelistic project commences, though it is certainly inclusive of these. Yet, nothing is more…