Dissent and Reformation: Remembering the Martyrs

Now that we have passed the recent and much deserved recognition of the Reformation anniversary a few months ago, it is important that we recognize as Christians another important view of our Christian roots that extend back far before Luther and the rest of the Reformers.  Although Luther and other Reformers helped establish some clear doctrinal tenets that remain fixed features of biblical Christianity today, they were certainly not alone in their efforts to stand for Biblical truth in the face of a morally and doctrinally corrupted church.   In brief terms, Christendom has historically been plagued by two opposing views of the church.  One is that of historical Catholicism and the Reformers, which believed that the Church and the State co-exist to support and extend each other in perpetuity.  This union began with the Roman emperor Constantine who believed that God had given him and Rome victory over his enemy by seeing the sign of the cross of Christ in a vision at the battle of Mi

Christ: Our Passover

Today, as Christians we celebrate Passover.  For the Old Testament believer, the event had its root in the ancient story of God's deliverance of His people from Egypt in the fifteenth century BC.  On that momentous night Jews were to slay and eat a fresh, young lamb without blemish along with bitter herbs and bread without leaven.  The lamb, chosen by the family for its purity, had been living in the house with them for four days. On that fourth night, after the lamb had been slaughtered, its blood was to be applied to the outside of the front door frame on the sides and top.  God had told them that later in the night,  a death angel would pass through Egypt to judge the nation for its evil treatment of God's chosen people.  That night those who had applied the blood to the doors of their homes would be spared from the death of their firstborn sons, and at the same time were delivered from the tyranny of Egyptian bondage. It was the most glorious occasion the nation would e

What is God Doing?

The world is reeling right now as we speak.  Drought, wild fires, lawlessness, crime,  gas prices, and economic hardship are throttling the planet.  .  So just what is really happening?  What is God doing and why is He allowing all of this now?  These are legitimate questions and they are not out of the realm of possible answers or solutions.  The fact is that God uses these very issues to get the attention of the world as well as the attention of His people.   If we are honest we must admit that our world is fallen, wicked. and off course.  Mankind is sick and the world is estranged from God because of our determination to forge a world without Him.  This is not anything new and God is not going to sit idly by indefinitely while the world careens off the paths of His will for creation. Many today are wondering what all of these events have to do with the book of Revelation and the ultimate fulfillment of prophecy concerning the Second  coming of Christ back to earth as He told us.

It has been Written...............

We are well aware that there is a lot that goes on in the name of Christianity that is far from the Biblically-based faith.  I spend a lot of time teaching in developing nations (some not developing), and it is amazing what passes for Christianity in some places.  For example, because of the systemic poverty that abounds in Africa, the prosperity gospel (PG) movement is alive and well. The prosperity gospel, as it is commonly called, promises wealth to those who cannot even buy clothes for their children or send them to school.  The lies of this theology don't come near to what God teaches us in His Word about our stewardship of money and material things, and yet impoverished people will hold out with desperation that it just might work for them to bring them wealth.  It is truly one of life's saddest spectacles, not just for the victims, but for how the Scriptures are cheapened and misused in this process. Jesus said “ It is Written”  on several occasions to those who had

What Does it Take to be Content? Part 2

In the previous blog we discovered two important things about contentment.  The first thing we saw was the fact that contentment does not rest or depend on the performance of others.  If it did a person would be looking to mom, dad, a husband/wife, or literally anyone for the contentment they seek on any given day.  Paul reveals in Phil 4:10 that even though his friends among the church at Philippi hadn't helped him in months, he was not angry or feeling betrayed but rather was very much content. The fact is biblical contentment is the ability to be satisfied with God's provision for me today! How could that be true?  Paul demonstrates in verse 11 that he had  learned  to be content through a litany of life experiences he had gone through in his momentous ministry.  However, the word learned here does not guarantee contentment, it simply bears out the reality of contentment.  In verse 12 Paul uses yet another word in the Greek original which is also translated  l earned  

The Joy of Contentment

One of the key elements of successful living is the art of being content.  It's funny,  but contentment is similar to humility in some ways.  The moment you think you have learned humility you realize how proud you are of yourself!  The moment you think you are content with life, some shiny object attracts your desires.  It's really a never ending process in some ways. However, Paul the apostle taught us how we can truly be content with what we possess, and I want to share his explanation today.  If you have read Philippians 4:10-14 you immediately see several things that contentment involves.  First, it's not about having everything you want, and, therefore, needing nothing!  That is an impossibility.  We always want more even when we have all we want at any given time.  Someone asked Joe Louis, the great boxer how much money it took to make him happy, and he replied, "Just a little more, just a little more."  In our passage Paul gives four clear principles whi

A Parable about Persistence

Very few things come easy in this life.  The things that do come easy are usually not worth much or worth dying for.  Value in our world is normally tied to objects that either have intrinsic worth or become valuable through an extended period of time.  That is the way of the world we live in.  Why? The primary reason is the entrance of sin into our once perfect living environment.  When Adam sinned, his innocence was forfeited along with his unstained conscience and perfect garden world.  The roses that once bloomed constantly would now only be seasonal and would be joined by thorns and thistles.  What was a garden that only required light maintenance, if that, would now demand the sweat of the man's brow and the laborious toil of his hands.  The woman would bear children only through long, intense, and arduous laboring.  Nothing would come easy or without significant cost. Life, therefore, demands persistence.  Edison, the great inventor, used to say of his incredible creative