Today brought one of those rare experiences. You know....the kind where you feel like God just gave you the right words at the right time which were perfect for the situation. And all you can do is bask in the glow of the moment....and praise Him for granting you a golden nugget in your communication of the Gospel message.
No religious organization has a corner on Christ's real presence. You can't box Him in. Jesus goes wherever He wants to go....and one of the places He chooses to go is on the inside of everyone who believes in Him as Savior. Therefore, a Christian can literally say, "My heart is Christ's home."
It has been dubbed the "Hell Ship." It was the Carnival cruise that went horribly wrong two weeks ago after the ship lost power in an engine-room fire. And while it may have seemed like being in hell for the 4200 or so passengers who endured the stench and heat of that arduous journey back to land, there are some notable differences between their ordeal on the cruise ship....and the reality of eternal hell. Here are 7 big differences between Carnival's "Hell Ship" and Hades.
It is truly a startling reality. I am talking about how incredibly easy and natural it is for human nature to be critical of Christians. It is quite remarkable when you just stop and look at it objectively.
If you identify yourself as a Christian, then I assume it really matters to you whether or not Jesus wants you to attend church. After all, He is your King….not just your advisor….or your buddy….but your Lord….and your God. Right?
Do you know the main reason God created you? It wasn't so you could pursue that career....or those hobbies....or that 5-year plan of yours. God created you to worship Jesus Christ....the Son of God and Son of Man. You were made to praise His name.
Many people would be stunned to learn about some past events of Sex Week which are documented in his book....and Nathan states that university officials have defended these activities in the name of "academic freedom." But just how much sexual "freedom" is promoted at Yale, and on what basis is a person or a university able to set any boundary for sexual behavior?
The Boy Scouts of America require all of their members to take an oath promising to be "morally straight." Now the organization appears to be getting pressured to change their previous position on homosexual behavior. And it sounds like they may be planning to cave into the pressure. Maybe a time out is in order here.
You are out in the middle of the ocean....all alone....in a small boat....and dying of thirst. You know that drinking the saltwater will not solve your problem, but only make it worse. So what do you do? You could get a momentary fix by drinking it, but that will only make your thirst stronger. Or you could resist the urge to drink the saltwater.
Some spiritual practices and doctrinal positions held by Christians have definite limitations....and must be handled with care, lest people get the wrong idea about what it means to be spiritually reborn....and what it doesn't mean....and what the Bible means when it states that "God is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9)
Besides for being in the news right now, what do Scientology, Lance Armstrong and gun control all have in common? All three of them reveal the downside of man's controlling nature. All three of them point the finger back at each of us….because each one of us can easily become a "control freak" if we are not careful.
Most people in our society would feel embarrassed if they were forced to walk around their community naked. But what if you had no choice on the matter the day you go before God to be judged? What if you were naked before Him....not physically necessarily, but worse....spiritually naked before your Creator, without any covering for your sins against Him? Do you have any idea how you would feel?
Ready or not, 2013 has arrived. A new year means new decisions in new situations. Will you and I make better decisions than last year? Or are you pretty satisfied with most of the decisions you made last year? Which ones would you do differently if you could?
There is a world of difference between a "gift" and a "reward." A gift is "something given voluntarily without payment in return." A reward is "something given or received for service, merit, hardship, etc." A reward is something you earn. A gift is freely given and is not earned by the recipient.
The need for Christian apologetics in the world today is growing. This is due largely to the fact that so many people have essentially been brainwashed in their beliefs about Jesus Christ, the Bible, heaven, hell, and the immortality of the soul. But even after all the intellectual evidence is presented, many hearers still choose to reject the Gospel. Their moral resistance outweighs whatever intellectual ground they may have conceded.
Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea, asked Jesus Christ, "What is truth?" (John 18:38) It is a question which has puzzled millions of people over the centuries. Is the truth only something to believe....or is it more than that? Can everyone have their own "truth," or is truth absolute? And what happens to a person who accepts the truth, as compared to one who rejects the truth?
Many Americans clamor for celebrities....not only in Hollywood, but even in churches. This creates both a challenge and an opportunity for churches today. The challenge in our "celebrity pastor" culture is to joyfully embrace the need to send out more and more disciples to plant new churches. The opportunity is actually identical to the challenge. It is the incredible privilege to turn attenders and members into church planters.
As I look out into the world, I see a common thread in humanity. It transcends race and religion....and it has to do with mothers. Most mothers have an undying and unconditional love for their children. That's not to say that many fathers don't as well, but the love of a mother is truly something beautiful to behold.
N.T. Wright was an Anglican bishop in the Church of England from 2003 until his retirement in 2010. In recent years, he has written some questionable opinions and made some provocative statements concerning heaven and hell. Wright is very direct when talking about the resurrection of the body....especially for those who will spend all of eternity with Christ. But he becomes quite vague when asked about hell. He tends to view hell more as a "progressive shrinking of human life" in this world, rather than as a literal "lake of fire" in the next world.
Jesus said, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." (John 10:10) Satan is real....just like Jesus....and he would love to steal your soul, kill your body, and while he is at it....destroy your entire being. Jesus gives eternal life to those who belong to Him, including the 20 innocent children who were transported by God's angels out of Connecticut as they went to be with the Lord.
Many people obviously have a hard time reconciling the God of the Old Testament with the God of the New Testament....but it's really not as complicated as it appears. In actuality, it is the same God in both places....the one true God. He is exactly the same today as He was 6000 years ago when He created Adam and Eve. God has not changed one iota.
As our nation teeters on the edge of "the fiscal cliff," there are stark realities that come into view as we look down into the ravine. It's not a pretty sight to be sure. But it's not just what is seen in the ravine that is alarming....but also, what is not seen here on the cliff. As we gaze upon the current state of affairs, we find that our nation's leaders are without a reliable compass....specifically, a moral compass. No wonder we are lost and have come to this point on our journey together as Americans. No wonder we find ourselves in such a precarious position.
"If only people would start obeying the 10 Commandments, this world would be a much better place." That's true....but it's not as easy to pull off as it might appear at first blush.
What if I were to tell you that human reason, common sense, and an understanding of mathematics are all that are needed to recognize the authority of the Bible? Not faith....but common sense and rational evidence. Would that surprise you?
So is "grace" in the Bible God's unmerited love, mercy, and forgiveness for sinners on account of Christ? Or....is it those things, plus man's "grace-filled" works of obedience? Everything hinges on how a church defines the "grace" that is said to save us.