Easter has always meant a lot to me, and in the life of our church, Easter Sundays have been historic times of outreach, growth and opportunity. However, the resurrection of Jesus has never meant more to me than it does right now.
The grave is brutal, merciless and uncaring. It swallows everything it touches and it is never satisfied. It will not stop until every last person has been consumed. It seems as though every time you turn on the news or get a breaking news alert on your phone there is a new tragedy. Planes that disappear, celebrities who accidentally overdose, young people who despair and take their lives, public places turned to terror through shooting – sometimes it's too much to handle.
The good news is that death has been devoured by the power of God and it can't fight back. Jesus' tomb is empty and because of that fact, we don't have to be terrified by the grave anymore. Death's power has been undone. Those who fall asleep in Christ become greater after death than they were before and they can never be touched by it again. Paul said, "For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." (II Corinthians 5:1) more >>
Thomas Nelson Community College along with its umbrella organization, the Virginia Community College System, has agreed to suspend its policy on "free speech zones" in response to a lawsuit brought by a student who wants to preach on campus.
Last month, Christian Parks brought a lawsuit before the Eastern District of Virginia Newport News Division, alleging that TNCC violated his freedom of speech when campus officials stopped him from preaching in an on-campus plaza area.
According to the lawsuit, Parks was prohibited from preaching due to the college's policy, which states that students can only stage demonstrations if they belong to a student group and get permission four days in advance. more >>
One year after his son's suicide, Rick Warren, author of the Purpose Driven Life and pastor at Saddleback Church in Southern California, said that his sermons during worship services beginning this Thursday evening, will be about how the message of Easter provides the answer to life's most devastating trials.
"Do you ever find yourself discouraged, or depressed or defeated, or even devastated by the circumstances in your life? If so, let me take a minute to encourage you about the pathway to hope and change and transformation that I've found in the Easter story of the resurrection of Jesus," said Warren during a video he released earlier this week (see video below).
"Five days after Easter last year, my 27-year-old son ended his own life. He battled mental illness since a child and despite the best doctors and meds and therapy, and prayers and love, he lost his battle for hope and our family was devastated." more >>
A powerful short film featuring Evansville Police Detective Nathan Schroer, who lost a nine-year battle with leukemia late last year, was released by I am Second on Monday.
In the film, Schroer, who taped with I am Second in September 2013, two months before dying, shares about living an abundant life while facing death.
SEE VIDEO BELOW more >>
The church needs to focus on creating a Gospel-centered evangelistic culture rather than just claiming to be evangelical, says Dave Bruskas, teaching pastor and executive elder at Mars Hill Church.
In a new blog post, Bruskas advises churches to steer away from focusing on baptism numbers and instead work to incorporate seven characteristics of a local church with a similar culture, as noted by the Apostle Paul in the Bible.
"While many churches would consider themselves to be evangelical, I have personally found very few of these same churches to have a strong evangelistic culture, Bruskas writes on theresurgence.com. "I wouldn't evaluate this through the number of conversions reported by churches. That is solely the work of the Holy Spirit." more >>
DALLAS — Members of Westboro Baptist Church from Topeka, Kan., staged several protests in Oklahoma and Texas over the weekend where they faced counter protesters, including a group of 2,000 who rallied against them in Moore, Okla., Sunday.
Holding signs that read "God hates fags," "American is Doomed" and "God's Fury" citing Nahum 1:3, WBC claimed that a tornado that struck the town last May and left many residents homeless was punishment from God for abortion, homosexuality and "phony Christians" mocking the Creator.
Although WBC obtained a permit to picket outside Central Junior High for 30 minutes Sunday, they were quickly rushed back to their vehicles to leave the premises after 10 minutes of picketing when six men in the counter protest rushed toward them. more >>