As Christians around the world prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ, it is interesting to note that Bethlehem has a rich Messianic significance in Judaism. Not only did the Jewish scribes in Jesus' day understand Bethlehem's destiny, but so did Jewish scholars prior to Christ's birth, and after the Lord's resurrection.
I received a lengthy e-mail recently from a Christian in Wales. Having experienced much personal loss in his life, he wrote, "I rarely have peace." At the same time, he described times of worship when God's peace has filled his soul. So is this normal, and perhaps even to be expected in the life of a believer?
I enjoy listening to Charles Krauthammer. This Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist brilliantly weaves together logic, common sense, and the principles of freedom. Yet for all of his dogmatism in the realm of politics, he doesn't spend much time discussing faith and religion.
The Scottish minister Hugh Blair said, "Gentleness corrects whatever is offensive in our manner." If you doubt that fact, just ask someone who is married. The tone in the home can make or break a marriage. This is why every marriage tune-up requires a communication tone down.
What if your life on earth ultimately boiled down to one simple question? And what if a correct answer to that question made everything else come into focus? You do realize don't you that this is exactly what the Bible and Christianity teach about God. It all boils down to one question. If you get it right, you're home free.
Intellect and morality operate on different tracks. Intellect has to do with knowledge. Morality has to do with motive and behavior.
Marijuana is widely regarded as a "gateway" drug, which leads some users to experiment with more serious drugs. In a similar way, every time we sin against God's commands, we commit a "gateway" sin. That is to say, our sin often leads us to engage in other types of sinful behavior.
Christianity hinges on the resurrection of Christ. If it didn't happen, there is no forgiveness or eternal salvation for anyone. But if it didn't happen, surely the critics of Christ would have easily been able to produce His dead body. After all, they had plenty of time to do it, and all the clout to get the job done. And yet they came up empty.
What if everyone in the world was a follower of Jesus Christ? And not just in name, but in reality. Imagine if everyone knew the love of the Savior and then shared that love with those around them. What would this world look like?
This is gut check time for liberals. And it's due to more than just the tidal wave of the midterm elections. Things have been getting dicey for some time as more and more chinks in the armor of liberalism become exposed.
So if God really wants everyone in heaven forever, why does the Bible teach that many people won't end up there? (see Matthew 7:13,14 and Daniel 12:2) That is hard to comprehend, especially when Scripture clearly states,"God wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth." (1 Timothy 2:4) So does He or doesn't He?
So you say you refuse to believe in a God who allows so much suffering in the world. OK. You have obviously given this matter some thought. But have you considered it rationally?
If you listen to people who have transitioned out of homosexuality, you discover a common thread. They took deliberate steps and experienced various degrees of success during their transition. But they eventually made it. They have come out.
"Should we have one central congregation with many locations and video teaching for all? Or multiple congregations in many locations with live teaching for all?" Seattle-based Mars Hill Church has chosen to go with the latter. Mars Hill decided to dissolve in order to multiply. And here are some things that will get multiplied through their decision:
Nik Wallenda amazed the world Sunday night as he walked on a tightrope between Chicago skyscrapers. One of his two trips across was even completed while wearing a blindfold. No safety net. No harness. But plenty of confidence, and certainly a ton of skill.
It's not natural to know God as your friend. It just isn't. That is, until you enter a supernatural relationship with your Creator. Only then does it feel "natural" to talk to God as a friend.
People generally don't expect to have someone in their family start down a new spiritual path. And so it's only natural for Jews to become fearful when a loved one becomes a follower of Yeshua (Jesus Christ).
Some churches teach that a believer can lose his salvation, while other churches teach that such a thing is impossible. So who is correct?
In an article I wrote last week entitled, "Three Chairs at the Gate of Heaven," I laid out how a person can be assured of entering heaven when he dies. I encourage you to read it and see if you think it's what the pope believes. The Gospel message is the foundation of the Christian faith. And it's a message which all people, including Catholics, need to hear.
The history of America is an open book. It's a history of reliance upon Jehovah, the One true God. That's not to say America has a perfect record by any stretch. But in spite of some blemishes, America remains a free country today. Why? Because of Christians who love Jehovah.
Nicolas Cage doesn't like to act. He would rather become the character than pretend he is the character. And Nic has discovered the craft of channeling energy as a means to reach for that goal.
What I am about to share with you could literally lead to the salvation of your soul. And that in turn could lead to others in your family being saved after you tell them about the three chairs. It's an incredibly simple concept. The good news of the Gospel is easy enough for a child to grasp.
Enter conservatives and liberals. They approach issues very differently, and yet with a common deficiency. Liberals and conservatives are not by nature loving toward those outside their group. They tend to view one another as the enemy. In fact, they see them as a big part of the world's problems.
Have you been able to pull off what no other human being, except One, has ever accomplished? Have you crossed every "t" and dotted every "i" in the realm of your soul? No sinful thoughts or words, ever. Absolute obedience to God's commands. And perfect faith in every situation.
You hear a knock on your door. You go to see who it is only to discover the Lord Jesus Christ standing there. Would you open the door? Would you let Him in? Or would you pretend you're not home? (as if the Lord didn't know better)