Repentance – Nineveh Style

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In the book of Jonah, everything is upside-down. Hard-nosed sailors are soft and pliable. Wicked people are repentant. A violent and brutal king leads his city of 500,000 people in humble worship of God. And God’s prophet is a hateful, spiteful, self-absorbed, pitiless, griping, sulking, do-the-least-I-have-to-do-to-get-God-off-my-back man. But this is to be expected because the genre picked for this book is satire (the use of humor, irony,

exaggeration, and ridicule to expose & criticize people’s stupidity or vices). For a modern day use of satire that is constructive (and hilarious!), check out Babylon Bee.

Image from www.jointhebibleproject.com

Today I want to point out one of these upside-down actions: the humble repentance of the Ninevites.… Continue reading

Open Letter to the Class of 2016

Dear Class of 2016,

Congratulations on reaching this achievement! If I had to bet — I DO live in Las Vegas 😉 — you have already filled out applications and planning for the next “step” in life. By this time you probably know where you’re going to college, if military is an option, or work. None of those decisions are wrong and I trust the Lord is at work in you.

UnknownSince you have time before the next phase, I would like to encourage you to consider one commonly neglected factor in the “next step.” What church will you attend?Continue reading

Pursuing Marriage God’s Way

UnknownHow should single Christians find a spouse, that is a million-dollar question.  Literally. Countless books are written on the subject, many large churches have a single’s pastor, either in title or function, retreats and conferences for singles are held. Single Christians, who desire to be married, spend an enormous amount of time, energy and money trying to figure it out.

Many married Christians are more than eager to throw in their two cents too. (One of the most uncomfortable moments I ever had was one I shared with a Russian young woman who visited my church, where I was one of the only single men, and she was introduced to me by an older woman who said “John this is XXXXX, she is a good height for you.”)

And this is fine, most people do not have the gift of singleness.… Continue reading

How You Can(‘t) Be Born Again

Regeneration is the act of God whereby he completely he changes the will of man such that he will hear, believe, and obey the word of God, beginning with the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is a spiritual change in the heart of man that makes him fundamentally and permanently different than he has ever been in his orientation towards God. It is part of God’s work in salvation, as both a benefit and a requirement of a citizen of the kingdom of God (John 3:3).

Regeneration is described in Scripture by various terms. The first is the word itself, regeneration, which is used to describe a future time in which God will completely transform the earth and establish his Messianic Kingdom in direct earthly rule by Jesus Christ (Matthew 19:28).… Continue reading

Balance

Not too long ago I was afforded the opportunity to read Kelly Kapic’s small volume A Little Book for New Theologians. Reading this little book was the catalyst which got me thinking about balance as it applies to the ministry of a local church; because it would seem that Kapic’s main thrust in the book is to encourage, exhort, and even warn those who endeavor to the ‘title’ theologian to strive for balance in their consideration of all things but most especially theological issues. By balance I mean one should maintain every tension found in Scripture while resting securely on every issue where no tension exists.Continue reading