Brethren, we are not apostles, but their example instructs us. We cannot be exactly like the apostle Paul, but we can learn basic principles and practices from the biblical record of Paul’s missionary service. We can even develop a biblical evangelistic or missions methodology based upon Paul’s example. A careful study of Paul’s missionary efforts reveals that his methodology exhibits flexibility. Although he often begins with the synagogues (Acts 17:1–4, 10), he makes exceptions—as he does at Philippi, going to a group of women meeting for prayer outside the city (Acts 16:11–13). Each strategic church plant comes about through different means.… Continue reading
In August 2016, my wife and I took a trip to South Africa to visit a pastor friend and his small church in Nelspriut. I was amazed at how much it felt like being at my home church during our two-weeks visit. It dawned on me after our trip that the reason we felt at home was because the true church of Jesus Christ will always be the same no matter the location. If a local church is being faithful to God’s calling—that is, they are being obedient to the Scriptures—then they will have the same vibe as other faithful churches throughout the globe.… Continue reading
As my wife and I were boarding our flight from Gatwick Airport in London my cell phone buzzed. It was not a good time to answer it and I knew if it were important, the call would be repeated when we landed in California. Sure enough, as soon as our plane touched down in Los Angeles I turned on my phone and the call came immediately. The news rocked me—my brother Jim had died at home in his sleep—suddenly and unexpectedly. Memories flooded my mind as I expressed to his wife my sorrow for his family. Thinking about what I would say at his memorial service, God laid the apostle Paul’s final words on my heart from 2 Timothy 4:6–8.… Continue reading
I don’t know about you, but I am an excellent excuse-maker. For example, I am a master at convincing myself why I don’t need to exercise, or why I need another bowl of ice cream, or why I need to watch “this” sporting event, even if I am up late. My personal excuses, in these ways and others, are (to me!) water-tight, air-locked, drop-the-mic conclusive. To be persuaded otherwise, it would take an incredible proof or motivation ……. or just my wife giving me that “look” (and you married guys know what I am saying).
Now, this “master of excuses” I have observed in what many non-believers do when confronted with call to surrender their life to Jesus Christ.… Continue reading
“Ready or not, here I come” is a common phrase used of children (or their parents) when playing Hide-and-Seek. This phrase could also be applied to Jesus’ return. God the Father has set redemptive history before the foundation of the world and Jesus’ return will come exactly when He has planned. The question is, are you ready? Because He is coming whether you are ready or not. Let’s explore readiness for a few moments.
There are two major sermons in the Gospel of Matthew. The first being the Sermon on the Mount in chs 5-7, in which Jesus shows what kingdom people look like.… Continue reading