“Be a Berean.” This command references the Bereans response to the Gospel message they heard when Paul and Silas preached to them in the synagogue of the Jews. The Jews in the synagogue heard the message and responded by going away and studying Scripture. “Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11). When we issue this command to people, we are asking them to be discerning about what they hear and make sure the teaching is inline with Scripture.… Continue reading
Apostacy is never a light matter and is always heartbreaking. When we hear of anyone walking away from the faith the appropriate reaction is always sorrow. It is always heartbreaking when someone who has professed faith in and reliance on God’s grace suddenly says God can keep His grace, because I have no need of it. And it is no less or more heartbreaking based on a person’s level of notoriety.
Recently a relatively well known, in conservative Christian circles, person publicly announced his apostacy. I’m speaking of course of Josh Harris. And since he so publicly (and strategically) announced his apostacy there has been much public speculation about what led to his apostacy.… Continue reading
Every so often when strolling through downtown Burbank or the mall in Glendale, I receive a tract from some unknown person trying to spread the Gospel. Most tracts grab the reader’s attention quickly, tell the truth, and offer the person forgiveness from his sins through Jesus Christ. I speculate most Christians view this as “evangelism” (or aka cold evangelism). When seeking to win people to Christ and not just arguments, cold evangelism is one way to evangelize. God calls every Christian to evangelize. Our primary field is those we interact with habitually — family, friends, coworkers, frequently visited places (more here).… Continue reading
One of the oddest questions I get asked is how I knew I was called to ministry. I say it is odd because it assumes some kind of mystical experience by which I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was set apart by God to minister, in a vocational sense, to His people. Simply put, there is nothing in Scripture that indicates that is the way God tells people to pursue vocational ministry.
Now some do have some kind of experience where they suddenly have an overwhelming feeling that they should pursue vocational ministry. But, as in all things, feelings are never to be regarded as authoritative or even necessarily true.… Continue reading
This summer our church worked through biblical marriage and biblical parenting. In preparation for each class, we spent time looking through the most direct statements God makes regarding each topic. During preparation our elders talked about the common loving approaches we have towards others not only in marriage and parenting but in general by serving fellow saints and evangelizing people. It’s important to nuance and understand the specific responsibilities God gives us so that we can specifically apply them in each role we carry. But I pray we do not get so nuanced we forget the general responsibilities we have towards all people.
At the core, parenting, marriage, and life have similar responsibilities.… Continue reading