Imagine you woke up one morning and you were in the middle of the ocean on ship with other crew members. No one knows how you all got there. No one knows what you all are supposed to be doing. You are all just there . . . on ship . . . with no coordinates . . . no mission . . . in the middle of a the vast ocean.
To make matters worse, no one on the ship really knows anything about sailing, navigating, or fishing. All the equipment for survival and a successful mission are present on the ship, it’s just that no one really knows how to use any of this.
The Bible says a lot about judging others. For example, Christians should not judge people’s motives, they should not judge non-believers, but they should judge other believers’ external actions if that Christian is living in sin. (For more on what the Bible says about judging others, read this article.)
However, what about being on the other side of the judgement? What should Christians do when they feel judged by others?
If you listened to the world, you’d come to the conclusion that the earth was made through a big, random explosions and through the course of time, organisms slowly evolved into all that we see before us. Random, dumb luck is the reason you and me are breathing oxygen this very moment. And if everything happened by luck, then there can’t really be any true meaning to life – only subjective meaning created in each individual rather than objective, global meaning applied to every human by a higher power.
In Galatians 1:6-9, Paul warns us of false gospels. The real gospel is based on Christ alone, faith alone, grace alone, is found in Scripture alone, and is for the glory of God alone.
There is only one true gospel, but there are countless false gospels that have come and gone through the ages. But what about today? What are some common false gospels that are trying to creep into churches?
Below are 5 false gospels seen in the world today.
Ministry is often glamorized from the outside looking in, and with good reason. Ministry is amazing on many fronts.
So it’s a natural temptation as a young person attending seminary, learning about so many wonderful principles, to imagine how your future ministry will thrive. How easy it is when you have a secular job to think “ministry” would be so less frustrating and difficult than your current place of employment. You just wish you could be serving people all day, having people come to you for help, helping them with the love of Christ, and being warmly loved in return for your hard work? Ministry would be amazing!
While I am not here to bash a vision like this or shame anyone with ideas like this, I think it’s also safe to say those who have been in any type of Christian ministry for an extended period of time know things are not so sterile and orderly. There’s so much pain and pleasure mixed together in real ministry.
There are so many great churches out there who are transparent, responsible, and wise with the finances God has entrusted to them. Unfortunately, finances are also one of the top down falls for churches as well.
Here are five financial red flags to look for in a church.
Just recently in Cleveland, my hometown, the Facebook Murder garnered national attention for his despicable crime. Steve Stephens was a local man who killed 74-year-old Robert Godwin at random, filmed it, and then posted it on Facebook.
Prayer is an amazing act. It is literally a conversation with God where we can pour our hearts out to him, thank him, intercede for others, and listen to what God is saying to us through the impressions the Holy Spirit places on our hearts and minds.
Key Text: 1 John 4:1-21
A.W. Tozer said, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” So who is God and what is he really like? As we will see in this chapter, our answers to these questions will shape the way we live.
When I opened my email one recent Friday morning, I saw a notification regarding two new clients who would be checking into our program soon. One was getting out of prison after an eight-year term for two counts of rape. The other was coming to us after a twenty-year prison term for three counts of GSP (gross sexual imposition) and six counts of rape. Underneath their profile information was our Prison Outreach Chaplain’s signature line with the words, “Jesus, he breaks my chains!”
While the reminder of God’s power expressed in the gospel sent chills down my back, I can’t deny the internal war of feelings I had regarding these men: Why should we help these guys? They disgust me. They’re always going to be a threat to society. Nine counts of rape between the two of them! Why are they letting these men out?
But then that final line rang again in my ears, “Jesus, he breaks my chains!”