Posted 5/16/13 at 11:56 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices |
By Joe McKeever
“But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8)
There are numerous biblical texts that stop me in my tracks and leave me gasping for air. But none intrigue me more than this one. And, one thing in particular I find fascinating and profound.
Cowards don’t make it to Heaven.
The fearful go to hell.
Some translations say “the timid.” We read that and think, “Man, I was always shy. But they send you to hell for that? Who knew?”
This reminds me of a remark concerning those who settled the west in the 19th century: “Only the strong made it. The weak never survived the trip and the cowards never started in the first place.”
In the margin of my Bible above Revelation 21:8 are these words in my scribble: “Look who is leading this sad parade into hell!”
The cowardly. The timid. The fearful.
We think of the Lord’s teachings on “The Parable of the Talents” in Matthew 25. A wealthy man about to leave on an extended trip calls his servants in and entrusts varying amounts of money to each one. To one he gives five talents (said to equal perhaps a thousand dollars in today’s currency), to another two and to a third he gives one talent. He made the decision, Jesus said, “according to the ability of each one.” (Which ought to make clear why some of us were not given the talents of some of the rest of us. Smiley-face goes here.) FULL POST
Posted 5/16/13 at 12:23 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices |
By Stephen Altrogge
Interpreting the Bible literally can be a good thing. It probably means that you want to know exactly what God says and obey his words. It means you don’t want to play Bible roulette with which verses you obey. It means you’re willing to obey all the commands of the Bible, even the painful ones.
But, interpreting the Bible literally can also get you into a lot of trouble. Harold Camping thought he was interpreting the Bible literally, which in turn led him to mispredict the end of the world…twice. Pinstripe wearing prosperity preachers think they are interpreting the Bible literally, which leads them to teach that God never wills illness. Heck, the hellfire, hate-throwing folks at Westboro Baptist Church probably think they are interpreting the Bible literally.
So what does it mean to truly interpet the Bible literally? How can we be sure that our “literal” interpretation of the Bible isn’t actually a theological hack job? Here are some simple questions to help you truly interpret the Bible literally. FULL POST
Posted 5/16/13 at 12:08 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices |
By Ron Edmondson
All of us say things we wish we hadn’t said. We all offend people at times. Everyone knows what it is like to put foot in mouth.
Doing so is common, but what do we do afterwards?
Recognize that you will offend some people. – Actually, that should come before the incident. Even the most gentile-minded, peace-pursuing people are occasionally offensive. Sometimes the person on the other side of the offense has issues that make them easily offended. Sometimes we just say or do the wrong thing. It’s working to do so less often and never intentionally that should be our goal.
Pursue peace – Our goal should be to be at peace with others, as much as it depends on us. This too should be set, as a goal, before it’s needed, so you’ll respond accordingly when it is needed. Strive not to say or do things which are offensive. This often means learning to think before you speak. FULL POST
Posted 5/15/13 at 6:13 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices |
By Wade Burleson
Patrick Henry once said, "The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government." Our Founding Fathers understood that a free country has a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Countries without freedom have governments over and separate from the people. This is why Thomas Jefferson once wrote "What country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance?"
Recently, the government of the United States has admitted targeting certain political groups for IRS audits. Franklin Graham has written a poignant letter to President Obama asking why the Billy Graham Association was targeted. It seems that the United States government is acting like a bully, infringing on personal freedoms, micro-managing small business affairs, putting millions on government payrolls, burdening future generations with debt by borrowing more than half it spends, and acting as if the government is the final authority on all matters, including those moral and spiritual. FULL POST
Posted 5/15/13 at 2:26 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices |
By Stephen Altrogge
There are certain things we don’t talk about much in church. Like eating disorders. Or cutting. Or depression. Or same sex attraction. Or sexual enslavement. The list could go on, but you get my point. The reason we don’t talk about these things is because, frankly, they make us uncomfortable. If we struggle with a “taboo” issue we feel very uncomfortable talking about it with others. If someone else confesses a “taboo” issue to us we’re not quite sure how to respond. We usually feel at least somewhat uncomfortable, which means we probably won’t follow up with the person, which means they will continue to flounder in their struggle. It shouldn’t be this way in the church.
Now, just to be clear, I don’t think that every person should tell every other person about their most intimate struggles. There are wise ways to confess struggles and there are stupid ways to confess struggles. I’m not advocating a total transparency policy, in which we tell everyone everything. That’s just stupid. But, every person in the church should have at least one or two people who know their most difficult battles, sympathize with their battles, and can help them overcome their battles through prayer, fellowship, and encouragement. Otherwise, how will any of us overcome these things? FULL POST
Posted 5/14/13 at 12:57 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices |
By Ron Edmondson
I previously posted 10 Things I’d Do If Raising a Daughter Today. In this post, I will focus on the boys.
I know a little more about this subject, having two incredible sons of my own. But, we always look at life differently from the other side of it. My boys are grown. I’m still parenting, but in a completely different way. Mine now is one of influence. Thankfully, both boys still come to me for that influence. There is no greater joy than seeing boys become God-honoring young men. I’m thankful to have a front row seat with my sons.
But, even with the incredible young men I know as sons, there are things I would do differently if I had that part of life to do over again. I know boys become men. And, every man I know, whether or not he admits it, struggles at some level with confidence. He struggles to know he is enough, that he can do what God calls him to do. Every man is desperate for someone to believe in him.
And, sadly, we are living in the age where the absentee father is the normal. It once was the exception. (That’s the subject of another post, but it’s plaguing our society. Check any statistics.) FULL POST
Posted 5/13/13 at 12:06 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices |
By Paul Tautges
Monday can be an awful day for pastors who take their calling seriously. Not only are they often spent at every level from giving all they have to the preaching of God’s Word and other duties that are incumbent upon leaders, but there are other factors at work in their mind. Their emotional exhaustion tempts them to enlarge any criticisms they received the day before, since most already believe they will never measure up to expectations (their own, or anyone else’s). Their wholehearted desire to serve the Lord faithfully and be a success (even in biblical terms) often collides with the endless exaltation of celebrity pastors who they will read about this week in the blogosphere. And the harvest they witness from their own ministries falls so short of their efforts to sow the seed of the Word and water the ground of stony hearts.
So, what is a pastor to do on Monday morning (and any day, for that matter)? He must continually place before his mind the truth that the church is Christ’s church and Jesus will be the final judge of success at the end of the age. The pastor must remind himself that he is but a servant, which is an incredibly high calling, and will one-day be rewarded by his Master. Fellow pastor, for your encouragement, consider just a few of the Apostle Paul’s musings. FULL POST
Posted 5/13/13 at 11:46 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices |
By Wade Burleson
Oklahoma is one of a handful of states who has been actively engaged in the political arena in opposing any possible foothold of Sharia Law within our borders. Our state has undergone a heavy dose of criticism for what is perceived by elitists as a bigoted and backward political maneuvering.
Yesterday the Australian news agency's Channel 7 broadcast a two-part special entitled ABANDONED. It is the gut-wrenching story of an Australian woman named Alicia Gaili who was brutally raped and beaten in Dubai by three men. According to Yahoo News: "Alone and frightened, Alicia took herself to hospital. What she didn’t know is that under the UAE’s strict sharia laws, if the perpetrator does not confess, a rape cannot be convicted without four adult Muslim male witnesses. Alicia was charged with having illicit sex outside marriage, and thrown in a filthy jail cell for eight months."
Does Oklahoma look so backwards now? In this age of political correctness, it is incumbent upon Americans who know their history and the Judeo-Christian heritage of United States law to not just say "no" to Sharia Law, but to oppose it like the greatest generation of Americans past opposed Nazism and Bolshevism. Neville Chamberlain tried to make peace with Adolph Hitler, believing Hitler had no desire for expansion of the Aryan ideals and principles throughout Europe. He was wrong, and it cost the lives of millions of people. FULL POST
Posted 5/10/13 at 1:11 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices |
By Stephen Altrogge
I could be the greatest worship leader, and have a band that puts U2 to shame, and have the perfect set list, and be wearing the perfect combination of clothes so that I appear cool without looking like I’m trying. But…
I could be the world’s greatest small group leader, and have the greatest discussion questions prepared, and a snack that tastes like it was made in the third heaven. But…
I could be a fantastic children’s ministry teacher, with lesson plans involving live snakes, and songs that make all the kids dance with joy. But…
I could be an incredible preacher, with the most poignant illustrations and the greatest exposition. But…
I could be a fantastic father, who regularly shares the gospel with his children and is faithful to discipline them appropriately. But…
If I’m not accompanied by the power of God, all my efforts will be useless.
In regards to preaching (and this applies to all the other areas as well), John Owen says: FULL POST
Posted 5/9/13 at 2:03 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices |
By Terry Ivy
I do not like boycotts. In fact, the only thing I boycott is boycotts. Why? Because to me it seems that boycotts violate the very call to take the gospel to all men. I just cannot wrap my head or heart around the image of seeing Jesus, or Paul for that matter, leading a picket line or social demonstration to force morality upon others. I can sum up my problems with boycotts with 10 simple questions.
1) Isn’t the Gospel for all?
2) How can we reach people by boycotting them?
3) How can we love people when we are standing aloof and boycotting their business?
4) How can we communicate their need for Christ while refusing to enter their work space?
5) Why offend with boycotting the very people I’m called to reach?
6) How can I reach them and demonstrate the gospel if I fail to enter their everyday life? FULL POST