The Reason for the Season

It’s that most wonderful time of the year again! Throughout December it is likely you will see or hear the phrase, “The Reason for the Season.” There is only one true reason, of course, and His name is Jesus Christ. And that reason does not spring from an uninformed, blind leap of faith. To those who sneer that believing in the Babe in the manger is like believing in Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, you can calmly and kindly reply that the birth of Christ is an historical event that is beyond contestation, which took place just over 2000 years ago […]

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A Thanksgiving Apologetic

I have written several articles bemoaning the fact that far too many Americans see Thanksgiving as little more than a day for overindulgence in food and football, but I don’t believe I have ever written about the extent to which America’s Thanksgiving celebration bears wonderful witness to our Christian faith. In doing so, I want to acknowledge the outstanding work of David Barton’s WallBuilders ministry (www.wallbuilders.com), which was my primary resource for the historical information presented here. Thanksgiving tradition Virtually everyone knows that our Thanksgiving tradition began with the Pilgrims in Plymouth, Massachusetts. However, many Americans are not aware that […]

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Jesus Christ: One Way or The Only Way to Heaven?

One of the most common concerns that people raise with me is the exclusivity of the Christian faith. Many people in our postmodern, relativistic society want to believe that all roads lead to heaven. In 2016 Lifeway Research conducted a poll and found that 60 percent of all Americans believe that “Heaven is a place where all people will ultimately be reunited with their loved ones.” Only 40 percent of those surveyed agreed with the statement that “Hell is an eternal place of judgment where God sends all people who do not personally trust in Jesus Christ.”(1) Heaven or Hell? […]

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Jesus Never Said, “I am God”

When I talk with unbelieving skeptics, it is not uncommon to hear them object, “There is no place in your Bible where Jesus says, ‘I am God!’” And if you search the Scriptures for that exact statement from the lips of our Lord — “I am God” — it’s true that you won’t find it. But it is also true that Jesus declared that He was God in a variety of ways, and there can be no question that His first century audience clearly understood His claim to be God. To be sure, not all of that audience accepted Jesus’ […]

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The Power of Prophecy

(Scroll down to leave a comment on the power of prophecy.) As a pastor, I am often asked how we can know for sure that the Bible is truly the Word of God.  When confronted with this question, many Christians frequently respond by quoting 2 Timothy 3:15 — “All Scripture is God-breathed . . .” That is certainly a glorious, God-breathed truth, but when you use that verse to prove the reliability of Scripture to the serious skeptic, that unbeliever will often reply, “That’s circular reasoning! You’re telling me that the Bible is the Word of God because the Bible […]

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Always Be Prepared

“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15 NIV). As a pastor, I am confronted often with questions about the Christian faith. Some come from the saints of God and some come from skeptics. But regardless of where they come from, the Bible makes it clear that we are to be prepared to answer. The term for this is called “apologetics,” and the technical definition would be this – it consists of reasoned responses to questions […]

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The Difference-Making Dad

(Scroll down to leave a comment on how dads make a difference.) This month we celebrate Father’s Day, first observed in the United States on June 19, 1910, in Spokane Washington. It was Mrs. John Dodd who in 1909 wanted to honor her father, William Smart, a Civil War veteran who raised six children alone after his wife died in childbirth. To be sure, Mrs. Dodd understood the biblical mandate to “Honor your father” (Exodus 20:12), which appears throughout the Bible and includes mother as well. Perhaps we did not have a father like William Smart who seemed to be […]

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The Servant of Sickness

“Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word” (Psalm 119:67). Sickness Is sickness always an attack of the spiritual forces of evil in this world? If we are looking for the root cause of sickness then the answer is a resounding YES. Going all the way back to the encounter between Satan and Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden when sin entered into humanity through the willful rebellion of Adam and Eve against the revealed will of God, sickness was now a byproduct of the sinful condition. But now that sickness has entered […]

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Redeemed to Live a Risen Life

Because Easter is on April 1st, I am writing a word of encouragement rooted in the Resurrection for the month of March. It is my prayer that these words will meet you in your deepest place of need as it relates to living the life God has called you to live, by grace, through faith, in our Lord Jesus Christ. “I want to know Christ — yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,” (Philippians 3:10). Three pillars to a risen life For all those who are in Christ, […]

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New Beginnings

I think you would agree, there is something quite special about the gift of new beginnings God gives to us. Of course, each day is a new beginning where God gives to us the opportunity to live life in a way that brings greater glory to Him than we did the day before. God also gives us a variety of new beginnings contained within each new day: A new goal A new vision A new calling A new address A new friendship A new relationship A new opportunity A new possibility A new year We are standing at the threshold […]

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