We Preach Christ Crucified
You will not read articles about how Jesus is a “life coach” that just wants to help you get ahead in life. You will not hear teaching that leaves you with the impression that God is stuck in heaven fretting over the world as he looks down in anxiety, just hoping someone will do enough to get the blessing…
Forgive Me... If You Can
Forgiveness. Reconciliation. They are beautiful notions until we have some reconciling and forgiving to do. It is easy to say we believe in forgiveness. Quick is the silver tongue that speaks the, “I forgive you.” Slow are the feet of clay which shamble ever so slowly and cautiously toward the behavior that follows forgiveness.
I Believe In Yesterday
For many, “Yesterday" by The Beatles is a poignant and powerful song. It is one of, if not the most, covered songs by the Beatles. It brings back memories of regret, remorse, heartache, and heartbreak. Why do we like this song so much if it seems to cause us such pain?
Where Do We Go When We Fall Asleep For the Last Time?
I just visited a dying woman. When I arrived, she was sleeping so deeply that she had to be gently shaken awake. It took some persistence. She was quite exhausted. Dying must be hard work. As soon as she had shaken off her sleep she was bright, alert, and clear.
Whenever Our Heart Condemns Us
He looked me straight in the eye and said these words, almost in a challenging way, “I hate God. I do. I try to love and obey Him, yet whenever I’m alone, when my mind has a chance to think, it constantly and consistently points me to the fact that I am not innocent of sinning against God.
Stop Conflating Caesar With Jesus
Appealing to our religion to push our political and social sensibilities is not what Jesus died for. And when we make it about that, it becomes more exclusive than the very inclusive Gospel. It sets up dividing lines that God never put there; boundaries that He sent His Son to break, walls that were torn down in the death of Christ.
Revelation 2:18-29 | Shrine Of The Sambatha | 018
The danger was not necessarily inside the city. Nor was it from an obvious source. Outside the walls of Thyatira, lay a small shrine of white stone. Neither the Imperial Cult, nor the cults of the Pantheon held great sway in Thyatira.
Can I Get a Fruit Check?
We’ve all been there, waiting in line to check out, and the person ahead of us questions the price of something that was just rung up. I remember one lady ahead of me complaining that one item was a whole 18 cents more than the advertised price!
Revelation 2:12-17 | Bring On The Bull | 017
Pergamum was huge. Think New York. Think Las Vegas. Think of London. If the other cities had their attractions, Pergamum was the place to be just because, well… it was the place to be. They may not have been the greatest at any one thing, but they had it all.
Can Jesus Save A Christian?
You’ve likely seen it yourself or at least heard of it happening. I recall hearing testimony after testimony from Christians who had been convicts, gang members, drug addicts, alcoholics, perverts, deviants, anarchists, extortioners, and scam artists. And Jesus saved all of them.
When I was a young boy I was constantly trying to assert my superiority over my siblings. I had to be the best at everything, and it was easy to believe I was the best. I was the oldest of seven brothers and a sister. Naturally, I was faster, stronger, and more coordinated than the rest of them.
Revelation 2:12-17 | To the Church in Pergamum: Part 2 | 016
Many say Balaam was a prophet, but this was not so. Balaam was no prophet. At least, not a prophet of Yahweh. He was definitely a false prophet, a prophet for hire. He was a thief and a trickster who meddled with powers beyond his comprehension. For lack of a better term, he was a warlock or sorcerer.
Revelation 2:12-17 | To the Church in Pergamum: Part 1 | 015
Jesus has a mighty weapon which is the weapon of His warfare, the sword of His mouth, the very Word of God. He is coming soon and will bring one, final, holy war down upon all they who follow after the teaching of Balaam and the Nicolaitans. Will you be among the slain?
Revelation 2:8-11 | To the Church in Smyrna | 014
In the movie, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, Jedi Master Yoda recounts the ancient Jedi teaching before a fearful Anakin, “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” Even in secular culture, we recognize cause-and-effect patterns which begin with something small, leading to a domino effect of increasingly more dire actions and reactions.
Revelation 2:1-7 | To the Church in Ephesus | 013
John begins transcribing this first letter from Jesus to the Church of Ephesus, the Ephesians, his home congregation. In this letter, out of all seven letters, is contained the highest praise and the lightest rebuke. Theirs also is the most magnificent image of the promise as they continue in faith in the finished work of Christ
Revelation 2-3 | Seven Letters to Seven Churches | 012
My email was once hacked and read, then used to send emails to contacts in my address book. It was not done by some malicious, darknet hacker or scammer trying to rip friends and family off. It was far more innocent, at least in intention. It was done by someone close to me, someone I knew.
Revelation 1:10-20 | What Kind of God Is This? Part 3 | 011
Finally, we draw near the end of this three-part article on Revelation 1:10-20. We have also nearly made it to the end of chapter 1 of Revelation. And we’re right back where we started: at the end of the beginning. This is not the last time we will be here.
Revelation 1:10-20 | What Kind of God Is This? Part 2 | 010
The white hair of Jesus’ head teaches us that the Gospel is an ancient mystery. It is the foolishness of God which is wiser than the wisdom of men. And contrary to how we think of white hair today, it does not signify age in the sense of weakness, but in the sense of an ancient and formidable strength.
Revelation 1:10-20 | What Kind of God Is This? Part 1 | 009
John had heard Jesus’ voice countless times and seen Him every day over the course of three years, and yet nothing could have prepared him for what he was about to witness. As he turns, the sight of the resurrected and exalted Christ nearly kills him.
Revelation 1:10a | In the Spirit | 008
We’re going to take a little bit of time going through John’s description of the resurrected and exalted Jesus and its significance. So we’re really just setting the scene here. John has already told us in verse nine that he is exiled on the island Patmos. He is most likely working in the Imperial mines there, day in and day out.
Revelation 1:9 | Enduring the Tribulation | 007
We’re living in the end times. We have been since Pentecost. The earliest Christians believed it, and what’s more, that is what the apostles teach us in Scripture. As early as Acts 2:17, just after Jesus had ascended to heaven…
Revelation 1:5b-8 | God's Calling, Our Response | 006
We can pretend that we’re not sinful all day long. But coming face to face with the thrice holy God clears things up in a hurry. Suddenly, there is no place left to hide, no way to disguise our sin, no device or scheme left to excuse us.
Revelation 1:4-5 | What Happens When the Triune God Shows Up? | 005
To see God would actually consume you in your current state. Entirely. There would be nothing left. “No one can see God and live.” This was their tradition. It was utterly impossible to see God. For if one did, they were dead. And so how can one see God and yet live? They could not conceive of a way..