Sermon Recommendation: Never Alone

Days before the resurrection, Jesus told his disciples again that he would be leaving them. Surely this had to be a crushing blow to his dear friends. But he also promised that he would not leave them “as orphans.”

This message from Pastor Matthew Hoskinson of the First Baptist Church of Manhattan examines that passage (John 14) and dives into what Jesus meant as well as the promise of the Holy Spirit that He sent to his followers (including us today). I hope the truth in it ministers to you today.

Bible link: John 14 (ESV) 

Things I Learned About Myself, When I Wasn’t In Church

33496411294_898d69b221_zPerhaps this sounds like a strange admission, but there have been times in my life when I had no church home. While I believe those were legitimate absences, upon reflection, I may have learned more about the need to be part of a church when I didn’t have one than the many years I did.

When I first moved to Washington, D.C., finding a good church was a challenge. It took many visits to find and settle in a church I thought was committed to the truth. Then, after roughly a year there, God opened my eyes to some serious false teachings entrenched there. I was devastated. After trying and failing to make any headway against the teachings, I left.

It was painful and discouraging time in my life. I missed the fellowship, the community, I missed hearing the Bible taught regularly. I missed singing praise aloud to God with other people. But church visit, after church visit, I kept spotting the same problems. And it wrecked me. The discouragement got the better of me and I gave up for awhile.

I was judged by some Christians during that time, which made it even harder to want to find a church again. I want to be clear – I never gave up my faith in Jesus. I didn’t somehow lose my Christianity because I wasn’t attending church on Sundays. During my absence, I also read my Bible and listened to podcasts and sermons when possible. Thankfully, that season did not last forever, and I eventually found churches I could regularly attend again and eventually even consider my home church.

But I learned some things during that season that I think are important and sharing them could help others. Continue reading

GTY Sermon Series: Pillars of Christian Character

While I was browsing programs at Grace to You the other day I came across this 10-message series on Christian character. And I had an idea to listen to one each Wednesday for the next 10 weeks.

Will you join me?

I’ll be sharing those messages in order here and on my Facebook page each Wednesday beginning today. I would love to have some company to discuss the content either in the comments section, on Facebook or via email if you prefer. Continue reading

Start with God

“The only way to understand yourself or your life is to start with God. And right at the very beginning the Bible takes us there. If you are not clear about this, you will go wrong everywhere else.”

Lloyd-Jones, Martyn (2009-10-07). The Gospel in Genesis: From Fig Leaves to Faith (p. 13). Crossway. Kindle Edition.

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Audio: If Christ Will Return, How Should We Live Until Then?

JMacArthurPreachingShould the expectation of the return of Jesus Christ cause us to live differently than we would otherwise? The answer from Scripture is yes. As Pastor John MacArthur exegetes in this two-part message “Living in Anticipation of Christ’s Return.”  Part 1.  Part 2.

MacArthur says that knowing Jesus will return and grant us eternity in the new heaven “ought to impact your life” as a Christian in matters of attitude and action.

He is teaching from 2 Peter 3:11-18: Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat!  But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.

Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to befound by Him in peace, spotless and blameless,  and regard thepatience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul,according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, as also in all hisletters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do alsothe rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. You therefore,beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (NASB)

 

Six Terrible Tweets from PDChurch 2016

Today was the first day of Saddleback Pastor Rick Warren’s latest “Purpose Driven Church” conference. It’s been a few years since, he’s held one, but as far as I can tell from the tweets (#PDChurch) it’s all just more of the same he’s peddling.

Here’s the video teaser they made for the conference. I’m grateful to The Berean Examiner for the heads up on this conference. They also took Warren to task for unbiblical statements he made promoting the conference.

Since I had to work and was unwilling to pay the hefty price tag to livestream the event anyway, I had to get by just watching the live tweets today.

Here are just some of the worst and most ironic tweets from the #PDChurch conference I’ve seen today with a few of my thoughts:

https://twitter.com/JustinEmanuelNY/status/747891120206544896

Continue reading