THE MESSAGE OF THE CROSS

Michael Bird, a minister in Australia, tells about a well-known American preacher who gave some advice to an Australian congregation.

He said, “Don’t tell people about the cross, it doesn’t work. That’s why the Franklin Graham crusades are no longer effective. Just tell them that God loves them and has a plan for them.”

The crux of his advice was that “The message of a crucified Jew is ridiculous to the modern mind… So move on to something better. A crucified Messiah is stupid, but promise them prosperity, give them emotional experiences, provide them with self-esteem – then you’ll fill the pews.” Continue reading

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How To Solve Church Problems

My college Bible Professor, E.V. Srygley, once quipped, “Jesus said when two or three are gathered together, I will be in their midst. I’ve found that when two or three are gathered together, there’s going to be a problem.”

Problems. They’re part of life. The church and Christians are not exempt from problems. However, as Chuck Swindoll observed, “Every problem is an opportunity to prove God’s power.” Continue reading

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A Passage To Ponder: 1Corinthians 9:24-27

On Monday Micah Herndon crawled across the finish line at the Boston Marathon. No, he didn’t win the race. But he won the hearts of everyone who saw the video that went viral.

Herndon, a 31-year-old Marine veteran from Tallmadge, Ohio, was running the 26.2-mile race to pay tribute to three Marines who he served alongside. Matthew Ballard and Mark Juarez and British journalist Rupert Hamer died in 2010 from an improvised explosive device’s blast in Afghanistan. The Record-Courier in Ohio has more details of his inspiring story: Continue reading

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Disturbed By the Name of Jesus

Several years ago Bill and Gloria Gaither wrote a short, simple but powerful song with these moving lyrics.

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus; there’s just something about that name
Master, Savior, Jesus, like the fragrance after the rain;
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, let all Heaven and earth proclaim
Kings and kingdoms will all pass away
But there’s something about that name
Kings and kingdoms will all pass away
But there’s something about that name Continue reading

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Word of the Week: Conformed

This week finds Norma Jean and me in Nashville, Tennessee, where I’m preaching in a meeting for the Kemper Heights church. We’ve been here many times before, so it’s enjoyable to return and see many friends we’ve known from years ago.

Yesterday morning I presented a lesson entitled “Becoming Like Christ.” My study took me to this passage in Romans 8:29. Continue reading

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Will Bagels and Coffee Improve our Worship?

“During our years of church planting, we tried to change people’s perceptions about what the Sunday worship would look like,” wrote Michelle Lazurek, in a recent Crosswalk.com article.

“We took out pews and replaced them with pub tables and chairs, added lights and a stage and most importantly,” the award-winning author and preacher’s wife said, “(we) added a breakfast bar where people could grab bagels and other breakfast foods and coffee during the service.”

Lazurek admitted, “Not everyone loved these changes.” Continue reading

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Is Jesus a King Without a Kingdom?

We hear and read a good bit about the “Evangelical Right” today, especially in the area of politics. However, what may be little known to the average person, is that the doctrine of Premillennialism reigns in Evangelical theology.

For the past 100 years Premillennialism has gained a wide acceptance in the Protestant world in general and evangelicals specifically. Some trace the growing belief to the publishing of Scofield Reference Bible in 1909. Continue reading

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