The 19th-century evangelist, R. A. Torrey, was well known for his emphatic preaching on the 2nd coming of Christ. Biographer, Roger Martin, relates an interesting and somewhat humorous story from one such sermon.
Torrey was speaking to a crowd of nearly 3,000 in Chicago on the 2nd coming. As he concluded his sermon, he spoke eloquently about Jesus’ glorious return. The sound of the trumpet. The shout of the archangel. Torrey then concluded with these climactic words. Continue reading
“God hates” is not an expression we often hear.
We preach about the love of God. We sing about it. We write about it. We read scriptures like “God so loved the world…” (Jn 3:16).
But, “God hates”? Continue reading
Have you heard the one about the preacher trying to “sell” a new idea to his elders. After his most impassioned plea, they voted down the proposal 6-1.
The elder leading the meeting said to the preacher, “Sorry, but it looks like you’re the only one voting for the proposal.”
“Well, that’s all we had on the agenda tonight,” the elder concluded. So he asked the preacher to lead a prayer to close the meeting. Continue reading
“Half of the misery in the world comes from trying to look, instead of trying to be, what one is not,” once wrote the 19th century Scottish minister George MacDonald.
This practice can be summed up in one word. Hypocrisy. It’s wearing a mask. Pretending. Acting instead of being. In a twisted way, “Hypocrisy is an homage that vice pays to virtue,” suggested the French writer La Rochefoucauld. Continue reading
When Abraham Lincoln was facing the crisis of a divided nation during the civil war, he was faced with many tough decisions. Often he was second guessed. Criticized. And even mocked.
It’s no wonder he admitted, “I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom, and that of all about me seemed insufficient for the day.”
During this current crisis, we may wonder where to go. Literally there’s no place to go. Everyone is told to stay home. At times, the advice of the experts seems contradictory and confusing. We ponder what the future holds. Will life ever be the same again? Continue reading
What is success? How do you define it? What are the essentials of success? And how do you know when you’ve achieved success?
Google “success” and you will incredibly get 5,440,000,000 hits in .48 seconds. Go to Amazon and you find there are over 90,000 books written about success. All of these sources are filled with formulas, fundamentals and principles for achieving success in a given area of life. Continue reading
The 16th century German theologian, Martin Luther is credited with saying “A religion that gives nothing, costs nothing and suffers nothing, is worth nothing.”
We understand the value of anything is determined by its investment, either in time, money, or personal sacrifice. When Jesus says, “follow me,” he is calling us, not just to hang out with him, or tag along, but to a devout, different, and dedicated, life. Continue reading
John Piper once wrote that sin (lust for example) “gets its power by persuading me to believe that I will be more happy if I follow it. The power of all temptation is the prospect that it will make me happier.”
Piper’s observation reminds me of a true story that occurred several years ago. To protect the innocent, as well as the guilty, I will refer to the two married couples as Jason and Judy and Matt and Jen. Continue reading
Augustine, the theologian who lived in the 4th and 5th centuries, is generally regarded as the greatest of the early “church fathers.” His writings are classics. And he is often quoted.
However, Augustine, the future bishop, was not baptized until he was 32 years old. Prior to his conversion he engaged in a ten year illicit relationship. The story is told that one day following his conversion, he was approached by his former mistress. When Augustine saw her, he turned and quickly walked away.
The woman followed after him calling out, “Augustine! It’s me! It’s me!” Continue reading
C. S. Lewis once explained his faith by writing, “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”
What a simple, yet profound explanation of the purpose, potential, and power of faith. Continue reading