Adjusting Our Grip on God’s Promises

We must distinguish between the promises of God and our expectations for how they will be fuilfilled

“If God chooses to fulfill His promise in an unexpected way…if He chooses to bring you to Egypt and give the land to your great-great-great-great-great-granchildren…if He chooses to give you a new resurrection body rather than heal the one you have…then submit to the goodness of His plan.”   No one would have called Jacob’s... Continue Reading

3 Dangerous Lies Ministry Leaders Believe

Isolation, boredom, and pride are not sins to tame, but sins that must be slain

“Over the last several years I’ve thought a lot about fallen ministry leaders. I’ve seen godly leaders I love and respect implode, and I’ve observed explosive lies beneath the surface bring devastating fallout to friends, family, ministries, and a watching world. These lies also brought about David’s fall, and their effect is just as destructive... Continue Reading

Nine Words for Every Marriage

Marriage is an everyday exercise in repentance and forgiveness

“When conflict arises, my first instinct is to reinforce my own relative innocence while exaggerating my spouse’s guilt. My wounded pride wants to be soothed with the salve of self-righteousness. But self-righteousness is no solution at all. It merely fans the flame of hurt into an inferno of anger and cares, not caring whom it... Continue Reading

How R.C. Sproul Blessed the Church by Preaching the Curse

This was a passionate plea to consider the horrors of the cross and thus the splendor of God’s grace

“In this sermon, we see exactly what made Sproul’s teaching ministry so powerful for so many years. He reminded us of who we are. Even more importantly he reminded us of who God is. Let’s give it a closer look.”   It was the 2008 Together for the Gospel Conference in Louisville, Kentucky. This was... Continue Reading

Three Accidents That Did Not Happen at Your Church

Your calling is not an accident. God called you to salvation. God called you to ministry.

“Your church address is not an accident. Your community is not an accident. And your calling is not an accident. God is in it all. God is the power of it all. Celebrate these realities. You were called to this specific church in this specific community at this specific time.”   If you are the... Continue Reading

10 Things You Should Know about Jehovah’s Witnesses

A solid majority of adult Jehovah’s Witnesses (63 percent) have no more than a high school diploma

“The JWs deny the doctrine of the Trinity. They insist it is an invention of Satan that originated in ancient Babylon, sometime around 2200 b.c. JWs are, strictly speaking, unitarian in their view of the Godhead. They also believe that the Holy Spirit is not a person but a force of God.”   I read... Continue Reading

If Only Francis Were Luther!

This is why orthodox Roman Catholics should worry less about the current pope’s resemblance to Luther and more about his resemblance to Erasmus

“By contrast, Erasmus’s vision seems consonant with that of Pope Francis. The pope has a clear bias in favor of the poor. He has expressed concern for the marginalized and the disenfranchised. His openness to those whom polite society regards as outsiders is evident. These attitudes are what make his papacy both intriguing and attractive.”... Continue Reading

Just Stop It: Instructions On How To Repent

Changing your behavior is not the goal; pleasing your Savior is the goal

“Disclaimer: You cannot stop sinning on your own. It’s theologically and practically and experientially impossible. You must have the Holy Spirit dwelling in you to free you from your bondage to sin, renewing your mind, convicting you of evil, granting you the fruit of self-control, and leading you into righteousness.”   Instructions printed on products... Continue Reading

The Greatest Joy

Jesus warned his disciples against having a misplaced basis for their joy.

In all probability, they went out fearful and apprehensive, but they came back with exceedingly great joy. Why were they so happy? It was because they had been successful—God had used them and they had seen the manifestation of the power of Christ in their ministry. Also, they declared that they were happy because the... Continue Reading

Queer Culture in the PCA?

Concerns about the Revoice Conference being held in a PCA church in St. Louis in July.

Note the inclusive language on the website-“gay, lesbian, LGBT Christians.” My friends, must I state the obvious? Practicing homosexuals are no more Christians than are practicing fornicators, adulterers, drunkards, swindlers, or thieves (1 Cor.6:9, 10). There is no such thing as LGBT, gay, lesbian Christians. There is no such thing as a Christian drug dealer,... Continue Reading

The Hope of Forgiveness

Many who have trusted in Christ struggle deeply in their consciences over their post-conversion sins.

How do we reconcile the fact that the Apostle John says “whoever is born of God does not sin” (1 John 3:9) with the fact that the Apostle James says, “We all stumble in many ways” (James 3:2)? These and a myriad of other questions are bound up with the issue of the subjective assurance... Continue Reading

Book Review—J. C. Ryle: Prepared to Stand Alone, by Iain Murray

Of all things, Ryle was first and foremost an evangelical.

Murray notes, “The gospel itself was ever the most important part of whatever he spoke or wrote, and the gospel meant the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ.” Richly rooted and built up in Puritan theology, Ryle desired to present biblical content in a clear and accessible manner, especially the doctrines of grace.... Continue Reading

Do You Fear a Day of Rest?

Rest is not weakness. It is an irreducible ingredient for the life that enjoys God.

I’d fallen into the busy trap. I’m an achiever. Some might say an overachiever. In my immature bent toward achieving, I didn’t stop. Ever. Stopping was a missed opportunity for accomplishment. “Rest is for the weak or the dead,” I would say to myself. Not surprisingly, when your heart is saying things like that, your hands... Continue Reading

Your Best Years Are Not Behind You

God needs willing workers, not necessarily young ones.

I never wrestled much over stages and ages of life. That’s because I’ve always worked. And work is curious and holy, no matter our age or season, our calling or color. I used to think our best years were based on timing and talents, but our best years, it turns out, are based on our godly... Continue Reading

The Wedding Sermon and the PCA

Rev. Curry is one of the leading forces in the continued apostasy of the Episcopal Church.

Reverend Curry’s sermon was a rather typical paean to “the power of love.” I rather think John Lennon would have been pleased. No wonder the secular media, various celebrities, and theological liberals were so enamored with it. But one would expect more wisdom and discernment from Reformed evangelicals.   I am not sure if it... Continue Reading

Your Conscience Tells You What not to Do, Wisdom Tells You What to Do

To be wise means that we live well.

Your conscience may warn you before you make an important decision. But it will not tell you what you ought to do. And listening to your conscience apart from wisdom can be disastrous for at least two reasons.   We’ve all entered that moment of decision. The temptation to act or to think when we know that we shouldn’t. It’s... Continue Reading

Seeing, Hearing, Believing

One of the greatest confrontations we face is when the Word of God and Providence appear to collide--when circumstances appear to contradict God’s promises

More importantly, God has not designed faith to be based on sight. That’s why it is called faith – because it accepts, believes and trusts things that are unseen, not seen (Heb. 11:1). We are all confronted with the question, “Will we believe and trust God in spite, or we might add, even through such... Continue Reading

The PCA and Confessional Integrity

The PCA’s adoption of “good faith subscription” in 2002 has had an unintended consequence of amending the Westminster Standards “in fact” without using “lawful process,” raising questions of integrity.

There are provisions in the BCO for emending the confessional standards. Yet there has been no move on the part of the minority to propose changes to the standards. Perhaps they believe that the approval of the presbytery for their exceptions is sufficient. But over time, as more and more men take these exceptions, and have them... Continue Reading

The Misleading Language of the Social Justice Movement

What is prefatory to, and more important than, changing the ethnic composition of a local church congregation is changing the sinful disposition of the human heart.

“The concept of the black race and the white race originated with the Enemy himself. Just as he sowed seeds of doubt in the garden of Eden with his “hath God really said,” he has continued through the ages to offer a lie in the place of God’s truth. His attack has been anything but... Continue Reading

More Thoughts about Suicide: From My Youth Up

If you are deeply depressed, fight it however you can. If you have suicidal thoughts: Don't do it. It's a sin against God, others, and yourself.

If you are a person, who struggles with persistent, serious depression and who may have had or be having “suicidal thoughts,” the one thing I must say is, “Don’t.” or to quote from the old Bob Newhart as psychologist dealing with a neurotic person routine, “Stop it. Just stop it.” I do know how weak those... Continue Reading

Christianity “Unhitched” From Biblical Authority

Andy Stanley’s gospel proclamation is unhitched from biblical authority.

Pastor Stanley does not approach the unbeliever like Pastor Paul on Mars Hill who unashamedly proclaims the truth of creation (Acts.17:24, 25), of the historicity of Adam (26), of the importance of image-less worship (29), of the depth of humanity’s sinfulness and of God’s judgment through the resurrected Christ (30, 31). Most of these doctrines... Continue Reading

Institutional Betrayal: Secret Ingredient to PTSD

Institutions that don’t make efforts to prevent abuse within their community betray their members who believed they would be protected.

When a person trusts that a system designed to defend, respond, protect, or seek justice will do its job after an interpersonal trauma, and when that system either chooses not to respond (omission) or worse, chooses to lay blame at the feet of the victim (commission), institutional betrayal occurs.   We live in the world where human... Continue Reading

The ‘Heart’ of the Problem

The issue of school shootings is not a hardware problem; it is a software problem, and in particular, a heart problem

To be clear, simply removing guns from society will not fix our problems. Britain, one of the world’s most secular nations, has some of the toughest gun control laws in the world, and yet London’s murder rate is higher than that of New York. When laws were passed preventing Londoners who want to hurt others... Continue Reading

Pro-lifers Celebrate The Death Of California’s Euthanasia Law

Judge overturns the bill after ruling lawmakers passed it illegally.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra vowed to appeal the ruling, and Snyder anticipates a hard—but worthwhile—fight. She said the legalization of assisted suicide doesn’t affect just the terminally ill or those in great physical pain: “This is about how it will affect all patients, and ultimately what it does to a society when you say... Continue Reading

You Are Totally (Not) Depraved: How to Recover Positive Self-Image

Christians should have a positive view of themselves — in Christ.

While my wife and I shared the gospel with Ryan and Meg — strangers we met at the restaurant’s bar — we were discussing the bad news which made the good news good: that, by nature, all men and women were spiritually dead in their sin and found guilty before a holy God. Ryan did... Continue Reading

Why the Trinity is a Bad Argument for Trichotomy

Before jumping into the problems with assuming a tripartite nature of man because of the Trinity we must first see the historical issues surrounding Trichotomy.

The distinction made by the Trichotomist regarding soul and spirit is that the “soul is our intellect, will, and emotions, while the spirit is our God-consciousness.”[1] This distinction was central to the heresy of Apollinarianism which was condemned in 381 at the First Council of Constantinople.  Apollinarius was reacting to the heretics promoting Arianism, and... Continue Reading

Pastoral Anxiety

“Apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches” (II Cor. 11:28).

Ever since I became a pastor, I have found unusual comfort in this verse. It’s not that I have accomplished what Paul accomplished or suffered what he suffered, but every earnest minister feels this burden for the church. And Paul had several churches to burden him. The churches were full of infighting and backbiting. They... Continue Reading

Should I Stay Home from Church When Life Gets Hard?

What about when the spiritual and emotional pain seems too crippling to be at church?

The corporate gathering is to be a time of worship to the glory of God. As we worship together with gifted saints, we are fed, strengthened, transformed, encouraged, and equipped. That’s why the gathering exists. As the word of God is read, sang, prayed, pondered, and preached, God administers his care. So, to suggest avoiding... Continue Reading

Arrested in Chengdu

On the 10th anniversary of the Sichuan earthquake, Chinese authorities played catch-and-release with house church members who commemorated the disaster.

After the May 12, 2008, earthquake, house churches from all parts of China sent teams to help in the relief effort, which began a movement of Christian charities, as organizations provided aid, rebuilt houses, and planted churches. Wang, who at the time was not yet a full-time pastor, helped coordinate church teams that poured into... Continue Reading

Indonesian Churches Blasted by Family of Suicide Bombers

Christians outraged at “heinous and gory” terrorist attacks that killed and injured dozens of worshipers Sunday morning.

Diponegoro Indonesian Christian Church (GKI), Surabaya Center Pentecostal Church, and Santa Maria Tak Bercela Catholic Church—all in Surabaya, the second-largest city in the island-chain nation—suffered bombings carried out by six members of the same family, who are believed to be affiliated with Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), an Indonesian terrorist cell aligned with ISIS.   Suicide bombers launched... Continue Reading