Can Christians Lose Their Salvation? (Hebrews 6)

We should recall (and God never forgets) how he has turned our hearts toward himself.

The gravity of such resolute rebellion, akin to Judas’s treachery, explains why it places the apostate’s heart beyond the possibility of repentance. God, who sovereignly grants repentance to rebels (Acts 3:26; 11:18), will not intervene (as he could) to turn around those who have willfully walked away.   4For it is impossible, in the case... Continue Reading

The Cost of Surrounding Yourself with Negative People

Hollis and Osteen teach that we need to reject and avoid people who cause us to feel negative emotions or think negative thoughts.

According to the principles of positive thinking, our thoughts are the power that change and shape the world around us. To get ahead in life we need to get rid of anyone who holds us back. I am convinced this principle is abhorrent and will offer three reasons why.   I recently read Rachel Hollis’s runaway... Continue Reading

What Is the Greatest of All Protestant “Heresies”?

Perhaps justification by faith? Perhaps Scripture alone, or one of the other Reformation watchwords?

If justification is not by faith alone, in Christ alone, by grace alone — if faith needs to be completed by works; if Christ’s work is somehow repeated; if grace is not free and sovereign, then something always needs to be done, to be “added” for final justification to be ours. That is exactly the... Continue Reading

Stop Living In The Moment

there are few better ways for the church to be counter-cultural salt and light than to show the world how to stop living in the moment.

If we can categorize time into the past, present and future, Scripture would lead us to see the present as taking last place in importance. 1 Peter 1:3 reminds us that we have been “born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable,... Continue Reading

Trickle-Down Theology

What we know and believe to be true in our heads ought to find its way to our hearts.

Doctrine refers to our set of beliefs about a given topic. In The Christian Life Sinclair Ferguson writes, “The conviction that Christian doctrine matters for Christian living is one of the most important growth points of the Christian life” (2).  Just as a plant needs water and sunlight, if we desire to grow in faith and grace,... Continue Reading

Does Hebrews Teach That Jesus Was The First Christian?

Dissatisfied with a Savior who saves sinners from the wrath to come, many have made Jesus into a this-wordly savior.

Recently I ran across the claim that when Hebrews 2:10 and 12:2 describe Jesus as our archēgos (ἀρχηγός) it means, essentially, that Jesus was the first believer. Like Baxter and Shepherd, the idea being taught is that Jesus had faith and works and Christians have faith and works. The underlying conviction is that Jesus’ faith and works... Continue Reading

Hiding

Be honest. Is there some place in life where you’re hiding the real you?

Let me pastor you. Did you know that one of the most comforting messages in the entire Bible is that, in all of our sin, weakness, and failure, we don’t have to hide from God? In the midst of all your self-imposed difficulty and foolish life decisions, God will never respond to you in shock... Continue Reading

Thank God We Do/Don’t Know the Future

As Christians we have confidence that there is nothing—not one thing in all of time or space—that is beyond the knowledge of God.

Because God knows the future in exhaustive detail, he could have chosen to reveal the future in exhaustive detail. He could tell you and me about every event that will befall us, every blessing we will receive, every trial we will endure. But he hasn’t. And I am grateful.   There are occasions in life... Continue Reading

Limping along through Prayer

Neglect and failure in our personal prayer life can easily be ignored because ‘Who is going to know?’

One of the less obvious passages in the Bible that may help us in this area is the account of Jacob wrestling with God at Peniel recorded in Genesis (32.22-31). Although it is often used as a paradigm for praying that is misused by treating the text more as an allegory; it does, nevertheless, offer... Continue Reading

The Place of Godly Ambition

Is ambition bad, or should we cultivate it in ourselves and in our children?

When we do a search for the word ambition in the Bible—looking through various English translations—we see it in multiple texts translated from several Greek words. The word ambition is employed in both positive and negative contexts. Negatively, James condemns those who have “bitter jealousy and selfish ambition” (James 3:14). Positively, Paul “makes it [his] ambition to preach the gospel” (Rom.... Continue Reading