Showing posts from March, 2019

The blessedness of tithing

Tithing, offerings, giving - when these words are brought up, sometimes they drive us to clinch our wallets a little tighter. Especially with tithing and offering, these words have come to develop a sort of bad reputation for many in the church world.  What do these words mean and how to they apply to our lives as Christians and as the New Testament Church? I would venture to say that so many people feel uneasy about tithing/offering because of the several cases of financial abuse that have come out over the years in various church scenarios.  Often, these stories center around larger congregations or megachurches where a pastor has taken the liberty of using the tithes/offerings given by his congregants for selfish and personal gain.  Cases of fraud, embezzlement, and outright thievery have stained many a local church's reputation because the leadership was dishonest with the funds. In other cases, where there has never been any misuse of tithes/offerings, people may refuse to

The deception of the 'love-only' Gospel....

I recently spoke with a pastor of a new and young congregation about the Gospel. He was wanting to know about the possibility of his congregation meeting in our church building on a different day for worship. During the "interview" process, the topic of the Gospel came up, how it is defined, and how we are to present it. This pastor shared that he likes to "preach the love of God because people's lives are hard enough already, so why burden them by talking about sin and God's judgment?" When I asked him if he believed we were all sinners ( Rom. 3:23 ), he did agree, but he did not agree that that needed to be preached. This struck a cord within me and was eerily reminiscent of an interview given by megachurch pastor, Joel Osteen, a few years ago. Osteen is no doubt a major proponent of this "love-only" gospel message - a message geared toward sharing the love and grace of God for all people without confronting the sin problem, much l

What exactly is 'faith?'

" Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen ."  - Heb. 11:1 Hebrews 11:1 , and actually the entire chapter, is probably the strongest section of Scripture on the subject of saving faith and what exactly it looks like.  It is almost certain that you have heard or read faith defined using Hebrews 11:1 .  This verse defines what faith is so clearly yet, do we in the Church genuinely understand and believe what biblical, saving faith truly is as defined in Hebrews 11? I remember talking one time with an unsaved coworker who had determined that Christians, and religious people in general, maintained a "blind faith" because no one today will ever meet Jesus in person, no one today was there when the Bible was written, and no one today can physically see God - therefore, his conclusion and definition of faith is simply a blind belief.  Many Christians may roll their eyes at this and then give a "churchy" answer as to what fai

Finding purpose in trials....

Trials and Tribulations – everyone has them. They come in many forms and at many times in our lives. Its guaranteed that at some point in our lives we will have a trial or a valley to go through. The general answer as to why we must go through difficult things and hard times is because we live in a cursed world that has been broken by sin. It started with Adam and Eve and sin has continued ever since. This curse from Genesis 3 will remain until Jesus comes back, judges and then makes all things new. As of this writing, you may be in the midst of a trial and if not yourself you know someone who is. You or someone you know is dealing with a health concern, a financial problem, a relationship difficulty, or any number of other problems that arrive without invitation and they stay far too long! Scripture has much to say about our trials and tribulations and, briefly, I would like to share with you 7 of those passages that help us to make sense of and find purpose in our various