October 1, 2022 @ 8:00 AM

Is discernment a spiritual gift that some believers have and other believers do not? Why is it easier for some people to discern when something is spiritually amiss, and others fail to notice? I have noticed that spiritual discernment is a lot less common than it used to be. Spiritual discernment sounds an alarm that something is wrong with an event, location, or words spoken. It seems like it used to be common for people to notice. It is like someone who has been driving for many years and can just “feel it” when another driver is about to cut them off or do something careless while driving. Inexperienced drivers have less built-in radar for all the possible risks around them. It is an acquired wisdom that comes with age and ...

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October 1, 2022 @ 8:00 AM

Jesus described it as two gates and two paths. He said, “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life and few are those who find it” (Matthew 7:13, 14). The reality is that the vast majority of people in the world has stepped through the wide gate onto the broad path and is heading the wrong way! That majority includes many in our lives too! They don’t realize it but this path won’t lead them to heaven but to destruction in hell. How did they get on this broad path? Perhaps they have listened to the voice of the unsaved culture and followed its dictates. Perhaps they ...

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October 1, 2022 @ 8:00 AM

You probably already know the answer to that question but let me elaborate on it and what the Bible says about Halloween. Let’s do a short walk through the history of the celebration. Here’s what the History website says concerning the origins of Halloween.

By the 9th century, the influence of Christianity had spread into Celtic lands, where it gradually blended with and supplanted older Celtic rites. In 1000 A.D., the church (i.e. Roman Catholic Church, my edit) made November 2 All Souls’ Day, a day to honor the dead. It’s widely believed today that the church was attempting to replace the Celtic festival of the dead with a related, church-sanctioned holiday.

All Souls’ Day was celebrated.........

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October 1, 2022 @ 8:00 AM

With apologies to C. S. Lewis who wrote the quintessential text on The Problem of Pain, here is my brief discussion of the issue of pain. Most of us are “pain avoidant.” We don’t want pain whether it’s physical, emotional, spiritual, relational, financial pain, or parental pain. I think it’s fair to say that we hate pain! Why? Pain gives us discomfort and we want the most comfortable life possible. Yet, is pain all bad? Why did God design us so that we feel pain? Can pain serve a good purpose in our lives? Here are my thoughts.

1. Pain warns us something is wrong.

Pain can be a blessing. When we feel any type of pain it’s telling us something is wrong; something is not working that should be. Like the ...

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September 1, 2022 @ 8:00 AM

Although it’s a short book in the Bible, only 25 verses in English or 335 words in Greek. It is a powerful book on how to deal with issues between friends. Here’s the backstory. Philemon is a slave owner whose slave, Onesimus, had stolen from his master, Philemon, and had run away. Onesimus had made his way to Rome where he crossed paths with the imprisoned Apostle Paul. Paul led Onesimus to faith in Christ Jesus and is now sending him back to his master, Philemon, presumably bearing this letter. Thus Paul is writing to Philemon as one friend to another.

How would Philemon receive Onesimus? Would he put him to death, the accepted fate of runaway slaves in the first century? Paul’s letter of intercession is a masterful ...

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September 1, 2022 @ 8:00 AM

One of the most fearful things for most Christians to do is to share their faith with others. They fear rejection. They fear not knowing what to say or stumbling over their words. They fear being accused of hypocrisy. So how can we overcome those fears and fulfill the Great Commission to go into all the world and share the Gospel (Mark 16:15)? There is a wonderful story in the Bible of an ordinary man who was used of God to share his faith in Jesus Christ to an unbeliever and lead that man to salvation. It is found in Acts 8:26-40. Here are seven different steps to take in sharing your faith in a way that won’t scare you to death:

  1. Obey the prompting of the Holy Spirit. 8:26, 29. Philip was one of the seven deacons of the Jerusalem...
  2. ...

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September 1, 2022 @ 8:00 AM

1990 was a tumultuous year for Elsie and me. I was out of the ministry and was selling commercial lighting. Elsie and I had begun attending Crystal Evangelical Free Church (now New Hope Church) in New Hope, MN. We were pretty burned out on church and chose to sit in the balcony of the church where we could see and not be seen. I can still recall the words of the new pastor, Stephen Paul Goold, on our (and his) first Sunday. After singing a solo (he had a great voice and had previously sung with the Day of Discovery singers in Florida), Stephen talked about the future of Crystal Free Church. He shared his vision of a growing church with a corresponding growing outreach to the community and the world. He then said these words, “Crystal ...

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September 1, 2022 @ 8:00 AM

If you want to know how something is supposed to function or look you need to go back to the original. The original sets the pattern for what it should be in the future. Over time copies of the original can become distorted whether it’s a photo, a document, or whatever. That is certainly the case with marriage. God’s original design for marriage was heterosexual monogamy between one man (Adam) and one woman (Eve) for a lifetime. Polygamous marriages, open marriages, homosexual marriages, cohabitation were never (and still aren’t) God’s intent or design for marriage. If you don’t believe me, go back and read Genesis 2 and read the prima facie evidence for marriage.

Along that line, if you read Genesis 2 you ...

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August 1, 2022 @ 8:00 AM

“Sound the Battle Cry!” written by William F. Sherwin and published in 1868 is now in Public Domain. It is a favorite gospel hymn sung by believers of all ages through the years since it was written. The Timeless Truths website indicates that the subject of the song is warfare, and it was based on Isaiah 59:19 and I Timothy 6:12.

Sound the battle cry! See, the foe is nigh;
Raise the standard high for the Lord;
Gird your armor on, stand firm every one;
Rest your cause upon His holy Word.

Refrain:
Rouse, then, soldiers, rally round the banner,
Ready, steady, pass the word along;
Onward, forward, shout aloud, “Hosanna!”
Christ is Captain of the mighty throng.

Strong to meet the foe, marching on we go,
While ...
...

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August 1, 2022 @ 8:00 AM

In John 11 we read the fascinating story of the death and resurrection of one of Jesus’ friends, a man named Lazarus. Lazarus and his two sisters, Mary and Martha, lived in the village of Bethany, about 2 miles east of Jerusalem. Jesus often stayed with these three single adults when He made pilgrimages to Jerusalem for the three major feasts: Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles. Jesus loved these three siblings.

Interestingly, Lazarus in Hebrew means “God has helped.” God the Son helped Lazarus fulfill his name when Jesus called him to come back to life. Lazarus’ story is fascinating. In the last week of Jesus’ life on earth, Mary sends word to Jesus that Lazarus has fallen sick and is near death. As His ...

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