Digging in Deeper: 2 Timothy 4:3-4

“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

We live in this day now.  The power and influence of the church has been steadily eroding in the West for more than a generation.  A good argument can be made that this has been a progression that started back in the 19th century and has continued apace with only a few interruptions since. Read the rest…

Morning Musings: 2 Corinthians 11:14-15

“And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.  So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness.  Their end will correspond to their deeds.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Not everything that looks good is good.  Consider a poison dart frog of the Amazon rainforests.  They are beautiful, brightly colored little frogs.  And yet, to touch them could be deadly.  Just because Satan is evil, doesn’t mean he always or even often looks the part.  Much more often he “disguises himself as an angel of light.”  In other words, he looks like something that is good in order to lead us to something that is bad. Read the rest…

A Final Word on Reality

In this final part of the teaching series, A Word on Reality, we at last wrap up John’s masterful letter.  In the end we find a strong reaffirmation of God’s testimony about Jesus and a final call to live comfortably within the borders of reality.  It is only there that we will find the life for which we most long.  Keep reading for more.

 

A Final Word on Reality

Well, we have finally reached the end of our journey through 1 John.  And what a journey it has been!  We have come a long way and have covered a lot of ground since the beginning of July.  Some of it has been very encouraging and some has been pretty hard-hitting.  What I have tried my best to do, though, throughout this series is to leave you with a clear outline of the boundaries of reality.  Surely not all of this life is black and white, but life according to the law of the kingdom is a simple thing.  It’s not easy, but it is simple: believe in Jesus Christ the Son of God and act in the light of that belief in every circumstance of your life.  Piece of cake, right?  Let’s be real here—that is, after all, what all of this has been about.  Reality is rarely a breeze, but it is always right.  And the call of not only this letter, but of our entire lives is to live in God’s reality, not the world’s fantasy.  Before finishing out the letter this morning, let’s look back over where we’ve been so everything is fresh. Read the rest…

Test Every Spirit

In this past Sunday’s installment of A Word on Reality, we paused with John to be reminded once again how we can know what’s true and what’s not.  In a world that is awash in different voices claiming to have the corner of the truth market, how do we figure out which voices are worth heeding and which are to be tossed out with the garbage?  Keep reading to find out…

 

Test Every Spirit

If I were to ask you what the fastest growing religious affiliation in this country is according to recent survey data, what would you guess it to be?  Let’s take a look at the broad categories starting with the group “religious, Christian.”  From 1990-2008 the number of adults identifying themselves as part of a mainline Christian denomination (most Methodists, Presbyterians, Episcopals, Lutherans, and the like) in the U.S. shrank by about 10%, or a total loss of 3.5 million members.  The number of Baptists grew by about 6% or a little over two million people.  Folks identifying themselves as either Pentecostals or simply nondenominational of some sort grew by 40% and 25%, respectively.  And, just to round things out, the number of Catholics grew about 25%, although most of that was from immigration, not conversion.   Read the rest…