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Showing posts from 2014

Never Die?

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Recently while evangelizing on the streets of Tampa, Florida, I talked with a man who claimed God told him he would never die. He affirmed this belief even after I quoted Hebrews 9:27, “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.” It amazes me how some individuals think they will be an exception and live forever on this earth. Although God wants us to have a long life (Psalm 91:16), we still live in a cursed world. People die unexpectedly every day from diseases, accidents, murders, and other tragedies.
John 11 contains a passage that appears to be contradictory...
25 Jesus said to her [referring to Martha], “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.  26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” 27 She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”
Scripture shows there are two different kinds of death: physical and s…

The End of the World...Two Years Later

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Remember the hoopla about the end of the world that was supposed to occur on December 21, 2012 (according to some people’s interpretation of the Mayan calendar)? Of course that didn’t happen. Those of you reading this are still alive and breathing.
Three years before that, the motion picture “2012” was released. It was well produced but biblically inaccurate since the movie showed the whole earth flooded by a great tsunami. God promised in Genesis 9:11, “...never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” In addition, the world will suffer through a seven-year tribulation period before the return of Jesus Christ. Some believers think we are in the tribulation right now. That won’t begin until the antichrist signs a seven-year peace treaty with Israel (Daniel 9:27).
One noteworthy event happened for me on “doomsday.” I had returned to my hometown of Fargo, North Dakota for the holidays and stopped to see my mother who was recovering from a stroke. For over 20 years I had prayed …

Let Your Light Shine

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This year a few big-budget motion pictures with Biblical themes have been released such as “Son of God”, “Noah”, “Exodus: Gods and Kings”, and the remake of “Left Behind.” Except for “Son of God”, I haven’t seen any of these movies. One reason is many Hollywood productions take creative liberties to where they misrepresent Scriptural truths.
Then there’s a film coming out on Christmas Day about a committed Christian but omits the gospel message. “Unbroken” is a biopic aboutLouis Zamperini, an Olympic track star turned World War II hero who survived a plane crash in the Pacific Ocean, spent 47 days drifting on a raft, and then was imprisoned and tortured by the Japanese for over two years. Eventually Zamperini returned to Japan to extend forgiveness to his former captors.
I’m already familiar with Zamperini’s life. When I worked at Billy Graham’s World Wide Pictures, one film we distributed was “Zamperini: Still Carrying the Torch.” This 37-minute documentary highlights one major event a…

The Mind of a Believer

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Some people have this idea that to be a Christian, you have to check your brain at the door. Recently an atheistic businessman published a LinkedIn article titled “Religious People have lesser IQ than non-believers!” In an attempt to back up his claim, the author included numerous graphs such as the one pictured here. He also added the caption “Charts speak for themselves.” 
We will now let God’s word speak for itself...
“The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” - Psalm 14:1 and 53:1
“...although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools” - Romans 1:21-22
“For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.” - Romans 8:6-7
"But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for …

Take Your Time

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Occasionally God uses secular songs to minister to me especially in my dreams. One example happened two months ago. I was in the Twin Cities area engaged to a woman who was starting a new job in Nashville. The original plan was for me to stay in Minnesota until my fiancée found a place to live for the two of us. Then I would move down to Tennessee and get married there.
Two days before leaving Minnesota, my fiancée asked me to ride with her because she didn’t want to make the trip alone. A friend of hers who had contacts in the Nashville area was to come along but cancelled out. At first I was against riding with my fiancée because she insisted on making an all-night drive in order to attend a prophetic meeting in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. She didn’t like my suggestion of waiting an extra day. 
Just after 1 AM the next morning, I woke up from a dream in which I was listening to the 1980 S. O. S. Band hit “Take Your Time (Do It Right).” I knew that was the Lord speaking to me and emailed …

The Global Warming Gospel

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Five years ago while I was walking through a business district in Bethesda, Maryland, a man from Greenpeace asked me to sign a petition to protest global warming. This man claimed the whole planet is getting warmer because of increasing carbon dioxide emissions. I responded by saying the global warming issue is a hoax and made reference to Genesis 8:22, “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease.” The Greenpeace activist (who I found out knew the Lord) admitted he couldn’t contest that Scripture.
Still there are activists trying to pressure people into preaching a global warming gospel. Last year the state of Maryland passed what became known as the “Rain Tax.” One Maryland county went so far as to offer churches an exemption if they preach on global warming. Over 30 churches have applied for this exemption, which could save them an average of $744 per year. Some pastors have even agreed to begin “green ministries…

New Things

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As a kid I looked forward to the 21st century figuring we would be living like The Jetsons. I assumed our manned space program would travel throughout our solar system and beyond. Although our society continues to make technological advances, I believe we are not progressing like we should.
One reason for this is some folks love nostalgia too much. This is evident by the numerous oldies stations on the radio and networks like “TV Land” showing reruns of old programs 24/7. While it’s fun to occasionally look back at the “good old days,” people who live in the past usually don’t make an effort to go forward in life.
When I worked as a nightclub disc jockey in the 1980s, I realized that many people stop listening to new music when they reach a certain age and prefer hearing songs they grew up with. The increasing popularity of classic rock and “Big Chill” music was the main reason I stopped deejaying secular events. I would later learn my aversion to playing oldies was Scriptural. Jesus sa…

Defending the Faith

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This Tuesday is Veteran’s Day in America (known in other countries as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day). Every year on November 11, military men and women are honored for defending freedoms we often take for granted.
Some of you may never spend time serving your country’s armed forces. But if you are a Christian, then you are a soldier in the army of the Lord and called to defend the faith. 1 Peter 3:15 tells us to “always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.” The New Living Translation of this verse reads, “if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it.” 
The apostle Paul faced many situations where he found himself “…in the defense and confirmation of the gospel.” (Philippians 1:7) While evangelizing, I regularly run into folks who oppose Christianity because they follow an alternative belief system. Whenever possible, I give these people at least two Scriptures to counter what they…

God's Secrets

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Last year when the CEO of Starbucks publicly voiced his support for same-sex marriage, I made a decision not to buy any of their products again. Since then I've been at their coffee shops only when with someone who insisted on stopping by there. A few days ago I went into Starbucks with a friend who after getting his coffee handed me two cards redeemable for free downloads. One of them was for a song called Secrets” by Mary Lambert. Recalling the singer was featured in the gay marriage anthem "Same Love", I figured her new song was something I wouldn't want to hear. Sure enough, an online search revealed the lyrics promote lesbianism. In the chorus, Mary sings...

I know I'm not the only one
Who spent so long attempting to be someone else
Well I'm over it
I don't care if the world knows what my secrets are

While other homosexuals proclaim they are proud to be gay, there are individuals who try keeping their sins a secret. But even if nobody else finds out …

Majoring on Minors

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I have a friend who for a long time was a “pre-trib” rapture believer and talked of debating an outspoken “post-trib” minister he allows to have meetings in his home. Having been to one of those meetings, I kept discouraging my friend from trying to correct this minister who wasn’t apologetic after I pointed out the inaccuracy of one of his claims.
Then last month following a church service, my friend announced he now believes the church will be raptured “mid-trib.” When I gave a reason why I cannot agree with him on that, he got out his cell phone and was about to call someone to help defend his newly-embraced doctrine. Fortunately that got interrupted when my friend was called forward by two altar workers to receive prayer. I then quietly slipped out of the church.
It’s one thing for Christians to reason together so we can all grow in knowledge of the Scriptures. Unfortunately, some focus on promoting doctrines that have no effect on people’s eternal destinies. Occasionally when I’m o…

On God’s Time

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One sign we are living in the last days is an increasing number of people not keeping their promises. While we might think of individuals who dishonor their marriage vows or refuse to pay their bills, another way people break promises is not being punctual. The dictionary defines punctual as “happening or doing something at the agreed or proper time.”

If we tell someone we’ll pick him up in 5 minutes, we shouldn’t purposely arrive 30 minutes later. I have a close friend who has a weakness in this area. At least he apologizes when showing up late. On the other hand, I’ve dealt with people who frequently dawdle and don’t think it’s a big deal. What they are saying by their actions is, “My time is more valuable than your time.”

Some cultures don’t value punctuality as much as others. While ministering in Germany a few years ago, I noticed the Germans themselves were often on time but a lot of the migrants there weren’t. One night I had to wait around for an Asian man I was staying with who…

Copy It Right

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How would you feel if you wrote a book, recorded a song, or produced a movie and someone duplicated and distributed copies of your work without permission? I’ve seen Christian artists and ministers respond differently to this. Some don’t mind because they see it as a way to get the gospel out to more people. I like what Mike Bickle says regarding his sermon notes he makes available publicly, “If you’re going to copy it, copy it right.”
On the other hand, a friend of mine was recently threatened with legal action by a ministry in response to him posting on YouTube a 18-second clip of theirs included in a video produced by another minister. I can relate to this ministry being protective of their videos that are made public. Certainly I wouldn’t like it if someone posted one of me preaching if it was edited in such a way that my intended message was distorted (so-called “watchdog ministries” are notorious for doing this). However, legal action should only be considered as a last resort. 1…

Rapture Bashers

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In response to this weekend’s release of the “Left Behind” remake starring Nicholas Cage (which I haven’t seen yet at the time of this writing), my Facebook News Feed has been flooded with negative comments. Many of which were posted even before the movie hit the theaters! 

The criticism of “Left Behind” has mostly been about it depicting the aftermath of the rapture. Some Christians believe there won’t be a rapture at all. One Facebook friend went so far as to label those who preach a pre-tribulation rapture “heretics.” That’s a strong accusation considering that would include Tim LaHaye (the co-author of the original “Left Behind” series), Perry Stone, John Hagee, Hal Lindsey, Jack Van Impe and numerous other men of God.

For the sake of time and to discourage online debates on the subject, I will avoid explaining in this article why I believe in a pre-trib rapture of the church. However, I need to point out a few things to any rapture bashers reading this. First of all, not all pre-tr…

Your Spirit Speaks

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Earlier this month I felt led of the Lord to produce a video of my “Bad Evangelism” teaching posted last year in this blog. It resulted in an exchange of emails with a Facebook friend who tried promoting universalism on my wall. I attempted to correct my friend of this false doctrine. Despite my efforts to speak the truth in love, she overacted by making false accusations and calling me a Pharisee. 

Nevertheless, the exchange of emails brought up a situation I hadn’t considered before. This woman revealed she has an autistic daughter who cannot speak. Because of that, she asked if I thought her daughter would go to hell based on Romans 10:9 since she could not confess with her mouth that Jesus is Lord.

I replied by pointing out there are testimonies of people becoming born again while in a coma. In his mini-book “I Went to Hell”, Kenneth E. Hagin wrote about receiving salvation during a near-death experience...

As I was going up through the darkness, I began to pray. My spirit, the man w…

A Pain in the Butt

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Last Sunday a friend and I went to the Minnesota Vikings home opener against the New England Patriots. One key player was missing in action. Running back Adrian Peterson was deactivated for the game due to child abuse charges resulting from him using a wooden stick to punish his four-year-old son. After a brief activation by the Vikings, Adrian has now been banned from all team activities until his legal situation is resolved.

Seeing released photos of the cuts and bruises on Adrian’s son was disturbing even though that kind of corporal punishment is common in Texas where Adrian is from. Nevertheless, I pray Adrian will be redeemed from this incident because he’s cooperating with authorities plus he’s my brother in Christ. Last year I met the pastor of a church Adrian attended at that time.

In these days of political correctness, parents face increasing challenges with raising children. Unless your kids are homeschooled or enrolled in a Christian learning institution, they are likely bo…

The Law is Good

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Some Christians get really defensive when they hear about the need to obey God’s word. This past Wednesday I witnessed to a dollar store employee who was taking a smoke break outside. She claimed to know the Lord but wasn’t going to church anywhere. When I tried pointing out how Hebrews 10:25 commands us not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together, she walked away saying, “I have my own beliefs!” 

Part of the problem is ministers not presenting a balanced perspective of God. Just as some preach too much about God’s judgment, others totally disregard (and in some cases distort) the Bible’s warnings on disobeying His commandments. l frequently hear believers who defiantly boast, “I am not under law but under grace.” They associate obedience with legalism. 

There are numerous Scriptures that talk about treasuring God’s laws. Let’s look at a few from the largest chapter in the Bible...

“I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.” - Psalm 119:16

“Open my eyes,…