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Showing posts from March, 2016

Resurrection Power

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An objection some people bring up regarding the gospel is comparing Jesus to other religious figures such as Buddha and Mohammed. My usual response is quoting what Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” 
I also like to point out what happens when Christians obey the Great Commission. Jesus said in Mark 16:17-18, “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” I’ve yet to see someone healed in the name of Allah or Buddah.
Another commandment Jesus gave His disciples was to “raise the dead.” (Matthew 10:8) While I personally haven’t seen a dead body come back to life, I know of other ministers God used to restore life to individuals who briefly died. Romans 4:17 says that God “…gives life to the de…

In Defense of Joel Osteen

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One of the most well-known and controversial ministers today is Joel Osteen of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. Pastor Joel oversees the largest congregation in the United States plus reaches millions through television, satellite radio, and has written several best-selling books. Some Christians criticize Osteen’s motivational messages because they think he needs to preach more about repentance. Others disapprove of Joel’s lack of theological training. Then again, some of the early apostles were considered “unlearned and ignorant men.” (Acts 4:13)
Eight years ago in Washington, DC, I attended one of Joel Osteen’s outreach events called “A Night of Hope.” Joel ministered that night on “detoxifying” our thought life. The service concluded with an invitation for salvation that was much longer than what Joel does on TV. That gave me a greater respect for him.
AFacebook friend once posted the above photo of Joel Osteen’s first book “Your Best Life Now” side-by-side with a parody featuring…

Why Do Churches Close?

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This past week I was surprised to learn from the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s web site that a local megachurch is closing its doors. North Heights Lutheran Church in Arden Hills, Minnesota is conducting its final service today. Founded in 1946 with a 450 seat sanctuary, NHLC had grown to a peak of 3,400 weekly worshippers that met at two locations. In recent years, attendance dwindled back down to a few hundred.
I first became familiar with North Heights in 1996. One of my co-workers at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association was a member there. Later that year I visited the church for the first time when Randy Clark spoke during a conference. In 2000 I attended meetings at NHLC that featured videos by Bill Gothard. Nine years later, I got to hear John Paul Jackson minister there. Having been raised in a traditional Lutheran church, it encouraged me to see another Lutheran church having guest speakers who function more in the supernatural things of God.
Various reasons have surfaced reg…

The Name of the Lord

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In Matthew 1:21, the angel Gabriel told Joseph (regarding his wife Mary), “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.” The Amplified Bible further states that Jesus is the Greek form of the Hebrew name for Joshua (“Yeshua”), which means Savior.
Occasionally I meet people who prefer to call the Son of God by alternative names. A few years ago while in New York City, I visited a church where the Lord was usually referred to as Yeshua. If I'm witnessing to a Jewish person, I'll use the name Yeshua. Otherwise, I call Him Jesus.
Isaiah 9:6 says, “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” I believe the Lord doesn't mind His people calling Him by different names if done reverently. Married people refer to their spouses by a variety of names: “Honey”, “Sweethea…