Why Do Churches Close?

During the winter, I often reside at a missionary house in Tampa, Florida. Not far from there are two churches that recently closed its doors. One of them focused on meeting the needs of the homeless. The pastor vacated the property after the landlord announced the rent was doubling. For now, the pastor and his wife will conduct park outreaches like they’ve done before.
The other was a small Assembly of God church where I sometimes attended services and Bible studies. After being there for over six years, the pastors decided to sell the property to a Hispanic fellowship. While it may have been disappointing for these pastors not to oversee a growing congregation, souls still got saved there. Three months ago during a Bible study, I got to lead an occasional attendee to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Our labor in the Lord is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58).
Four years ago, a megachurch in Minnesota that I visited a few times had temporarily shut down. North Heights Lutheran Ch…

Must We Baptize?

Shortly after I came into this world nearly 56 years ago (tomorrow is my birthday), I was sprinkled as a baby at the Lutheran church my parents attended. It’s one thing to dedicate your children to the Lord. However, there are no examples of infant baptism in the Bible. Even Jesus was an adult when He was dunked in the Jordan River by John the Baptist.
Some Christians insist water baptism is necessary to be saved. One Scripture often quoted by them is 1 Peter 3:21, “There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” Many other verses such as Ephesians 2:8-9 make it clear salvation is not based on our works. The getting-wet part doesn’t save us but appealing to God for a good conscience. The thief on the cross couldn’t get water baptized when he cried out to Jesus but still received eternal life (Luke 23:40-43). 
Then there are Christians who argue if …

A Ride on the Trump Train

Recently I got to see the President of the United States in person for the first time. My friend John and I attended the Evangelicals for Trump rally at King Jesus church in Miami, Florida. A few days before I kept perceiving the Lord wanted me to go to Miami but didn’t know why. Then shortly after Christmas, John called me from his home in the Washington, DC area. He asked about staying with me at the missionary house I’ve been living in Tampa. I had goosebumps when John mentioned going to Miami after that. Soon I learned Donald Trump was having a rally there on January 3rd.
Originally I thought of riding with John without going to the rally. I had it on my heart to evangelize on the streets of Miami. John attended previous Trump rallies where people stood in line for hours with no guarantee they would get inside. But on our way through Southern Florida, I felt more of a stirring to be at the rally. During pit stops at McDonald’s I got to lead three people to the Lord (and later had a…

Dead Raisers Come Forth!

One of the worship leaders at Bethel Church in Redding, California recently experienced a tragedy. The two-year-old daughter of Kalley Heiligenthal suddenly died.For a while, Kalley and her husband Andrew plus the leadership of Bethel asked everyone of faith to pray that little Olive would be raised back to life. Unfortunately for them, that didn’t happen. I was disturbed to see mostly nasty comments in response to a CBN News article about the Heiligenthals. If those critics had a child that just died, wouldn’t they want to see him or her come back to life? 
Raising the dead is mentioned several places in the Bible. However, many Christians scoff at the idea of modern-day resurrections. A few years ago, I got together with an old friend for coffee. Her interest in going to Germany prompted me to show her photos from the times I went there. Some were from a Reinhard Bonnke meeting in Berlin. During which, a Nigerian pastor testified of being raised from the dead. My friend’s attitude su…

Christmas Traditions vs. Truth

Christmas has many traditions associated with it. Unfortunately, there are religious ideas about the holiday without Biblical foundations. One reason for that is certain Christmas carols. For example, “The Little Drummer Boy” sings “I am a poor boy, too.” Jesus temporarily gave up heavenly riches but that doesn’t mean He was born poor. His stepfather Joseph had the resources to travel to Bethlehem and would’ve spent money on lodging if there was room for them at the inn. Meanwhile, a group of wise men brought treasures to the Messiah.
Speaking of which, most people assume there were three wise men as in the song “We Three Kings of Orient Are.” Matthew chapter 2 doesn’t mention the exact number of wise men but refers to three types of gifts they had: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Notice these gifts were presented to a “young Child”…not a baby. Verse 11 also mentions them coming “into the house”…not before a manger. Therefore, the wise men didn’t see Jesus at the same time as the shephe…

Chickening Out?

The fast food chain Chick-fil-A is known for being closed on Sundays and promoting Christian values. Back in 2012, founder and then-CEO Truett Cathy spoke out against same-sex marriage. Threats of protests by gay activists prompted politician/minister Mike Huckabee to spearhead a Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day. Long lines of customers arrived to show their support.
Since then, Chick-fil-A continues to be assaulted for their “anti-LGBT” stance. New restaurants opening up in certain cities have faced protesters. What’s ironic is hours after the 2016 gay nightclub massacre in Orlando occurred, the local Chick-fil-A opened that Sunday to provide free meals to first responders, blood donors and victims’ families.
Last month, Chick-fil-A announced they will stop giving donations to the Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Many Christians interpret this as Chick-fil-A cowering to the homosexual agenda. Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council stated, “Many people have foug…

Making God Famous

On this day thirty-nine years ago, musician John Lennon was shot to death outside his apartment in New York City. Years before as a member of the Beatles, John made the infamous remark, “We are more popular than Jesus.”
To some people, the Beatles are still more popular with them because they don’t know the real Jesus. That’s why God needs His people to go into the world and share the full gospel with others. Unbelievers need to hear about a Jesus that will heal their broken hearts, cure their diseases, and of course, forgive all their sins.
There was a time when John Lennon had a genuine interest in Jesus. According to Steve Turner’s book The Gospel According to the Beatles, John became a regular viewer of that era’s most influential TV preachers. In 1972 he sent a letter to Oral Roberts that the evangelist later shared publicly. Here are some of the comments Lennon wrote…
“The point is this, I want happiness. I don't want to keep on with drugs. Paul [McCartney] told me once, ‘You m…