Posts

Laying On of Hands

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Years ago while working for Billy Graham ’s film ministry, our department started the week with a chapel service. Initially, any employee could sign up to preach a twenty minute message. One Monday morning, I taught on healing. At the end, I asked those who needed healing to raise their hands. Then I instructed those who sat next to them to lay hands on that person. I’d seen that done before in various churches.   The next day one of my coworkers approached me and said my message “offended” some people’s religious beliefs. I suspect  he  was the one offended. No one else complained to me. However, our chapel services soon changed. Only supervisors were allowed to give the message. I wasn’t one of them. Laying hands on people shouldn’t offend believers who know what the word of God says. It’s part of 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 lay hands on the sick, and they will rec

Not a Tragic Error

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Two days ago, the U.S. Supreme Court made a 6-3 decision to overturn the controversial Roe v. Wade ruling in 1973. That doesn’t outlaw abortion in this nation but will make it more difficult in states that decide to ban it altogether. In my birthplace of Fargo, North Dakota, the state’s only abortion clinic has already made plans to move across the Red River to Moorhead, Minnesota. While I haven’t been as passionate about pro-life causes as some of my friends, I applaud the Supreme Court’s decision. Abortion not only terminates the lives of unborn children but scars the lives of women who get one. Nevertheless, numerous celebrities are speaking out against this decision. Some individuals have responded with violence. What’s tragic is how political figures are reacting. Joe Biden (a professing Catholic) called the Supreme Court’s decision “a tragic error.” Former First Lady Michelle Obama said she’s “heartbroken.” Hillary Clinton borrowed a phrase from Franklin Roosevelt by saying t

Your Daddy’s So Proud of You

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Some people have wrong ideas about God because of a not-so-good relationship with their earthly father. One night at a house meeting, the host played a song on his stereo by Keith Ferrante called “Your Daddy’s So Proud”, which is a love song from our Heavenly Father. A friend of mine got upset with the song. He came close to walking out the door. Fortunately, I convinced him to stay and spent time ministering to him. That is not the first time this has happened. At another house meeting a few months earlier, this same man got offended after hearing “Your Daddy’s So Proud.” He claimed, “God doesn’t want us proud. Therefore, God shouldn’t be proud of us.” I pointed out that if our kids do well in school or accomplish something worthwhile, we would likely tell them, “I’m proud of you.” The New Oxford American Dictionary defines pride as “feeling deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one's own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from

The Hellbound Train

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Since becoming an evangelist, I’ve had dreams of witnessing to others. Lately, they've been more frequent. This past Wednesday morning I dreamed of talking with a boy who asked, “Why would anyone want to go to heaven?” I replied, “Why would anyone want to go to hell?” Since this boy had a nonchalant attitude about eternity, I asked if he ever burned his hand. Then I said, “Now imagine your whole body burning…forever!” The dream reminded me of a sermon I heard years ago by my former pastor Mac Hammond . The sermon was inspired by this poem titled “The Hellbound Train” (a/k/a “Tom Gray’s Dream”) often attributed to Retta M. Brown… Tom Gray lay down on the barroom floor.   He drank so much he could drink no more.  So he fell asleep with a troubled brain and he dreamed that he had rode on a hell-bound train.  The engine with blood was red and damp and brilliantly lit with a brimstone lamp.  An imp, for fuel was shoveling bones while the furnace rang with a thousand groans. 

Personal Pentecosts (Testimonies of Tongues)

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Today is Pentecost Sunday. The New Oxford American Dictionary defines  Pentecost  as  “the Christian festival celebrating the descent of the Holy Spirit on the disciples of Jesus after his Ascension, held on the seventh Sunday after Easter.”  Most full gospel churches I’ve attended don’t make this day a special occasion (although I heard many sermons on this topic). Being filled with the Holy Spirit can be an everyday experience. While doing one-on-one evangelism, my focus is getting people saved. However, I have led a few individuals to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit . One of the first times happened in Pensacola, Florida. I stopped at a church to talk with the pastor. While waiting in the lobby, a man walked in off the street. I found out John stayed at the Salvation Army and was “trying to get saved.” So I led him in the sinner’s prayer . Then for the next fifteen minutes John and I had an impromptu Bible study. Meanwhile, some ladies in another room had an intercessory pra

Certainty of Salvation

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While evangelizing, you will sometimes encounter individuals who claim nobody can know if they will spend eternity in heaven. Yet many Scriptures guarantee eternal life for those who know the Lord. Romans 10:9 says, “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Verse 13 from the same chapter reads, “For ‘whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.’” Whenever someone tells me no one can know their eternal destiny, and I have a friend with me, I turn to my friend and ask, “Do you know for sure you’re going to heaven when your life ends?” After my friend answers “yes,” I boldly declare that I’m spending eternity in heaven, and that God confirms His word in the mouth of two or three witnesses. Then I quote 1 John 5:12-13,  “He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. T hese things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, tha

8 Worship Songs I Could Do Without

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T his past Wednesday, I attended a Volunteer Appreciation Night at Living Word Christian Center . Since I still occasionally evangelize with them, Pastor Nick Kinn encouraged me to attend this event. The gathering began with free pizza, a taco bar, and other refreshments served in the lobby. Then we moved into the sanctuary for a special meeting. One thing we did was play a trivia game via our smartphones. Among the questions shown on the video screen was “Which worship song does Tim Amstutz (the worship leader) like the least?” The correct answer was “He Is Exalted.” That reminded me of an article I recently read titled “10 Worship Songs I’d Be Fine with Never Singing Again (And Why).” I thought of compiling a list of my own but didn’t want to publicly criticize songs the Holy Spirit has used to minister to others. Then again, just because a song is “Christian” doesn’t mean we have to like it. I’m sure the Lord doesn’t like religious songs with lyrics embalmed with unbelief. Plea