Showing posts from August, 2015

Much Ado About Megachurches

Some Christians and many nonbelievers are critical of churches that have unusually large congregations. One photo I saw online showed the huge sanctuary of a well-known church with the added caption, “Instead of building mega-churches, how about building mega homeless shelters?” How many of these critics practice what they preach by letting homeless people live in their houses? Very few I suspect. Incidentally, the church in question (Lakewood Church in Houston) has ministries reaching out to the needs of the homeless. When evangelizing I occasionally meet people who say they don’t like going to large churches because they seem so impersonal. Walking into a new church can be a somewhat intimidating experience particularly for those who haven’t been in one for a while. That’s why many fellowships have greeters who go out of their way to make first-time visitors feel welcome. Nevertheless, a person can feel lonely in any church whether there are only ten or thousands in attendance

Do Children Go To Hell?

As an evangelist, one false doctrine that really irritates me is professing Christians denying hell’s existence. It’s baffling how they can do this even after reading Revelation 20. One Facebook friend recently posted this photo and added the comment: “ The concept of Hell, where people suffer and burn for eternity, is an outdated doctrine based upon fear used to control people in the Church. It should be relegated to the history books.” The Bible itself is a history book. It includes accounts of people being tormented in hell. Look at what Jesus said in Luke 16... 22 So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried.  23 And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 “Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this fl

The King of Rock n Roll and the King of Kings

Today is the 38th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death. Although I wasn’t a big fan of the singer, I can remember where I was when hearing the news about him passing away. My family and I were at a Neil Sedaka concert in Fargo, North Dakota. Neil announced from the stage Elvis died that afternoon and then sang his composition “Solitaire” (a hit by the Carpenters but also sung by Elvis) as a dedication to the late singer. Elvis was often referred to as "The King of Rock 'n' Roll” or simply “The King,” a title he repeatedly resisted. Having been raised in an Assembly of God church, Elvis often declared there’s only one King, the Lord Jesus Christ. Early in his career, Elvis confessed to his pastor, the Reverend James Hamill: “Pastor, I am the most miserable young man you have ever seen. I have got more money than I can ever spend. I have thousands of fans out there, and I have a lot of people who call themselves my friends, but I am miserable. I am not doing a lot

Obey the Gospel

Doctrinal debates sometimes result from comments I post on my Facebook page. I don’t mind this as long as our discussions remain civil and don’t promote heresy. Isaiah 1:18 encourages us to “reason together.” Yesterday I modified and reposted a powerful statement seen on another friend’s wall: “Grace alone did not save Noah and his family...obedience did.” One friend wrote in response, “ It’s Christ's obedience that saved us.” It’s true Christ did His part to make salvation available to everyone but a covenant involves two parties in agreement. A couple doesn’t become married if only one partner says, “I do.” Likewise, someone cannot become part of the Bride of Christ unless he or she says “I do” to Jesus.  As I pondered my friend’s statement, I recalled how the New Testament talks about obeying the gospel ... “But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, ‘Lord, who has believed our report?’” - Romans 10:16 “in flaming fire taking vengeance on thos

Hunting Allowed

I’ve never had much interest in hunting. The only time I’ve done so happened when I was 19. One day I went for a country drive with a friend who brought along his BB gun. Just for fun he shot at birds sitting on road signs and telephone lines. My friend encouraged me to take a few shots and I killed just one bird. Since then, the closest I’ve gone hunting was playing Duck Hunt, a video game featuring a dog that laughs every time a player fails to hit any ducks. This past week a huge controversy erupted over a Minnesota man’s recent bowhunting trip in Zimbabwe. A dentist named Walter Palmer killed a lion that was part of an Oxford University research project. This lion named Cecil had been lured from the grounds of a wildlife preserve by Palmer’s safari guides.  In response to accusations of poaching, Dr. Palmer issued a statement saying he thought he had hunted legally and offered an apology. Nevertheless, the dentist received death threats plus had hundreds of protesters st