Showing posts from January, 2016

Kicked Out of Church

Church should be a safe place for believers. Unfortunately, no fellowship is perfect. Even pastors can sometimes get in the flesh and act in ways inconsistent with Scripture. A friend told me about one church he went to where the congregation took turns giving a short sermon since the pastor wasn’t there that particular Sunday. My friend didn’t have time to complete his message but the handouts he gave revealed a doctrine the leadership disagreed with. A couple of weeks later when my friend returned to this church, the pastor instructed him not to come back there again. Assuming my friend told this story accurately, I thought the pastor acted too hastily. He could have privately discussed the matter with my friend before possibly excommunicating him. In Matthew 18, Jesus taught us the right way to confront someone in error... 15 “ Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. 16 But i

A Moral and Biblical Case Against Alcohol

This past Wednesday was my 52nd birthday. Years ago I had looked forward to having birthday drinks in bars. Nowadays I consider myself a teetotaler. I’ve seen firsthand the devastation alcoholic beverages can bring. During my twenties, I frequented nightclubs and beer parties. One night I was arrested for drunk driving. Eventually, I plea-bargained to lesser charges but still had to pay over $400 in towing charges, fines, and court costs. Two other times I went to the hospital for stitches after being attacked by men who were intoxicated. One of them was a roommate. Family and friends have also been negatively affected by drinking. My mother grew up in a home where her father physically abused the family when drunk. One of my uncles died from alcoholic poisoning. Another former roommate of mine was killed when his car collided with a drunk driver going the wrong direction on the freeway. A few months after giving my life to the Lord in 1991, I made the decision to shun a

The Ultimate Gamble

Once there was a man who for days prayed for God to let him win the lottery. Despite his persistent begging, nothing happened. Finally after pestering the Lord one last time, this man heard a booming voice: “Give Me a break! Buy a ticket!” People hoping to become instant millionaires spend billions of dollars every year on lottery tickets. Last night’s Powerball jackpot was worth a record $900 million. The odds of someone winning that were 1 in 292.2 million. It’s often been said that you are more likely to be struck by lightning than winning the lottery. Do you know anyone who has been struck by lightning? Years ago Americans had to flock to places like Las Vegas and Atlantic City to gamble. Now there are state lotteries and casinos all over the country. As a result, the number of “problem gamblers” has sharply increased ruining the lives of many families. Just like with alcohol consumption, some argue gambling is okay if done in moderation. One might ask, “What about sweepsta

Time Won’t Forgive Sin

When I’m evangelizing and meet individuals who think they will go to heaven for being a good person, I point out that all of us have broken God’s laws by lying and disobeying our parents. Nevertheless, some try to justify themselves by saying those infractions were done years ago.  That excuse won’t work in a court of law. Criminals are pursued by authorities until caught. Examples would include drivers arrested for unpaid traffic tickets and Nazis brought to justice many years after their participation in the Holocaust. Likewise, time does not forgive sin. Numbers 32:23 says, “ sure your sin will find you out.” King David realized that months after his attempt to cover up his sins involving Bathsheba. Following the birth of their son, David was confronted by the prophet Nathan (2 Samuel 12:7). Jesus said in Luke 12:2-3, “ For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have spoken in the dark will b