Showing posts from 2020

Let God Be God

How do you respond if a fellow believer proclaims something that’s in error? There are times we need to rebuke others. But no matter how you speak the truth in love, some people won’t receive correction. In those situations, it’s best to back off. God can send someone else who will possibly get through to them. You have to let God be God.A Christian writer I met a few years ago recently posted a quote on his Facebook page supporting his belief in universal reconciliation. First, I responded by reminding him of Revelation 20:15, “And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.” Later, I posted a quote about the reality of eternal punishment for the unsaved and then added the comment: “Love warns.” This writer repeatedly defended himself by posting links to blog articles he wrote. I glanced at only one of them. I’m cautious not to absorb teachings that misinterpret the Bible. I could have posted more corrective comments but opted not to. I cannot be some…

My Connection to a Campground

Twenty years ago today, I received the sad news. Five days before, an internationally known minister had died of cancer. This same minister had performed a wedding for me months earlier. That marriage didn’t last. Nevertheless, it connected me with a ministry that continued to impact my life.Back in early 2000, my then-fiancée and I drove from Minnesota to Calvary Pentecostal Tabernacle in Ashland, Virginia (just north of Richmond). This Christian campground hosts revival meetings throughout the year where guests can stay free of charge. The director at that time was Ruth Heflin, the daughter of founders Wallace and Edith Heflin.
A few weeks before while attending Brownsville Revival meetings in Pensacola, Florida, Ruth Heflin’s name kept coming up in conversations I had with people. At the time I didn’t know who this woman was. Meanwhile, Sister Ruth held meetings in Minnesota that my soon-to-be fiancée attended. So after hearing her talk about Ruth Heflin, I knew there was a reason G…

Close Doesn’t Count

Last weekend I went to a gathering at a friend’s house. There we sat around a bonfire eating food and also played some games. One of them was bean bag toss. The object is to toss bean bags across the yard and into a hole. The game’s similarities to horseshoes reminded me of an old saying: “Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.” A close loss is still a loss.  When it comes to receiving eternal life, close doesn’t count. Jesus told one man who answered a question wisely, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” (Mark 12:34) Shortly after I became a Christian in 1991, my sister commented on how our parents were so close to being saved. They were raised in traditional churches but drifted into New Age beliefs. One can know a lot of spiritual truths without knowing “…the way and the truth and the life.” (John 14:6) Fortunately, I had the privilege of leading my mother to the Lord before she passed away.
Over the years I've ministered to numerous people who came close to pr…

The Golden Rule

A spiritual truth known to Christians and non-Christians is often called the Golden Rule. Jesus said in Matthew 7:12 (NIV), “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”That Scripture came to my remembrance during a recent visit to North Dakota.A former pastor I know was in the area for business reasons. He had suggested I ride with him back to the Twin Cities (instead of waiting a few days for another prearranged ride) and would leave within the next 48 hours. I figured he would give me some advance notice. One evening this minister sent me a text asking, “You ready?” He wanted to go right away! After I hurriedly packed up my stuff and arranged a ride to meet him where he was at, this minister said he wouldn’t drive me home, which was about ten miles from his house. That would have caused me to be stranded in his town at 2:00 in the morning. He refused my request to sleep on his couch and then find a ride home. I thoug…

The True Church?

An objection some people bring up regarding Christianity is there are different denominations. Splits have occurred in other religions. Nevertheless, many church groups claim theirs is the only “true church” such as this meme circulating on social media. I have friends who are Catholic. So my intent here is not taking potshots at their church. Still, I felt inspired to write this rebuttal…
1. “The only Church founded by Jesus Christ.” Jesus said in Matthew 16:18, “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.”The “rock” is not Peter according to Catholic tradition but the revelation he had that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. It’s also worth noting churches couldn’t legally meet in the Roman Empire until Christianity was made the state religion three centuries after Christ’s ascension.
2. “The only Church that gave the world the Bible.” Jeremiah 1:12 (ESV) says that God watches over His word to per…

The Gospel According to Horton

As a child, I read many books by Theodor Geisel, an author better known by his pen name Dr. Seuss. Some of his stories became animated TV specials. One of which was “Horton Hears a Who” (which also became a motion picture years later). Recently I found that on YouTube and watched it again.
For those of you unfamiliar with the story, Horton is an elephant who finds a dust speck inhabited by the Whos, a tiny race of people who live in Whoville. Other animals in the jungle think Horton is crazy for talking to beings they cannot see or hear. They tie him up and come close to boiling Whoville in a pot of oil. The Whos cry out in desperation, “We are here!” They weren’t heard by the outside world until a little boy hollered, “Yopp!” 
There are spiritual truths that can be gleaned from “Horton Hears a Who.” Sometimes it takes just one person to do something to usher in a move of God. Psalm 8:2 says, “Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have ordained strength, because of Your enem…

My Faith Compels Me to Vote Red

Once again, we are in the midst of an election that is becoming more contentious than in 2016. As previously stated in this blog, I vote for Republican candidates because that party’s platform is more in line with Judeo-Christian values. Nevertheless, I have a few friends and relatives who vote for Democrats. I won’t belittle their convictions but question how professing believers can support policies that go against God’s word.

There’s a meme circulating online by progressive Christians titled “My Faith Compels Me to Vote Blue.” Here’s my response to all their listed reasons…

“Refugees and immigrants should be fully welcomed.” I’m okay with foreigners moving to America if they do so legally and assimilate as law-abiding citizens. I don’t agree with letting just anyone cross our borders. Would you welcome a stranger into your home without knowing his intentions? What if that stranger wanted to rob you or cause harm to your family?
“All people deserve access to affordable healthcare.” I a…

Will Nuclear War Happen?

Today is the 75th anniversary of an atomic bomb devastating Nagasaki, Japan. Three days earlier in 1945, the first atomic bomb used in warfare was dropped on Hiroshima. Historians have debated whether the United States was justified in using those bombs. It’s tragic how the bombings killed tens of thousands of people. However, many more lives would have been lost had the U.S. needed to invade the country that four years earlier initiated hostilities with the attack on Pearl Harbor. President Truman’s goal for authorizing the bombings was to convince the Japanese to surrender and bring a quicker end to World War II.
I grew up during the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union. Fears of a nuclear exchange were triggered by watching made-for-TV movies like “World War III” and “The Day After.” Although the USSR dissolved in 1991, Russia still has nukes as well as a few other countries. Rogue nations like Iran have made progress in developing their own weapons of mass destru…

Is America Doomed?

Just over a month ago, a friend forwarded to me a sixteen-minute video that went viral. Dana Coverstone is the pastor of an Assembly of God church in Kentucky. In his video, Dana testified of God giving him dreams about America’s future. He warned of foreign soldiers on the ground, hyperinflation, and cities burning during September, October, and November of this year.
At first, I seriously considered what Dana shared. The previous week, a prophet I know saw a war coming to the United States. Dana doesn’t claim to be a prophet but talked of having previous dreams of disease and protests that came to pass. He advised, “Let's see what happens through November and see if I’m right about this.” So I shared Dana’s video on my Facebook page (later removing it) and added the comment: “Perhaps this can be averted through prayer and fasting.” Jonah prophesied the downfall of Nineveh but that was delayed because of its inhabitants repenting.
Many pundits have predicted the demise of America. …

Casting Out Devils

Mention the Great Commission and most Christians only think of “preaching the gospel to every creature.” Yet Jesus gave other commandments in the sixteenth chapter of Mark. One of which in verse 17 is to cast out devils. That commandment must be important. It is listed before speaking in tongues and laying hands on the sick.
Many churches in Western nations don’t do deliverance ministry at all. Some ministers believe Christians cannot have a demon. I can testify that this is not true. Over the years. I’ve witnessed numerous devils cast out of God’s people. I’ve done my share of exorcisms.
During the mid-1990s, I became close friends with “Stacy” (not her real name), a middle-aged woman often placed on my team during our church’s evangelism outreaches. Despite her faithfulness in sharing the gospel, Stacy was often oppressed. One particular afternoon while I prayed for Stacy, these words came out of her mouth: “You can’t have her! You can’t have her!” I recognized this as Satan speaking …

Check Your Heart

When someone has a physical checkup, the doctor will use a stethoscope to examine their heart. It’s also important for people to know the status of their spiritual hearts. Sometimes when I’m evangelizing, sinners try justifying themselves by saying, “God knows my heart.” Yet Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it?”
Fortunately, one who becomes born again has a supernatural heart transplant. Ezekiel 36:26-27 promises, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.”
Believers should still occasionally examine themselves to maintain a clean heart. An excellent time to do that is when taking communion. 1 Corinthians 11:28-29 commands, “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For …

Why I Resist Wearing Masks

Last week, a pastor in Florida asked his Facebook friends if they thought there was a political agenda behind the requirement of wearing face masks. I wrote a response saying there was (more on that later). The pastor originally liked my comment but then unfriended me after someone else posted an opposing viewpoint. Since this pastor allowed public comments on his wall, I then wrote: “It’s sad the devil is using masks to divide believers.” The pastor reacted by blocking me.
Days before I posted this on my social media pages: “What would Jesus do regarding COVID-19? I can’t imagine Him staying home and wearing a mask. He’d be out healing the sick.” That stirred up negative remarks from a minister’s wife I met four years ago. She insisted God wants us to wear masks and quoted Isaiah 26:20 claiming it’s a command to self-quarantine…
“Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; Hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment, until the indignation is past.”
This vers…

Pray For Your Nation

Christians in the United States are becoming increasingly discouraged from sharing the gospel in public places. Because of fears over the coronavirus, politicians have also placed limitations upon church meetings. California Governor Gavin Newsom recently issued a ridiculous ban from singing and chanting in places of worship. Yet Ronald Reagan (who was also a California governor) stated, “Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged. When our Founding Fathers passed the First Amendment, they sought to protect churches from government interference.”
This country was founded mostly by Bible-believing men who intended to keep the government out of the church, not God out of the government, In a statement made to the General Assembly of the State of Virginia in 1778, James Madison (the chief architect of the Constitution) said, “We’ve staked the whole future of American civilization not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the…

What Color Is Jesus?

Sometimes while you’re out evangelizing, individuals will try to stump you with challenging questions. One I’ve heard primarily from African-Americans is: “What color is Jesus?” I remember ministering to one bitter black man who labeled Christianity “a white man’s religion” that would never work for him. In response, I testified about two African-Americans who got saved a few days before and were immediately healed of bodily injuries. This man was still resistant to the gospel.
People tend to picture the Lord based on their own culture. For centuries, Westerners have depicted the Son of God as a Caucasian. In recent years, there have been increasing amounts of artwork of a black Jesus (the one pictured here is from the old TV sitcom “Good Times”). One well-known preacher who is part Native American jokingly claims Jesus was an Indian because the Bible says He is “chief cornerstone.” Since Jesus lived most of His earthly life in Palestine, one could speculate He had a tan complexion lik…

A Pan of Panera Bread

I’m a traveling missionary who frequently patronizes Panera Bread. I enjoy sitting inside their restaurants drinking coffee and eating an occasional bagel while working online with my laptop. I was glad to see the one closest to my home finally allow indoor seating again after three months of doing take out and drive-thru orders only. So I resumed going there earlier this week.
Unfortunately, I saw something on Thursday that made me turn around and leave. The windows had artwork of a rainbow with the caption “CELEBRATE WHO YOU ARE.” I assume this is in observance of Gay Pride Month. As a Christian, I find this offensive. The rainbow is a sign of God‘s promise not to destroy man again with a flood (see Genesis 9). It was never meant to symbolize deviant lifestyle choices. I happen to know former homosexuals and transsexuals who got delivered with God’s help. Therefore, I do not buy the lie that gays are “born that way.”
I avoid spending my money at places that openly endorse LGBT causes.…

Lighten Up, Doc!

As a boy growing up in the 1970s, I preferred watching older cartoons on TV because they were funnier and had better animation. Most of the newer cartoons then were lifeless by comparison. During the late 1980s, animators seemed to run low on ideas. Miniaturized versions of established characters came out like “Muppet Babies”, “The Flintstone Kids”, and “A Pup Named Scooby-Doo.” By the 2000s, all the major networks ceased airing cartoons on Saturday morning. A few were still seen during prime time such as “The Simpsons.”
Occasionally, reboots of classic cartoons have been released. Earlier this week, the streaming service HBO Max announced it will show new “Looney Tunes" cartoons except the characters won’t have guns. A sample posted on YouTube shows Elmer Fudd chasing after Bugs Bunny with a scythe. One man tweeted: “Elmer Fudd without his gun, is like Yosemite Sam without a mustache.” This appears to be an attempt by left-leaning producers to undermine support for the Second Ame…