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Jun 2018 29 Jun 29, 2018

This past Sunday, June 24, 2018, I concluded a series of sermons in the book of Revelation. There were 38 of them! As I reflected on my time in this remarkable book, ten truths stood out to me above all else. Unlike some, the things in Revelation that had the greatest impact on me had nothing to do with numerical symbolism or 666 or the Beast or the Great Prostitute or the millennium. Here are the primary lessons I learned. (1) Christians in this present age can expect ...Read More

Jun 2018 27 Jun 27, 2018

In the two closing chapters of Revelation, John portrays for us the beauty and splendor of the new heavens and new earth, and especially the grandeur of the New Jerusalem. One thing that he repeatedly emphasizes is who is in and who is out. He first tells us in Revelation 21:8 that “the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable,” along with “murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars” will not have a place in the New Jerus...Read More

Jun 2018 25 Jun 25, 2018

Forgiving others is counter-intuitive to human nature. It rarely seems to make sense. Most often it grates on our souls like fingernails on a chalkboard. King Louis XII of France spoke for us all when he said, “Nothing smells so sweet as the dead body of your enemy!” If we were honest with each other we’d readily admit that we enjoy withholding forgiveness because it permits us to keep our enemies (and even some of our friends) under control. It gives ...Read More

Jun 2018 22 Jun 22, 2018

So, there I was sitting at my desk a few days ago, staring at Revelation 22:4 and the incredible declaration by John that in the new earth we “will see his [God’s] face.” It sounds beyond belief. We will see God’s face! What does that mean? Later that day, during a short break, I logged on to a popular internet news site and saw the headline of an article that had just been posted. The title of the article was: What does God look like? The sub-tit...Read More

Jun 2018 20 Jun 20, 2018

In Revelation 22 an angel reveals to John, and John in turn reveals to us, numerous blessings that we will experience in the new heaven and new earth. One of them is found in v. 3b – “and his servants will worship him.” Before we unpack this marvelous truth, let’s skip down to vv. 8-9 and take note of a warning from this angel concerning worship. To all of us who are tempted to worship and love and cherish anything but God, the angel declares: &l...Read More

Jun 2018 18 Jun 18, 2018

The number of suicides among people we know, at least by name, has been increasing with disturbing regularity. It began with the tragic death of Matthew Warren, Rick Warren’s 27-year-old son. Then it was the comedian Robin Williams. In the past two weeks we heard of the deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. In light of this I thought it might be helpful to identify ten things all of us should know about suicide. (1) According to the Associated Press, Public H...Read More

Jun 2018 15 Jun 15, 2018

I’m often asked questions by young men in the ministry regarding how I go about the process of sermon preparation. We typically make a good bit of progress in our discussion until they hear that I begin work on a sermon on Monday and typically conclude no later than Wednesday. Their response often reveals a false assumption about the Holy Spirit. They tend to believe that it reflects a greater reliance on the Spirit to wait until Friday or even Saturday night to be...Read More

Jun 2018 11 Jun 11, 2018

Original sin sounds so archaic, so pessimistic, so grimly medieval. For heaven’s sake, this is the era of the computer and the space shuttle. And haven’t the most learned psychologists and sociologists assured us that people are by nature good, having been turned to their evil ways not by some inner instinct but through the influence of a deviant culture and sub-standard education? These questions indicate how important it is for us to understand the biblical...Read More

Jun 2018 8 Jun 8, 2018

In his description of the new heaven and new earth, John refers to several glorious blessings that God’s people will experience. In Revelation 21:6 he mentions one in particular. It is God himself who declares: “To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment.” Why doesn’t he simply say, “to the one who believes”? Why “thirst”? In fact, this isn’t the only time this imagery is used. In...Read More

Jun 2018 6 Jun 6, 2018

In their recent book, MultiChurch: Exploring the Future of MultiSite, Brad House and Gregg Allison address what they believe is the primary objection to multisite churches: video preaching. They list four criticisms in particular: (1) Video venues foster a cult of personality; (2) Video venues devalue the pulpit and the preaching of the Word; (3) Video venues neglect the care of the congregation; and (4) Video venues isolate the preacher from the congregation (p. 78). I...Read More

Jun 2018 4 Jun 4, 2018

Last week I wrote an article that identified ten things we should all know about quenching the Spirit, or perhaps I should say ten ways to quench the Spirit that we must studiously avoid. Today I want to turn our attention to ten ways we tend to quench the Spirit in the act of preaching God’s Word. (1) The first thing to remember is that nowhere in Scripture do we find the sin of quenching the Spirit explicitly linked to teaching or preaching God’s Word. The...Read More