5 WAYS PEOPLE MISCHARACTERIZE THE CHURCH AS A WHOLE

Revisiting The Purpose of Christ's Church

Please indulge me in a brief parable. There is a man who owns a fruit stand. He sells apples, oranges, peaches, pears, grapes, cherries, tomatoes (yep! tomatoes), and mangoes. His fruits are the absolute best in town. Why? Because he organically grows most of them himself, and the others he has shipped directly to him from a few select totally organic growers around the country.

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These are the only fruits that he sells because he has chosen to limit his produce to what he can personally guarantee to be of the finest quality. One day a gentleman comes to his stand and asks if he has bananas. The owner tells him that he never carries bananas. The customer is calmly upset that he never sells bananas; bananas are his absolute favorite fruit.

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NOTHING CAN MEASURE WHAT YOU’RE WORTH!

When In Doubt, Remember Christ's Unanswered Shout

It is so easy to fall prey to the sinful desire to determine your self-worth by the measure of other people’s estimations of you. And while peer evaluation is sometimes necessary, it is not the best way to determine how valuable you actually are.

This is why it is so important for us to maintain an intimate connection with Jesus through prayer and the Bible. He, being God in the flesh, associated Himself with the commonest of folk. He spent most of His time with the virtually unnoticed of His day. Christ even made those of no great reputation his most intimate friends.

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THE WAY, THE TRUTH, THE LIFE OF SEX & SEXUAL RELATIONSHIPS

Jesus Never Talked About Homosexuality. But Why Not?

Jesus said that He is the way, the truth, and the life. That pretty much covers everything we can think of. How so? Well, to make it as practical as possible, in the beginning we lost our “way”, causing “the way” to the tree of (eternal) “life” to be kept from us by God so that we could not return and eat its fruit and live an eternity in unredeemable wickedness like the devil and his angels.

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And why did we lose our “way” and exchange “the life” God intended for death? We believed the serpent’s lie rather than God’s “truth” that we would surely die.

This is why Romans 5:14 refers to Adam as the pattern of the [Christ] to come. This is why 1 Corinthians 15:22 says that “as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.” And finally, this is why verse forty-five says that “the first man Adam became a living being; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit.”

Jesus Christ is the only way to restore the only truth about the only life God ever ultimately intended when He created us. Thus, everything falls under Christ’s self-affirmed, heaven-confirmed three-fold description. But why is that important to know?

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SOMETHING DOCTORS DON’T CARE ABOUT… AND NEITHER SHOULD WE

Sharing Christ With A "Tolerant" World

Back when the last major Ebola outbreak landed a few cases on American soil, I was reminded of something that we should all remember about our lives as witnesses for Christ. When someone knows that they have contracted a life-threatening virus, they will do almost anything to be cured–even lying to customs about their health just to get into America where they might be saved.

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Nurse Nina Pham, declared cured of Ebola, is embraced by Dr. Anthony Fauci

Such desperation of one’s physical condition begs a couple of spiritual questions: Should someone come to realize the dire nature of their sinful condition, would you be ready to help them? And would you dare to share the truth even if they didn’t want to hear it?

UNTIL THEY ARE DESPERATE, PEOPLE ARE OFTEN DEFENSIVE

Here are some other questions to consider: Are you afraid of needles? Most children are; ask a doctor. Would you almost rather keep a cavity than see a dentist? And why is it that so many of us refuse to see a physician or go to a hospital when we know that something is not quite right with our bodies? Maybe it’s because most of us just have a hard time with the thought of a stranger poking and prodding our bodies with metallic objects. That is one reason why doctor’s offices usually play “elevator music”. It is designed to relax people and calm their nerves before the doctor sees them.

You see, doctors are no strangers to these fears held by patients. And by the way, isn’t it odd that they call us “patients”, when being patient is often the last thing on our minds when we think of having to go under the scalpel or when we hear the sound of a dentist’s drill? We don’t want to spend any more time with a doctor than we have to; we just want out of that place pronto!

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GROWING UP IN CHURCH… BUT NOT HOW YOU MIGHT THINK

Christianity In Decline? No. Here's The Real Issue.

This post is a bit of a longer read than the average length of my posts. But I felt that in light of the latest reports that Christianity is on the decline, you could perhaps use a one-shot word of encouragement to further equip you to fend off this latest ridiculousness.
First of all allow me to qualify all that I am about to discuss with a couple of particular passages of Scripture. The first was spoken by Jesus himself when He told the disciples to “Be wise as serpents, and as harmless as doves” (Matthew 10:16). The second was written by the apostle Paul where he said, “Brethren, do not be children in understanding; however, in malice be babes, but in understanding be mature” (1 Corinthians 14:20).

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What these passages essentially mean is that we should love and care for each other and for the rest of the world with the innocence of a sweet little child. Yet, we must also be on guard like the wisest grown-up, ready to contend with and abstain from sin.

So, the issue I address here is not one of growing up as a church-goer, but going on as a Church-grower…

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FEAR VS. LOVE

4 Things Fear Is and 4 Things Love Is Not

Not to excuse any ill-will that may or may not have been intended by “Draw Muhammad” organizer Pam Geller, but to hear the words of Imam Anjem Choudary who stated that Geller should be tried and executed speaks clearly to the end result of fear. Wanting to murder people because of a cartoon is absolutely ludicrous, and epitomizes cowardice! Thank God that Texas police officers thwarted the planned terror attack on those attending the contest.

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What is it that terrorists and other religious extremists thrive on? It is fear. So it should be no surprise to any of us that ISIS, Al-Qaeda, or any other evil group or person will stop at nothing to promote what they themselves are filled with—FEAR.

C. S. Lewis said, “The more he fears, the more he’ll hate.” And who is it that Lewis is ultimately speaking of here? He is speaking of anyone and everyone who has ever lived. Fear unaddressed ultimately has an angering effect on the heart.

Scripture tells us that there is no fear in love but that true love casts out fear, because fear involves torment; and after all, God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, LOVE, and a sound mind, right? So what do we do with all of this growing darkness all around us? Well, we do as much as possible to let love do battle with fear.

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THE ONLY PERMANENT ANSWER TO RACISM

John Piper's Transformed Life Attests To That Answer...

People want to know what the answer is for all of the hatred, violence, racism, and resulting destruction and murder. Christ is the answer. Let a “full-blooded racist” turned man of God and adoptive father of a black girl tell you what JESUS did for him! This fallen world is in chaos because it needs its Creator (see John 1:3, and 1:10). But please watch this video…