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Category Archives: Theology

It is reasonable and rational to believe in Christianity

Book Review: The Logic of God: 52 Christian Essentials for the Heart and Mind, by Ravi Zacharias

Ravi Zacharias has written a thought-provoking book aimed at those seeking to better understand the Christian faith. The Logic of God: 52 Christian Essentials for the Heart and Mind addresses the most common struggles, obstacles, and questions that Ravi hears from both skeptics and Christians alike.

As the author explains in the introduction,

Today, many people think it is naïve to believe in God because there is not enough evidence for His existence. Others conclude that even if He does exist, He has insufficiently revealed and inadequately explained Himself; therefore He has not convinced us that He is real. Even less has He affirmed that the claims of the gospel of Jesus Christ are true and lead to a worldview that offers the most coherent and logical answers to life’s four essential questions—origin, meaning, morality, and destiny.

For the Christian this is where the battle must be fought, for no worldview suffers more from the loss of belief in God than the Christian one. And unless the “logic” of God—the evidence He has provided us of His existence—is defended, is sought after, is fully engaged with our hearts and minds, every essential of the Christian faith will be deemed illogical and untrue, thereby making them unworthy of rational assent.

The question then is, how does a person come to view this “logic” (this “evidence”) as a reason to believe in a God on whom all other essentials of the Christian faith are built, by which life must be governed, and with which your personal beliefs, your culture, and the unique message of Jesus Christ are examined? The purpose of this book and the way it is designed to be used, is to guide you on that journey.

As the subtitle indicates, the book focuses on 52 key issues including “The Pathway of Pain,” “Behind every question,” “Christianity without Christ?” “Does prayer matter?” “Scandal of the Cross” “Are you lonely?” and many more. The book is designed to be read one topic or question a week. Each topic is relatively short—2 or 3 pages followed by two “Reflection Questions” and two ideas for “Personal Application.” By taking the time to work through the various ideas and arguments, one will gain the conviction that God is real, the He loves us, and that He desires to fulfill the longings of our hearts.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2019 in Apologetics, Books, Evangelism, Quotes, Theology

 

The Extent of Christ’s Death

I was recently asked the question, “For whom did Christ die?” Did he die just for the sins of believers or for the whole world? Is the atonement limited or unlimited?

In answering the person’s question, I was reminded of a chart I put together several years ago when I was teaching a course on the doctrine of the church. I looked up all the verses in Scripture that dealt with the subject in order to find an answer. You will find my work below.

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Questions to wrestle with:

  • Did Christ die for the whole world?
  • Did Christ die for only the elect?
  • If for the whole world, why are not all saved?
  • If for the whole world, in what sense?
  • If for the elect only, then what about the justice of God?

Limited Atonement

Christ Died for The Elect

Unlimited Atonement

Christ Died for The Whole World

1 Timothy 4:10

10 For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.

1 Timothy 4:10

10 For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.

Matthew 20:28

28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

1 Timothy 2:6

6 who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony borne at the proper time.

 

John 17:9

9 “I ask on their behalf; I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom Thou hast given Me; for they are Thine;

Titus 2:11

11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men,

Ephesians 5:25

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her;

 

Hebrews 2:9

9 But we do see Him who has been made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.

2 Timothy 1:9

9 who has saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity,

2 Peter 3:9

9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

 

Revelation 13:8

8 And all who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain.

 

1 John 2:1-2

1 My little children, I am writing these things to you that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; 2 and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.

John 3:16

16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.

John 3:16-17

16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. 17 “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him.

John 15:13

13 “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.

 

1 John 4:14

14 And we have beheld and bear witness that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.

Acts 20:28

28 “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.

Isaiah 53:6

6 All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.

 

Matthew 1:21

21 “And she will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins.”

2 Corinthians 5:14-15, 18-20

14 For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; 15 and He died for all, that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.

18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were entreating through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

John 10:11, 15, 26-27

11 “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep…15 even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep…26 “But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep.27 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;

John 1:29

29 The next day he saw Jesus coming to him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

 

Passages which indicate that some of those for whom Christ died will perish:

Romans 14:15

1 Corinthians 8:11

Hebrews 10:29

2 Peter 2:1

Passages which indicate that the gospel is to be universally proclaimed:

Matthew 24:14

Matthew 28:19

Acts 1:8

Acts 17:30

Titus 2:11

If Christ died only for the elect, how can the offer of salvation be made to all persons without some sort of insincerity, artificiality, or dishonesty being involved?

Matthew 11:28

2 Peter 3:9

“Christ died for the elect, not only in the sense of making salvation possible for them, but also in the sense of providing it for them when they believe.”

Henry C. Thiessen, Lectures in Systematic Theology, p. 241

 

“The sense in which Christ is the Savior or the world may be thus summarized: His death secured for all men a delay in the execution of the sentence against sin, space for repentance, and the common blessings of life which have been forfeited by transgression; it removed from the mind of God every obstacle to the pardon of the penitent and restoration of the sinner, except his willful opposition to God and rejection of him; it procured for the unbeliever the powerful incentives to repentance presented in the cross, by means of the preaching of God’s servants, and through the work of the Holy Spirit; it provided salvation for those who do not willfully and personally sin (i.e., those who die in infancy or those who have never been mentally responsible) and assured its application to them; and it makes possible the final restoration of creation itself.”

Henry C. Thiessen, Lectures in Systematic Theology, p. 241-2

“Those who hold to limited atonement assume that if Christ died for someone, that person will actually be saved.  By extension they reason that if Christ in fact died for all persons, all would come to salvation; hence the concept of universal atonement is viewed as leading to the universal-salvation trap.  The basic assumption here, however, ignores the fact that out inheriting eternal life involves two separate factors: an objective factor (Christ’s provision of salvation) and a subjection factor (our acceptance of that salvation).  In the view of those who hold to unlimited atonement, there is the possibility that someone for whom salvation is available may fail to accept it.  In the view of those who hold to limited atonement, however, there is no such possibility.  Although John Murray wrote of Redemption—Accomplished and Applied, in actuality he and others of his doctrinal persuasion collapse the latter part, the application, into the accomplishment.  This leads in turn to the conception that God regenerates the elect person who then and therefore believes.

Advocates of limited atonement face the somewhat awkward situation of contending that while the atonement is sufficient to cover the sins of the nonelect, Christ did not die for them.  It is as if God, in giving a dinner, prepared far more food than was needed, yet refused to consider the possibility of inviting additional guests.  Advocates of unlimited atonement, on the other hand, have no difficulty with the fact that Christ’s death is sufficient for everyone, for, in their view, Christ died for all persons.

The view that we are adopting here should not be construed as Arminianism.  It is rather the most moderate form of Calvinism or, as some would term it, a modification of Calvinism. It is the view that God logically decides first to provide salvation, then elects some to receive it.  This is essentially the sublapsarian position of theologians like Augustus Strong.  Those who would construe this position as Arminianism is not the view of the relationship between the decree to provide salvation and the decree to confer salvation on some and not on others.  Rather, the decisive point is whether the decree of election is based solely on the free, sovereign choice of God himself (Calvinism) or based also in part upon his foreknowledge of merit and faith in the person elected (Arminianism).”

Millard J. Erickson, Christian Theology, p. 851-2

We conclude that the atonement is unlimited in the sense that it is available for all; it is limited in that it is effective only for those who believe.  It is available for all, but efficient only for the elect.

Henry C. Thiessen, Lectures in Systematic Theology, p. 242

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I came to the conclusion that Scripture teaches both sides. I tend to agree with Thiessen that salvation is sufficient for all, but efficient only for those who believe. Christ died for the sins of the whole world, but only those who receive the gift will be saved.

 
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Posted by on March 11, 2019 in Jesus, Scripture, Theology

 

Answering the Why? Question

These are the thoughts I shared on Saturday at Jackie Tisdale’s memorial service.

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If I asked you two weeks ago what you would be doing today, none of us would say, “I’ll be at a funeral.” This event was not on my calendar. The death of Jackie Tisdale was sudden and unexpected . . . at least from our perspective. I was stunned when I read the news on Facebook. My first thought was, “No, that can’t be right.”

Perhaps you, like me, have had many thoughts and prayers the past two weeks that started off with “Why?” “Why this?” “Why now?” “God, what are you doing?”

I started wrestling with the question of “Why?” some 35 years ago when my dad died of cancer. I struggled with it 20 years ago when my brother was killed in an industrial accident. I circled back to it again two weeks ago when I learned that Jackie had passed away.

As I thought about that question the past two weeks, I was reminded of a man who had similar questions. He was a wealthy patriarch by the name of Job. He was a man who had it all. He had seven sons and three daughters, and 11,000 head of livestock including sheep, camels, oxen, and donkeys. He was rich by anyone’s standards.

And yet in the space of a few days, he lost everything, including his health. The only thing left was his wife and she had become a bitter woman. Job 2:9 says, “Then his wife said to him, ‘Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.’” In essence she said, “Job, you’re a fool to keep trusting God. All your devotion amounted to this? Curse God and give up.”

Maybe you are feeling like that this morning. You trusted God. You relied on Jackie. And God took her away. If that’s how God treats his children, why bother trusting him?

Job had some well-meaning friends who stopped by to comfort him. Isn’t it strange that when we don’t know what to say, we either say nothing or say the wrong thing? Job’s friends were like that. In fact, they belonged to the “Cliché-of-the-month-Club.”

  • Job, you must have done something wrong. I bet God is punishing you.
  • Job, if you had only been a better person, you wouldn’t be in this mess.
  • Job, just trust God and everything will turn out ok.
  • Job, if you only had had more faith, or trusted God more, or been more generous, or . . . or . . . none of this would have happened.

We’ve all heard the clichés. In fact, we’ve probably said a few of them ourselves. Maybe you have heard or thought these statements over the past two weeks.

In his pain and depression, Job cried out and said, “Why?” And you know what God’s reply was?             SILENCE.

Despite what people say, despite all the pious sounding clichés, the comforting words, or finding someone to blame . . . despite all the well-meaning efforts, there is no answer to the “Why?” question.

In chapter 38 of the book of Job, God finally answered, sort of. But instead of answering Job’s questions, God asked Job some of his own.

“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements—surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? … “Or who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb, …12 “Have you commanded the morning since your days began, and caused the dawn to know its place, … 16 “Have you entered into the springs of the sea, or walked in the recesses of the deep? … 19 “Where is the way to the dwelling of light, and where is the place of darkness, … 22 “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow, or have you seen the storehouses of the hail, … 24 What is the way to the place where the light is distributed, or where the east wind is scattered upon the earth? … 28 “Has the rain a father, or who has begotten the drops of dew? … 31 “Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades or loose the cords of Orion? 32 … can you guide the Bear with its children? 33 Do you know the ordinances of the heavens? Can you establish their rule on the earth?        35 Can you send forth lightnings, that they may go and say to you, ‘Here we are’?

After God finished his questions, Job finally understood. He had been asking the wrong question. The question is not “Why?” The real question is “Who?”

At the end of the story, Job finally realized that God was sovereignly in control. He recognized that just because God did not explain everything to him, it didn’t mean that God didn’t have a plan and a purpose. In Job 42:1–2, we read, “Then Job answered the Lord and said: “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.”

The concept of God’s sovereignty means that God is sitting on his throne, that he has a plan and a purpose that he is moving to accomplish, and nothing will stop him from completing it. God’s sovereignty says that nothing happens by accident and that God is not surprised by any seeming tragedy. Somehow, and we may never understand why, it is all part of his plan and purpose.

Recognizing God’s sovereignty doesn’t answer all the “Why?” questions. But it does answer the “Who?” question. It says that God is in control and that he can be trusted. While we still grieve, we can take comfort in the fact that Jackie’s death was not a random act or an accident. It was all part of God’s plan and purpose.

Jackie had a strong confidence in Who. Like Job, Jackie was confident that God was her redeemer. In Job 19:25–26 we read, “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God.” Jackie is now in the presence of her redeemer, the one whom she put her faith and trust in.

Some years ago, my wife discovered a saying that said, “God is the Master Weaver—only he knows when the tapestry is complete.” Somehow in God’s plan, Jackie’s tapestry was complete. The final thread was added and he called her home. If I were weaving the tapestry, I would have included a few more threads. But I’m not the Master Weaver.

For some reason God’s tapestry for _________ and for us at First Central includes what looks to us to be some knots and twisted threads. Only time will tell what scene the Master Weaver is trying to weave into our lives. But we can be confident that he is still at work.

God’s sovereignty raises the issue of, “If God is who he says he is, can these events fit into his plan? Can he use these things to accomplish his purpose? If God is who he says he is, does he have the right to do with my life whatever he wants?”

Basically, it comes down to an issue of confidence and trust. Like Job, Jackie knew that God could be trusted. She agreed with the statement in Job 13:15, “Though he slay me, I will hope in him.” Jackie loved Jesus and trusted him completely. We need to trust that God knows what he is doing.

 

Don’t Drift Away

One of the challenges I face daily is walking in a straight line. It is partially due to my experience with vertigo ten years ago and partially due my broken leg/hip over one year ago. Unless I concentrate on what I am doing and where I am going, I tend to drift sideways. It is difficult for my wife and I to walk side by side. In the same way, the writer of the book of Hebrews says that unless we pay attention to God’s word and obey it, we will begin to drift away from the truth and wind up in trouble.

The author of Hebrews is trying to prove that Jesus Christ is greater than. As he starts chapter two, he pauses in his exposition to issue a warning (2:1-4). It is the first of five warnings in the book. This one is the briefest and most restrained of all, but is nonetheless solemn.

Don’t Drift from God’s Word (1). Using the word, “therefore,” the author links his warning to what he said in chapter 1. Since Jesus is greater than the prophets and the angels, we need to take seriously what we have learned from him. He states this both positively and negatively. On the positive side, we should pay attention and obey what we have learned. On the negative side, we must guard against drifting away. This requires a degree of intentionality because we start to drift when we are careless and inattentive.

Bad Things Happen to Those who Neglect Salvation (2-3a). In stating his case, the author moves from the lesser to the greater; from the Law to the gospel; from punishment for disobeying the Law to consequences for neglecting salvation. He explains that the Law was delivered by angels, was reliable and trustworthy and promised blessings for obedience and punishment for disobedience. He then asks the probing question, If the Old Testament Law had penalties for disobedience, why do we think the New Testament Covenant will not have similar consequences?

It is important to note that he is not writing to unbelievers who have rejected the gospel. Instead, he is writing to believers, “we”, who have “neglected” their salvation. Have we allowed our busy schedules to reduce our Bible study down to reading one Proverb a day? Have we made family activities and our children’s sports teams to become more important than attending church? Have our lifestyle choices made it difficult for us to give generously to ministry? Have we allowed our own self-centeredness to prevent us from serving others? Are we neglecting our salvation?

Place a High Value on Salvation (2:3b-4). The author points out that the gospel was announced by Jesus, confirmed by eyewitnesses, and attested by signs, wonders, and miracles. As such, it deserves a higher priority in our lives.

Pay attention to God’s word and obey it to keep yourself from drifting!

This is the synopsis of a message preached at First Central Bible Church in Chicopee, MA, on March 3, 2019. It is part of a series of sermons on the book of Hebrews. Please click on the link to download a copy of the sermon notes.

 

Myths about death

Over the years, I’ve been asked a number of questions about death, dying, heaven and hell. I’ve also heard an equal number of statements indicating what people believe about those topics. Here are four I’ve heard recently, written in the form of a question and answer.

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Q: Do people become angels when they die?

A: The short answer is, “No.” The long answer is that we will be elevated above the angels. People and angels are in completely different categories of created beings. At the present time, human beings are “a little lower than the heavenly beings” (Psalm 8:5). If we have trusted Christ for our salvation (John 3:16; 14:6), then when we die and go to heaven, we will be in a position where we will judge the angels (1 Corinthians 6:3).

Part of the confusion on this topic comes from Matthew 22:30 where Jesus said that when we die, we “are like angels in heaven.” What he meant is that we will not be married in heaven. However, Jesus did NOT say we will become angels.

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Q: Do our loved ones who died watch over us?

A: Yes, and, No. The answer is, “Yes,” in the sense that they are aware and watching. Hebrews 12:1 says that we are “surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses.” Luke 16:19-31 tells the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. The rich man was concerned about his relatives’ spiritual condition and wanted to warn them about the afterlife. The answer is, “No,” in the sense that they don’t watch over and protect us. God has sent angels for that purpose (Hebrews 1:14).

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Q: Does the presence of a red cardinal mean someone beyond the grave is trying to communicate with me? Is this a visit from the spirit world? (My wife and I saw this on a garden ornament at a local country store and few weeks back.)

A: Unfortunately, the answer is “No.” This is a belief that comes from Native American spiritism. No where in Scripture will you find this.

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Q: What do we mean when we say, “Rest in Peace”?

A: This question requires a much longer answer, as you can see below.

In one sense, death is a time of rest, at least for our physical bodies. Scripture uses the metaphor of “going to sleep” to describe death. This picture is mentioned three times in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. Dr. Luke uses the same concept in Acts 7 and the apostle Paul uses it again in 1 Corinthians 15 on two occasions. In Mark, chapter 5, the daughter of a religious leader had died and Jairus, her father, begged Jesus for help. Jesus said, “She’s not dead; she is asleep.” In this sense, death is a time of rest.

In another sense, death is a time when we rest from our labors and enjoy our inheritance. Hebrews 4 talks about the “Sabbath rest” for the people of God. It links the idea to God’s work of creating the world in six days and resting on the seventh day as well as Israel’s wandering in the wilderness before entering the Promised Land. Tying them together, to rest means to cease from our labor of trying to earn God’s favor and enjoying the inheritance and blessings he has prepared for us.

This doesn’t mean, however, that eternity will be spent floating on clouds strumming a harp. Scripture pictures heaven as a place where we engage in meaningful activity. We will be engaged in worship (Revelation 22:1-3), praising Christ for providing our salvation. We will also be serving as we reign with Christ in eternity (Revelation 20:6).

However, these pictures of rest are only true of those who trusted Christ for salvation during their lifetime. Those who rejected Christ as savior will find themselves in hell enduring an eternity of suffering (Matthew 13:42, 50).

With this is mind, we need to be careful about whom we say “Rest in Peace” to. We don’t want to come across as closet universalists who believe all people go to heaven regardless of their beliefs or lifestyle. Nor do we want to communicate that we secretly believe God grades on a curve and the more well-known you are, the more likely you will be in heaven. We also don’t want to act as if this life is all there is, and there is no afterlife. In addition, we don’t want to say “Rest in Peace” simply because we don’t know what else to say.

Eternal rest is only available to those who stopped working to earn their salvation. For the Christ follower, they can go to sleep and later wake up in the arms of Jesus. They can rest and fully enjoy the blessings of salvation and heaven.

 
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Posted by on February 25, 2019 in Heaven, Scripture, Theology

 

An overview of the end times

A friend of mine, Lonnie Pacelli, has developed a 15 minute presentation providing an overview of the end times. In it, he profiles what Scripture says about the anti-Christ and provides a timeline of the events described in Scripture that will occur during the rapture, Great Tribulation, and the Millennium. As Lonnie explains, it is a 50,000 foot view of the panorama of the end times. It is a companion resource to go with the novel he wrote, The Lawless One and the End of Time, which I reviewed back in November. Well worth the read and listen.

 
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Posted by on January 7, 2019 in Books, Scripture, Theology

 

Women’s Ministry Q&A with Pastor Mark & Jack

The women’s ministry at First Central Bible Church hosted a Q&A session with me and Jack Gilbert, our Minister of Adults and Outreach. It was designed as a follow-up to the Women’s Christmas Friendship Dinner. Though lightly attended, it was a good time of discussion.

Here’s a list of the questions that were asked and how Jack and I answered them.

Should we pray for immoral leaders? If so, what do we pray? Yes, 1 Timothy 2:1-2 says we should pray for all who are in authority. In Paul’s day, that meant Caesar, the leader of the Roman empire.

How can a Christ follower die well? One aspect is to start preparing now by studying what Scripture says about death, eternity, and heaven. A second aspect is to believe what you believe. A third aspect is to spend time with believers who are dying to encourage them by reading Scripture, singing favorite hymns and praise songs, and praying with them.

Is demon possession real? How is it manifest in today’s world? Yes, we are in the midst of a spiritual battle. There are some demons who possess individuals and it is seen in overt evil. They are other demons who influence people in making wrong decisions. Still others might masquerade as good people who lead others astray. Any time a believer engages in sin, they allow Satan to gain a foothold in their life (Ephesians 4:26-27; 1 Timothy 6:9-10).

How can we pray for someone’s salvation when we struggle to believe they can be saved? Claim the promises of Scripture about salvation (2 Peter 3:9). Be honest with God about your lack of faith. Ask him to increase your faith. Stay faithful in praying for the person.

Do you have plans to teach/preach a series on the book of Revelation? Not at this time. The book has been taught twice in the past six years at the church. Since I taught it last year when I was in Russia, my sense is that it would probably fit best in a classroom setting where people could ask questions.

How do you determine what you will preach on next? My philosophy is to preach the whole counsel of God. I try to balance teaching through Old Testament books, New Testament books, and topical series. I plan out my sermon calendar 6-24 months in advance so I know where we are going. This month we will wrap up our study of the book of Joshua. Next month we begin a study of the book of Hebrews which will take us into 2020. After that, we will study the life of David.

When it says God rested on the seventh day of creation, one author says he is still resting. Is that true and if so, what does it mean? Without reading the quote, I’m not certain what the author meant. Scripture says that God rested from his creation because it was complete. However, Scripture also says that God is actively at work in other areas of our lives (Philippians 2:12-13).

What is the role of good works in salvation? In the life of a Christ follower? Ephesians 2:8-10 and James 2:14-26 would be the core passages on the subject. We are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. Good works play no part in our salvation. After we are saved, we are to engage in good works as evidence of our salvation.