Hasta la Vista, Baby…I’ll Be Back

A Scene from Kindergarten Cop

For the third time, I’ll be visiting the Arnold Classic at the Columbus Convention Center this year for evangelism. If you are interested in joining my team this year, let me know first. But even if you do not let me know, you are free to come to High Street between Spruce and Vine Saturday, March 1st. We plan to be there between 11am and 5pm approximately.

Arnold – Way Back in the Day…

I’ve ordered thousands of tracts for distribution. I will bring as many as I can haul. If you want to come pass them out, you are free to do so! Here is a link if you’d like to see the newly designed tract. You can also order your own if you like the design and the text. Gospel Tract Planet will even let you customize the tract with your own contact information! Click here to see the tract or click the image. Thanks go out to my dear bride and editor and my good friend and grammarian, Carl Cunningham, for their help. The tract text went through several edits.

Total Commitment!

Please join me in prayer for the March 1 outreach. My experience at the Arnold Classic has been a positive experience, filled with encouraging Christians and friendly people. We’ve had very few hecklers and no adverse encounters with law enforcement over the years. If you would like to help in some way other than praying or attending in person, let me know as well.

What Does it Mean to Pray in His Name?

3rd part of the series on prayer:

Last week we discussed that we do not have to attach “In Jesus’ name” at the end of every prayer. But what does it mean to pray in the name of Jesus?

We will look at the first prayer in the Bible and see what we can learn from it.

The “name of the Lord,” and “the name of Jesus” are important concepts in scripture.

Do we get anything we ask in prayer like the Bible says? What about the verses that seem to say that?

Partial list of scripture references:

Genesis 4:25-26;John 15:1-16,14:13,16:23;Ephesians 2:10

Prayer, God’s Sovereignty & Praying in the Name of Jesus

Listen to the conclusion of the teaching on witchcraft in regard to “the prayer of Jabez.”

Some questions to consider when reviewing the disciple’s prayer:

1. Is it okay to repeat yourself in your prayers?

2. Is it okay to pray in public? Can we pray with others?

3. Why pray if God is sovereign?

4. What does it mean to pray in the name of Jesus? Is a prayer not a prayer if I forget to say “in Jesus’ name?”

Listen for biblical answers to these good questions which genuine Christians can have!

Scripture references includes Isaiah 46:6-10; Daniel 9; Matthew 6:5-10; 1 Chronicles 4:10; John 14:13

Sylvia Browne, Witchcraft, Prayer & Duck Dynasty

I recommend you check out my teaching on witchcraft at sermon audio. This teaching is from 2011, but the timeless truths are applicable today.

Additionally, I plan to begin contributing to the Cross Encounters blog. I hope you will check out the store and consider downloading a Classic Sermon.

But I hope you’ll read my first article “Three Typical Responses to Sinners Sinning.

How Does “Presup” Affect the Duck Dynasty/Gay Debate?

I admit it. I’ve been sucked in. This online debate got me interested and I was looking at arguments and joining various threads – all with predictable results. 🙁

But there is one point I’d like to make. There is a very good logical point I see being made on various websites. It goes like so:

Why can A&E refuse to do business with someone because of their views on sex, but bakers and photographers can’t?

Look. I get the argument. It makes sense. It should be the nail in the coffin of the entire debate.

But it’s not. So Christians and nonChristians who are against gays or pro-Duck Dynasty alike get frustrated.

Stop getting frustrated, it isn’t worth it.

The problem is not a logic problem. It is a spiritual problem. The carnal mind cannot fathom the things of God (1 Corinthians 2:14). And when you consider that the fear of Yahweh is the beginning of knowledge or wisdom (Proverbs 1:7), then it follows that nonbelievers have ultimately given up proper use of logic and rational thinking.

And guess what? No matter how many times you explain it to them or remind them – they will not see it or believe you.

Their problem is spiritual and they need the Lord to regenerate their hearts and cause them to see Christ for who He really is. So don’t get frustrated when a sweet argument doesn’t seem to succeed. God’s Word will have its desired effect (Isaiah 55:10-11).

Display your faith in God’s sovereignty by arguing rationally about these things, expressing kindness, generosity and love toward your fellow man – and trust in the Lord will all your heart, leaning not on your own understanding! (Proverbs 3:5)

More important than anything else, share the life changing and soul saving gospel of Jesus!

Short (I promise) Santa Rant

Annually in December, the war on Xmas, the defamation of Santa and the general degradation of Christian dialogue begins on the twitter and the facebook. Blog posts are published, young (new) believers are educated, and many people are challenged to think about the why of some of their traditions.

This is not a bad thing. New believers who are often weaker have a chance to grow as the result of the discourse. Mature believers are provided an opportunity to learn exercise patience and acquire exhibit rationality.

I want to clarify my stance re: Santa. Although I personally do not celebrate the Santa thing, I am not so blinded by my preference that I do not realize that a Christian family, can do the Santa thing, if they wish – edification value notwithstanding.

But, in order to get around the problem that it is nearly impossible to do Santa as he is commonly practiced without actually telling a lie, it seems to me that people would have to concede that Santa is similar to The Incredible Hulk or Spiderman in the sense that everyone knows he doesn’t really exist, but we still enjoy the story.

So if you read or hear an anti-Santa sentiment, and your response is “he’s no different from anything else in the world in which I can enjoy with thanksgiving in my Christian liberty,” I want to caution you that there are versions of the practice of Santa which I do, in fact, believe are evil.

Here is the litmus test, in my opinion. If you expect everyone else who comes into contact with your children to perpetuate the story that he really does the things the legend would say he does, then I think you are on shaky ground. So if your inquisitive child goes to church tonight (it is Wednesday), and s/he asks the teacher if Santa is REAL and you expect the teacher to say yes or even give some other answer which leaves the truth hidden, then I believe you are sinning. You are asking/expecting a brother or sister to lie, or at the very least violate their own conscience. This is not fair to your brother who is trying not to lie and to tell the truth at all times, including removing lies of omission from his new life in Christ.

If your child directly asks you about Santa, or hears the truth from someone else and you continue to maintain the story that Santa is real – then you’ve called the other person a liar.

Just as if your child asked me if Buddha was worth following or the god of Islam was real or if we really should pray to Mary – I would expect to tell the truth to them in each situation – I also would with Santa. If someone has a problem with me because I told the truth, I reckon I’ll be 100% OK with that – within obvious guidelines of what would be age appropriate. To ask me or another brother to simply “not answer” is illogical. Why should those of us who aren’t part of the deception have to be quiet? That would be as valid as me telling you, “Don’t tell your children about Santa.”

Look, I’m a good Calvinist and I understand that teaching kids about Santa will not make the final difference in whether or not God sovereignly saves them by His effectual grace. But the fact remains that if your child actually feels deceived by you about Santa, that can will have a lasting effect on your relationship. Not a risk I want to take.

I appreciate the wealth of information the internet offers and there are a lot of good people writing about the topic from different perspectives.

So decorate a tree and leave out milk and cookies and make it fun, if you want. Dress like a puritan and sit in a cold house and read Habakkuk if that’s your thing. Take pictures with men in red suits (*I did). I frankly don’t care if you pretend Aquaman brought gifts or Santa or if you simply give your kids gifts. I’d recommend reviewing the real story of St. Nick, if you could. But be careful the message that your child is getting, especially the Santa information which does not come from you.

Finally – here is a post I wrote several years ago concerning the topic. It was actually a letter I wrote to a specific brother who I didn’t know very well. Click Here. It will open in a new tab.

For the record, this particular friend of mine heeded my advice and wrote me back and was very grateful to me for writing him. It wasn’t a matter of conscience to him, he believed what he was doing was error and was glad to correct it!

When does a Fetus become a Human?

What if you found out that a fetus has no heartbeat, doesn’t feel pain, nor even grows until 18 days after conception – would that change the way you believe about abortion?

Would it change the arguments you used against abortion, or how you would intend to persuade people concerning having an abortion?

Would it change which laws you would support?

Think about it.

Now – what if you found out that a fetus has no heartbeat, doesn’t feel pain, nor even grows until 8 months after conception – would that change the way you believe about abortion?

Here is an article I wrote a couple years ago which speaks to this issue.