“Preach My Gospel”

“Preach My Gospel”

This is what the voice told me.

I have been dealing with fear over being more open about my faith, largely because of the state our country is in and how much more risky it has become to be passionate about our beliefs.

While it is not an irrational fear, it is something that should not paralyze us with fear.

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How Serious is Sin?

One of the things that I believe is a struggle for many, believers and non-believers alike, is the severity of sin. Many people, by the world’s standards, live very decent lives, not rocking the boat much, if at all, and they go about their lives, helping others and doing what they can to either make the world a better place or, at the very least, not make the world any worse than it already is.

Many I have come across and have discussed the doctrine of sin with all say the same thing, “I’m a good person. Even though I don’t believe any particular religion, God’s still going to let me into heaven. It wouldn’t make sense for Him not to. I’ve never done anything majorly wrong. Just a few lies here and there, maybe said some nasty things, but that’s about it. Nothing serious.”

The problem that we run into is the fact that we never actually see God as He really is.

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Face it…You’re a Sinner

A lot has been going through my mind recently, especially as I have begun to fully come to terms with my addiction/idolatrous relationship to/with pornography.

In a recent post, Addiction or Idolatry?, I shared about the fact that we have so often misunderstood how addictions play into the lives of Christians, especially pastors in regard to pornography, and even others in the church who suffer from alcohol dependency, opioid dependency, and other types of substance abuse.

Many times, we erroneously classify such struggles as addictions, and we treat it as such.

I’m not one to knock Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous(NA), since AA was founded by Christians with idea that only God can heal addiction. I would wholeheartedly agree with this statement.

The issue I take, though, is that we see these things as addictions in the life of a Christian, when it reality, it should be classified as idolatry: the act of making something more important than God, and doing whatever it takes, even the risk of dragging the Name of God through the mud, to get at our idol.

This time around, I want to dig a little deeper, looking at sin in general and how we have, for lack of a better term, downplayed sin the life of the Church, the life of the believer, and in the life of the non-believer.

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How Do You View Jesus?

I wanted to take some time to flesh out a few comments that took place on the post Is Jesus the Only Way?.

Within the comments, I noted C.S. Lewis’ viewpoint that when it comes to Jesus, we have very few choices in the matter: either Jesus is a crazy person, on the same level as the person who says he is a poached egg; He is a devil of hell and should be condemned; or Jesus really is the Son of God, like He claimed.

To quote C.S. Lewis himself: “I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say.” (Mere Christianity)

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The Radical Act of Jesus

We all know the story of how, on the night Jesus was betrayed, He stripped down to a cloth, and washed His disciples’ feet. We all know this story, and around the time of Jesus’ death, we share this story and we are told to be like Jesus, washing each other’s feet, helping each other out, and we are told to be a servant.

It struck me while watching Michael W. Smith’s “The Second Chance” exactly why what Jesus did was radical, and it’s fleshed out in two different stories in the life of Jesus.

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Jesus Isn’t Real…

Recently, I was confronted with a point from a non-believer that science is proving that Jesus never even existed.

I looked up a few articles as well, all of which stated that there is no way that Jesus, at least Jesus as Christians know Him, never existed. They say that He could’ve been any number of historical characters named Jesus, or rather, Yeshua Ben Yosef (Jesus, son of Joseph).

One of their biggest arguments? Other than the Christian Scriptures, there are no historical documents outside of the Jewish and Roman empires that say anything regarding Jesus.  They say that none of the pagan poets and writers and philosophers of that time wrote a single thing about this apparent miracle man.

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The Servant King

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We serve a mighty King. Think about that. We serve a mighty King. He is the creator of heaven and earth. He made everything we see, all of creation, and everything we don’t see, but only experience, such as emotions and the air and heat and cold. The whole universe was made by His two hands. This King we serve is mighty. He is mighty indeed.

But here’s the flip-side to this King: He serves us.

Did you catch that?

Our mighty King serves us.

That’s huge! He’s the King! He rules over everything! He is sovereign over all things in this world and the world to come! And He…serves us?

Yes. Yes, He does.

In Mark 10:37, James and John came to our Lord and requested that they sit at the right and left hand of Jesus in His glory. A lofty request, no? They wanted power in the kingdom to come, second only to Jesus. They wanted authority. They didn’t understand the whole idea of the kingdom that Jesus had come to create.

The above quote says that down is the up. Jesus’ kingdom is topsy-turvy. He takes the whole idea of what we know in kingdoms and life and turns the whole thing upside down. It’s an upside-down kingdom when we follow Jesus.

Here’s what I mean. In verse 42, Jesus explains how the Gentiles (the non-Jews; this term is later used in the New Testament to refer to all non-believers) lord their authority over the people under them. Not only that, but they take advantage of their high positions, forcing people to do their work for them. In short, they abuse their authority.

However, Jesus tells his disciples that it needs to be different with them:

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