It pays to be a Christian

In 313 A.D. Constantine the Great proclaimed the Edict of Milan, where persecution of the church ended. It would be hard to overstate the significance of this moment. For two hundred years the mightiest empire in history had turned its attention to snuffing out a religion that appealed to the poor, peasants, fishermen – the weak and unimportant of the empire. Christians had suffered unspeakably. Continue reading “It pays to be a Christian”

Drawing an audience

“In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, . . . Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him” (Matthew 3:1, 5).

One of the attractions of preaching in countries like Nepal and Bangladesh is the number of people who will travel long distances under difficult circumstances to hear one’s lessons. On my very first trip to Nepal I met some brothers from the mountains who had come to Katmandu to hear me preach. When I asked where they lived they said, “It is two days walk from our village to the end of the bus route, then a 12 hour ride on the bus to Katmandu.” Continue reading “Drawing an audience”

God’s song

If you were to drop by my garden unexpectedly while I’m working in it, you’d have a good chance of finding me singing. I’m not warning you ahead of time in order to avoid your calling Animal Control about a bobcat on the loose. I am simply trying to make the point that being close to nature puts a song in one’s heart.

There are many hymns that invoke the sounds and sights of a garden. At every turn in a natural setting, one might find a horticultural treasure that inspires a person to break out in a song of praise. Continue reading “God’s song”

As Peter pictured false teachers for us, he showed that they are not merely people with whom we disagree on the interpretation of Scripture, but they have evil motives. Peter compared them to Balaam, They have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; but he was rebuked for his iniquity: a dumb donkey speaking with a man’s voice restrained the madness of the prophet (2 Peter 2.15–16). Therefore, be careful about whom you label a false teacher. If someone seeks to use the Lord as … Continue reading