Peak of the Week (Page 10)

Understanding Your Christian Obligation to the Next Generation

We have a tendency to think of Christianity in very individualistic ways, “If I want to be a Christian, that is between me and God; and if I don’t want to be a Christian, that is between me and God.” But the truth is, your decision to follow Jesus – or not follow Jesus – will affect far more than your own eternal life. Your decision could bless – or devastate – your descendants for countless generations. My Heritage of…

Should Christians Celebrate Halloween? (Some Personal Thoughts)

I have been asked by several to share my thoughts on Halloween. As the day came and went this year, I reflected on the issue quite a bit. It seems to me there is a group of Christians who say something along the lines of, “It’s an evil holiday. If your kids eat candy or wear costumes, you’re sinning.” And another group of Christians say, “It’s fine. It’s just kids having fun. Don’t take it so seriously.” Honestly, I’ve never…

Can Christians Lose Their Salvation – What Does the Bible Say?

Many well-meaning religious folks have built an entire theology around the assumption it is impossible for a Christian to fall away and lose his salvation. But what if that assumption is false? Let’s examine what the Bible says about a Christian losing his or her salvation. There are several passages which are often used as proof-texts. But if these verses are examined, they quite definitely do not teach the impossibility of apostasy. Let’s consider these “once saved, always saved” proof-texts:…

“Is it Wrong?” Why There Are Other Questions You Need to Ask

When it comes to behavior choices, it seems many people are only asking one question, “Is it wrong?” Questions like, is it wrong to gamble? Is it wrong to smoke? Is it wrong to have one beer? Is it wrong to dance? Or even, is it wrong to skip Wednesday night Bible study? While the question, “Is it wrong?” certainly has its place, we need to consider the fact that there are other questions which need to be asked as…

Jesus Doesn’t Judge A Church By Its Size

The phrase, “Church growth” has become a buzzword in religious circles. For many, the size of a church is the primary way to judge its health and success. They believe churches should do anything and everything to grow their numbers, because size is what matters. But on the other hand, there are those who assume a large church indicates compromise and apostasy. Have you ever stopped to consider that the New Testament puts very little emphasis on congregational size? So…

6 Thoughts on Walking in Forgiveness

In this devotional post, I’ll simply share six thoughts on the subject of forgiveness. I trust they will be a blessing to help us in our horizontal relationships. Forgiveness Can Be Complete Even If You Can’t Forget The Offense. I can’t erase hurts from my memory, but I do remember choosing to forget them. Don’t let the presence of awkward feelings or the fact that we can’t completely forget the offense keep us from walking in forgiveness. Obey forgiveness by…

Why Christianity is so offensive

The real reason so many people find Christianity offensive, and why they want nothing to do with it may not be what you think. I’m convinced the one thing so many people find offensive about Christianity is “LOVE.” Yes, “love.” You see, it’s because of love Christians must be willing to forgive. Matthew 18:21-22 Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him,…

What does the Bible say about drinking?

That is a question about which I wonder, do people really want the answer? Like many issues, Christians tend to pick out passages that “prove” their position, instead of allowing Scripture to dictate what their position should be. Let’s take an honest look at the Bible and see what God has to say about the issue of alcohol. What Does the Bible Say About Drinking? First, I think we should define what “drinking” we are talking about. Obviously, God is…

Riddles

Like riddles? Here’s a popular one: I never was, am always to be, No one ever saw me, nor ever will And yet I am the confidence of all. What am I? You may already know the answer. It is tomorrow. It is the future. If there’s one thing I’ve heard all my life, it’s that when brethren choose preachers they are always worried about the “future,” even though it never comes and is “always to be.” What they ought…

What does baptism have to do with salvation?

When the Bible talks about baptism, it almost always talks about it in connection with forgiveness, salvation, and the washing away of sins. But this confuses many people, because the Bible clearly teaches that man is saved by grace, through faith (Ephesians 2:8). So what, if anything, does baptism have to do with salvation? Let’s see what the Bible really teaches. The Biblical Expression of Faith Baptism is not something we do in addition to having faith in Christ. Baptism…

Old School

We were having a light supper with one of the elders and his wife in their magnificent home one Sunday night after church. Another elder and his wife had been invited to join us. We were seated at the table, enjoying delicious food and delightful conversation. Suddenly, the wife of the other elder said to me, “Hugh, I think your preaching is a little bit old style. I think you need to update your preaching.” To say the least, I…

Does God have plans to prosper you?

We’ve probably all seen the words of Jeremiah 29:11 on graduation cards, encouragement cards, and other merchandise. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’” (NIV). The way we use this verse seems to be implying God has plans to give an individual a prosperous career, good health, or even money in the bank. It actually…

30 prompts for reflection on your integrity

The word integrity is related to the roots of words like “integrate” & “entire,” & its Latin root means “wholeness.” Integrity thus implies the state of being complete, undivided, intact, & unbroken. Such a state contrasts with one that is scattered, fragmented, & incomplete. When you profess to one principle, but act in a way contrary to it; when you say you’ll do something, but fail to fulfill that promise; when you disregard a business’s or your employer’s rules, even…

Let’s talk about being justified by faith

The concept of “justification by faith” is one of the most important doctrines in Scripture. Unfortunately, some misunderstand it, some scoffingly dismiss it, and some ignore it completely. But let me tell you something and I don’t think I’m overstating the case here, you cannot be a Christian unless you understand and embrace the doctrine of justification by faith. So, let’s talk about what it means to be justified by faith. Justifying Ourselves To justify something means to make it…

6 popular false beliefs about Christianity

One of the most popular names that we think of regarding Protestantism and Christianity in the 16th century is Martin Luther. One thing for which Luther was known is the concept of “adiaphora,” from the Greek meaning “things indifferent.” It is the concept that there are things in the Bible and in Christianity that do not matter. Is this an accurate concept? Are there things in the Bible that don’t matter? Is anything really “adiaphora”? Sure, some things are, like…

You won’t go to Heaven just by being a member of the right church

HUGH’S NEWS & VIEWS The church as set forth in the New Testament was the fulfillment & fruition of God’s eternal purpose to redeem mankind Ephesians 3:8-12. It was brought into existence by Christ, being purchased with His blood Matthew 16:18; Acts 20:28. All who have been cleansed of & saved from their sins by the blood of Christ are members of the church, having been added to it when they were saved Acts 2:47. To speak of being a…

Losing faith: 4 things to do when doubts arise

I would be surprised if there was anyone who had thought seriously about the claims of the gospel and not had some doubts. If we are honest about what the Bible asks us to accept, there will be times when we say, “Could all this really be true?” I’ve experienced times like that and I’ve known plenty of mature Christians – leaders in the church – who’ve gone through seasons of doubt and come out stronger on the other side.…

Singing…

I suppose every Christian has memorized: Ephesians 5:19, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord. Colossians 3:16, Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. We all know we are to sing as a past of the worship service, and to…

25 things Christians need to pray about more

In the hurry of our day to day lives we often stop to say a prayer at one of three times: When we wake up, right before our busyness begins, Before we fall asleep, capping off our busy day or Before we hastily throw food into our mouths It’s not wrong to pray at these times, but sometimes this repetitive schedule or prayer leads to repetitive prayers (Matthew 6:7), and before we know it we’re praying the same ole things…

When are we obligated to help the poor?

The Bible has much to say concerning helping the poor. Proverbs 28:27 says the person who hides his eyes to poverty, “will get many a curse.” But we are quick to argue, “Yeah, but doesn’t the Bible also say, ‘If a man won’t work, neither should he eat.” So how much should Christians give to the poor? When should we give to the poor? What is our responsibility? This issue may be more important than you think. The Parable Of The Rich Fool Jesus told a parable, “The land…