There’s a movie coming out about heaven and it brings up a question that I’ve encountered pretty often in my life, and I’m sure you have too.
“I’m a good person. I teach my kids to love unconditionally. I show respect to others. Why do I need to go to church and believe in God? Isn’t this enough to get into heaven?”
It would be, if getting into heaven was about being good. Or respecting others. Or teaching your kids to love unconditionally. But it’s not. Salvation is not something you earn with your good works, salvation is something you accept instead of them.
And that’s the good news. That’s the “gospel.” Continue reading
(Got this image from here, but thought is was perfect!)
Have you ever felt like you’re just not as Christian as you should be? That the “new creation” still looks like the “old creation” or that these white robes you’ve been given just aren’t tailored to fit right?
That producing your “fruits” is taking a lot of effort and after all the work, they come out tasting more bitter than sweet?
Well…maybe you’re trying too hard. Continue reading
Image courtesy of Boykung / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
“Frodo, neither the Voice nor the Eye: free to choose, and with one remaining instant to do so. He took the Ring off his finger.” -Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
Our struggle. Daily, even minute by minute at times. So accurately described in so many places, and yet no easier to deal with.
We are neither the Voice nor the Eye, the Holy Spirit nor the Spirit of Evil. We are the agent in the middle, free to choose – and at times with only an instant to do so. Continue reading
Faith does not come from us. It doesn’t originate from us. It’s not initiated by us. The Bible seems to make this clear. But does this mean we can’t have faith without God flipping a switch in us? No.
Here’s the thing: if God had no part in our faith, then we could say, “I believed in God without any help at all!” This isn’t biblical. But it also doesn’t mean that God directly causes some to have faith and some not. What would be the point of Paul’s argument in Romans – that no one has an excuse not to have faith in God – when, in fact, they do have an excuse; God never gave them faith! Simply doesn’t make sense, and it’s because we’ve misunderstood something about faith.
Faith is always the second step. Continue reading
When I went to Hope International University there was this really old guy that you would see walking around the campus. He was a professor, but unless you had him as a teacher you would probably never meet him. However, just by hearsay, you would know his name.
You knew there was something important about that guy, like the kind of person that carried a lot of clout in his respective circle. The same kind of vibe the senior elder of a church might carry. Time had taken its toll by the time I started going to school there, and you could see he was weighted down by experience. His face said he chose his words carefully for impact.