Once, when I was traveling on a mission trip I sat next to a fellow passenger on an airplane and we started a discussion en route to our destination. I shared with the person that I am a pastor. My new friend proudly proclaimed that he was also a Christian. I asked him what denomination his church was and his response was, “I do not attend worship services at the church. My faith is personal and I have my own reason for not attending worship services.” Are you familiar with a response like this? Maybe you have used this line of reasoning. It is not a good idea for Christians to ignore the regular attendance of worship services and here is why: Continue reading
As I prepare to teach our Connect Group (formerly Sunday School) at Southern Calvert Baptist Church, I am amazed to see, once again, the beauty and simplicity of the Word of God. We have been studying the epistles of the New Testament this quarter. In the previous quarter, we drilled down into the book of the Acts of the apostles. It was a great study. Here is a list of some of the lesson which we have covered: Continue reading
I just listened to a wonderful sermon preached by my mentor, Vasile Filat. I am currently listening to it again so that I can translate it into English for this article so that you can be blessed by it the way that I was.
How much do you appreciate your spiritual leaders? Do you have spiritual leaders/mentors? God has orchestrated the Christian life to be one of a person having a mentor, being a mentee, and then becoming a mentor while still being mentored. This process is laid out for us in Matthew 28. We see it explained by the Apostle Paul in II Timothy 2:2. Paul was mentored by Jesus. Paul mentors Timothy. As Timothy is being mentored, he begins to mentor others. Those whom Timothy mentors begin to mentor others. Jesus –> Paul –> Timothy –> new disciples –> their disciples. Unfortunately, there are many in the church who have never experienced God’s amazing plan of being discipled. Even if you do not have a direct mentor, you have a spiritual leader if you are part of a local church. Paul explains this in Ephesians 4. The spiritual leaders pour into the lives of the members and the members serve one another and together, reach out to the community to make disciples. Continue reading
Yesterday, I tried to answer the question of whether heaven would be the same for all believers or will there be different rewards. With this article, I would like to address the question of eternal punishment, will it be the same for all lost sinners or are there different levels of punishment.
First of all, we have to establish that the punishment for all who do not confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is that they will be punished by God with what the Bible describes as the second death. It is in the lake of fire that will last for eternity. All of it is torture yet, for some, the torture will be worse than for others. Continue reading
I am excited to begin a new Bible study today in the essentials of effective prayer. This class is for my preschool teachers who work for Kids’ Express, our weekly preK school that serves our church and our community.
This is our first lesson and we are going to lay the foundation for effective prayer. Have you ever met someone who prayed powerful prayers that moved God to answer time and time again? Are you one of those people? Would you like to become one of those people? This 6 week study will help with this.
I. Elijah’s effective prayer
Well, it’s Tuesday afternoon once again and I am preparing to teach James during my staff meeting tomorrow. It has been neat to see how God explains so clearly through His Word what genuine faith is and how it is manifested in daily life.
Here are a few articles that explain genuine faith from James’ perspective:
- Living faith vs. Dead faith
- Living faith vs. Deaf faith II
- Trials and Temptations; what’s the difference?
So, what did you think about the title? I intentionally worded the title the way that I did because this is what Paul is trying to point out to Timothy. Just being in a church does not make you a follower of Jesus Christ. In fact, a great portion of chapter 3 is dedicated to the people who are in the church but do not know God.
Now, before we jump in to the meat of this passage, I want to review what we have already discovered from II Timothy 2.
As I was preparing to lead lesson 2 from the Bible study manual, “Abraham, God’s Brave Explorer“, I was reminded of a truth that I had known. It was neat to see how it hit me in a fresh way. I have studied the life of Abraham many times and written articles about it. I had seen the truth before but it was neat to see it again. God made it fresh for the moment. The Word of God really is living and active, sharper than a double edged sword. Here are some of the articles on Abraham.
- Abraham, the father of our faith
- Abraham learns faithfulness
- Genuine faith impacts your relationships
Some (atheists) dislike Israel for the fact that they have a special blessing from God upon them (not because God likes them more but because it is part of His plan to bless the entire world). As you can see in the following text, this person has no idea what God has in mind when He says that through the “seed” of Abraham, the entire world will be blessed. Continue reading