The New Jerusalem

UntitledI am writing this article after teaching this past weekend at Hoffmantown Kids. I usually write before I teach, in order to think through the subject and be better prepared to share the lesson. Last week, I taught on the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. This lesson is about the New Jerusalem that God is going to bring down from heaven to the new earth. The question is, “why is there a need for a new earth and a new Jerusalem”? I am so glad that you asked that question because I want to answer it in this article. There are 5 aspects that we need to focus on in order to understand the new Jerusalem. Continue reading

Getting Connected with God through Christ

connect-with-godI have spent the better part of this school year teaching through the Gospel of Mark with my preschool teachers. We have all learned so much about our Lord and Savior, how He interacted with people to share the message of the Gospel with them in order to help them connect with God. All throughout the history of Israel, God had established spiritual leaders to help the common people connect with Him. For the most part, the spiritual leaders used their position and authority to lord over the people instead of help them connect with God. In Mark 10, Jesus reveals what people who are not connected with God are like. Most of the examples are the spiritual leaders. This is yet another opportunity for the spiritual leaders to admit their failure, repent of their mindset and actions, and connect with God through Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, most of them were so caught up in themselves that they could not admit their wrong doing and therefore continued to live disconnected from their Creator. This same problem exists to this very day in all churches, no matter the denomination or creed. I would like to examine this idea of getting connected with God through the Lord Jesus Christ as presented by Jesus in the Gospel of Mark, chapter 10.  Continue reading

Trust the Lord when life gets tough

UntitledTonight, at church, we are hosting a parents’ night out which means that we get the kiddos. We have over 80 kids signed up. The program is called Kids’ Jams. I am excited. We have a fun night planned. We are going to study Habakkuk.

What do you do when bad things happen? Some people blame God. Others lose hope. While still others try to “fix” the situation. What if none of those help, then what do you do? Habakkuk has the answer for us. Continue reading

The church plant in Philippi

1I am getting ready to teach our kids this coming Sunday about the Apostle Paul’s Second missionary journey. Part of that journey included a church plant in the city of Philippi. As we saw when Paul was on his first missionary trip, he did not set out to plant churches. He was called by God to go and make disciples. The churches were formed as a result of people being discipled. This is the model for church planting. The modern approach is exactly backwards. We seek to plant churches and then disciple people once they become part of the church. Our modern form of church has much to learn from the Biblical approach. There are many areas where we are far from the Bible in our approach to modern ministry.  Continue reading

Claiming to be a Christian without being a disciple is like tasteless salt

040313-saltI want to address the teaching that is popular today among many evangelical teachers, a teaching that I believe is incorrect, that is, a teaching that says a person can be a born again Christian without being a disciple. The idea, separate from the clear teachings of Scripture, is that salvation is a free gift, a statement with which I agree, and in God’s economy, He calls us to believe that Jesus Christ is God, and then, once we have believed, we are invited into the process of discipleship. I have previously written on the mark of a genuine disciple and in this article, I lay out the reasons why I believe that a person cannot be a Christian without being a disciple.

In this article, I would like to examine Luke 14 to demonstrate that Jesus teaches that a person cannot be a believer without being a disciple. Take a moment to read Luke 14 and then let’s think through this teaching that Luke records. Jesus is the teacher and He gives a call to follow Him in this passage. He gives a call to discipleship. He gives a call to enter into the kingdom of God. Continue reading

Persecution: The fuel that furthers the Gospel

philip-eunuchWe are in Acts 8 as we continue to walk through the New Testament this year in our Children’s Department at Hoffmantown Church. To get us caught up in what we have learned, we need to take a look at the commands given to the disciples by Jesus before He ascended into heaven.

  • you will receive power
  • the power will be the Holy Spirit
  • the Holy Spirit will allow you to be a witness for Christ to all
  • you are to live a life of missions, seeking to make disciples of all nations and ethnic groups
  • evangelize and equip/train those who believe
  • teach/preach/proclaim/share the Word of God with all who will listen
  • you are to make disciples starting in Jerusalem and moving out to the ends of the earth

Continue reading

The need for communication

communicateI am teaching II Thessalonians this semester for my Monday night study. We met last week and began to do the overview lesson. During the lesson, we wrote down what we learned about Paul from II Thessalonians. In fact, we wrote down what Paul reveals about himself in II Thessalonians. One of the things that we noticed was the importance of communication and how Paul was a master at communicating. Continue reading

Paul in Thessalonica and Berea

screen-shot-2017-01-03-at-7-35-31-pmI spent a large part of today preparing to teach my second grade Sunday School class this coming Sunday. It is the first meeting of the new year. It is hard to believe that it is already 2017. I am excited to teach the New Testament this semester. We are starting midway through Acts. Last year, we went through the entire Bible in one year. It was a neat 3,000 foot view of the Bible, learning that it is all about Jesus. This week, we are going to examine Acts 17:1-15. Continue reading

God’s Sovereignty and Man’s responsibility in holiness

In my previous post, I wrote about God’s Sovereignty and Man’s responsibility in salvation, demonstrating that God saves us based on grace and not merit, but, this does not negate man’s responsibility in salvation. God offers and man has to accept. The transaction of a gift is not complete until the recipient takes the gift from the giver. In the case of our salvation, we looked at God with Abraham, Jesus with His disciples, and Paul with his encounter with Christ on the road to Damascus. That article came as a result of a discussion with a Calvinist brother in Christ. This article is the direct result of a continuation of that discussion and this time focusing on man’s responsibility in holiness, or the other Biblical term that is used is “sanctification“. The word holy and sanctified have the same Greek root word and the meaning is to be “set a part”, to be “different” from those around you. God saves people with a purpose, and that purpose is more than just taking them to heaven when they die. The word salvation literally means “rescue”. God rescues us from more than just the fires of hell. He rescues us from our sin nature and as we walk the path of life with the Lord, He sets us a part from the rest of the people in the world by making us more like Him and less like people controlled by their sin nature. That is what holiness means. It does not mean that you dress differently from everyone else, retract from the world, and become weird. It means that you begin to win the battle with your sin nature. The closer you walk with God, the more and more victories you will have over your number 1 enemy, yourself. The further away you get from God, the more you will begin living like the rest of the world, enslaved to the desires of your sin nature. I would like to examine this from Paul’s epistle to Titus. Continue reading

Our spiritual enemy

I am getting ready to teach during our 5th-6th grade Sunday School this Sunday and the topic of our lesson is found in Revelation 12.

This lesson reveals that we have a spiritual enemy, someone who has been active from the beginning and will continue to be active until the end. Let’s see what we can learn about him to determine what we need to do in order to have victory in this battle.

I. The enemy and his friends

Continue reading