How do we know we are not only saved but safe? How do we know we are not only saved but secure? Because not only are we saved, but we are also sealed. We are saved and safe, saved and secure, because we are saved and sealed. Earlier in the series we discovered that “Salvation is of the Lord” (not us), and it is by grace through faith. We can’t be saved by grace and by works. It is “not you holding out, but God holding on.” We also discovered that God uses definite, specific terms. He has a very precise vocabulary Now, let’s look at the fact that we are sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise Read more

The first reason to believe in eternal security is because Salvation is of the Lord. We looked at that in the previous article and, with an open mind, discussed asking God to change our thinking on the issue if needed. The goal for any teacher, or preacher, should not be trying to make sure they’ve always been right, but instead to make sure they presently are right. So, again, I ask you to hear me out before you pass judgment on me or this doctrine. Don’t be like a programmed machine, investigate Scripture and decide for yourself. Read more

Some of you are thinking, “I already believe in eternal security.” But why do you? What’s your proof, chapter and verse? “Be ready to give an answer to any man who asks of you of the hope that lies in you.” This will strengthen your position. And it will deepen your appreciation for what it is you have in Christ, and it will cause you to want to live a Christ-like life because of that appreciation. Read more

The end of the year has come and gone. Have you even thought about any New Year’s resolutions yet – you know, those decisions you make every year to shed a few pounds, get in shape, stop smoking, and basically just start getting our lives back in order? There’s something about starting a new year that forces most people to want to make some resolutions. We like the idea of putting an old year behind us, along with all of its frustrations and mistakes, and starting over fresh and new. Read more

After we had our miscarriage I was surprised to learn how many other couples had gone through them. I had no clue how many there were. Statistics tell us that about 15-20% of pregnancies end in a miscarriage. But, our culture has a strange desire to not talk about this issue. I suppose I understand some of the desire to keep it a secret – it’s unsettling, traumatic, and sometimes embarrassing. We don’t want to talk about it.  Read more

Nebraska is a story about failed expectations, both spoken and unspoken, in families.  Although it did not make a lot of money in theaters, it was nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards.  The look of the film, from its landscapes to its black and white photography, gives it the feel of a classic, and this is already a film I’ve gone back to re-watch a couple of times. Read more

I saw a lot of 2014 releases, almost 60, which is more by this time of year than in any previous year. There were a few happy reasons for this. 1) I went to the Telluride Film Festival last year and some of those films were not released until this year. 2) I moved from a town with one theater to a city with over a dozen. 3) Online viewing has continued expanding. 4) My wife loves watching movies also, so date night agrees with my biggest hobby. Read more

My encouragement to you, this Christmas, is not to seek so much to understand the things of this world that trouble you, but rather to seek the newborn Savior, whose peace “surpasses ALL understanding” (Philippians 4:7). While I agree that we should all work hard in our desire to “let there be peace on Earth”, I don’t think the cry for that peace should be “and let it begin with ME”. Rather, let it begin with a Holy God of redemption, incarnate in the form of a tiny baby in a manger. THAT is where true peace begins. That is “the thrill of hope” in whom “the weary world rejoices”. Read more

To believe our covenant children should be baptized apart from a personal, living, repenting, faith is to completely miss the entire reason for baptism. It’s to belittle the significance of faith and it’s centrality in the New Covenant. Romans 6:3 tells us baptism is a kind of participation in Christ’s death, “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death”  Read more

Being a pastor is one of those jobs everyone thinks he understands, but few really do. I had no idea what it was going to be like myself. So after 20 years of experience, here are 11 things some of us wish you knew. Read more

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