I remember sitting in a church listening to a preacher tell about someone that had made a profound impact on his life and ministry. This unnamed friend had prayed for the preacher every day, at the same time each day, for several years. Friends like those are the kind you thank God for – especially when facing the rigors of ministry.
I’ve observed over time that there are several who have this kind of heart toward the minister of God’s word. And then there are others, who may not consider the beneficial effect their prayers may have on a man’s ministry. Read the rest of this entry »
In my home there’s a nook. In the nook is a desk, next to the desk is a shelf, and on the shelf is a book – the highly recommended The God of the Towel by Jim McGuiggan. As I sit at the desk, contemplating my life of ministry, my work at Montwood, and tomorrow’s Bible class – and the tremendous impact that I want to have in all of them – the following words leap off the page at me: Read the rest of this entry »
I want to look at one last possible explanation of the historical evidence for Jesus’ resurrection. We somehow have to explain the empty grave of Jesus 3 days after his death and burial. We somehow have to explain the incredible change that came over his disciples that caused them to go into the whole world preaching Jesus. We somehow have to explain that Christianity grew out of this movement despite all of the hostile forces against it. I believe that the best and most reasonable explanation for all of these facts is that Jesus did rise from the dead.
One final alternative explanation is that the followers of Jesus all suffered from hallucinations and delusions; that when they thought they saw Jesus alive after he had died, they were simply succumbing to their own fevered imaginations. Is this explanation possible? Read the rest of this entry »
Many people think that the central claim of Christianity, that Jesus was raised from the dead, is nothing more than a myth or superstition. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the Apostle Peter specifically said that he and the other disciples had not followed cleverly devised myths, but were eyewitnesses of Jesus; and the apostle John said that he was presenting what he had heard, seen, examined and touched. These men presented the resurrection of Jesus not as a mythical story, but as a fact of history to which they could give personal testimony.
Nevertheless, some insist that this claim has no historical truth. One way skeptics attempt to do this is by saying that the disciples of Jesus went to the wrong tomb, found that tomb empty, and mistakenly jumped to the conclusion that Jesus had risen from the dead. Read the rest of this entry »
It is difficult for us, after so many Christian centuries during which the cross has been venerated as a sacred symbol, to realize the unspeakable horror and disgust that the mention or indeed the very thought of the cross provoked. By the Jewish law anyone who was crucified died under the curse of God (Gal 3:13, quoting Deut 21:23). In polite Roman society the word “cross” was an obscenity, not to be uttered in conversation. Even when a man was being sentenced to death by crucifixion, an archaic formula was used that avoided the pronouncing of this four-letter word – as it was in Latin (crux). This utterly vile form of punishment was that which Jesus endured, and by enduring it he turned that shameful instrument of torture into the object of his followers’ proudest boast. “May I never boast,” said Paul (by contrast with other people’s grounds of boasting), “except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Gal 6:14)…
FF Bruce, Philippians