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#SinStillSin

Friday, April 1st, 2022

“Sin is non-existent” so no man ever.  Truth is sin is a reality in our lives and there are few issues that divide progressives from historic Christianity more than the issue of sin.  While we might say sin is an issue, today’s world does not want to call it that. We call it by other names: a mistake, a shortcoming, an error in judgment, a mess-up; anything but sin. We have glossed over that word to make it not sound so imposing and condemning. But no matter what kind of “spin” is put on the word, sin is still sin.

Here’s the reality: unless we are willing to call sin what it is, and unless we stop glossing over it and not making it sound so “offensive,” we will never be free of its grip on us.  Romans 3:23 uses the word: “For all have sinned…” Not “all have made mistakes” or “all have had errors in judgment,” etc.  In fact, for us to experience salvation we have to admit to sin. We are all fallen creatures. While I don’t believe in total depravity, I do believe we are born with a sin nature which soon manifests itself in all of us.

I’m continuing my series on Truth Decay with this sermon entitled Sin is Still Sin.  I hope you will join me in person or via live stream. We have two services at 9 and10:45 but if you are unable to watch it then you can watch it later on YouTube or the church’s FB page.  If you can’t be there, please pray for me, for us.  Thanks.

#GodisStillGod

Friday, March 18th, 2022

In his book titled God:Coming Face to Face with His Majesty, John MacArthur tells an old fable about six men blind from birth who lived in India. One day they decided to visit a nearby palace. When they arrived, there was an elephant standing in the courtyard. The first blind man touched the side of the elephant and said, “An elephant is like a wall.” The second blind man touched the trunk and said, “An elephant is like a snake.” The third blind man touched the tusk and said, “An elephant is like a spear.” The fourth blind man touched the leg and said, “An elephant is like a tree.” The fifth blind man touched the ear and said, “An elephant is like a fan.” The sixth blind man touched the tail and said, “An elephant is like a rope.” Because each blind man touched only one part of the elephant, none of them could agree on what an elephant is really like.

That analogy can be used to describe how many people have misconceptions about what God is really like. I’m not sure that misconception is not any more apparent than in today’s progressive movement.  Their idea of God is so messed up and off track that it takes some doing to try to reign it in.  That really isn’t anything new when you think about it. Freud once said, “God was an illusion.” Voltaire said, “He is an invention of man.” Some say He is a mean, hateful entity, a child-abuser. Jesse Ventura said, “God and religion are a crutch.” Stephen Hawking said, “There is no heaven or afterlife…that is a fairy tale for people afraid of the dark.” Richard Dawkins called God a “moral monster.”  I believe those and others have already found out or will find out He exists and does not fit their description.

I’m continuing my series on Truth Decay with this week’s message titled “God is Still God.” I would love to have you join us in person or by live stream.  You can see it live at 9 and 10:45 on the church’s YouTube channel or FB page or watch it later on both of those as well.  Either way I would love to have you pray for us.

#Truth#BattleLines

Friday, March 11th, 2022

Have you ever had vertigo? I’m not sure there is a more awful feeling than having it. Watching the world spin out of control and you haven’t even moved. I went to bed feeling fine one time, but when I woke up in the middle of the night I walked right into the door jam. And then the nausea hit.  A quick trip to the clinic revealed wax on my eardrum.  A quick flush, an anti-nausea pill and I felt like a brand new man. Jo disagreed. She kept me under wraps. (I think it has more to do than just the nausea(.

Vertigo is an ugly thing to have. We seem to be in somewhat of a vertigo situation these days when it comes to truth. It is a fact that truth has always been in question. Check out the story of Adam and Eve. What did the serpent say to Eve? “Did God really say that?

Does truth matter? You betcha! If there is no truth then there is no place to stand. Anything goes-which, of course, our world likes.  Truth still matters. Always has and always will.  As truth decays so do our foundations.  My sermon Sunday is the 2nd in the series Truth Decay,  I’ve titled the sermon a real doozy (so he says out of the corner of his mouth): Truth is Still the Truth.  I’d love to have you join me in person or via live stream.  You can check it out at 9 and 10:45 on the church’s FB page or on YouTube.  Oh…the Scripture is from I Cor. 1:18-2:5.  See you there!

#TruthDecay#TheBible

Friday, March 4th, 2022

Just this week I listened to a podcast by John Cooper, the lead singer of the Christian rock band, Skillet. John was responding to a podcast by Phil Vischer (Veggie Tales fame) where he demeaned John and Alisa Childers because of their stand against “deconstruction.” Phil and his other two hosts (one was Skye someone and the other a female whose name I never caught) admitted they didn’t even know what deconstruction was. My advice: unless you know something about what you are talking about, don’t talk. How’s that for “kinder words” than “Shut up.”

Anyway, deconstruction is a very real thing going on. A group called “exvangelicals” are taking their garbage to the masses. Several artists (Kevin Max formerly of DC Talk, Jon Steingard from Hawk Nelson, and Audrey Assad to name a few), “superstars” like Joshua Harris, and even a former Desiring God writer have taken to the airwaves and print to tell their story.  Kevin Max believes in the “Universal Christ.” What in the world is that supposed to mean?

My new series on Sunday morning will be called Truth Decay and each sermon will deal with some belief that Progressivism (I refuse to call it Progressive Christianity because it isn’t) is seeking to destroy. Historic, orthodox Christianity is under attack by the liberal progressives (and I’m not talking politically). If I can be one voice to help prepare the people for their garbage, i.e. false teaching, then I want my voice heard. The first in the series this Sunday is entitled The Bible is Still the Bible.

I hope you will join me this Sunday with your attendance in person or via live stream. Most of all, though, I covet your prayers.

#ExclamationPoint#Ending!

Friday, February 25th, 2022

Have you ever wondered what sets someone apart from others? I’m not talking about financially, athletically, or socially. I’m talking spiritually. Why do some excel in their walk with Christ and others don’t? Why do some keep growing while others stagnate?

Seventeenth century Puritan, John Owen, once said, “What an individual is in secret, on his knees before God, that he is and no more.”

If that is true, and I tend to believe it is, Daniel is quite an example for us.  He must have spent hours upon his knees in secret.  In this final sermon in the Against the Grain series, I think it is only fitting to see what led to Daniel’s “staying power.”  I asked myself these questions: “What was it that gave him the strength; how was he able to go against pressure; how was he able to take whatever was thrown at him; how was he able to go against the grain of popular opinion and the threat of reprisal and come out as a shining example of what it take to follow God?”

I believe the secret is found in Daniel 9. Join us as we worship and study this Exclamation Point.

#Hint#WeWin!!

Friday, February 18th, 2022

I am not a gamer. I don’t play Candy Crush. Halo. Fortnite. Madden. Or any other game. I once found myself staying up way too late playing a game back in the 80s and said, “Never again.” I sold the Atari (remember those?) and never looked back. I had a friend once try to get me to try this game where I was the pilot, but after about 5-10 minutes I said, “I’m done.”  Part of the problem at the time was that I hated to lose and knew my competitive juices would start flowing. I also did not want to waste time playing a game when I could be doing something else.

Now, there is nothing wrong with gaming. Or winning. Sports is based on that premise. But when it becomes an all-consuming passion, it is time retire that desire.  One thing is certain: in every contest there is a winner and a loser. Even in a tie!! Think about it: someone did better than they or anyone thought; someone did worse than they or anyone thought. 🙂

What is the Christ-follower supposed to think about the future? We know there is going to be one. But do we know what is going to happen? Can we know what to expect? Daniel 7 is God’s vision of the future to Daniel, one which totally frightens him.  My sermon this Sunday is entitled Hint: We Win, and while we cannot know all that is going to happen, one thing we do know for sure: we will win.

I would love to have you join me this Sunday, but I know some of you can’t. Least not in person. So I hope you will join us live stream. Preaching on prophecy is a new thing for me so I most definitely will appreciate any prayers you might send up for me. 🙂

#BigCats#Afraid?#LoyaltyandFaithfulness

Friday, February 11th, 2022

One of the most familiar stories in the Bible is the story of Daniel and the big cats.  Tragically, as time has moved on the story of Daniel has been relegated to not being a true story. It is seen by many “scholars” as nothing more than a folk tale or fable to tell little children, sort of like Grimm’s Fairy Tales. It is seen as nothing more than a made-up, make-believe story.  The reasons people give are many and varied in their weight, but I’ll stand by the truth that this is a real story, that Daniel and Darius were real people, and that this story shows the power of God even over the mouths of animals.

The story of Daniel is the story of a man who refuses to bow down to ridiculous measures enacted by jealous, spiteful, little people. (Not little as in stature but little in being petty and jealous). It is the story of a man pushing 80 years of age, who is condemned to death in a most gruesome manner because he chooses loyalty to God over obedience to the state. While it is true that Daniel’s faithfulness stands as an example to us of taking a stand regardless of the consequences, it also boldly declares that God is able to do far more than we can think or imagine. I’m thinking Daniel’s attitude was the same as his 3 Hebrew friends who told King Nebuchadnezzar that they believe they will be saved by God but if not, they still won’t bow to his idol. Daniel may have thought the same.

The big focus of this story should not be on Daniel. It must be on the God who shut the mouths of the lions. My sermon is entitled Who’s Afraid of Big Cats and is from Daniel 6. Please read ahead to be prepared. I would love to have you join us in person, but if you are unable to do so, please join us via live stream at 9 and 10:45.  If you can do neither, then your prayers would be much appreciated.

#SignLanguage#Finished

Friday, February 4th, 2022

Have you ever heard or had someone say something like this to you: “I know there is not a God because I cursed Him and said if you are real then strike me dead. He didn’t so that proves that God is not real”?  Seriously? How lame is that? First, unless that person did it in front of others no one would know. Second, that person ought to be grateful God didn’t honor his request. Sadly, he/she would have found out how real God was and it would not have been pretty.  And another thing: that really proves nothing. Even humans are capable of resisting foolish requests.

 God is pretty patient. But there are some cases where His patience runs out. Enter Belshazzar in Daniel 5. One can mock God for only so long before Galatians 6:7 comes true: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a person sows, this he will also reap.”  Daniel 5 leaves us a glaring illustration of mockery come to fruition.

My sermon for this Sunday is a continuation of my series in Daniel called Against the Grain.  This one is titled Sign Language. Despite the expected snow, we plan to have two in-person services this Sunday. I would love to have you join us in person, but if that is not possible, we will be live streaming both services. If you can do neither, please pray for me, for us. Thanks.

#Idolatry#Conviction

Friday, January 28th, 2022

Sometimes being a follower of Christ is a real bummer.

I can see your eyes open wider and your mouth even more.  But let me finish my thought.

Sometimes being a follower of Christ is a real bummer, especially if you are or have been conditioned to thinking or even believing that “coming to Jesus makes all things right.” The health/wealth/prosperity teachers fall into this heresy.  It is obviously a false teaching to say that coming to Jesus alleviates problems. Or all you have to do is speak the name of Jesus and all the dark clouds disappear and you will have a Mr. Rogers world.

To counter that thinking I have another question, one many people ask: Why does God allow us to be tempted? Why doesn’t He just step in and take all the temptations away.”  I mean, life would be so much easier and “funner” if temptation was not an issue for the Christ-follower.  Perhaps a good way to answer that is by comparing the difference between a test and a temptation. The devil tempts us to destroy us; God tests us to develop our faith. When trials come false faith withers. The opposite is also true: when trials come real faith stands strong.

Every child who ever attended Sunday School learned the story of the three Hebrew young men: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Or Rack, Shack and Bennie if you are were a Veggie Tales fan. 🙂  Their faith was tested when they  were called on to worship a false idol.  The consequences of not doing so were horrific. Well…if you know the story you know what they chose to do.

This Sunday my sermon is on Daniel 3.  It is a 5th Sunday so if we meet in person the elementary kids will be with their parents. I thought they might appreciate this story more than the one of Nebuchadnezzar’s vision and subsequent 7 years living in the fields as an animal.  My sincere hope is that we will meet in person this Sunday after taking last Sunday to just be virtual.  If we do then we will be in person and live streaming at 9 and 10:45.  If not we will live stream at 10. I will let you know. THIS JUST IN: We are meeting in person so will live stream both services.

Thanks for your prayers.

One more thing: when you read this we will be in Ohio. Jo’s birthday is Sunday so I thought a great birthday present would be to take her to see Braden (and Janna, his mom).  We will be coming back home Saturday.

#Nailed!#Pride

Friday, January 21st, 2022

Perhaps you have heard the saying “Pride is the only disease known to man that makes everyone sick except the person who has it.” It is hard to argue with the simple truth of that statement.

I’d like to go on record as saying this: Nothing is every wasted. No plan or word of God’s is ever wasted. God is not a God of random acts. He is not a God of random, disconnected lessons.  So what is the purpose of Daniel 4 and Nebuchadnezzar’s vision? Repeat: lesson never wasted. He needed to learn a lesson about pride and God was going to teach it. But man, was it brutal! 

If you are following the series of Against the Grain you will notice that I am out of order. My original plan was to preach Daniel 3 this week (fiery furnace) and this sermon on the 30th. But the 5th Sunday is a Family Worship Sunday and the elementary kids will be in with us. So rather than do this and possibly scare some of the kids with the dreams Nebuchadnezzar had, I switched sermons.

Another development has come up as well. All of Indiana is in the RED so we are offering just live stream this week. Remember the change in time though: 10:00.

Thanks most of all for your prayers.