Speaking the Truth in Love

Church Blog (Page 2)

Our Preacher Shortage

The churches of Christ in this country are experiencing a preacher shortage. When a large congregation advertises an empty pulpit, resumes flood in by the score. This outpouring of interest is misleading, though. Primarily, it reflects the perceived opportunity for advancement a bigger church affords. When a smaller congregation looks for a preaching minister, the…

Truly Spiritual Worship

Jesus was traveling from Judea to Galilee. Tired, hungry, and thirsty, he and the disciples arrived in Sychar, a Samaritan village in the shadow of Mount Gerizim. While the disciples went to buy lunch, the Lord sat alone beside the well. When a woman came to draw water, Jesus asked for a drink. Astonished, she…

After We Die

All Christians agree that people who die in the Lord will live eternally in his presence. But do true disciples go immediately into heaven when they die, or do they enter Hades, the world of the dead, and there wait for the Day of Judgment? I believe that the Bible supports the latter view, but…

A Difference of Opinion

 After the Jerusalem council on circumcision, Paul and Barnabas returned to Antioch. In time Paul proposed a second mission trip: “Let us return and visit the brothers in every city where we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how they are” (Acts 15:36). Barnabas agreed to this plan and suggested that they take…

Is Suicide Forgivable?

We sometimes wonder how God will judge people who commit suicide. The theologian Augustine (AD 354-430) harshly condemned it. He argued that suicide was worse than murder because the perpetrator died in an unrepentant state. Is this argument biblical? The Bible records five cases of suicide. Four of these are in the Old Testament: Abimelech,…

Worship and Entertainment

In worship our music is congregational and a cappella. So is it wrong to listen to a Christian radio station playing hymns with instrumental accompaniment? For that matter, is it wrong to listen to a cappella music sung by a quartet instead of a church? Some preachers treat worship as if the Bible addresses every…

Sitting in the Ashes

Job is a wealthy Arab sheik. His 10 children are his delight, and he enjoys the deep respect of a community that admires his wise judgment and generosity to the poor. Job revels in the knowledge that God is good to him. He is a man at peace with the world and its Creator, a…

When Things Go Wrong

was a wealthy Arab sheik. His 10 children were his delight, and he enjoyed the respect of a community that appreciated his wise judgment and kindness to the poor. Job reveled in the knowledge that God was good to him. His possessions were gifts, and he knew where they came from. He was at peace…

Joy in the Lord

Paul encourages the Philippians to “rejoice in the Lord always” (Phil. 4:4). Is he talking about happiness? Most people do want to be happy. Happiness is the good feeling we have when everything goes our way – when our football team wins a big game, when we head home for the holidays, when several inches…

When Maturity Comes

spiritual gifts Paul predicts that prophecy, tongues, and supernatural revelations will end (1 Cor. 13:8). But when? He explains that “when the perfect comes, the partial [the spiritual gifts] will pass away” (v. 10). The phrase translated “the perfect” can mean “the mature thing.” The immediate context in 1 Corinthians 13 supports this idea: “When…