Tag Archives: eternal life

Storms of Doubt (Sermon: John 20:19-31)

A hopeful sermon to share with doubters, deconstructors, and those who care about them.

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Waiting Too Long to “Get Religion”

I went from early elementary school through high school with a boy named David. He was sometimes my friend – we started a club together in late elementary school – and he was sometimes my enemy – the club lasted … Continue reading

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Spiritual Life: Running on All Cylinders

Years ago, I had a van with over 200,000 miles and it was running really rough. It was backfiring and stalling. I thought we would have to make an appointment for a tune-up. But before I did that, I opened the hood and there, right in front of me, was a spark plug wire hanging loose. The engine was running on only five of its six cylinders. As soon as I put the wire back on, it ran fine (or as fine as a van with about a quarter million miles can be expected to run)

If you lack spiritual life, you are running on only one of two cylinders. Continue reading

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Bride of Christ (Revelation 17-22)

So, this is the Tale of Two Cities, which is also the tale of two women, which is also the one story of the earth’s history. The two cities could not be any less alike. Babylon is (18:2) “a home for demons and a haunt for every evil spirit” while New Jerusalem is (21:3) “the dwelling place of God [and] men.” Babylon is self-indulgent. New Jerusalem is sacrificially compassionate. Babylon’s sins are piled up to heaven (18:5) but New Jerusalem is clothed in righteous deeds (19:8). Babylon draws its energy from hell while New Jerusalem comes down out of heaven.

So we have two women who are two cities that express one age-old reality. That reality existed before there were cities, when there was only a garden, when there was Eden. It has expressed itself in city after city: magnificent Pi-Ramesses, Egypt; brutal Ninevah, Assyria; beautiful Babylon; intellectual Athens; powerhouse Rome; Enlightenment Paris; Nazi Berlin; Marxist Moscow; and Maoist Beijing. They all have rejected God’s rule and oppressed his people. Age in and age out, in one city after another, this spirit has emerged. Please God that “pursuit-of-happiness America” (as Eugene Peterson once put it) doesn’t follow suit.

Babylon is what takes God’s people away from him. It is seductive, luring people away from God to luxuries and distractions. It is also bloodthirsty, slaughtering the people of God, whenever they get in the way. When this letter was written, that spirit had broken out in Rome. Today, it is has emerged in China. Where will it rage tomorrow? It is ongoing but it is not endless. There will be a last battle.

The war will come to a head someday – perhaps in our day – and when it does, it will not go well with Babylon, or whatever its global expression is at the time.
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Salvation-lite: Great Benefits…Less Responsibility?

It was once quite common to hear people say, “I was saved in Vacation Bible School,” or “I was saved in a small group Bible study.” What did they mean by that? Saved from what? Saved for what? In what … Continue reading

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