3 Things to Remember When Leaders Leave Your Church

When Church Leaders are Led to Leavewalkingawaygrey

If you have gone to a church of your own volition for any length of time you cannot help but have that church become a part of you. You likely chose that church for one or more reasons, and you have grown to love the people, the teaching, the music, the fellowship, the various ministries, etc. I know I feel this way about my church for sure. If I didn’t I wouldn’t call it my church home. One thing we can sometimes forget is that the leaders in the church have not sworn a blood oath to remain at your church, and your church only. Things happen. They might start families. They might grow in a way that leads them in a new direction. They might find themselves with a decision to make based on what God is calling them to do, and one of the choices might include moving to a different church.

Now if you have never been a part of a church of your choosing for any period of time you might think, “What’s the big deal”? Trust me. This losing a leader in the church can be a very big deal to many members of a congregation. This type of transition surfaces all sorts of emotions. Sometime those who remain at the church may field betrayed, disappointed, angry, saddened, concerned, confused, and everything in between. These emotions, when not handled prayerfully, can lead to a number of negative reactions with the most common being gossip, and even slander. Sounds pretty unbiblical, right? Well, it is. This is why I thought it important to remember three important points if you experience a leader leaving your church to join another church…

1) It’s Not About You

Notice some of the emotions I listed that church members might feel when a leader leaves to go to another church. Do you see a common theme? If you guessed pride or selfishness then you guessed correctly. We are called to go. Go to the lost. Heal the sick. Give freely what was given to us. Take a look at Matthew 10:5-15:

5 These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, 6 but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And proclaim as you go, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay. 9 Acquire no gold nor silver nor copper for your belts, 10 no bag for your journey, nor two tunics nor sandals nor a staff, for the laborer deserves his food. 11 And whatever town or village you enter, find out who is worthy in it and stay there until you depart. 12 As you enter the house, greet it. 13 And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it, but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14 And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town. 15 Truly, I say to you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town.

If you are feeling some of the emotions I listed above I understand, but prayerfully ask are you more concerned about what is going on in your church? Or should you be spending that energy praying that the leader that is moving to a different church reaches lost people in a staggering way, and has a tremendously fruitful ministry that glorifies God in the highest? Energy spent in unrighteous anger is energy spent with frustrating results. Energy spent in broken-hearted prayer for the lost is energy spent chasing after that which God desires. Now that is energy well spent.

So remember, it is not about you. It is about reaching lost people in a way that glorifies God.

2) The Church is Not the Building

It is hard not to be protective of your church. When you do church right you grow such a deep sense of connection with both the place and the people. So when something seems to threaten either of those things it is easy to feel like it is time to fight back. But what is the church really? Is it the place? The building? Or is it something more? 1 Corinthians 12:13 provides us with a foundation of understanding.

13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

We are all baptized into one body. That sounds like unity to me, but I don’t see any mention of a building or a place. Paul gives us a deeper understanding still when he writes of what God did for Christ in Ephesians 1:22-23.

22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

So we are all baptized into one body, and that body is the church. So what does that have to do with a leader leaving to go to another church? Here is the thing. That leader is not truly going to another church. He or she is still part of the body of Christ, which is to say he or she is still part of the same (Big “C”) Church that you are a part of. Same Church, different address. In this way we are called to encourage each other. Consider Hebrews 10:23-24.

23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

Should we be encouraging that leader? Absolutely! Can we still stir each other (that leader included) up to love and good works? Of course! Can we even continue to meet together with that leader? Why not? The church leader was not hit by a bus. There is no need to act like you can never possibly contact this person again. This is just a change of address.

3) God is Sovereign

God’s plan is not always your plan. In fact, I find more often than not God has something much better than I could have anticipated. There is something tremendously comforting in knowing that God has a plan, and that His plan will come to pass. We see support for this in Isaiah 46:8-11.

8 Remember this and stand firm,
recall it to mind, you transgressors,
9 remember the former things of old;
for I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me,
10 declaring the end from the beginning
and from ancient times things not yet done,
saying, My counsel shall stand,
and I will accomplish all my purpose,
11 calling a bird of prey from the east,
the man of my counsel from a far country.
I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass;
I have purposed, and I will do it.

God declares the end from the beginning. He shall accomplish His purpose. So, if a leader leaves a church to go to another church you better believe it is part of God’s plan. How do I know that? Because if it was not part of God’s plan it would not have happened. Read that last sentence again, and let it sink in. This is what it means for God to be sovereign. The frustrating part is facing the unknown. What is going to happen after the leader leaves? Who will fill that spot? Will he or she do a good job? Why not ask what you can do to help fill the gap in the interim. Why not just trust in God’s plan? This shouldn’t be a stretch for a believer. After all we are speaking of the omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, omni-benevolent creator of everything. Chances are His plan is pretty solid. You’re plan… not so much.

Lost and Found

When a church leader leaves one church to go to another for reasons that were fueled by thoughtful prayer and biblical consideration it is not up to us as followers of Christ to condemn that person, and it is certainly not up to us to speak ill of the person or the church he or she is moving to. It is up to us to encourage, to pray, to continue serving. We need to take the focus off of ourselves, and place it squarely on the things of God. We need to pray that the church leader will go after the lost with Christ-fueled vigor. And we need to do everything we can to support our church through the transition, and to support whomever fills that position. We can take heart in knowing that God has placed that person there with a purpose.

Pope Francis, Creation, and Theistic Evolution

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Photo Credit: Angelo Carconi, EPA

Pope Francis on Creation and Evolution

I was reading a USA Today article covering some statements of Pope Francis during his address to the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. This particular quote from Pope Francies (which was also called out in the article) specifically caught my attention:

“God is not a divine being or a magician, but the Creator who brought everything to life,” the pope said. “Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve.”

Pope Francis had indicated that the Big Bang theory was not inherently inconsistent with intelligent design. I take no issue with this particular part of his address. I do, however, take issue with his indication that evolution is also consistent with a biblical understanding of creation. There are Christians in the world that attempt to reconcile evolutionary theory with creationist views. This is referred to as “Theistic Evolution”. The following are some thoughts on theistic evolution, and how that view stacks up against the biblical account of creation.

Christianity and Science – A Match Made in Heaven

Some may take issue with the following statement: Christianity and science are not mutually exclusive. While this statement is true, one should not take the statement to mean that Christianity accepts all scientific theories of evolution. For example, the Big Bang Theory does not inherently conflict with Christian intelligent design beliefs; however, some portions of theoretical evolution do, in fact, conflict with the Christian view of creation. Keep in mind this particular post will not focus on whether or not evolution is true, rather I will focus on the question of whether or not “theistic evolution” is contrary or not.

Genesis, Original Sin, and Death

The book of Genesis provides the creation account from a biblical perspective. What we know, biblically speaking, is: God created man and woman (Genesis 1:26-27; Genesis 2:7, 21-22). God gave humans free will. We know this as God instructed Adam not to the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:17):

but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die

We know that Adam and Eve had an understanding of the concept of death, as Eve expresses her concern in Genesis 3:2-3:

2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’”

While Eve does not specifically call out the idea that she is concerned with a physical death, her words are quite suggestive of a physical death. As a new creation in direct communication with God it seems unlikely Eve would be referring to a spiritual death. Once Adam and Eve have eaten of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil the Lord doles out their punishment. Of specific interest is what the Lord says to Adam in Genesis 3:19.

By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

The above passage makes it clear that a physical death is now in the cards for Adam. One should not take the fact that the above passage was listed as Adam’s punishment to indicate that Eve would not have to experience a physical death. How do we know Eve would also experience physical death? Based on evidence in Genesis 3:22-24, which reads:

22 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—”23 therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. 24 He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.

It appears from the above passage that the tree of life is what would prevent the physical death of Adam and Eve; however, as punishment for their disobedience Adam and Eve would no longer be allowed access to the tree. Thus, physical human death is a product of original sin.

The Issue of Death as a Product of Original Sin

Theistic-EvolutionTheistic evolutionists hold to a theory of common descent with a twist. The twist comes in with the belief that God, in one way or another, used the evolutionary process to carry out His plan of the creation of man. Here is the rub. Universal common decent requires death – billions of years of it, in fact – in order to ultimately get to the point we have today with all of the various living beings across the world. Death, as a inherent component of the cycle of life is contradictory with what is presented to us in Genesis. The Genesis creation account is clear that part of Adam and Eve’s punishment for disobeying God is physical death. It would appear that theistic evolutionists are looking for a “have your cake and eat it too” type of theology. One might argue that the punishment described in Genesis is really alluding to a spiritual death, and not a physical death. Why then, would God place a guard at the tree of life to prevent Adam and Eve from living forever? Seems like a moot point if they were not slated for a physical death to begin with.

This point does not even touch on free will and divine revelation. If universal common decent is true, then at what point were humans given free will? And at what point did God reveal His will to humans, so they might be able to rationally weigh out options to decide if they were going to comply with God, or not? In the book Philosophical Foundations, author Surrendra Gangadean writes:

Naturalism (N) maintains that there is no soul which exists apart from the body. Historic Theism (HT) affirms that man is a body/soul unity and the soul survives the death of the body. Theistic evolution (TE), like (HT), maintains that man has a soul which survives the death of the body and, in addition, incorporates evolution by saying that a hominid became human when God infused a soul into it. TE’s view of the infusion of a soul requires saying that the life and the soul are not the same. But since the soul is the center of awareness, and since the hominid, without a soul, already had some form of perceptual awareness, having both life and soul would produce two centers of awareness, which is contrary to the unity of one conscious self. This would also permit the soul to leave the body and for the being to continue to be alive. Neither N or HT would find this compromise possible or plausible.

This idea of two centers of awareness presented by Gangadean is interesting, and points out a significant flaw in the theistic evolution worldview. Note that this passage points out that the concept of theistic evolution causes issues in both naturalism, and theism camps.

So Can Science and Christianity Still Coexist?

Yes. The reality is that science coincides with biblical accounts more than science conflicts with the bible. What we need to be careful of is mashing together contrary worldviews into an “I agree with everyone” mentality. Perhaps I am being too pointed here, but it occurs to me that Christians can be more hurtful than helpful when holding to views that are inherently contrary. Instead, we need to avoid reading the bible in an eisegetical fashion, and instead read the bible with a critical mind with the intention of understanding the text as it was meant to be understood. Theistic evolution fails at a fundamental level. As such, I do not hold theistic evolution to be true. The fact that Pope Francis (and other Popes before him) feels that evolution can be reconciled with a biblical view of creation is disconcerting to say the least.

Why Do Many Christians Worship on Sunday?

keep-calm-it-s-sabbath-dayA commonly held perspective across Christianity, and other religions is that the Sabbath is Saturday, but what is the Sabbath, and why do many Christians worship on Sunday instead of Saturday?

A Little Background on the Sabbath

Genesis 2:2 tells us:

And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done.

And so began the premise for the Sabbath. It was the Lord who commanded us to observe the Sabbath when He gave Moses the Ten Commandments. Exodus 31:12-17 reads:

12 And the Lord said to Moses, 13″You are to speak to the people of Israel and say, “Above all you shall keep my Sabbaths, for this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I, the Lord, sanctify you. 14 You shall keep the Sabbath, because it is holy for you. Everyone who profanes it shall be put to death. Whoever does any work on it, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. 15 Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the Lord. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day shall be put to death. 16 Therefore the people of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, observing the Sabbath throughout their generations, as a covenant forever. 17 It is a sign forever between me and the people of Israel that in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.”

The lord was quite specific about His expectations for us with regard to the Sabbath. You might have noticed that the Bible never mentions that the Sabbath is on Saturday. In fact, the Bible never mentions the names of any days of the week as we know them today. Instead weeks were broken into seven days with the Sabbath being the seventh day of the week. So how do we know the seventh day of the week is on Saturday? Pastor Doug Batchelor offers a nice explanation for the Sabbath being on Saturday in this audio clip: Sabbath Question. The transcript of this audio file can be found here. OK, so let’s say – for the sake of argument – that the Sabbath is on Saturday. Why would so many Christians worship on Sunday?

Why Worship on Sunday?

Very generally speaking Muslims worship on Friday, Jews on Saturday, and most Christians on Sunday. Based on information found on Islamicweb.com Muslims worship on Friday because Allah sent Muhammad

informing both the Chrisitans and the Jews that they should take Friday as a holy and a sacred day.

Jews worship on Saturday based on the commandment from God to do so, as in the passage from Exodus above.

So why do many Christians worship on Sunday? Jesus was crucified on what we would consider today to be Friday. Evidence for this is found in Mark 15:42, which reads:

And when evening had come, since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath,

As we have already seen that the Sabbath is on Saturday the day before would, of course, have to be Friday. Jesus rose from the borrowed tomb on Sunday (when the Sabbath was past), as we see inMark 16:1-2.

1 When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. 2 And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb.

The most reasonable reason I have found for Christians to worship on Sunday is to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus on Sunday. From a personal perspective, I cannot think of a better day to worship the Lord than on the day of the week Jesus conquered the grave to redeem us from our sins!

Isn’t Worship on Sunday Against God’s Commandment?

In short, many Christians believe the answer to this question is – no. This belief is based on the New Covenant. The New Covenant is first spoken about in Jeremiah 31:31-34, which states:

31 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. 33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, “Know the Lord,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

This New Covenant does not give Christians a free pass to sin. The New Covenant was brought about by the sacrifice, and resurrection of Jesus. Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice through which all of our sins are forgiven. This New Covenant is referenced in several books of the New Testament including: Luke, 1 & 2 Corinthians, and Hebrews.

Romans 14:5-6 tells us:

5 One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God.

Essentially, which day of the week we choose to worship the Lord is irrelevant. But how could that be? Jesus offers us some insight by way of Mark 2:27.

27 And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.”

In Conclusion

You may have noticed I have been using the phrase “many Christians” when referring to worshipping the Lord on Sunday. Some Christian sects still choose to worship the Lord on Saturday. I will not dispute that Saturday is the Sabbath; however, I will say there is no “correct” day to worship the Lord. In reality, the Lord should be worshipped every day although I do find benefit in having a specific day of the week set aside for devotion to the Lord. In closing I offer that of all of the differences we might debate about across the various religions the day on which we are “supposed” to worship the Lord is hardly among the most important. Regardless of the day of the week I am…

Believinforareason!

People on Mission: UGANDA

UGANDA_PEOPLEONMISSION_v2Dear Family, Friends, and Believinforareason Readers,

What does obedience look like to you? I have been asking myself for some time now how I can be more obedient in my life. It may not sound like a very fun idea, obedience, but isn’t this what Jesus asks of us? When a woman spoke out to Jesus in a crowd Jesus replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” (Luke 11:28). One thing I know about obedience is that it can push us out of our comfort zone, but is that such a bad thing?

Good news! An opportunity has come up for me to go on a mission trip to Uganda in the beginning of October. This trip will be through Helping Hands Foreign Missions. On this trip we will have the opportunity to do things like:

  • Care for orphaned children
  • Engage in hut-to-hut evangelism
  • Help with projects in the Village of Eden

This trip is particularly exciting for me. Not only am I making a commitment to step out of my comfort zone in obedience and faith, but I will have an opportunity to meet a child my wife and I recently started sponsoring named Sharon Taaka! What a blessing to get to meet this young lady in person!

As you may know a trip like this is not inexpensive. The estimated cost per person for the entire trip is $3,000. Please prayerfully consider supporting me financially if you are able. If you cannot support me financially, please consider lending your support through prayer! I can’t wait to serve in any capacity I am capable in Uganda! I am blessed to be a part of a church that is intent “to help people find their way back to God and live a life fully devoted to Jesus Christ”. Please help me to share that blessing with others around the world!

Donation Option 1 (tax deductible):

  • Submit a check payable to: Chestnut Mountain Church
  • 4903 Chestnut Mountain Circle, Flowery Branch, GA 30542
  • Please place “Uganda Mission Trip” on the memo line
  • Simply attach a note indicating the donation is for Daniel Edward, but please do not put my name anywhere on the check, as this would disallow your donation from being tax deductible

Donation Option 2:

RescuingFaith_CarolJamesDo you like to read? Why not buy a book, and help support a mission trip at the same time? Author Carol James has
very generously offered to donate the proceeds of her new book, Rescuing Faith: A Novel, to support my Uganda mission trip. Carol’s book is available via Amazon and iTunes. Here’s how it works:

  1. Purchase Rescuing Faith: A Novel from Amazon or iTunes
  2. Email confirmation of the purchase to carol.james131@gmail.com (let her know you purchased this book by recommendation of Daniel Edward), and copy believinforareason@gmail.com.
  3. That’s it! Carol will send a check to Chestnut Mountain Church to go toward my Uganda mission fund!

Thank You for Your Prayerful Support!

I will be posting about my experience on this blog. I hope you will find these posts encouraging, and inspiring. Obedience can be an awesome thing!

Your brother in Christ,

Daniel Edward

 

Salvation Lost, or Salvation Never Had?

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How Saved Can a Person Be?

I have been reading Saved Without a Doubt by John MacArthur. In his book he mentions Hebrews 6, which is often cited as evidence for the idea that one can lose his or her salvation. Hebrews 6:4-8 reads as follows (ESV):

For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt. For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned.

At first glance this passage would see to indicate that if, once someone is saved, that individual turns from God, then his or her salvation is lost forever. Can this be true?

MacArthur Adds Clarity

With regard to those who believe it is possible to lose one’s salvation MacArthur writes in Saved Without a Doubt,

Because they believe that warning is addressed to Christians, some interpreters think Hebrews 6 teaches that salvation can be lost. If that interpretation were true, however, the passage would also teach that, once lost, salvation could never be regained – that the person would be damned forever. There would be no going back and forth, in and out of grace, as most people who believe you can lose your salvation seem to assume. But Christians are not being addressed, and it is the opportunity for receiving salvation, not salvation itself, that can be lost. It is unbelievers who are in danger of losing salvation – in the sense of losing the opportunity to ever receive it.

So what leads MacArthur to believe that it is not followers of Christ who are being addressed? Notice the language used in the passage: those, them, they. The author is no using inclusive language such as us or we. It sounds as though the passage is referring to individuals who have come close to being followers of Christ, but never made the full commitment thereby essentially remaining unbelievers.

Author and Pastor Bob Deffinbaugh offers a rather famous example of such a person in Judas Iscariot. Here is someone who was in Jesus’ inner circle, but still remained ignorant who Jesus really was, and what He came to do! This makes me think of the times I have heard non-believers spout “if only” statements to indicate the type of evidence that would be sufficient for them to believe in Jesus (“If only God would write his name in the sky…”; “If only God would appear to me, even if just for a moment…”; etc.). Judas had first hand witness to Jesus’ ministry, and he still missed the point.

Can a Christian Lose His or Her Salvation?

Billy Graham does a much better job of answering the question of whether or not a Christian can lose his or her salvation that I likely would, so I have provided his answer below:

Only God knows if someone has truly and sincerely repented of their sins and given their life to Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, but if they have, they now belong to Him forever, and their salvation is secure. The Bible says that nothing “will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39).

Remember: When we come to Christ, He comes to live within us by His Spirit — and He will never depart from us. And when we come to Him, God adopts us into His family and we become His children — and He’ll never disown us or disinherit us. If He did reject us, it would mean our salvation depends on how good we are. But we can never be good enough, for God’s standard is perfection. Our salvation depends solely on Christ, Who died to take away all our sins.

Does this mean it doesn’t matter how we live? Absolutely not! If we live sinful lives, it may well mean that we haven’t given ourselves to Christ after all, and we’ve even deceived ourselves into thinking we are saved when we really aren’t. The Bible warns, “As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead” (James 2:26).

Make sure of your commitment to Jesus Christ, both as your Savior and as your Lord. Then thank Him that you now belong to Him forever — and ask Him to help you live a life that reflects His love and purity every day.

I really appreciate Graham’s perspective here, and I think there are a few key takeaways:

  1. Only God truly knows our hearts (God knows if we are committed, or just trying to fake it ’til we make it)
  2. Once His, always His
  3. Our salvation is evidenced by our fruits (Please do not misinterpret this to mean our salvation is because of our fruits or works)

You might notice some Calvanistic theology here (i.e. perseverance of the saints). At one time I was not a fan of Calvanist views; however, as I grow in my faith and understanding I admittedly find myself agreeing more and more with those views.

So How Can We Be Sure of Our Own Salvation?

How do we know? I mean how do we really know that we are saved? I offer as suggestive evidence of salvation the following criteria:

  • The individual affirms basic Christian doctrine such as: The Holy Trinity, the death and resurrection of Jesus, inerrancy of scripture (John 8:24; 2 Timothy 3:16; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4)
  • You can see it in an indvidual’s fruits (Ephesians 2:10; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Matthew 7:17)
  • The individual is guided through conviction of the Holy Spirit (John 16:13)

This is not, of course, meant to be a checklist. As Graham mentioned in his writing above only God truly knows our hearts. God is perfect in his judgement. It occurs to me that if we are truly honest with ourselves we know what our true intentions are. Every time I sit to write a blog post I ask myself who I am writing for. Am I writing for myself? Or am I doing what I can to further His Kingdom? Pride can be tall tree, and truth a sharp ax (Hebrews 4:12).

We cannot be sure of our salvation if we are resting in our own deeds. We can only be sure of our salvation if we rest in Christ. As Graham mentioned, if we could lose our salvation then salvation would depend, at least in part, on how good we are. Here is the hard truth… we are all sinners. None of us is good. No, not one (Romans 3:10). That is the bad news. The good news is our salvation is not dependent on us. Christ is sufficient. It is in this fact that I take great comfort in knowing that I have been, am, and always will be saved.

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Why I Came Back to WordPress.com

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Back to Basics

Back in 2011 I started getting into apologetics. Admittedly, prior to that year I had not even heard the term, but once I did I was hooked. I decided to dabble in blogging, as I began to accumulate enough information to be dangerous. I tried a couple of different platforms before I landed in the WordPress.com world. After I got past the learning curve I really started digging WordPress. Eventually I got even more adventurous, registered a domain, and started hosting my own WordPress-based site. I had that site for about two years, and it was a great learning opportunity. Recently I got hacked in some fashion, and some of my site links were redirecting perspective readers to sites with highly inappropriate content – I was not too happy. This, however, turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

I decided to come back to WordPress.com, and forgo the self-hosted site experience. I have discovered a bunch of great benefits such as:

  • No cost – always a positive
  • A community of folks with at least one thing in common – we are all bloggers
  • An opportunity to focus on what’s important

I realized that I spent way too much time on the look and feel of my website, and not nearly enough time on the initial intention of my foray into blogging – apologetics. I feel like I can focus once again on the content of my writing without being distracted with wondering if my site has the right look, or features, or whatever. I am really looking forward to getting back to basics, and, God willing, give folks something to chew on with regard to Christian worldview. Here we go!