When to subject ourselves to the authorities, and when not to – Titus 3:1-8, Part 1

I recently heard what is reported to be a true story from a Sunday school teacher in Dublin, Ireland.  She writes, “I was testing the children in my Sunday school class to see if they understood the concept of getting into Heaven. I asked them, ‘If I sold my house and my car and had aContinue reading “When to subject ourselves to the authorities, and when not to – Titus 3:1-8, Part 1”

False Ideas Christians Believe About…Salvation

What happens when we die? Is there a way to know? In this post we are fact-checking phrases about salvation and the afterlife: We’re all God’s children. We need people to pray the Sinners’ Prayer. Jesus wants to live in your heart. I’m so sorry for your loss. Heaven must have needed another angel. First,Continue reading “False Ideas Christians Believe About…Salvation”

Can we experience Jesus’ victory now…or do we have to wait till we get to heaven?

What is heaven like?  There is much speculation.  I wish the Bible was much more clear than it is.  Sometimes it talks about a supernatural dwelling place of God.  In the New Testament the word for “heaven” can also mean “sky”.  Is heaven up there somewhere?  But then other times the Bible talks about heavenContinue reading “Can we experience Jesus’ victory now…or do we have to wait till we get to heaven?”

A story about what happens after people die

What happens after a person dies?  My uncle recently sent me this story, author unknown, that tries to answer that question. On the outskirts of a small town, there was a big old pecan tree just inside the cemetery fence. One day, two boys filled up a bucketful of nuts and sat down by theContinue reading “A story about what happens after people die”

What my sons’ mugshots taught me about citizenship

How about those two cute little mugshots?  They are my two oldest sons in September 2000, when they were 3 and 2 years old.  Our family of four had just moved to Kingston, Jamaica, and we had to apply for immigration status as legal aliens.  That meant we had to get photos taken and useContinue reading “What my sons’ mugshots taught me about citizenship”

How to have an inheritance that cannot be squandered

Michelle and I both had grandparents pass away in the last few years, and we have watched our parents and their siblings handle their parents’ estates.  Sometimes inheritances are smooth and easy.  Sometimes they are a bit complex.  One time Faith Church received a bequest from a parishioner who passed away, and it took nearlyContinue reading “How to have an inheritance that cannot be squandered”

What happens after death? (Will God be fair?)

Is God unfair?  That’s the question I asked yesterday.  I bring it up because Solus Christus, the fourth of the Five Solas that we are studying this week, very much has a bearing on how we might view this difficult theological situation. If salvation is in Christ alone, by grace through faith, then doesn’t thatContinue reading “What happens after death? (Will God be fair?)”

Jesus’ bizarre depiction of heaven and hell – Luke 16:19-31

Do pastors lie at funerals?  Though we sound confident, usually that the deceased is in heaven, do we really know that?  You can read my thoughts on that in the intro post.  The question I asked in that post is: “So, what happens when we die?  Is it possible that we can know now whatContinue reading “Jesus’ bizarre depiction of heaven and hell – Luke 16:19-31”

Why pastors lie at funerals

Funerals are a place where we pastors can be guilty of lying…a lot. Maybe I’m just speaking for myself.  So this is my confession: how to do I lie at funerals?  I almost always talk about the person who passed away as definitely being in heaven.  As if there is no question about their eternalContinue reading “Why pastors lie at funerals”

Q & A with Jesus – How many will be saved?

Every now and then I get to preach on a passage of Scripture that I’ve covered before.  This coming Sunday is one of those times, as we will study Luke 13:22-35.  Last time it gave me the chance to talk about a guy I’d like to think I know pretty well, Bono, the lead singerContinue reading “Q & A with Jesus – How many will be saved?”