Open Doors USA released its “World Watch List” on Wednesday, which lists and ranks the 50 countries that are most hostile toward those who follow Jesus. It estimated that 245 million Christians in those nations faced significant persecution in 2018—an increase of 30 million more than the year prior—with 4,136 of those who professed faith in Christ being murdered during the reporting period, up from 3,066.A tally of 2,625 Christians were arrested and imprisoned, and 1,266 churches or Christian-operated buildings suffered attacks. ... See MoreSee Less
SANTA ANA, Calif. -- A watchdog organization that releases a report each year on the global persecution of Christians has again named North Korea as the most dangerous place to live as a Christian—for the 18th year in a row, followed by Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya and Pakistan. Open Doors USA rele...
In a letter sent out to over 1,000 school districts in five states, FFRF wrote: Public schools and public school staff may not constitutionally organize trips to the Ark Encounter or the Creation Museum or any other religious venue. . . We are writing again because, unfortunately, Ken Ham, the evangelist who built these two notorious theme parks, continues to encourage public schools to plan field trips to visit the Ark Encounter and the Creation Museum. . . Though Ham asserts that the law is on his side, this is untrue. Unquestionably, any field trip facilitated by a public school to either attraction would be unconstitutional. . . In short, it is unacceptable to expose a captive audience of impressionable students to the overtly religious atmosphere of Ham’s Christian theme parks. ... See MoreSee Less
Release International, a U.K.-based charity that helps supports persecuted Christians around the world and a partner organization of Voice of the Martyrs, warns that this year, particularly in China, India, and Nigeria, persecution against Christians is rising."These are countries that have long been on the list but we’re seeing an upwards curve, an alarming rise in persecution," Andrew Boyd, Release International spokesman, told Fox News."Release has been doing this work for 50 years," Boyd added. "I have no doubt that persecution is increasing and it is alarming and the contexts are different. You have militant Islam in Nigeria; China, which is communism; India, which is militant Hinduism; North Korea which is a weird blend of communism and Emperor worship. There is an increasing intolerance and it’s being played out in violence and we know it because of the reports that are coming from our partners on the ground." ... See MoreSee Less
Imagine the ideal church. Imagine a congregation so firmly rooted in the truth that they were commended by the Lord Himself—specifically for their discernment, doctrinal fidelity, intolerance for false teaching, and willingness to endure persecution. If such a church existed today, most of us would likely travel long distances to belong to such an exemplary body of believers.Such a church did exist in first-century Turkey. The church in Ephesus had rich apostolic credentials; it had been founded by Paul, and nurtured by John. But in spite of those tremendous privileges, and the commendable outward expressions of faithfulness, they still managed to invite a threat of judgment from the Lord in Revelation 2:1-7. ... See MoreSee Less
Imagine the ideal church. Imagine a congregation so firmly rooted in the truth that they were commended by the Lord Himself—specifically for their discernment, doctrinal fidelity, intolerance for f...
The aim of expository preaching is to help you eat and digest biblical truth that will make your spiritual bones more like steel, and will double the capacity of your spiritual lungs, and will make the eyes of your heart dazzled with the brightness of the glory of God, and will awaken the capabilities of your soul to experience kinds of spiritual joy you did not know existed. ... See MoreSee Less
Owen wrote as someone who knew God personally. No clearer proof of this can be found than in his work On Communion with God the Trinity. Here he explains a very simple principle that has worship-and-life-transforming significance. Everything God the Trinity does, he does as one Lord. And yet each person of the Trinity has a distinct role in creation, redemption, and consummation. The Father sends the Son; the Son dies for his people; the Spirit applies all this to believers. We praise the Father for sending his Son; we praise the Son (not the Father or the Spirit) for dying for us; we praise the Spirit for glorifying the Son. As we do this, it dawns on us how multidimensional, how unified yet diverse, is the work of the Trinity. ... See MoreSee Less
Dec. 9, Chinese police raided Early Rain Covenant Church, and also went to the homes of various church members to take them to the police station for questioning. Others were tracked down via their cell phones.Wang Yi, the pastor of the church, which is unregistered with the Chinese government/Three-Self Church, was arrested for “inciting subversion of state power.” A number of elders were also held under charges of “stirring up trouble” and “illegal business operations.” Reports state that the church was shut down because it was “unauthorized.”The following Sunday, those who were free sought to meet at the church, but police surrounded the building so that none could enter. Dozens of members therefore went to an area park to worship the Lord together, but police took away those leading the gathering. Christians were forced to meet in their homes or other locations this past Lord’s Day. ... See MoreSee Less
CHENGDU -- The husband of a member of China's Early Rain Covenant Church, who is among the more than 100 people who have been detained this month surrounding their affiliation or participation with an unregistered church, says that others in the detention center had great interest in hearing about t...
And in Matthew 5:17-19, Jesus says something quite different from Pastor Stanley, saying none of God's laws should be rejected:"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven." ... See MoreSee Less
What would Christmas have looked like without Joseph? How would the world’s most well-known story, the source of countless millions of Christmas productions, songs, and little wooden figurines have changed if Joseph had not been present?The angel Gabriel did not stop at giving Mary a message of hope; he went and told Joseph as well. The Creator of marriage and family understood that the best environment for raising a child was within the shelter of a loving marriage. ... See MoreSee Less
No one expected that the Messiah would come how he came. Yes, the people knew that at some point God would send a Savior, but they could hardly have expected that he would be born to unknown parents and that he would enter this world in a barn. They would hardly have expected that their Messiah would be born in the lowest possible circumstances.Why was it important to God’s purpose that Jesus be born so low? There are many things that God meant to teach us through the life of Jesus, and one of them is that exaltation comes through humiliation. The way to be great in God’s eyes is to be nothing in the eyes of others. ... See MoreSee Less
No one expected that the Messiah would come how he came. Yes, the people knew that at some point God would send a Savior, but they could hardly have expected that he would be born to unknown parents and that he would enter this world in a barn. They would hardly have expected that their Messiah woul...
Of the fifteen qualifications mentioned in 1 Timothy 3:1–7 for the church’s lead office, “not a lover of money” (memorably in the KJV, “not greedy of filthy lucre”) may be the most conspicuous when compared with other lists. The synonymous attribute “not greedy for gain” appears both in Titus 1:7 and 1 Peter 5:2, as well as for deacons in 1 Timothy 3:8, while Titus 1:11 rebukes false teachers who are “teaching for shameful gain.” The single word translated “not a lover of money” in 1 Timothy 3:3 (Greek afilarguron) appears again in Hebrews 13:5, this time for the whole church: “Keep your life free from love of money.” ... See MoreSee Less
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP/KTVU) – The Catholic Diocese of San Jose has purchased a five-bedroom, $2.3 million home in Silicon Valley for its retiring bishop. Now after some backlash on way that money is being spent, the bishop says he will live in a parish rectory when he retires.The cost of the home raised some concerns among the diocese’s 640,000 Catholics, given the church’s mission of charity and serving the poor. ... See MoreSee Less
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — The Catholic Diocese of San Jose has purchased a five-bedroom, $2.3 million home in Silicon Valley for its retiring bishop despite the 640,000-member diocese's mission of charity and serving the poor. Bishop Patrick J. McGrath, 73, acknowledged in an interview with the Merc...
A prosperity gospel televangelist is asking his followers to “pray about becoming a partner” to his mission of obtaining a $54 million private jet. The Louisiana-based ministry of Jesse Duplantis, 40, has already paid cash for three other private planes, but he says God told him, “I want you to believe in me for a Falcon 7X.” ... See MoreSee Less
Tony Duplantis runs a ministry and a church in Destrehan, Louisiana, outside New Orleans. In a video posted to his website last week, he asked his followers for help funding the aircraft, noting th…
Albert Mohler writes:We have been guilty of a sinful absence of historical curiosity. We knew, and we could not fail to know, that slavery and deep racism were in the story. We comforted ourselves that we could know this, but since these events were so far behind us, we could move on without awkward and embarrassing investigations and conversations.In the larger secular world, just about every major institution of American public life is being called to account for some aspect of its history. This cultural conversation, often confused and intense, is far from over. I also believe that no secular worldview can bear the weight of this reckoning. Thanks be to God, we hold to a theology grounded in Holy Scripture that is able to bear this weight. We know that evil is not merely moral wrong; it is sin, a falling short of the glory of God and the breaking of God’s commandment. We understand the wrong of American slavery and segregation to be sin, a rebellion against God’s creation of human beings equally in his image. ... See MoreSee Less
LONDON — For people who are not immersed in the doctrines and politics of the Roman Catholic Church, the uproar over new accusations against Pope Francis can be hard to parse — a mix of the sexual abuse scandals that have rocked the church, and bitter factional infighting over its direction.How closely those two factors are related is unclear, as is the credibility of the allegations against the pope. But at a time when the church is enduring an international crisis, largely over generations of sexual misconduct and cover-ups, the suggestion that Francis was in any way complicit could pose a threat to his papacy. ... See MoreSee Less
“Christ was sent into the world by his Father, as the consequence of the Father’s affection for his people. Yea, he “so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. The fact is, that the Father as much decreed salvation, as much effected it, and as much delighted in it, as did either God the Son, or God the Holy Spirit. And when we speak of the Saviour of the world, we must always include in that word, if we speak in a large sense, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, for all these three, as one God, do save us from our sins. The text puts away every hard thought concerning the Father, by telling us that it pleased Jehovah to bruise Jesus Christ. The death of Christ is traceable to God the Father. Let us try if we can see it is so.” Charles Spurgeon ... See MoreSee Less
“Christ was sent into the world by his Father, as the consequence of the Father’s affection for his people. Yea, he “so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son that wh…
“He is as truly-born, as certainly a child, as any other man that ever lived upon the face of the earth. He is thus in his humanity a child born. But as Jesus Christ is God’s Son, he is not born; but given, begotten of his Father from before all worlds, begotten—not made, being of the same substance with the Father.” Charles Spurgeon ... See MoreSee Less
“He is as truly-born, as certainly a child, as any other man that ever lived upon the face of the earth. He is thus in his humanity a child born. But as Jesus Christ is God’s Son, he is…
I have rightfully no other business each day but to do God's work as a servant, constantly regarding His pleasure. May I have grace to live above every human motive, simply with God and to God. ... See MoreSee Less
As he began the last year of his life, he wrote, ‘To all appearance the present year will be more perilous than any I have seen, but if I live to complete the Persian New Testament, my life after t…
The Lord had called the prophet Amos to speak to the people so that they would come to their senses and repent, yet he seems not to have made very much of an impression on them, because most of them had failed to mend their ways. Israel was continuing to live under the delusion that because God had chosen and loved them, he would protect them to the end of their days—regardless of their behavior. God’s imminent judgment on Israel would not be a mere punitive blow to warn, but an almost total destruction. Following the conquest of the northern kingdom by the Assyrians in 721 BC the ten tribes were scattered throughout the Assyrians empire. Should America read Amos closely and turn from their national sin? ... See MoreSee Less
The Lord had called the prophet Amos to speak to the people so that they would come to their senses and repent, yet he seems not to have made very much of an impression on them, because most of the…
We are not only to merely talk about love we are to demonstrate that love though our actions. If we have the capability to meet a brother’s needs, and do nothing to meet that need, then how can we say that we love that brother? How does the love of God abide in us? Think about this – if we cannot divide our bread with a hungry brother or sister, we certainly would not lay down our life for them. ... See MoreSee Less
“By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet clos…
If you look at Jonathan Edwards from the wrong standpoint, everything is wrong. Some people look at him as a great eighteenth-century thinker, writer, and preacher, and that is as far as they go.But Edwards’s thinking, writing, and preaching are what they are because of what he was. And we will be helped most if we see something of what John De Witt meant when he wrote, “[Edwards] was greatest in his attribute of regnant, permeating, irradiating spirituality” (quoted in Jonathan Edwards, xvii). Behind the greatness of his thought was the greatness of his soul. And his soul was great because it was filled with the fullness of God. In our day we need to see his God — and the soul that saw this God. ... See MoreSee Less
At the high point of Jesus’ popularity in His earthly ministry, He dealt with many people who believed they were part of the God’s kingdom. His work attracted followers who were awed by His miracles and wanted to share in the blessings of His work. Many of these followers also believed that because they were Jewish, or because they identified themselves with Jesus, they were part of His kingdom. In response to this, Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5-7). In it, He defined what it really means to be part of God’s Kingdom. Those who are in the kingdom of heaven recognize their sin, see God’s perfection, have a pure heart, and conduct themselves with a proper fear of God. ... See MoreSee Less
During Jesus’ earthly ministry, He dealt with many people who believed they were part of the kingdom. In response, Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount and showed those who are in the kingdom of heaven recognize their sin, see God’s perfection, have a pure heart, and conduct themselves with a ...
As a result of the immense impact of Brainerd’s devotion on his life, Jonathan Edwards wrote, in the next two years, The Life of David Brainerd, which has been reprinted more often than any of Edwards’s other books. And through this Life, the impact of Brainerd on the church has been incalculable. Beyond all the famous missionaries who tell us that they have been sustained and inspired by Brainerd’s Life, how many countless other unknown faithful servants must there be who have found from Brainerd’s testimony the encouragement and strength to press on! ... See MoreSee Less
History teaches us that proper thought does not necessarily lead to proper action — even when those thoughts align with God’s. In numerous glaring instances, humans have been subjugated to brutal oppression by those who, by their own teachings and sermons, should have known better. Orthodoxy alone is not enough to ensure that we will live as God requires. ... See MoreSee Less
The Westminster Confession of Faith is a Reformed confession produced in 1646 by the Westminster Assembly in London. Intended to set the doctrinal standards for the Church of England, it became a powerful force in the Church of Scotland and has influenced Presbyterian churches all over the world. Today, numerous churches and denominations worldwide look to the Westminster Confession as their standard of doctrine, subordinate, of course, to Scripture. ... See MoreSee Less
Today’s post is written by Justin Holcomb, a theology professor at Reformed Theological Seminary and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and is sponsored by Zondervan Academic Online Courses. The Westminster Confession of Faith is a Reformed confession produced in 1646 by the Westminster Assembly...
In antebellum and Civil War–era America, churches and denominations along the border between North and South voiced what would have been considered “moderate” opinions on slavery. But as April Holm shows in A Kingdom Divided, neutrality was attractive but never really neutral. It was a political choice like any other. Border-region evangelicals were not proslavery ideologues; neither were they abolitionists. Mostly, they believed churches should focus on “spiritual” matters and avoid weighing in on controversial political debates. ... See MoreSee Less
The parable of the Good Samaritan isn’t a story about benevolence or social justice. It was not delivered as a heartwarming tale of gracious self-sacrifice, but as a stinging rebuke to pharisaical self-righteousness.In response to a hairsplitting question from an unctuous law scribe (Luke 10:29), the Lord told a story that highlighted the vain piety of the religious elite, and gets to the heart of how God wants us to love our neighbors. We already saw how other characters in the story—religious leaders without excuse—cruelly overlooked the man’s plight. Today, we will consider how help finally came from his unlikeliest ally. ... See MoreSee Less
The parable of the Good Samaritan isn’t a story about benevolence or social justice. It was not delivered as a heartwarming tale of gracious self-sacrifice, but as a stinging rebuke to pharisaical se...
When Jesus walked the earth about 2000 years ago, He was faced with a very similar question when the people who heard Him teach wondered if His teaching was truly from God. Jesus answered them by giving this simple, yet profound answer, “…My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me. If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself.” (John 7:16-17) We can apply this same principle to knowing that the Bible is truly from God. All those who desire to obey God will know by the very words of the Bible that it is indeed from God himself. ... See MoreSee Less
All those who desire to obey God will know by the very words of the Bible that it is indeed from God himself. There is no lack of proof for the truthfulness of the Bible, rather the problem lies in the sinful blindness of all those who willfully continue in their rebellion against God.
Biblical archaeology is a wide field offering modern readers fascinating insights into the everyday lives of people mentioned in the Bible. While archaeological findings don’t prove the truth of Scripture, they do have the potential to enrich our understanding and draw us into the world of the biblical writers—giving us a glimpse of the ancient world behind the living Word.Here are the ten most significant discoveries in the field of biblical archaeology: ... See MoreSee Less
This sponsored post is adapted from the ESV Archaeology Study Bible—which was created by a team of field-trained archaeologists and features 2,000+ study notes, 400+ full-color photographs, 200+ maps and diagrams, 15 articles, 4 timelines, and more. Archaeology Gives Context Biblical archaeology i...
Athanasius stared down murderous intruders into his church. He stood before emperors who could have killed him as easily as exiling him. He risked the wrath of parents and other clergy by consciously training young people to give their all for Christ, including martyrdom. He celebrated the fruit of his ministry with these words: “in youth they are self-restrained, in temptations endure, in labors persevere, when insulted are patient, when robbed make light of it: and, wonderful as it is, they despise even death and become martyrs of Christ” — martyrs not who kill as they die, but who love as they die (Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 4, 65). ... See MoreSee Less
Following his death for sin, then, Jesus journeys to Hades, to the City of Death, and rips its gates off the hinges. He liberates Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, John the Baptist, and the rest of the Old Testament faithful, ransoming them from the power of Sheol (Psalm 49:15; 86:13; 89:48). They had waited there for so long, not having received what was promised, so that their spirits would be made perfect along with the saints of the new covenant (Hebrews 11:39–40; 12:23). ... See MoreSee Less
"The Savior meant that the satisfaction which He rendered to the justice of God was finished. The debt was now, to the last farthing, all discharged. The atonement and propitiation were made once for all, and forever, by the one offering made in Jesus’ body on the tree. There was the cup; hell was in it; the Savior drank it—not a sip, and then a pause; not a draught, and then a ceasing; but He drained it till there is not a dreg left for any of His people!" ... See MoreSee Less
“IT IS FINISHED!” A SERMON DELIVERED ON SUNDAY MORNING, DECEMBER 1, 1861, BY THE REV. C. H. SPURGEON, AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON. “When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar…
“The hour has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.” (Mark 14:41)All Jesus’s human life had anticipated this hour. Every careful attempt at keeping the messianic secret. Every emotional investment poured gladly into his disciples. Every glimpse of the ocean of his kindness as he healed the blind, the mute, the lame, the demonized, and even raised the dead.Now the hour has come. All history hinges on this hour. And it is utterly terrifying. Jesus must decide: Will he protect his own skin, and soul, or will he embrace his Father’s perfect and painful will? ... See MoreSee Less
The contrition and confession modeled by the thief is an extremely rare commodity in our therapeutic culture overflowing with victimhood. The whole world resonates with a false cry of innocence. As Solomon lamented, “All the ways of man are clean in his own sight” (Proverbs 16:2). “Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness” (Proverb 20:6 KJV). ... See MoreSee Less
I have good news and bad news. No one wants to hear those words from a medical doctor. Most would rather just hear the good news alone. But often the good news isn’t truly good until we truly u...
So here’s what happened according to Mark. Yeshua had three times now explained to his disciples that he would suffer, die and rise again on the third day. The first time, Peter rebuked him, but Yeshua was having none of it. The second time, they just didn’t understand and were too afraid to say anything. The third time came as Jesus went ahead of them, leading the way to Jerusalem and certain death. They couldn’t believe it. ... See MoreSee Less
We have often loved what we’ve learned about God more than God himself.The Bible warns us about the dangers that come with our knowledge of God, especially for the theologically refined and convinced. “You cannot serve both God and theology.” Good theology is a means to enjoying and worshiping God, or it is useless. ... See MoreSee Less
In Luke 23 we observe an encounter between Christ and a truly great theologian. His brief, four-verse cameo succinctly communicates a tremendous wealth of doctrinal truth. In fact, widely-celebrated scholars have spent thousands of pages muddling what this man clearly enunciated in three short sentences."One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.” ... See MoreSee Less
What is a theologian? For many in the church, it’s an intimidating term applied only to spiritually elite believers. It’s an achieved status—one earned through years of seminary, writing, and the ...
"Let it not make thee despair, neither yet discourage thee, O reader, that it is forbidden thee in pain of life and goods, or that it is made breaking of the king's peace, or treason unto his highness, to read the Word of thy soul's health—for if God be on our side, what matter maketh it who be against us, be they bishops, cardinals, popes." ... See MoreSee Less
William Tyndale (ca. 1494–1536) made an enormous contribution to the Reformation in England. Many would say that he made the contribution by translating the Bible into English and overseeing its publication.
More than three hundred years before Martin Luther was born, an unlikely reformer suddenly appeared in the city of Lyon in southeast France. His protests against doctrines and practices of the Roman Catholic Church were strong tremors foretelling the coming spiritual earthquake called the Reformation. And the movement he launched survived to join the great Reformation. He is known to history as Peter Waldo. ... See MoreSee Less
The 17th century Jewish historian, Raphael Levi, admitted that long ago the rabbis used to read Isaiah 53 in synagogues, but after the chapter caused “arguments and great confusion” the rabbis decided that the simplest thing would be to just take that prophecy out of the Haftarah readings in synagogues. That’s why today when they read Isaiah 52, they stop in the middle of the chapter and the week after they jump straight to Isaiah 54.Now if you’ve been a Christian for any time at all, you’re very familiar with this section of Holy Scripture, and you should be. It has been called by some scholars in the past, “The Fifth Gospel.” The Fifth Gospel, to be added to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. It was Augustine who said way back in the fifth century, “It is not a prophecy, it is a gospel.” It was Polycarp, the student and friend of the apostle John who called this section of Scripture “The Golden Passional of the Old Testament. ... See MoreSee Less
Now for this morning, I finally want you to open your Bible to the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah, Isaiah chapter 53. And we are about to embark on a study of this immensely important portion of the ...
When we respond to error by giving it the benefit of the doubt, we come close to committing the same error as false teachers: masking error as the truth. Like Jesus, we ought to love truth and love people enough to call out error for what it is. ... See MoreSee Less
We often escape the discipline we are due because of God’s kindness. Nevertheless, we walk on thin ice when we think we can presume upon His kindness and patience. After all, the Lord’s patience toward sinners will run out eventually (Rom. 2:4–5; 2 Peter 3:8–10). ... See MoreSee Less
God is certainly gracious. He is rich in kindness, forbearance, and patience, which is why He does not bring an immediate end to all sinners (Rom. 2:4). In fact, He often gives people, especially ...
“Exposure to Jonathan Edwards has mostly been limited to reading Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, as an early selection in an American literature textbook, such that we might despise the Puritans all the more when we get to The Scarlet Letter and The Crucible.” ... See MoreSee Less
“Exposure to Jonathan Edwards has mostly been limited to reading Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, as an early selection in an American literature textbook, such that we might despise the Puritans all the more when we…
Jesus shows us the proper response to His promise of peace, "Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful" (John 14:27). We ought to be able to lay hold of this peace. It is there, it is ours; but we must take hold of it. It is interesting that He says "I give you peace," then He says, "Do not let your heart be troubled." The peace He gives has to be received and applied in our lives. If we lay hold of the promise of the very peace of Christ, we will have calm, untroubled hearts, regardless of external circumstances. ... See MoreSee Less
The Hebrew Bible uses a familiar but significant word, shalom . In its purest sense, shalom means 'peace.' The connotation is positive. That is, when someone says, 'Shalom,' or, 'Peace unto you,' ...
In a day when the cause of world evangelism is so sadly languishing, it will be a humbling and inspiring experience for the Christians of America to turn aside and expose their souls afresh to the story of one who was magnificently captivated by the love of Christ. The love of Christ was his hope, his incentive, and his consolation. The love of Christ sang and sobbed and shouted its way through all the changing scenes, manifold trials and monumental accomplishments of the five great epochs of his life. ... See MoreSee Less
Patrick Hamilton - The first Protestant martyr.In 1528 the powerful Archbishop of St. Andrews summoned Hamilton, saying he wished to have a debate. However, it was a ruse, and before Hamilton’s influential friends could muster any support, a church court hurriedly found him guilty of heresy. (While heresy trials ordinarily took weeks, Hamilton’s was rushed through in a mere twelve hours.)In contrast to the trial, the punishment was long. It took six hours for Hamilton to die by burning at the stake. A witness of the execution noted that the martyr “never gave one sign of impatience or anger, nor ever called to heaven for vengeance upon his persecutors.” ... See MoreSee Less
Christian History Institute (CHI) provides church history resources and self-study material and publishes the quarterly Christian History Magazine. Our aim is to make Christian history enjoyable and applicable to the widest possible audience.
The early church was hated by the society and government of the Roman Empire for various reasons, such as the refusal of Christians to sacrifice to the gods. The Empire went through many phases of demanding that the Christians sacrifice — which meant denying their faith — or be killed. The earliest attacks claimed the lives of many of the apostles.This text is the story, from around 160 AD, of the martyrdom of Polycarp, the Bishop of the church in Smyrna, a city in Asia Minor (modern Izmir in Turkey) devoted to Roman worship. The account is in the form of a letter from eye-witnesses to other churches in the area. It is the earliest chronicle of a martyrdom outside the New Testament. ... See MoreSee Less
Christian History Institute (CHI) provides church history resources and self-study material and publishes the quarterly Christian History Magazine. Our aim is to make Christian history enjoyable and applicable to the widest possible audience.
How many recent sermons have you heard on pride or humility? Probably not many. One hears surprisingly little from church or parachurch leaders about either of these subjects. In fact, what throughout history has been recognized as the deadliest of vices is now almost celebrated as a virtue in our culture. Pride and arrogance are conspicuous among the rich, the powerful, the successful, the famous, and celebrities of all sorts, and even some religious leaders. And it is also alive and well in ordinary people, including each of us. ... See MoreSee Less
“Pride is your greatest enemy, humility is your greatest friend.” So said the late John R.W. Stott, a remarkably humble man of great abilities and accomplishments who is often said to have made the greatest impact for Christ of anyone in the twentieth century. His succinct statement about pride ...
Self-centered, self-aggrandizing, self-glorifying pride is the modus operandi of human existence. It is the fuel for division. It is the train operator that derails whole churches from their mission while leaving spiritual carnage scattered across a city. Every local church faces many threats. False teaching and persecution threaten from without. But the one that threatens from within is selfish pride. ... See MoreSee Less
The model and power of Christian unity is found in the person and work of Jesus Christ. The principal we must follow is to not consider our advantages, position, or gifts as something for our glory but as assets to serve others.
Sociologists warn that ours is one of the most self-centered generations in history. We flock to the latest technology that promises to deliver what we want faster than ever. “If your internet takes longer than two seconds to load your favorite Netflix show, then it is too slow,” advertisers tell us. We are bombarded with things guaranteed to enable us to live happy and productive lives. Yet, something is wrong. ... See MoreSee Less
Maybe its time for a little less “imagination” and a little more recognition that there is such a thing as Good and Evil, such a reality as Truth, and that living for ourselves means living in a world where mass violence is not an abnormality, but the norm.