Worship That’s Out of This World

Marshall Segal

The gospel all at once puts us at home in every culture and at odds with every culture.

Christ wants to and will make his home in every culture on the planet. This faith is not restrained to Jews, and certainly not to Americans. No, our God intends to be worshipped and enjoyed among every ethnicity and in every language across the globe. So Christianity can be at home in every culture.

And Christ is and will be rejected in every culture. Faith in the gospel will immediately... Continue Reading

Will America Be Judged?

John Piper
Will America Be Judged?

The reason the gospel of Jesus is precious is that it offers joyful rescue from furious judgment. The Bible speaks of the “fury of the wrath of God the Almighty” (Revelation 19:15). And the Bible exults that “Jesus delivers us from the wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:10).

It is God the Father himself who sent Jesus to rescue us from his own wrath: “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. . . . Therefore we shall be saved by him from the... Continue Reading

There’s Nothing Short About Short-Term Missions

Ramon Lull
There’s Nothing Short About Short-Term Missions

Are our short-term “missions” trips really helping the cause of missions?

By “missions,” I mean the process of Christians from reached people groups sharing the gospel with unreached people groups (UPG), implying that languages must be learned and cultures must be understood. Language acquisition and cultural understanding take years, perhaps even decades — not days.

This definition implies at the outset that missions is most effectively carried out by... Continue Reading

Shape Your Life with the Words of Life

David Mathis
Shape Your Life with the Words of Life

The Christian life, from start to finish, is utterly dependent on the grace of God.

Not only do we come into spiritual life by sheer grace (Act 18:27; Romans 3:24; Ephesians 2:5), but it is in divine grace that we continue on (Acts 13:43). It is by God’s grace that our soul survives through many trials (2 Corinthians 12:9; Hebrews 4:16), is strengthened for everyday life (2 Timothy 2:1; Hebrews 13:9), and grows into greater maturity and health (2 Peter 3:18).

And it is... Continue Reading

Is the Preaching Any Good?

Jonathan Parnell
Is the Preaching Any Good?

One of the most fundamental truths to understand about the church’s corporate gathering is that Jesus is a giver.

Jesus, our Savior and salvation — the one to whom we are united by faith — gave himself to us by becoming like us. He then gave himself to us by dying in our place. And still today, every week when the church meets, he gives himself to us through the preaching of his word and the sharing of his Supper.

This matters because, as surely as we have received him as the... Continue Reading

The Closing Ceremonies and the End of History

Ed Uszynski
The Closing Ceremonies and the End of History

The opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games have become events themselves, bookends to the highly anticipated competitions they bracket. Given the estimated billion people who watched both the Beijing and London opening ceremonies, the pre- and post- event spectacles arguably attract larger followings than the competitions themselves.

During these non-competitive portions of the games, we experience national pride in our “home team” combined with the... Continue Reading

What Dead Abel Speaks to Us

Jon Bloom
What Dead Abel Speaks to Us

The story of Cain and Abel in Genesis 4 tells much more about Cain than Abel. In fact, not one word is recorded from living Abel. But the author of Hebrews says that, “through [Abel’s] faith, though he died, he still speaks” (Hebrews 11:4). So what is dead Abel speaking to us?

It was dusk. Cain was working late. Not wanting to face his parents, he was trying to disguise his guilt-infused fear with a preoccupation with his crops. Then suddenly the unmistakable voice of the Lᴏʀᴅ... Continue Reading

The Greatest Victory in All of History

Marshall Segal
The Greatest Victory in All of History

Why did Jesus die? You might have your favorite answer or verse.

He was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5)

We live by and for Christ and him crucified. But have you ever thought about reasons he didn’t die? What are really bad answers to the question? The truth is there are answers — lots of them — that sadly and subtly undermine what... Continue Reading

The Chaos of Humility

Jonathan Parnell
The Chaos of Humility

Humility, for many of us, might just be mild-mannered niceness. We like to think of it all buttoned up and soft-spoken, cloaked in the quiet gray sweater his grandmother made, sitting by the modest fireplace of a friend’s home, patiently greeting and warming a crowded room of other virtues. Humility, as we might picture him, is the unnoticed nice guy who deflects all the praise and makes everyone else feel good.

But maybe we should reconsider.

For the Christian, virtue is better called... Continue Reading

Believer, Become What You Are

Marshall Segal

Romans 12:1–2,

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Believer, you died and the new you is alive, and you are God’s. The whole of our Christian life is learning to become —... Continue Reading