Eternity Changes Everything

Stephen Witmer

All Christians go to heaven. But some leap and stride into paradise from their deathbeds — peaceful, confident, and happy. Others limp and shuffle — clinging, denying, and frightened. Why the difference?

In my experience, it’s what they know (or don’t know) about what’s coming next. Jesus has guaranteed his people a glorious future. But have they fully grasped what he has fully secured? Those who haven’t will likely die…

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Corporate Worship: A Lifting of the Gaze

Matt Boswell

I had preached the funeral of their baby just a few days before. Some of our best friends laid to rest their little girl, marking one of the most difficult days of my life. While preaching graveside, my eyes rested on my wife, dressed in black, who we knew was in the process of miscarrying a child.

Now, the Sunday after had come. I had chosen songs to remind them,…

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Blessings Too Big

Toby J. Sumpter

Recently, my son (age 2) looked up at his big sister (age 5) sitting on the bathroom counter next to the sink, raised his little arms and said confidently, “Jump my arms! My catch wu!” [Let the reader be aware that my son says “wu” instead of “you.”] When my daughter laughed and told her little brother that she was too big, he insisted confidently, “Wu not too big. My…

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Three Reasons to Get Some Sleep

Jonathan Parnell

Life is short. Stay awake for it.

So goes the tagline for the second largest coffee franchise in America. It’s catchy and practical. Drink our coffee, it suggests, not merely for its taste, but for its benefits, that is, to be awake to life. And the reason being — here comes the resonating connection — life is short. The clock is ticking. Our days are numbered. And we…

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Who Is the Church?

Marshall Segal

Many are asking, “What is the church?” Pastor Jeff Vanderstelt believes we're asking the wrong question, because the Bible uses that word to describe a group of people, not a gathering or event. So we really should be asking, “Who?” not what.

His answer? “The church is the regenerate people of God saved by the power of God for the purposes of God in this world.” This…

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Don’t Miss the True Bread

Jon Bloom

One of the strangest things Jesus ever said is recorded in chapter six of John’s Gospel, where Jesus stated that his followers must eat his flesh and drink his blood.

These words are disturbing. Almost everyone, including his most loyal disciples, misunderstood them at the time. Many disciples stopped following him after he said them (verse 66). They have been the subjects of much debate for centuries in the church.…

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Same-Sex Attraction and the Wait for Change

Nick Roen

Few concepts are more foreign to our culture than waiting. Now you can take a picture of a check with your phone and deposit it instantly into your bank account without even leaving your Lay-Z-Boy. “Instant,” it seems, has become the new “relatively quick.”

This has been highlighted in my own life as I have wrestled with the issue of change in regard to my same-sex attraction (SSA). When I…

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The Love of God’s Power

Jonathan Parnell

God is faithful. We’ve all heard these words.

We’ve read them, said them, and sung them. And we’ve felt them.

God’s faithfulness is a palatable experience of his love. It’s his love tasted and seen in our history. It’s the mechanics of his love wired to fulfill his promises for our good. In fact, God’s faithfulness and his steadfast love are so closely intertwined that in Psalm 33 they’re basically…

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Backslap Death in the Face

Jonathan Parnell

Cadenced descriptions of Christ’s work have always characterized the voice of his church.

“He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate,” the old creed says, “he suffered death and was buried, and on the third day he rose again.” Straightforward as they are, these words are actually worlds, each one inhabited by more meaning and wonder and — for the poet — endless depths to be mined.

Jackie Hill shows…

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The Effect of Your Life in 1,400 Years

John Piper

Do you think God has purposes for your life that will be realized in 1,400 years?

I do. Your life and mine.

Yes, the new heavens and the new earth may be here by then. I hope so. If so, there are things that are happening to you now that will have reverberations then for your good.

I say that because Paul says, “This light momentary affliction is preparing for…

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