Is Christian Universalism Alive in Your Church (HC LD 7, QA 20-23)?

I recently listened to a short online interview of an author who wrote a book on Universalism. The author shared a story about meeting with a man from his church who was trying to convince their pastor of Christian Universalism. He was rightly concerned for this man, and it was a personal story. What is Christian Universalism, and is it in your church? I think the term Christian Universalism has been used since the early 19th century. It is the belief that every single person without...

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Who Jesus Is for You in Your Fear & Anxiety (HC LD 6, QA 16-19)

We get scared and anxious about many things in this life. Maybe you don’t know how you’ll pay the bills. Maybe your son is rebellious, and you’re worried about the state of his soul. Maybe you can’t seem to please those few people. Maybe your loved one is really sick. Maybe Russia will invade Ukraine and start WWIII. The fear and anxiety list gets pretty long when you start thinking about all the threatening possibilities around you. Sometimes we get so scared and anxious about life...

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Jesus Paid It All Because You Couldn’t Pay (HC LD 5, QA 12-15)

It was a snowy night, and the roads were slick. A driver lost control and ran into our fence. Car versus fence. Our fence lost. The driver drove away apparently unconcerned about paying for our fence. The hit and run left us with the bill. A year or two later, would you believe that another section of our fence, a much bigger portion, was destroyed in an accident involving a head-on collision between a teenager driving an SUV and a tractor-trailer truck. I think only the teenager had minor...

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Do You Understand Your Original Sin (HC LD 4, QA 9-11)

I heard a pastor say one time in response to how he was hurt by others, “I would never do that.” What a statement to make. His statement stuck with me. He would never hurt people like that. Did he mean to suggest that he was above certain sins, fully sanctified in those areas, that he was the standard of righteousness? I doubt it. But he implied it. More than anything else, I think his emotion and pain led him to speak an irresponsible word. Our sin runs much deeper than we realize. We...

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Do Masks Really Conceal the Image of God in the Face of Man (HC LD 3, QA 6-8)?

Are wearing masks for prolonged periods of time concealing the image of God in the face of human beings? Some Christians argue yes. Are they right? What does it mean for human beings to be created in the image of God? Do we see God’s divine image in our eyes, noses, mouth, complexion, and so forth? Is wearing sunglasses ungodly because we are veiling the glory of God in our eyes? I’m not asking whether masks are helpful or not, nor am I addressing the many concerns with being forced by the...

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Struggling with Besetting Sins with Confidence & Hope (HC LD 2, QA 3-5)

Besetting sins are such a struggle. Besetting sins are those sins that are particularly enticing for us, particularly persistent. They are often quite unsettling because we can’t seem to shake them. It seems we make little to no progress at all. Of course, we struggle against all kinds of sins every day, but some sins seem to be particularly troubling. Pride. Selfishness. Lust. Anger. The fear of man. Doubt. What are some of your besetting sins? Do you feel beaten down? Are you...

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We Are But Needy & Dependent Spiritual Infants (HC LD 52, Q/A 127-129)

In 1 Peter 2:2–3, the Apostles Peter compares his readers to infants. Imagine yourself as a spiritual infant. You are helpless and need to be cared for. You are loved, and yet you cry often and need to be coddled. You need to be dressed, fed, and changed. You are not strong and independent, you are weak and dependent. Can you picture yourself as a helpless, weak, and dependent infant as you relate to your heavenly Father? Too often we feel self-sufficient like the superhero that needs to...

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Constant Confession Is Not Condemnation but Comfort (HC LD 51, Q/A 126)

When Jesus taught his disciples how to pray, he focused them in on something extremely important for their everyday walk of faith: recognition and confession of sin. Jesus taught his disciples to pray, “and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” Jesus taught his disciples to continually recognize and confess their sins and to ask God for gracious forgiveness. Why would he do this? Why would Jesus instruct his disciples to constantly remember their sinfulness? It was as...

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All That We Have Is from God (HC LD 50, Q/A 125)

Why would we ask God for things we already have? I can go into the kitchen and get clean and delicious water from my reverse osmosis tap. My pantry and refrigerator are filled with delicious food. Hanging in my walk-in closet, which also happens to be my office, are plenty of clothes. I have a house with indoor plumbing, a small storage shed out back, a Honda Odyssey and Civic, a laptop with adequate software to do my job, books to read, and even healthcare in the case of illness. EMS and...

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Do You Really Believe God’s Will Is Best for You? (HC LD 49, Q/A 124)

When Jesus taught his disciples to pray, “Thy will be done,” he was not teaching them to ask for something that he himself didn’t entirely desire. Jesus wanted God’s will more than anything, to do what most glorified God, even at the cost of great personal pain and suffering. The God-man, Jesus Christ, fell on his face in prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane and with the cross looming uttered these faithful words: “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless...

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