The Dishonesty & Unhelpfulness of Much Seeker-Sensitive Worship (HC LD 31, QA 83-85)

Imagine an unbeliever named Liam going to church. That’s a great thing, by the way. We want unbelievers in worship. Like all unbelievers, Liam is living in rebellion against God. Liam is unwilling to admit his sin and misery, confess it, repent of it, and he’s unwilling to trust in Christ alone for salvation. However, Liam is spiritual and curious about the Christian faith. So, Liam visits a seeker-sensitive church. As he experiences the worship service, Liam hears the pastor say, “God...

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Where Do You Look for the Assurance of Salvation (HC LD 29, QA 78-79)?

Dear brother or sister, you may struggle with the assurance of your salvation. I know what that’s like. Sometimes I wonder, “Can I actually be saved if I have thoughts like this, if I have these desires? Am I really saved if I do things like this?” When we are conscious of our sinful thoughts and desires, when sinful words come hurling out of our mouths, when our behavior has proven to be yet again sinful and hurtful, it’s easy to think, “Am I actually a Christian or am I simply a...

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The Son Sits in the Supreme Seat (HC LD 19, QA 50-52)

Think for a moment about the most powerful people in the world. You probably think of political leaders, judges, business magnates, and religious figures. And all of them probably have important places where they sit. Pope Francis has his papal throne in Rome. Jeff Bezos probably has a certain seat at a huge conference room table. I saw a bizarre picture of Vladimir Putin meeting with financial advisors at the Kremlin. He was at the head of the table. At the other end of the table, about 20...

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Gas Prices & the Riches of God’s Grace in the Resurrection (HC LD 17, QA 45)

Gas prices. It’s criminal to pay $437 per gallon. You’d come into a small fortune if you struck oil on your property. Imagine there is oil beneath the surface of your backyard, you just have to dig deep enough to get it, but you don’t know it’s there. One day, you think to yourself, “I don’t want to take out loans anymore to fill my car with gas. I’m going to do something about this craziness. I wonder if there is oil in my backyard.” So, you go out and start digging. You dig...

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Menno Simons, Rob Bell, & Comfort in the Incarnation (HC LD 14, QA 35-36)

I playfully tell people that I grew up in a “confused Mennonite home.” My father was a pastor in the Mennonite church and, unlike the vast majority of Mennonites, was committed to the doctrines of grace or what are often called the five points of Calvinism. My parents loved the ministry of R. C. Sproul and Ligonier and would attend Reformed conferences with joy and much agreement. Espousing, adoring, and preaching the doctrines of God’s sovereign grace in a Mennonite context came at a...

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The Comfort of Creation, Redemption, and Sanctification (HC LD 8, QA 24-25)

I took German in 9th and 10th grade. I thought it would exempt me from taking a foreign language in college, but Grove City College, my alma mater, required three years of a foreign language. I had fallen short. I ended up taking two full years of French. I wish I’d taken Spanish. Anyway, at Grove City College we had dinners called “language tables.” Students and their language professors ate together and spoke foreign languages. I had to go and was quickly lost in simple French...

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