Rethinking Hell

To the many who have asked, here are my comments about the subject of hell that I’ve written and tweeted in the past.

* Whatever the nature of eternal punishment is — conscious torment or annihilation — this question has never altered my desire to bring people to Jesus Christ. Jesus is real Life, for the here-and-now, as well as for the future. So my motive for evangelism has never been to give people a fire-insurance policy.

* The greatest Christian minds differ on the NATURE, PURPOSE and SUBJECTS of hell (subjects = who exactly will go there). But whatever we can say about it, the NT is clear on two points:

1) it exists, and 2) it’s undesirable.

* I am not a universalist. I believe that all mortals must repent and trust in Jesus Christ for salvation. With respect to those who have never heard the gospel, or those who have only heard a distorted version of it, I’m content to leave such matters into God’s hands. He is righteous, just, and merciful, and I trust Him.

* Add to that, I don’t believe that every mortal automatically receives eternal life upon birth (of the flesh). I can’t speak of what happens immediately after death. The Bible talks about a judgment after death, but it’s not crystal clear on what happens at the moment of death. People can only speculate.

* “Jesus is not one of many ways to approach God, nor is He the best of several ways; He is the only way.” ~ A. W. Tozer

* If there’s life on other planets & they need a Redeemer, Jesus of Nazareth is it.[Continue Reading...]

Modern Day Moses

Sometimes music can touch us where printed words cannot.

This is one of my favorite songs of all time . . . it speaks to something deep within my own heart and thus inspires me every time I hear it.

Note: my podcast episode from August 2011 — God’s Dream: What Does It Look Like? – goes along with this song. Give it a listen.

If you like the song, share this post using the “share” buttons below. Most Christians have never heard it, so send them a blessing. :-)

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July

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Your Dreams and Aspirations

If you’re new to the blog, I’ve been working on a series of digital journals (for the Kindle, Nook, and PDF) called The Rethinking Series.

The content of those journals is largely based on the survey you did earlier this year where I asked you what your greatest struggle was as a Christian.

Hundreds of you responded and these journals will address most of your struggles.

That said, I’m considering putting on a few events for 2015, and I want to ask you to answer one simple question that will help me in preparing for these events.

What are you dreams and aspirations that you’d like to see come to pass over the next 10 years?

Your responses will not show up to the public. Only you, me, and the Blog Manager will see them.

In your response, put your sex in the Name field and your age followed by cs.com in the email field.[Continue Reading...]

Because You Asked . . . Three New Projects Coming Soon

The reason why I blog, write books, and have a podcast is to provide value to God’s people.

That said, what I decide to write or speak on is directly related to the specific needs that my readers have.

Consequently, I’m presently working on three new projects — all based on your requests. They are . . .

1. The Physical Edition of My Online Course

Many of you have asked that my first online discipleship course, Living by the Indwelling Life of Christ, be put into a physical course, not just an online course.

At the moment, over 1,000 people have taken the online course.

But many resisted getting it because they prefer a physical product.[Continue Reading...]

Heroes

Young men and women are looking for heroes.

The same is true for Christian young men and women.

We need heroes to admire and look up to. We need heroes who can inspired us . . . people who have gone ahead of us.

We need men and women of God upon whose shoulders we can stand. And in God’s mercy, perhaps see further than they did.

If you were to ask the average 20- or 30-something Christian today who their heroes are, many would rattle off a few celebrity-pop-mega-church pastors. None of whom they know personally.

Some will mention Calvin, Luther, Wesley, Jonathan Edwards or Spurgeon.[Continue Reading...]

When Did Christians Start Tithing?

In our book, Pagan Christianity, George Barna and I wrote an entire chapter on the history of tithing from the Old Testament era, through the New Testament, and onward into church history.

What we establish will shock most Christians.

Namely, Christians didn’t begin the practice of tithing until hundreds of years after the death of the apostles.

They certainly gave money to various needs. But they didn’t tithe as they do today.

On another subject, have you ever asked yourself where the modern “worship service” comes from that’s observed in virtually every Protestant and evangelical church with minor adjustment to date?[Continue Reading...]

Don’t Make This Mistake

I believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the greatest Man who ever lived.

Paul of Tarsus, Mary of Bethany, John (the apostle), Lazarus, and Peter were also “great” individuals in my book.

However, if you interviewed the folks who met Jesus, Paul, Mary, John, and Lazarus at the time, you’d discover that relatively few of those folks recognized that they were in the presence of greatness.

This has always been the case, and it’s true today.

For the most part, people don’t recognize greatness when they are in arms reach of it.

And we take for granted those things that we do not recognize.

Unfortunately, Americans (even American Christians) measure greatness by external things like wealth. If wealth was the measure of greatness, then virtually everyone in Hollywood and the sports industry would be “great.” Not to mention drug lords, adult-film stars, and mafia bosses.[Continue Reading...]

Did Jesus Fail? 

On May 5th . . . my new book JESUS NOW releases. The book is a quick read (200 pages) unfolding the present-day ministry of Christ.

Every New Testament reference to Christ’s present-day ministry is covered in the book.

WAIT until May 5th and get it from a special bookstore (not Amazon) at a 50% and you’ll also receive the companion Study Guide free.

May 5th is the same day that 24 returns to television. So save the date!

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Here’s a short excerpt . . .

To natural minds, Jesus’ ministry ended in failure on two counts: (1) a failure in Galilee when most of His followers turned away from Him, and (2) a failure in Jerusalem when His disciples deserted Him, and He was put to death on a cross.[Continue Reading...]

3 Personal Observations About NOAH, the Movie

Reminder, my book – Reimagining Church – is free today only (April 4th). Click here to get your copy along with other freebies and great deals.

In this post, I’m not going to review the film because I haven’t seen it.

But I feel compelled to say three things about it.

1. Whether this movie is inaccurate, accurate, good, bad, epic, or stinks to high heaven, the attention it’s getting right now is an opportunity for you, dear Christian, to turn the event into a conversation piece with your friends who don’t know the Lord. Especially if you unveil the “real meaning” of the biblical story.

2. What do I mean by “real meaning?” Peter helps us here by pointing out (in both his letters, mind you) that the story of Noah and the flood points to Jesus Christ and God’s act of salvation in Him. Here’s a riff from my book with Len Sweet Jesus: A Theography on this score (the endnotes aren’t included, just the numbers for them):[Continue Reading...]