Christmas Through the Eyes of a Child When I was growing up, most churches had some sort of a Christmas pageant every year. The average-sized church could pull together enough grammar school-aged kids to be the cast and fill all the roles: shepherds, wise men, angels, the innkeeper, and the various animals that we assume were in the stable that eventful night. The plum … [Read more...] about The Joy of Christmas
Archives for 2018
We often think of the Nativity as the “first Christmas.” But was it? It depends upon what is meant by the word Christmas. If we mean the birthday of Christ, then no other day is the first Christmas. But that’s not what the word Christmas actually means. It comes down to us from a Middle English term, Christemasse, the “Christmass,” or Christ’s service of worship. But does … [Read more...] about Why Do We Celebrate Christmas on December 25?
When it comes to membership in the human race, worry is part of the package. But it also proves to be a useless and unhealthy vice. Corrie ten Boom used to recite a little couplet: “Worry is an old man with bended head, carrying a load of feathers which he thinks are lead.” She understood that anxiety is ultimately foolish because it concerns that which isn’t. It lives in a … [Read more...] about Overcoming Anxiety: How to Win Against Worry
One of the questions I’m regularly asked is, “Pastor, can I commit a sin that God cannot forgive?” Jesus addressed the topic in Mark 3:20-30. According to Jesus, there is one thing a person can do for which there is no forgiveness either in this age or in the age to come: blaspheming against the Holy Spirit. But what does it mean to blaspheme the Holy Spirit? I want to look … [Read more...] about Is There a Sin God Cannot Forgive?
Bible-Based Answers to Burning Questions About Angels, Demons, and the Afterlife What are spirits? A spirit is “an immaterial intelligent being.”1 Each spirit possesses intellect, emotion, and will. Biblically speaking, there are three categories of spiritual beings: God, humans, and angels. Of course, humans are distinct from God and angels because we also possess a physical … [Read more...] about Angels and Demons Q&A
I heard a story about a doctor who visited a young man. The doctor grimly announced, “I’ve examined your reports. There is bad news, and there is worse news.” The young man replied, “Go ahead. Give me the bad news.” The doctor explained, “We’ve looked at your tests and you have 48 hours to live.” Shocked, the young man shouted, “Well, what could be worse than that? What’s the … [Read more...] about Embracing Eternity: Is There Life After Death?
To give thanks is an action and rejoice is a verb and these things are not mere pulsing emotions. While I may not always feel joy, God asks me to give thanks in all things, because He knows that the feeling of joy begins in the action of thanksgiving. —Ann Voskamp1 Through the Lens of Thanksgiving We enjoy clearer vision when we look at life through the lens of … [Read more...] about In Everything Give Thanks
What Are They? What Do They Do? Who Do They Work for? Warriors for Eternity: The Fallen C.S. Lewis wrote, “There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence, and the other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them.”1 If our society struggles to keep God’s angels in … [Read more...] about Angels and Demons in the Bible – Part Two
What Are They? What Do They Do? Who Do They Work for? Warriors for Eternity: The Faithful Most of us will never see an angel nor a demon as long as we walk this earth. These spirit beings live in heavenly realms, tending to matters outside of our sphere of experience. Supernatural appearances are rare, yet throughout history, there have been fascinating stories of angel … [Read more...] about Angels and Demons in the Bible – Part One
Temptation is a fork in the road. It’s choosing which road to travel: the high one or the low one. Wouldn’t life be easier if there were no forks, no decisions to make—if the road were simply a straight and narrow path? But the Bible gives us no magic formulas for that kind of life. It assures us that we’ll come to those forks regularly, and we must choose where to step. Some … [Read more...] about 20 Verses for Taming Temptation
There's more to revolutions than meets the eye. Journalist Barbara von der Heydt, a television correspondent in Germany in 1991, reported on the peaceful revolution that undermined the Soviet Union. As she interviewed people throughout Russia and Eastern Europe, she came to a startling conclusion. The most overlooked part of the story, she realized, was the nature of the … [Read more...] about How to Change Your Life From the Inside Out
Relying on past success is a recipe for destruction—just ask the city of Sardis. Strategically located on the banks of the gold-laden Pactolus River, Sardis was once the prosperous capital of Lydia’s empire. At its peak, history suggests Sardis’s king Croesus financed construction of the Temple of Artemis—one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Croesus’s father, King … [Read more...] about 4 Steps to Reviving Your Faith From John’s Letter to the Church of Sardis
Modern church life is quite different than life in the early Church, but believers today should emulate the faithfulness of the church at Philadelphia. Christ commended the believers for four principles that are often lost among the practices and programs of modern church culture. Although Christ addressed Revelation 3:7-13 to the church in Philadelphia as a body, His words … [Read more...] about 4 Signs of Faithfulness From John’s Letter to the Church of Philadelphia
The American philosopher Mortimer Adler (d. 2001) wrote and edited scores of books, including the 60-volume Great Books of the Western World series. So no one questioned his qualifications when he wrote one of his most popular volumes, How to Read a Book—a guide to getting the most out of any book. If it helps to have a plan for reading books written by human authors, how … [Read more...] about 3 Ways to Read Your Bible
Some students of God’s Word have been reading and studying the Bible as long as I have or longer — more than six decades now. If so, you’ve noticed the same thing I have: Bibles have changed. Not the text of Scripture, but what’s included along with the text has changed. A Ribbon Runs Through It When I was young, everybody pretty much had the same Bible: a large, black, … [Read more...] about How to Study the Bible
There are at least five critical issues facing our world today. What does the modern nation of Israel have to do with the End Times? How should Christians respond to a world overrun by rampant violence and militant Islam? Does the Bible give us insight into Russia’s resurgence on the world stage? What can be known about how the Rapture and End Times will occur? Could divine … [Read more...] about 5 Critical Issues Facing Our World
Every time I visit the Holy Land, I marvel at the miracle of the reestablishment of the nation of Israel. I can walk where Abraham walked, stroll through fields where the shepherds watched their flocks by night, and sail across the Sea of Galilee where our Lord stilled the storm. The birth of the modern state of Israel, which I believe paves the way for the end times, is a … [Read more...] about Profile of Two Revelation Informants – Daniel and John
The Rapture is the next event on the prophetic calendar. Casting their shadows before them, the following signs indicate that the End Times are near. 1. The Sign of Deception Many people are going to claim to be the Messiah and claim to have the answers for a troubled world. Jesus says to “take heed”—literally, to keep our eyes open so we are not fooled. In the End Times, … [Read more...] about 4 Signs of the End Times
While exiled on the island of Patmos, the apostle John received a revelation from Jesus Christ that we now call the book of Revelation. In this vision, Christ gave John seven messages for seven first-century churches in Asia Minor. Read on to discover why Christ wanted to speak to these seven churches and what the messages mean for us today. 1. Ephesus - The Loveless Church … [Read more...] about Seven Churches of Revelation Bible Study
One Man Against the World - 1 Kings 18:1-40 In our day and age, have you ever felt as if everyone is against us, as Christians? With immorality spreading, does it feel like many people are against the truth of the Bible? Elijah felt the same in his day. In the time of Elijah, the nation of Israel was ruled by King Ahab, who did what was evil in the eyes of the Lord, along with … [Read more...] about 4 Lessons From Elijah and the Prophets of Baal
Like many of the topics in Revelation, there is much mystery surrounding the 144,000 mentioned in chapters 7 and 14. Who are they? What is their significance? What will be their objective? Will they be protected? Will they have any effect on the lost people of the Last Days? Although we do not know everything about the events that will take place and those involved, the Bible … [Read more...] about The 144,000 in the Book of Revelation
The Second Coming is an event in the future that will take place as Christ returns to earth in all His glory at the final judgment and make right all the wrongs in our world. The Second Coming is mentioned throughout Scripture, especially in the New Testament—it will occur after the Tribulation, when Christ defeats the Great Dragon, before His one thousand-year reign on earth. … [Read more...] about The Second Coming of Christ
Can you imagine a world with no fear? No disease? No pain? No worry? That is what it will be like during the Millennial Kingdom. For a thousand years, there will be a time of peace—we will be living in a perfect world with Christ as our ruler. The Millennium is something we can look forward to when our lives here on earth are difficult and our world seems to be filled with … [Read more...] about The Millennium
Doom and gloom? That’s how many think of the book of Revelation. Oftentimes, Christians shy away from the study of prophecy because they believe it is too complex or irrelevant to spend time examining. But this is not true. Revelation gives us insight into things that will come to pass and helps us understand the things that are happening in our world. It gives us heavenly … [Read more...] about Benefits of Biblical Prophecy in the World Today
There are two kinds of angels in the world. There are real angels of God, and then there are what the Bible calls “angels of light.” Angels of light are not good angels. That term is a reference to the evil angels. Paul warns us that “Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14, NIV). These angels rebelled against their created purpose; Lucifer—the … [Read more...] about Who is Lucifer?
One of the most common questions we might have about angels is, “What do they look like?” Our world has created many portrayals of angels throughout history—but when it comes to the accuracy of these ideas, we must verify what is true based on what the Bible tells us. We must not create or reshape angels according to our own fancy. Countless multitudes have fallen into this … [Read more...] about What Do Angels Look Like?
Is there one particular angel whose God-given assignment is serving me—just me? One of the most common beliefs about angels is that each of us has a guardian angel. But the Bible does not explicitly state this. As far as I can determine, there are just two verses in the Bible that indicate there might be guardian angels in the world today: The first is Matthew 18:10 and the … [Read more...] about What Does the Bible Really Say About Guardian Angels?
A lot of mystery surrounds the topic of angels. Although they are mentioned throughout Scripture, there is much we don’t know about them. But why should we take the time to study angels? Angels are mentioned in Scripture about 280 times, and the majority of those times are in the New Testament. Angels play an important role in God’s overall plan for humanity. They remind us … [Read more...] about 5 Questions About Angels
Evangelist Billy Graham reports that "when my maternal grandmother died, the room seemed to fill with a heavenly light. She sat up in bed and almost laughingly said, 'I see Jesus. He has his arms outstretched toward me. I see Ben [her husband who had died some years earlier], and I see the angels.' She slumped over, absent from the body but present with the Lord."1 The … [Read more...] about Angels in the Bible
Pray on the Armor of God Prayer is work—and it requires all-out battle. It is not an idle pastime or an optional exercise reserved for more “spiritual” believers. Prayer is the hard-work business of the church of Jesus Christ. The kind of prayer that changes hearts and transforms neighborhoods and rebuilds communities and revives nations is intense, fervent, and all business. … [Read more...] about Spiritual Warfare Prayer
6 Strategies For Safeguarding Your Mind The original video games that appeared in the seventies and eighties weren't rocket science. They required some hand-eye skills, yes. But intellectually speaking, they were marketed to young people, not Ph.D.s (though plenty of Ph.D.s played them at night after their children were in bed!). Pong (1971) was a black-and-white game of … [Read more...] about How to Defeat Satan
You Cannot Sin Away the Grace of God "God's grace is available to rescue you from whatever you've done. I have people say to me, 'Dr. Jeremiah, if you knew what I've done in my life...' It does not make any difference what you've done. It doesn't make any difference how far you feel you're away from God. God's arms of grace are long and reach out to all. You cannot … [Read more...] about How to Become a Christian
No subject has occupied the minds and pens of poets, authors, songwriters, and novelists more than the subject of love. But our culture is confused about the nature of true love—and Christians also oftentimes confuse the true nature of God’s love. The Bible states that God is love (1 John 4:8; 1 John 4:16). Not only that but love is mentioned in the Bible about five hundred … [Read more...] about “God Loves You” Download this Free Coloring Sheet
If you feel discouraged, hold fast to this: real peace is possible! Of that the Bible assures us. Here are 13 verses for understanding and finding peace that steadies us in all circumstances. Romans 5:1 “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 2:14 “For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and … [Read more...] about 13 Scriptures for Understanding and Finding Peace
Have you ever found the idea of studying the book of Revelation quite daunting? Have you ever thought, “Why should I study prophecy?” Because of its complexity, oftentimes people avoid examining it—with the assumption it was written only for Bible scholars and theologians—which leads for many to be uninformed, unbelieving, and uninterested in it. A while back, I met one of our … [Read more...] about What Is the Book of Revelation About?
Genesis 11:1-9 Do you know what happened in the book of Genesis when people thought they could build a tower to the heavens and show God and others their greatness? Keep reading to find out... After the flood, God told Noah and his family to have children and spread out around the world. But instead, the people settled in one place. Then, they began building a tower so … [Read more...] about The Tower of Babel Story for Kids
1 John 5:11 Have you ever doubted your salvation? Perhaps your faults or failures have made you wonder if God has changed His mind about you. The good news is eternal life is a gift from God, not contingent who we are, but on our believing in who Christ is. So how do we stand steadfast in this knowledge? One of the greatest ways to remain assured of salvation is by … [Read more...] about An Assurance of Salvation Verse to Know by Heart
Know how to survive a dirty bomb? How to start a fire using a glass bottle? How to preserve food? Have you stockpiled cans of beans and tins of meat? Do you own a solar-powered flashlight? How about your contact list—do you have a hard copy in case our electronics crash? What about a first aid kit and toolbox? Have you studied wild mushrooms and edible insects? Know how to … [Read more...] about What Does the Bible Say About Fear of the End Times?
It’s not unusual to sing along to our favorite songs or say our favorite lines from movies. Maybe you can say your favorite book or bedtime story by heart because you love it so much. While it’s fun to have all those things we love in our mind, it’s even more important to memorize the Word of God. The Bible says its words are living and active. That means the Bible can give … [Read more...] about 10 Bible Verses Every Kid Should Know
The president of a Christian university was famous for telling discouraged students: “It’s always too soon to quit.” Those words ring true for all of us, because life is difficult and we sometimes want to give up. Hebrews was written to tell us to persevere, to keep going, to focus on our great high priest, and to run with patience the race before us. According to background … [Read more...] about Understanding the 66 Books of the Bible – Hebrews
Warning! Watching the news could trouble your heart. We’ve never had so many sources of breaking news beamed nonstop into our homes and phones, and most of the stories leave us perplexed and disheartened. Who could imagine times like these? Political upheaval. Global terrorism. Mass killings. Rogue states. Economic peril. Rampant secularism. Worldwide pandemics. Racism. … [Read more...] about Why Study Revelation? – Intro from Escape the Coming Night
When a stranger asks me, “When is your birthday?” I become a little suspicious. I don’t believe they plan to send me a present. They probably want to figure out my horoscope. Nowadays, it’s not unusual to meet people who use astrological predictions to plan the future. Others actually spend money on psychics or New Age books. It seems that people will do almost anything in … [Read more...] about Is Bible Prophecy Important?
When Christ Returns Like Jesus’ disciples (Matthew 24:3), we wonder what is in store for this world. What will happen? The Bible lays out an enthralling picture. At least one-fifth of His Word is prophecy. The Second Coming is mentioned 318 times in the New Testament’s 210 chapters. Obviously, this is not a doctrine to ignore; God desires us to know about Christ’s return. The … [Read more...] about The Revelation Prophecy Timeline
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 In her book The New Spirit-Controlled Woman, Beverly LaHaye wrote about a friend of hers who was very fearful and introverted. The woman’s friends didn’t realize her inner turmoil, for she hid it and rarely spoke of it. But one day this woman simply fell apart and … [Read more...] about Don’t Be Afraid: Getting Rid of Crippling Fear
Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed [David] in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. 1 Samuel 16:13a Since 1789, presidents of the United States have been inaugurated. In monarchies like Great Britain, the monarch is crowned and also anointed with oil. The tradition of anointing with oil has its roots in … [Read more...] about Favor and Power: Why It’s Important to Be Filled With the Spirit
He will again have compassion on us, and will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. Micah 7:19 If you were asked to share your life story, which events and moments would you include? The experiences we remember with the greatest clarity are those with the strongest emotions attached to them: the overcoming of obstacles, the losses … [Read more...] about Defining Moments: Have You Allowed God to Free You From Your Shame?
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations. Jeremiah 1:5 David was forgotten. Instead of being summoned to join his father and brothers when they met with Samuel, he was left in the field tending sheep. David was only sent for after God had confirmed, one by one, that none of his brothers would … [Read more...] about Desired: God Has Not Forgotten You
For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Philippians 2:13 One of the hardest, but most important, lessons for children and young people to learn is to view hardships in light of their purpose and outcome. Most children don’t like to practice scales on the piano, but they love a superior rating at the recital. Most young athletes don’t … [Read more...] about Daily Doxology: Why It’s Important to Praise God in Hard Times
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8 The widow saw a handful of flour and a little oil. Peter saw the crashing waves. Moses and the Israelites saw the sea before them and the Egyptian army rushing toward them. The disciples saw five loaves and … [Read more...] about Bountiful Feast: What to Do With the Abundance God Gives
What can I do to overcome my fears? You have to tell it to Jesus. Tell the Lord your fears. When you acknowledge the reliability of the One who is in charge of your life and then admit your fear, you need to appropriate the power that He has promised to give you. “The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their cry.… And the Lord hears and delivers … [Read more...] about 4 Ways to Have Courage and Overcome Fear