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Showing posts from April, 2011

Baptism Takes Two

Baptism is one of the most misunderstood doctrines of our generation. Recently at our church there was somebody who got baptized for the second time because he wanted to rededicate his life. Surprisingly nobody stopped him beforehand, and it did not seem like anybody saw a problem with it. I could only sit there and wonder if this person actually understood what he was doing. Typically in my church people get baptized as an adult by immersion, as an act of obedience and a public declaration of their faith. Is the point of baptism to perform an act of obedience? Is the point of baptism to publicly declare your faith? Only a careful look at the Scriptures can show us God's purpose for baptism.

"Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38)." In this speech to the Jews, Peter makes the first call for baptism ever made in the Church. A careful reading of this …

Hell

"For the time when their foot shall slip." The most historically significant fire and brimstone sermon ever preached was derived from this verse found in Deuteronomy 32:35. Jonathan Edwards would most likely be seen as extremist in the Western culture of tolerance. However, if we jettison Hell we are denying Jesus Christ and all that He has done for us. A proper understanding of sin and its penalty is absolutely imperative for eternal life. A desire to be saved from the torments of Hell is not faith and will not save you, but it may be enough to make you think about what really matters.
We read in the Bible about a place called Ghenna, which means valley of Hinnom. Ghenna is translated Hell in most if not all English translations. In Matthew 10:28 it says, "do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell." When most of us hear the word Hell we think of place of eternal torment, how is it that J…

The Emerging Church

The Emerging Church, as it has come to be known, has gotten itself into another controversy. Rob Bell, a leader of the Emerging Church, in his book Love Wins suggests that everyone will be saved, and no one will go to Hell. Albert Mohler, a leading voice for conservative Christians, responded to Rob's book, which caused Brian McLaren to responded to Albert Mohler, which then lead to Mohler responding to McLaren.
This clash of world views is a learning experience for all of us. Christianity in North America is moving toward the view of Rob Bell and Brian McLaren. It is very difficult for us to imagine our friends and/or family who are not saved spending eternity in Hell. We don't understand how they could deserve this when in general they are good people.
We don't like the idea of Hell's because we make ourselves the Judge. Knowing our own nature to rebel against God, we find it hard to condemn others. Although this is true of our friends, it is not true of our enemies. W…