Tag Archives: purpose
God cannot be in control of some things. He can’t be in control and sovereign over nature, except when hurricanes happen. He can’t be in control and sovereign over wild life, except when they attack children. And God can’t be in control and sovereign over conception (Hosea 9:11-14) and the death (Job 14:5) of humans, but nothing in between. Are we really about to admit that it is God that determines when a person is born, and when that person dies, but He has no sovereignty over any action in the life of that person? This would be a disastrous and patently unbiblical conclusion.
There is much confusion and misinformation in our world about what the Gospel is. Some people think the Gospel is doing good things, living “right” (whatever that means), or going to church once in a while. Many Americans believe that being born in America or in a particular part of the country is enough “Gospel” to save someone. And other, well meaning “church people” would say that the Gospel is doing good deeds as a form of “servant evangelism.”
Still, there’s those pesky mega-preachers that claim to know Jesus and say that the Gospel is loving people. All you gotta do is flash a perfectly white smile, say some fluffy, inspiring cliché’s and, voila, Jesus.
None of this is the Gospel. So the question remains, what is the Gospel?
I posted the church’s sign on social media with my encouragement for people to run far away from such a church. That started a conversation with friends from all over about the intentions of the church and whether having door prizes was a good idea. Some viewed this as a good way to “attract” people to church so they could hear the Gospel. The thought was, get them in the doors and share Jesus with them. If they get saved then it was worth it. The opposing thought was that this church was cheapening grace and the Gospel with enticements.
How would you answer the question “What is the church?”
This question might evoke answers ranging from a building with a steeple on top to a group of people that come together to worship Jesus. Whatever your answer might be there is a chance that you have not thought through the depth and intricacies of all that the church is.
The doctrine of the church, called Ecclesiology, is a foundational and yet often neglected aspect of biblical doctrine. Ecclesiology shapes everything from the leadership of the church to the way we live out our purpose each and every week. Knowing how central Ecclesiology is to the purpose and function of the church it is unfortunate that so many established churches have not given considerable attention to this critical doctrine.
In a recent post, blogger Ed Stetzer writes that Ecclesiology “must bear a great deal of theological weight” due to its importance in shaping the church.
If you’ve ever wondered what Christmas is all about. What the purpose of Christmas is. The “transcript” below of the first Christmas shares the inherent meaning that in inseparable from any Christmas celebration. Without the birth of Jesus Christ 2000 years ago there would be no Christmas. But because God came tow earth as a baby in order to die for the sins of mankind, we can celebrate. Not only can we celebrate today, but for those who have placed their faith in the saving, atoning work of Jesus Christ on the cross, we can celebrate every day.
The following passage, and video, share the events of the first Christmas. I hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas and honor the true meaning of this joyous day.
Luke 2:4-14 (ESV) – 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David,
5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.
6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth.
7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear.
10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
This beloved family Christmas movie gets sweeter each year as I raise my own kids. One of the most cherished scenes from the movie is when Charlie Brown, exasperated by all the “commercialism” associated with Christmas, asks “isn’t there anyone that knows what Christmas is all about?” Linus gives Charlie Brown the answer is the scene below. Take a moment to watch, share it with your kids, and remember the true meaning of Christmas. Merry Christmas!
If the video doesn’t appear automatically, please refresh your browser.
You may not have realized it, but there is a vibrant debate concerning youth ministry. On the one end, some people believe there is a greater need for youth ministry to stop the growing secularization of our kids. On the other side of the debate, there are families abandoning the youth ministry seeing it as intrusive and problematic.
Acknowledging that there can be some benefit to having a ministry to a particular group within the church (Acts 6:1, Titus 2:3-4), the challenge to us is to consider the role of youth ministry in our churches.
From my perspective, there is a need for youth ministry to:
A billboard in Manhattan’s Times Square has gone up asking the question “Who needs Christ during Christmas?” The answer, provided by the American Atheists is, “nobody.” Instead, the group shares their list of reasons for the season, which include: family, friends, the Rockettes, and mistletoe. American Atheists president, David Silverman commented:
“This season is a great time of year for a hundred reasons — none of them having to do with religion…This year, start a new tradition: Don’t go to church. You hate it, it’s boring; you probably only go because you feel guilty or obligated. Instead, spend more time with your family and friends — or volunteer. There are better uses of your time and money.”
I’ve previously said I believe it is critical for Christians to keep Christ at the center of Christianity in the face of efforts to secularize our society. This is one more evidence of the need to enjoy the festivities of the holidays while keeping Christ as the central focus and purpose for our celebration.
Watch an animated video of the American Atheists billboard below. If the video doesn’t appear automatically, please refresh your browser. Click here for original article.