The Quran

[531 words] Last month marked thirteen years since radical adherents to the religion of Islam organized an attack against our country. It is hard to believe that it was that long ago. However, militants such as these continue to dominate the headlines. Groups like the Islamic State and Boko Haram seek to strike fear in the hearts of all “non-believers” with their violent and wicked tactics. In light of this, it might serve us well to look once again at the root of our differences: the Bible vs. the Quran. Both Islam and Christianity claim to be “revealed religions.” That…
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Destructive Weapons

[150 words] Bombs are destructive weapons of warfare. A hand grenade will not kill as many people as an atomic bomb but it is still deadly. Land mines are destructive even though they are hidden from view. Peter uses the word “destructive” when he describes false teachers (2 Peter 2:1). Peter is writing this to Christians, members of the church who have “obtained the like precious faith” (1:1). False teachers are deadly because the way of truth is blasphemed among them (2:2). In other words false teachers destroy the souls of their victims by teaching their error. The tragedy is…
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You Don’t Need the Book of Mormon to Know the Truth of God

[349 words] If asked why it took approximately 1,800 years after the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the book of Mormon to be revealed the Mormons will respond by say ing that the world was not ready for the truth. But is that true? Was the world living without the truth, the whole truth of God’s revealed word until the “hidden” books that make up the book of Mormon was revealed in 1827? The answer is a resounding no! The Bible itself testifies that the entirety of God’s truth for all of mankind was going to be…
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Truth is Incontrovertible

[273 words] The Master said, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Sir Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom said, “The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.” That first sentence, “The truth is incontrovertible,” almost jumped off the page when l read it! What did Churchill mean when he said that truth is “incontrovertible?” Hidden away in the word “incontrovertible” (controver) is the word “controversy.” When Mr. Churchill said that truth is “incontrovertible,” he was saying that trust…
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Am I Your Enemy…?

[393 words] (Galatians 4:16) …if l encourage you (as a young adult) to work through emotions and look realistically (as much as possible) upon the person you are about to marry? …if l note your sincerity and effort in serving Christ and compliment you at every chance I get? …if I take note of your hesitancy and embarrassment in answering Bible question and I try to help you to learn more? …if I see talent within you as a teacher of children or adults, and I encourage you to develop your skills and “launch out” in faith and begin teaching?…
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I Met a Man and He Said…

[412 words] Recently I talked with a young man who said he wanted to ask me some questions. I am always pleased to deal with any questions people may have, especially questions that have to do with the soul. This young man asked me: 1. “Don’t you believe that God is concerned more with what is in one’s heart than he is with what one does?” 2. “Don’t you believe that so long as one is sincere how he worships is relatively unimportant?”  3. “Don’t you believe that honesty, integrity, and good ethical living are more important to God than…
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The Truth Shall Set You Free

[231 words] Have you ever heard of postmodernism? Many sociologists and philosophers speak of America today as a “postmodern” society. By that they mean we as a people have more or less rejected the concept that there is such a thing as absolute, objective, “capital-T “ Truth. There was a time when most Americans believed that it was always wrong to lie or steal or commit adultery. And most Americans believed that truth was defined by the Bible, which was widely respected as the word of God. But postmoderns think that truth, like beauty, is in the eye of the…
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Fresh Fish for Sale Today

[131 words] A man starting in the fish business hung out a sign that read, “Fresh Fish for Sale Today” and invited his friends to the opening. They all congratulated him on his enterprise, but one suggested that his sign might be improved. He said, “Why the word ‘Today?’ Of course it’s today, not yesterday or tomorrow.” So the fishmonger removed the word. Another said, “Why the ‘For Sale?’ Everybody knows that, else why the store?” And off came the words. Another complained, “Why the word, ‘Fresh?’ Your integrity guarantees every fish to be fresh.” Finally only “Fish” remained, but…
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Church Shopping

[421 words] “… the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15). It seems that more people today are challenging traditional affiliations. For instance, a 2013 Gallup Poll has determined that 42% of American voters consider themselves to be Independent (www.gallup.com). This is the highest number ever of those not expressing an alliance with the Democratic or Republican Party. This trend toward change from traditional institutions is seen in religion as well. In a 2009 study by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, it was discovered that 44% of Americans have…
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The Truth

  [281 words] When I was a young boy in school the teachers often gave us a “True/False” quiz. I loved that kind of test. I could rip right through them marking “T” or “F” with abandon and very little thought. I was usually disappointed in my grade because a good teacher knows how to word the questions to tell them how much I really know about the subject. And if any part of the question was false the whole thing was false. I would read the first part of the question and answer it true; but the last part…

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What’s Your Preference?

[219 words] A popular Brazilian saying is that one does not dispute preferences. That’s mostly true, I guess, except when it comes to the will of God. The prophets prophesy lies. The priests exercise power by their own authority. And my people love to have it this way. But they will not be able to help you when the time of judgment comes! (Jeremiah 5.31 NET) Jeremiah asks what the people of Israel will do when God’s judgment comes. The great application of this is that, in the end, people will be responsible for believing in lies and submitting themselves…
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Who is to Judge?

  [245 words] Who gets to decide what is right and what is wrong? Why are some actions considered right while other actions are considered wrong? Who or what is the standard of judgment? I am not the standard of judgment. My clear conscience does not mean that I am innocent. Paul said, “I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted” (1 Cor. 4:4). Many are those who had a clear conscience yet were living in rebellion against God (cf. 1 Kings 13:20; 2 Sam. 12:5-6; Acts 23:1). My peers are not the standard…

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Why the Planes Crashed

  [166 words] On August 16, 2015, near San Diego’s Brown Airfield, two airplanes crashed in mid-air. The two planes — a Cessna 172M, piloted by Michael Copeland, crashed head-long into a Sabreliner, piloted by Jeffrey Percy. The pilots and the others on the planes were all killed. Five people lost their lives that day. What caused the crash? The air traffic controller was the cause! Over the course of two minutes, the controller mistook the two planes and gave them wrong instructions. The controller was not sick or distracted. It was an honest mistake by a person who sincerely…

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Stubborn Truths

  [427 words] • “And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery” (Mat. 19:9). • “Repent, and each of you be baptized 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). • “For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire…

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What an Invention!

[188 words] I once heard of a mother who was very frustrated one day as she was hunting all over the house for her cordless phone. After several minutes of searching, her little ten-year-old son said, “You know Mom, I’ve got an idea. We should invent a phone that stays connected to its base so it never gets lost.” Friends, sometimes the answers to today’s problems aren’t found in the cutting-edge of tomorrow, but rather in the old solutions of yesterday. Sometimes in order to go forward, we must go backward. That is never more true than when we are…
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Do These Verses Apply?

[554 words] People find ways to get around verses that condemn them. Two groups with different agendas use the same maneuvers to reject passages that are against them. One is the homosexual movement and the other is the feminist movement. Here are some of their arguments . “I’ll Take Jesus Over Paul.” President Barack Obama was asked about same- sex unions in 2008. He gave his support for homosexuality, saying, “If people find that controversial, then I would just refer them to the Sermon on the Mount, which I think is, in my mind, for my faith, more central than an…
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‘The Bible Means Exactly What It Says,’ Sort Of

  [243 words] You might hear the above phrase from time to time, and it is a fair phrase. But we must be cautious; sometimes, the Bible doesn’t mean exactly what it says. Sometimes, God says one thing, but means something else. For example, Jesus said, “If thy hand offend thee [causes you to sin, ESV], cut it off…if thy foot offend thee, cut it off…if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out” (Mark 9:43,44,45). Does the Bible mean exactly what it says here? Of course not. Jesus used figurative language — language that doesn’t mean exactly what it says….

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His Truth Marches On

The indictment of Isaiah against his generation, a people who had temporarily succeeded in turning truth upon its head, is no less applicable today: “Woe unto them that call evil good; and good evil, that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!” (Isaiah 5:20,21). Though Isaiah’s generation perished in captivity the truth continued to march on. Their calling “evil good; and good evil” did not make it so. We face a similar challenge today,…

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Perfection

Christians struggle with the concept of perfection. We associate perfection with sinlessness. However, the New Testament word has reference to completeness. The word “teleios” is found 19 times in the New Testament and is translated “perfect” every time in the King James Version. While rendered “perfect” on several occasions in the New King James Version, it is also rendered “mature” (1 Corinthians 2:6; Philippians 3:15). Thayer says that the original word means, “wanting nothing necessary to completeness” (#5046). The word “katartizo” is found 13 times in the New Testament and is translated “perfect” or “perfected” several times in the King…

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Grounded in Truth

Truth is constant. Truth does not vary from one person to the next and it does not change with the circumstance. Truth is like a tree with deep roots. The winds of change may blow strong against it but that tree does not move an inch and when the storm passes by the tree is still there. The Lord’s great desire for the church is that we “no longer be children tossed to and fro and carried about by every wind of doctrine;” but that we would be so grounded in the truth that we would remain steadfast when the…

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There’s No Comparison!

[123 words] Man-made Religion Says: “One way is as good as another.” The New Testament Says: “There is only one way.” (John 14:6) Man-made Religion Says: “One faith is as good as another.” The New Testament Says: “There is only one faith.” (Eph. 4:5) Man-made Religion Says: “One church is as good as another.” The New Testament Says: “There is only one church.” (Matt. 16:18) Man-made Religion Says: “We are all going to the same place.” The New Testament Says: “Not everyone religious will be saved.” (Matt. 7:21) Jesus has a question for those practicing man-made religions: “…why do you…
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Straying

[264 words] Recently I was asked the following question: “We are in a different time, yes, we serve the same God. However if our worship is sincere, yet strays from the old days, is that somehow less pleasing before God? I think not!” How would you answer this question? We do live in “a different time,” but couldn’t that be said of every generation? The people of David’s generation lived “in a different time” than Moses. And the people of Jesus’ day lived in “a different time” than David. Sincerity in worship is no doubt required of all generations (Joshua…
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Proclaiming Truth

“The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call” Acts 2:39. Just as Paul needed the courage to stand on the pagan Mars Hill and proclaim Christ, we need to stand as a rock in the sea of postmodernism, denominations, and paganism today and proclaim truth. That is the real reason that the world hates us and why the proclaimers of tolerance are intolerant towards us. Truth, by its very nature, draws a line in the sand; it excludes all else. One of my grown kids…

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Daddy, Can I Come Home?

[201 words] Several years ago, I met a life-long friend walking down the road. We stopped for a couple moments and exchanged greetings. I asked her how she and her husband were doing (they had married three months earlier). Her response startled me. She said, “Steve, we’re not together any more. I wasn’t happy, so I called my dad and asked him if I could come home, so that’s where I’m living now.” Compare this account with the following account of a young woman who had only been married for a few short months. Sobbing, this newlywed phoned her father…
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Well, That’s Your Opinion!

[266 words] Do you use the rule book when you play Monopoly? I have never read the rules for Monopoly. Why? Getting to do something while making up my rules just seems easier. Playing the game with a skeleton set of guidelines takes the pressure off of trying to examine, prepare, and do what I am supposed to do the correct way. I have very little resistance from others who play the game with me when it comes to following the rules. When a problem comes up, someone will say, “Well, that’s your opinion” and we agree to disagree while…
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Watered-Down Juice

[184 words] A recent issue of Consumer Reports had a small article about a recent trend in orange juice marketing. It seems that the major orange juice companies are attempting to keep up with the latest “lower carbs” and “fewer calories” fads, so they are manufacturing orange juice with “half the sugar and calories.” So how did they make an orange juice like this? Simple. They watered down the juice. It is funny how things change. Not long ago, fruit juices were being advertised in such a way that we were made to believe that only 100% pure juice should ever be…
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His Truth Marches On!

[246 words] The indictment of Isaiah against his generation, a people who had temporarily succeeded in turning truth upon its head, is no less applicable today: “Woe unto them that call evil good; and good evil, that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!” (Isaiah 5:20,21). Though Isaiah’s generation perished in captivity the truth continued to march on. Their calling “evil good; and good evil” did not make it so. We face a similar challenge…
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Grounded in Truth

Truth is constant. Truth does not vary from one person to the next and it does not change with the circumstance. Truth is like a tree with deep roots. The winds of change may blow strong against it but that tree does not move an inch and when the storm passes by the tree is still there. The Lord’s great desire for the church is that we “no longer be children tossed to and fro and carried about by every wind of doctrine;” but that we would be so grounded in the truth that we would remain steadfast when the…

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The Search for Spirituality

Spirituality is a highly sought after quality, and has been throughout the ages. In the ancient city of Ephesus, sacred prostitutes served daily in the temple of Diana because it was thought that sexual union brought closer union with the gods. Mothers have thrown their babies into the crocodile-infested Ganges River in the search for spirituality. In Jesus’ own day Jews washed meticulously, dressed ridiculously and wouldn’t even eat an egg laid on the Sabbath in their quest for greater spirituality. What is spirituality? W. E. Vine writes regarding spirituality and the spiritual man: “Things that have their origin in…

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