What Did Jesus Say about the Truthfulness of the Bible? A Powerful Message on the Reliability of Scripture

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People often argue about whether or not the Bible is true. Even some who claim to be Christians have lost confidence in the complete truthfulness of Scripture. In this powerful message, Kevin DeYoung, senior pastor at University Reformed Church, considers what Jesus Himself believed and taught about the Scriptures. I believe this message will strengthen your trust in God’s Word and give you a greater desire to read the Bible and be shaped by the God who really has spoken. Watch now.

Now, is a Great Time to Pray, Refocus, and Share the Gospel

He Is Risen Religious Background

With Easter around the corner, let’s think about who we will invite to church on Easter morning and look for ways to begin gospel conversations. Certainly, many people are more likely to attend church on Easter than at any other time of the year. If we really believe the message of the resurrection, then we ought to be like the early followers of Jesus who couldn’t keep quiet about Jesus.

In fact, Peter and John were boldly preaching about the resurrection of Jesus. Their message troubled the Jewish leaders who had Peter and John arrested and brought before the Sanhedrin. Peter and John were warned to quit telling others about Jesus. The two men responded, “For we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20). What about us? Can we not stop speaking about Jesus?

Let’s pray about this opportunity for evangelism and look for ways to tell others about the good news of the gospel. Let’s pray for friends and neighbors that we’ll invite to church and that we’ll strive to tell about the the good news of Jesus. Let’s pray for God to open the eyes of those who don’t know Jesus that they might see and believe (2 Cor. 4:4). Our celebration of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus is about much more than egg hunts, Easter dresses, and family meals. Let’s truly celebrate the truth of the resurrection by telling others the good news that He is risen! What message is needed more?

Let’s make prayer and sharing the gospel central to our celebration of Christ’s resurrection. Pray for those who don’t know Christ. Pray for boldness in sharing the gospel. Pray that your church’s worship service will be faithful to the Word and that the gospel will be preached clearly. Pray that those who don’t know Jesus will see and believe. After all, isn’t this what the resurrection of Jesus is all about–that in Christ dead men and women can live!

Teaching Your Little Ones Great Truths about God

Book Cover - Everything a Child Should KnowUndoubtedly, a parent’s responsibility to pass on the faith to their children is of utmost importance. From a biblical perspective, parents are primarily responsible for training and discipling their children (Deut. 6.4-10, Ps. 78.1-9, Eph. 6.4). The church should walk alongside parents as a support in strengthening the faith of children.

On occasion, I come across a resource that will help parents in this essential task. Recently, I became aware of a new book, Everything a Child Should Know about God by Kenneth Taylor. This book helpfully presents major truths about God in a simple and easy-to-understand way. It would be a great addition to family worship times or to the bedtime routine. We have a copy available in our library or you can order it from Westminster Bookstore; I don’t think it is available on Amazon yet.

A Sad Song of Human Depravity: Reflections on Racism and the Hope of the Gospel

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On Sunday and Monday, a couple of videos surfaced of members of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity from the campus of the University of Oklahoma singing racist lyrics. In these two short clips, the young men chant that you can hang them from a tree but pledge that no African American will be a member of SAE [1]. Of course, their language is coarse and offensive. It is disheartening and difficult to imagine that young men in 2015 could joyfully chant about the lynching of African Americans.

This awful song points to an ugly reality. Human sinfulness is far-reaching. Our wicked hearts can lead us to the worst and most cruel behavior. Amidst attempts by our culture to right the awful wrongs of our nation’s past, these shocking videos reveal that racism is persistent, and it ultimately points to the fact that we need a cure that gets to the very heart of a person.

Truly, the gospel of Jesus Christ is the only cure for our terrible depravity. He is the One who changes sinful hearts and brings true reconciliation among people. In New Testament times, there was often hostility between Jews and Gentiles. In his letter to the church at Ephesus, Paul taught that the blood of Christ could eliminate hostility between the Jews and Gentiles, paving the way for true reconciliation.

Consider these powerful words from Paul’s letter, “For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility” (Eph 2.14-16 ESV).

What do these verses teach us? The true remedy for human sinfulness, a sinfulness that can bring the worst kind of hostility is found in Jesus. Through the cross, our deep-seated sin can be forgiven and transformed, and we can be reconciled to one another!

Where is the one place on earth where true harmony among diverse people should be seen most clearly? It is in the church where we share this wonderful, heart-transforming, reconciling grace. We all have this in common. We are really sinful, and we really need Jesus! If we can understand that, we can get along. The blood of Christ really does unite us.

May this sad song of human depravity remind us of our great need for Jesus. And may we take hope as one day these sad songs will give way to a beautiful and glorious song. On that day, people from every tribe and tongue will gather around the throne of God in one, united voice, offering a splendid song of worship to our Savior and King (Rev 7:9-12). Won’t it be a glorious Day!

[1] Manny Fernandez and Richard Pérez-Peña, “Fraternity Is Closed Over Video With Slurs,” New York Times, March 9, 2015.

Puzzle Pieces, Church Membership, and the Glory of God

Missing puzzle piece

When I was a boy, I enjoyed putting jigsaw puzzles together, especially in the winter when it was too cold to play outside, which I always preferred. Until recently, it had been years since I put a jigsaw puzzle together. With a little girl who is nearly four, I have had several opportunities to help with Dora and Diego puzzles and Minnie too. Most of the time, with a few minutes of effort my daughter’s puzzle comes together, creating a colorful picture of Dora with her map and Boots walking through the woods. Usually, my daughter is delighted with the finished project and just as excited to disassemble it as well!

From my perspective, the biggest problem with jigsaw puzzles isn’t the time that it takes to put them together though I am certainly reluctant at the thought of assembling a 1000 piece puzzle! The real problem with jigsaw puzzles is those pieces that inevitably disappear. No matter how careful I was as a boy, it always seemed as if a piece or two or three vanished. I could look under the table, in the cushions of the couch, under the recliner, but no sign of the missing pieces.

Why am I taking the time to write about jigsaw puzzles? Because a jigsaw puzzle is a picture of the way a church should work. Each piece of the puzzle is important in the ultimate goal. What is the ultimate goal of the church? The church is meant to reveal the glory of God (Ephesians 3:10-11). When each member is in place, walking with God and serving Him, the puzzle comes together beautifully, and God’s glory is displayed in the church.

The apostle Paul compared the church to our human bodies, “So the body is not one part but many” (1 Cor 12:14). He reminded the Corinthian church of the importance of each part, “But now God has placed each one of the parts in one body just as He wanted. And if they were all the same part, where would the body be? Now there are many parts, yet one body. So the eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you!’ Or again, the head can’t say to the feet, ‘I don’t need you!’” (1 Cor 12:18-21).

Each member of the church is important to the ultimate goal of displaying God’s glory. What happens when pieces of the puzzle are missing? With merely a glance at a jigsaw puzzle that has missing pieces, our attention is drawn immediately to what is absent, and the beauty of the intended scene is missed. In our own church, this underscores the importance of meaningful membership. To be the church that God has called us to be, we need each member to attend regularly, to walk close to Christ, and to serve faithfully. In this way, we will most accurately display the truth about who God is.

Missing members leave gaps and holes. What about you? If you are a church member, are you fulfilling your role in the body by faithfully attending and serving? Or are you one of those missing pieces? If so, I encourage you to jump back in. Let’s quit looking for reasons to stay out of the picture, and let’s fill in those gaps. Let’s display God’s awesome glory to a watching world!