Gratitude or Death

Life expectancy for Americans has been falling for the past several years, due in large part to a sharp increase in "deaths of despair" (click here). How is it that the most prosperous nation in history could be filled with so many people who are unhappy, bitter, discontent, suicidal, and generally do not care whether they live or die? As one pasto...

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Christian Education & Cultural Transformation

As I mentioned briefly, one very important application of my recent sermon has to do with education. I know full well that it's very unpopular to criticize government education (aka "public schools"). Most people around here (including me) attended public school for part or all of our primary education. Many people in our area (including many of yo...

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Emotions & Self-Deception

My recent sermon provided a biblical overview of what emotions are and what we ought to do with them. As I explained, emotions reveal what's in our heart. They serve as indicators of what we love the most and fear the most, which is to say that they reveal the object of our worship. One of the most common defense mechanisms that we are tempted to u...

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Bitter at God

I mentioned two things in Sunday's sermon that I want to develop a bit further: 1) Many are people ultimately bitter against God, and 2) Bitterness is not usually related to the size of the offense but to the proximity of the person who committed it. Often, we become bitter toward those closest to us over the pettiest little things because we belie...

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Regret & Grieving a Suicide

Encouragement to someone grieving a suicide: In situations like this, there are always regrets about what you could've done differently. In hindsight, of course you see things that you couldn't have known at the time. Think of something that you wish you would've done differently. Think of something that you believe would have made a significant di...

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Heaven Dissolved & Elements Melted (2 Peter 3:7-13)

In my sermon on Sunday, I disagreed with the popular idea that God is going to burn up this world, but I didn't have time to explain where that view comes from or why it's incorrect. To be fair, there is a biblical basis for that view in 2 Peter 3:7-13. On the surface, that passage really does seem to teach that this whole world--atomic "elements" ...

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Inspiration and Preservation

The Westminster Confession of Faith (I.8) states, "The Old Testament in Hebrew (which was the native language of the people of God of old), and the New Testament in Greek (which, at the time of the writing of it, was most generally known to the nations), being immediately inspired by God, and, by His singular care and providence, kept pure in all a...

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Whose Glory Is Their Shame

We find ourselves at the beginning of June, which, in recent years, means that we are about to be bombarded by all manner of sexual perversion along with even more social pressure seeking to normalize that sexual perversion. There has been a fringe "gay pride" movement since the onset of the sexual revolution in the 1960s, but it has slowly become ...

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You Don't Want to Know

All unbelief is ultimately rooted not in ignorance of the truth but in a resistance to the truth. Romans 1:18-19 clearly states this principle: "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because G...

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He Declared all Foods Clean

In Mark 7:14-23, Jesus has just finished condemning the Pharisees for the ways that they nullify God's Law with their own man-made traditions. Then, in the very next breath, Jesus makes a statement that seems to be nullifying God's Law: "'Do you not perceive that whatever enters a man from outside cannot defile him, because it does not enter his he...

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The Lie of Feminism

I think it's safe to say that most Christians are far more shaped by feminist ideology than they realize. The underlying assumption of the feminist movement is that men and women are not different in any meaningful way. As a result, society should treat men and women exactly the same. This is a manifestation of egalitarianism, which seeks to homoge...

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The Connection Between Halloween and Reformation Day

During the first few centuries of the church, it became a custom to honor the legacy of Christians who were martyred or who were significant leaders in the church. You probably know a few of the big ones. The most famous feast day of a saint in America is March 17, which is the day that St. Patrick of Ireland was martyred. Christians have been cele...

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Should Our Good Works Be Visible?

As a follow-up thought to my sermon on Ecclesiastes 5, it's worth thinking about an apparent contradiction in the Sermon on the Mount. In Matt. 5:14-16, Jesus says, "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house...

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Conservatism vs. Progressivism

Ecclesiastes 1 confronts us with the sobering reality that all of our toil cannot provide us with leverage or control over the basic realities of life under the sun. We are finite, mortal creatures. And as a result of the Fall, we are broken and live in a crooked world that God has subjected to futility. We should thank God for all the inventions a...

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Is Covenant Theology Anti-Semitic?

Protestant Reformed covenant theology is not replacement theology. God hasn't broken a single promise to Israel, because they are all fulfilled in Jesus (2 Cor. 1:20). Ethnic Jews who believe in Christ are no longer Jewish in any meaningful sense (Gal. 6:15), because in the body of Christ—the church—there is no such distinction as Jew vs....

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Servant Leadership and False Humility

Here are some follow-up thoughts about humility and a particularly dangerous form of false humility that is wreaking havoc among Evangelical Christians. It often goes under the name of "servant leadership". We must be on guard against a sort of false humility that is actually self-centered and self-seeking. What I'm talking about is a spiritualized...

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Victim Mentality and Blame-Shifting

C.S. Lewis's fictitious demon Screwtape advises his nephew and demon-in-training: "The Enemy [God] wants people to focus on what they must do. We want them to focus on what might happen to them." In other words, the Devil wants to cultivate in us a victim mentality so that we will be distracted from doing that which God calls us to do. Victimhood i...

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Resurrection and Cultural Transformation

Have you ever wondered why, over the past fifty years, America has had so many professing Christians while our culture has been circling the drain with increasing velocity? How is it possible to have churches on every corner but for those churches to have so little impact in the public square? At the risk of oversimplification, I believe the c...

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Women in Combat

There has been much in the media lately about women in the armed forces as President Biden pushes the military to become as woke as possible. While some conservatives are pushing back, the vast majority of social/cultural conservatives are overlooking or ignoring the teaching of Scripture on the matter. Our denomination, the Communion of Reformed a...

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Ask, Seek, Knock: Lessons on Prayer from Matthew 8-9

My recent sermon was an attempt to survey Matthew 8-9, which, naturally, prohibited me from giving adequate attention to the details of the text. It is a difficult trade-off for me to make, but that's the benefit of preaching through a Gospel every year: we'll get another chance before too long. When reading any of the Gospels, it is an interesting...

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