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The World Changes, The Worldly Hearts Do Not

When reading through the Bible and take note of social norms in the early cultures all the way through the early church writings about social norms of those times; a pattern becomes apparent.  A social norms pattern that conflict with God's moral standard.  Then, when looking at our modern times and its escalating social norms, we see the pattern continuing.  The pattern of child sacrifice and freedom for sexual immorality. But what is at the source of it and what is wrong with it?

Being A Confessional Church

What does it mean to be a confessional church and why is it important?  In this day and age most people do not even know what being a confessional church is, in any shape or form.  This article will address a very important issue in the Body of Christ that most Christian leaders have neglected for generations.  We will review what 'confessional' is referring to, why it is important, discuss statements of faith, and clear up common misconceptions about historic Creeds and Confessions.

What Did Melito of Sardis Teach?

Lightfoot believed that he is second generation Christian in this region and was a successor to an Apostle of his local church community in Sardis but given his estimated date of death, this is unlikely but close.  He knew Polycarp, his disciple Irenaeus, and personally acquainted with Ignatius.  He was martyred around 177AD.  He wrote numerous books but are mostly lost except for some fragments and a lot of quotes from Eusebius, Polycrates, Origen, Tertullian, and Jerome.  He is a important figure in the Church because he was very close to Disciples of the Apostle John and relatives of eye witnesses of people raised from the dead by the Apostles.  In his travels he also met Tatian and Theodotus and most likely would have also met Clement of Alexandria. 

What Did Apollinaris of Hierapolis Teach?

Apollinaris was a 3rd generation Christian who could have been influenced by Qaudratus and Aristides and was friends with Melito who was discipled by Polycarp.  Church historians after him spoke very highly of him and the soundness of his teachings.  He gained notoriety when he wrote treatises against Heresies of his time.  He also wrote an apology to the Roman Emperor.  It is unclear when he was born and his death is estimated to be before the death of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius around 177AD. 

What Did Hippolytus of Rome Teach?

Hippolytus was born around 170AD and died a martyr around 235AD.  He was a disciple of Irenaeus who was a disciple of Polycarp, who was a disciple of John the Apostle.  Even Origen of Alexandria heard him preach at an early age.  He was critical of the popes of Rome and even accused Pope Zephyrinus of modalism.  Under the persecution at the time of Emperor Maximinus Thrax he was exiled where he later died as a martyr.

True Revival

What is a revival, who sparks it, and how does one begin?  In more charismatic circles we hear about revivals and supposed prophesied soon coming and that we need to do A, B, and C to usher in a revival. But looking at history, we see a couple major revivals.  We can also learn what happened and how it happened when we look through the lens of scripture.

What did Aristides of Athens teach?

Aristitdes was a greek philosopher and then converted to Christianity.  He is known for a letter he wrote to the Roman Emperor Hadrian that is estimated to have been delivered around 125AD.  He died around 134AD, only about 44 years after John The Apostle died after writing Revelations.   It is suggested that he also wrote Epistle to Diognetus.  Eusebius and Jerome both having knowledge of his letter to Hadrian and Jerome supporting the soundness of his doctrine.  The comprehensiveness and subject matter is still very relevant to modern society.

Ghosts, Hauntings, Spirit Possession; and God.

What are Ghosts?  Are there supernatural hauntings? What causes paranormal activity?  These are all questions that are growing more common in a modern scientific world.  The questions are not if a supernatural realm exists but what is the source of the supernatural elements.  When looking at what God reveals we can come to understand what the world is having a hard time understanding.

Normalized Adultery

This is a tough subject for a lot of Christians in a culture that accepts most sexually immoral choices.  Whats even more scary is that some Christians support the wrong choice or are too fearful to rebuke it out of concern for offending or being labeled 'judgemental'.  What do these adulterous choices, that are accepted and more normalized look like?

What did Qaudratus of Athens teach?

He is the first Christian apologist and is counted as one of the 70 Apostles in the Eastern Orthodox churches and was a friend of the Apostles according to Eusebius of Caesarea.  He would have known John and by style of writing he was directly influenced by John and Paul's writings. He wrote an apology (argument for) letter to Roman Emporer Hadrian when he came and visited Qaudratus' city.  Eusebius had an copy of his letter and stated he was very orthodox with the other Apostles.  Eusebius then quotes him:

The Season of Advent

 Following the Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and Feast of Tabernacles that remind us of things still to come; Advent reminds us to prepare our hearts to remember who already came and who will come again.  The weeks of the four Sundays before Christmas is known as Advent.  It is an extra-biblical season and by no means is required for Christians to celebrate but is up to the conscience of each person (Romans 14:5–6).  This article will get into the history behind Advent and its meaning.

Hebrews In Egypt

The Bible records Jacob settling in Egypt, in the land called Rameses.  They became slaves to Egypt and were used to construct the Rameses city.  After 430 years of intense labor and poverty, they left.  (Genesis 47:11,27; Exodus 1:11, 12:37-40).  Is this the only explicit record of Israelites being enslaved in Egypt?  There are a couple logical questions we must ask then we can ponder any sort of evidence or support for the bible's claim.

Why The Bible is Divine: Miracles

A proof, or a sign of someone who has supernatural and immaterial powers is through conducting miracles.  A miracle is defined as 'a surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of a divine agency; a highly improbable or extraordinary event, development, or accomplishment that brings very welcome consequences.'  What evidence is there that Jesus of Nazareth performed such inexplicable, highly improbable, extraordinary supernatural acts?  Besides the eye witness accounts of the synoptic gospels, we can look at other outside biblical sources, some even hostile to Jesus, yet, unintentionally validate him.

Why The Bible Is Divine: Christology

The bible is not just a historical record of Israeli culture but also records of a supernatural element that illuminates hearts and minds to a greater plan for all history; where the center point of human history is not a civilization or culture, but a person.  A person that ancient history looked forward to and the same person the modern world looks back at.  This person is identified as Jesus.  In this article we will look at Jesus of the Old Testament and Jesus in the New Testament.

Why The Bible is Divine: Prophecy

One of the evidences for us to know the bible contains a supernatural element and is from a divine source can be seen in the remarkable prophecies validated by history and supported unintentionally by outside unfriendly sources. We will look at historical prophecies of other nations and Messianic prophecies.

Social Justice and The Church

The most recent political upheaval and social climate has revealed issues within society and in the church.  Some are condemning the church for not taking a visible stand against perceived social injustices and others are condemning the church for not being more clear on incompatible social norms to Christian living. Abortion, Gay Rights, Racism, and Sexism are the four primary social injustices declared in society of which the church is either being condemned for lack of compassion or being too worldly; but both can not be true at the same time.  So what is it? Where SHOULD the invisible true body of Christ stand and declare in regards to these four social issues? 

God's Judgement on Nations through its Leaders

God is in absolute control in propping up and/or allowing Leaders of nations to rise and fall.   These leaders either lead to the nations dependence on God or lead the nation to not depend on God.  This article will look at God's judgement on a nation through its leaders.

What Makes Christianity The True Faith?

 What Makes Christianity The True Faith?  Can it be trusted and what makes it different from all other faiths?  We will briefly provide unintentional historic support, modern secular historians opinions, archeology and philosophical supports; as well as discuss the support from the death and resurrection and biblical prophecy for what makes Christianity true.  Again, these are brief to allow for self reflection and research. 

Reformation Day (October 31st)

On October 31st the Church commemorates what was perhaps the greatest move of God’s Spirit since the days of the Apostles.  On October 31, 1517 Martin Luther nailed his ninety-five theses to a church door in Wittenberg, Germany that provoked a debate that culminated finally in what we now call the Protestant Reformation.

Is God Perfect? Does God Make Mistakes?

Is God perfect and does he make mistakes?  This is the first question in research study.  Of all those who participated, 34% said that they did not believe he is perfect and that he makes mistakes.  That is huge.  1 in 3 professing Christians did not believe God is God.  This article will address the issue to help the 34% know God deeper and equip the 66% of professing Christians to better explain this lacking understanding in the church.

Is There A Baptism of The Holy Spirit After Salvation?

What is a Subsequent Baptism to salvation, second baptism, or also called a second blessing referring to?  Simply stated, it is a second spiritual event that takes place after and separate from the moment of salvation where an individual is overcome by the Holy Spirit and exercises spiritual gifts for the first time.  But does the Bible support this and explicitly state A Second Baptism event after salvation?  In this article we will see what Holy Scripture says about the moment of salvation and being baptized by The Holy Spirit.

Is The Church Shrinking?

As we see an increase in the 'non religious' or 'unaffiliated' religious preferences grow in government censuses and religious surveys and the numbers of self identified 'christians' get small each year, we tend to think the Church is shrinking.  Even most denominations and nondenominational churches show a slow but steady decline of church membership.  Does all this indicate the Body of Christ, the people group set aside by God himself as first fruits for his Son and The Bride of Christ; shrinking?

A Godly Couple

A Godly couple reflects the nature of God and relationship with God between himself and mankind and between Christ and the Church.  Only through His original design of holy relationships we see how the power of God is felt and seen.  The relationship itself can be seen as powerful in its unity and purity for the rest of the world to see and come to know.  What does a Godly Couple look like?  What do they do different from the rest of the fallen world?

2016 Ligonier Lifeway Research Study

In 2014 and 2016 Ligonier Ministries and Lifeway Research conducted a study that surveyed participates nation wide of their theological beliefs.  The participates ranged from Protestant, Catholic, Evangelical, 'mainline christian', and 'other' in the christian faith.  Age, gender, ethnicity, region, education, marital status, income and church attendance data was also collected.  The questions asked are huge and fundamental to the identity of the Christian Faith.  The questions analyzed the participants understanding of who God is, who they are before God, how they view the Bible and sin.  The results are stunning.  So shocking in fact, feels it is critical to address these topics in a more clear fashion.  We will look at those who attend church one or more times a month and how they understand the questions asked.  We will also focus on the 18-34 year old age group.  The results are eye opening on what the Church body in 2016 believes.

Existance of The Soul

How can we know if we have a soul? How do we know souls exist?  First it takes accepting that logic can be used to deduce truth.  If you don't believe truth exists or don't believe it is possible to come to know truth; that is for a different argument.  This article will present 4 arguments for the existence of a soul that which is separate from the physical body.

Test, Discern, and Righteous Judgement

Everything we are taught about the Holy Scripture needs to be tested against Holy Scripture.  We do not blindly believe everything every preacher or religious teacher states; but why?   God calls us to test everything and rightly judge.  This leads us to truth and emboldens our faith; but how?  This article will go over all the who, what, when, where, and why of testing, discerning, and rightly judging.

Can Someone Come to Faith by Apologetics?

Can someone come to saving faith by philosophical, logical, and rational argumentation?  Can you give such amazing arguments for God that someone gives up and then concedes to your arguments of God; does that save?  Or is there something more and deeper than philosophical, logical, and rational argumentation that must occur?  Does something supernatural still need to occur outside of rational thought?  In this article we will discuss the necessity of apologetics, what leads to salvation, and priorities in apologetics.

Disputable Matters

There are some things in the Christian faith that are essential absolute truths; such as Jesus is the One and Only begotten Son of God who is also Lord God and Savior.  Another is that we are saved by Grace through Faith in Jesus Christ.  But there are some matters that are of a relative nature; what food we eat, the day we worship, what we wear to church, what kind of church music is played, having a beer, and getting a tattoo.  Those are examples Disputable Matters.

What is 'Death'?

This is an event that every single person who ever existed and will exist, has or will experience.  Everyone experiences friends or family pass away; eventually even themselves.  But what is it, and what happens to our consciousness and our bodies when we die?  More importantly, what will happen after we are dead? This article attempts to navigate through the issue of our bodily death, our consciousness outside of our bodies, and understand what God has promised us in death.

The Test of Visions and Dreams

There has been, and will be, people to claim they have had experiences, visions, and dreams from God.  How would you know if this is true or false?  This is why we are commanded to test everything with Holy Scripture (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22; Acts 17:11; 1 John 4:1).  These simple questions help reveal the truth in any of these type of claims:

Has Anyone Been to Heaven or Hell and Returned?

There are all kinds of popular books and movies based on 'true stories' of people who have claimed to been to Heaven or Hell and returned to earth to tell people about it.  All claims must be compared to what God has made known in His Word.  What does scripture say about these claims?  Through this we can determine a if these experiences and visions are true or hallucinations and vivid imagination.

Does Heaven have Pearly Gates with Gold Streets?

There are three things we need to understand when approaching this issue.  Present material matter vs future matter,  in-time vs eternity, and The Heaven vs 'heaven'.  Grasping the differences in these will help us understand the issue of the appearance of heaven.  First we will look at matter and discuss our earthly and heavenly bodies.  Then we will get into language symbolism and limitations to better understand what we can hope for; and finally answer the question of what will have  Pearly Gates with Gold Streets.

The Transfiguration of Jesus

What is The Transfiguration and why is it such an important event?  This has been studied by theologians for ages. Through scripture we can understand what happened that day on the mountain and what the significance is.  

How Holy is God?

Understanding the Holiness of God is one of the greatest and deepest attributes of God himself.  Man can not fully grasp his holiness because we ourselves will never experience the absolute holiness of God until we are in his presence.  Through Christ and what he has revealed to us, can we better understand how Holy he truly is.

God and Vegetarianism

This is an age old question for the religious and non religious.  In regards to the Christian faith, this issue is tackled directly in scripture and through scripture we can understand this issue of eating meat.   Is it morally wrong?  Are we free to eat any food?  Why some meat was forbidden and what changed.  What does God reveal about killing animals and eating meat?

The Absolute Greatest Message To Tell Everyone

This may seem like a no brainier to most Christians; that Jesus is the only way to salvation.  But what does that actually mean? Just telling someone that Jesus loves you is only telling them half the saving message of Jesus.  Tell them to love God is not telling them the full life changing news that they need to hear.  So what is the full message that everyone needs to hear in order to be saved?

Maximal Opportunities to Desire God

This is an extremely deep issue that takes a lot of careful thought.  When correctly understood in light of scripture we can see how Maximal Opportunities bridges the understanding gap in a lot of areas in the Christian faith.  This relates to Molinism or the middle knowledge of God.  It explains how God does the all work in salvation, how people come to desire God, how he is all knowing, how and why a loving God allows evil, how and why God does not show favoritism, and how he is not responsible for sin.

God Does ALL The Work

It is ultimate satisfaction and relief to know and trust in God.  He does all the spiritual eternal work for us. The pressure and burdens of trying to love him, do good, and stay faithful to him all our life is on Him.  When we have faith in Jesus Christ, we experience the peace and joy from God doing all the work in our lives from beginning to end. From before the beginning of time, to us being lead and coming into faith, to us growing in faith, to our bodily death; God does all the work.  This is a deep and hard issue to accept.  It even turned away disciples of Jesus in his day.

Why God is not the Islamic 'Allah'

The Arabic name for God is 'Allah' which literally means 'the God'.   Although in name alone, this may be true.  The major distinction comes from who Allah is understood to be by his attributes and Characteristics.  In this article we will look at the fundamental differences in how God Justifies and saves mankind.

Hyper Spiritualism

What is Hyper Spiritualism?  It is a blend of emotional focused worship and subconscious guilt hiding that does not produce true spiritual change in a persons life.   Hyper Spiritualism can be found at seeker focused, emergent, and charismatic churches.  Hyper Spiritualist desire to act and feel a certain way to 'feel' more spiritual and to 'feel' better about the sin they live in.  This form of pseudo-worship makes people focus on their feelings at the moment without ever addressing the deeper need of a heart change in the rest of their life.  What does scripture say about Hyper Spiritualism?

Spiritual Legalism

Have you ever heard the phrase "Let God bless you" or "Allow God's love in"?  How about being told you need to "Empty yourself so that God can..." or "Claim a blessing..."?  Sounds focused on God right?  It is suppose to.  The reality is it is actually focused on YOU and YOUR works.  This article will explain why this is nothing more than legalism with a 'spiritual' sound.  It goes to the heart of how we understand our selves and how we understand God himself.  First we need to correctly know God, and correctly understand ourselves in the light of truth.  Then we can see the legalism that is disguised in spiritualism.

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