Thy Kingdom Come


“Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:9, 10).

“The kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 3:2), or “the kingdom of God” (6:33), refers to God’s rule over heaven and earth, in this present age; it will be fulfilled in the Millennial Kingdom; it will continue forever in the ages to come. Continue reading

A Christ Without a Cross


“It is scarcely possible in most places to get anyone to attend a meeting where the only attraction is God.” ~AW Tozer

On a certain Friday morning, one summer not long ago, I drove to a “Christian” conference some distance from where I lived. Thinking to get a good parking space, I arrived an hour early; but the front parking lot being already full, and barred, I had to park in back. I tried to find a shady spot, something about as scarce, these days, in a church lot as in a mall lot. Continue reading

Set Your Affection on Things Above


“It is the preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else that prevents us from living freely and nobly.” ~Bertrand Russell

A long time ago, when I was still a young married, an older lady, a friend of my mother, gave me her “starter” table and four chairs for my “dining room.” It had been hers when she was a newlywed. It wasn’t much: a small wooden ensemble, painted white, of no more than sentimental value. Continue reading

Walk Circumspectly, Not as Fools, But as Wise

Series: Taking Scripture out of Context

“Walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15, 16).

I was in a Southern Baptist church one morning when I overheard a businessman tell another man that his religion stopped at the door. If he practiced his “Christian” principles in his business, there was no way he could make it. He was a Sunday saint—or so he thought—and a Monday sinner. Continue reading

By Grace Are You Saved Through Faith and Not of Works

Series: Taking Scripture out of Context

“By grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8, 9).

“Not of works” is one of the most common expressions I hear from Calvinists. Historically, it harks back to the dawn of the Protestant Reformation, the five solas, and Martin Luther’s revival of “the just shall live by his faith” (Habakkuk 2:4; cf Romans 3:27); but, essentially, it is used to say that we don’t have to do anything ourselves, that Jesus did it all for us. It is the argument for continuing in sin (as if it’s okay to be naughty on God’s playground) and for believing in Eternal Security. Continue reading

Neither Shall Any Man Pluck Them Out of My Hand

Series: Taking Scripture out of Context

“I give to them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand” (John 10:28).

John 10 is the chapter where Jesus identifies Himself as “the door of the sheep” (10:7, 9) and “the Good Shepherd” (10:11, 14). The emphasis in the passage is the uniqueness of Jesus: “I AM the door” (10:9) as “I AM the way” (14:6). “By Me if any man enter in, he will be saved” (10:9). “No man comes to the Father, but by Me” (14:6). “I and My Father are one” (10:30). Continue reading