Saturday, May 26, 2012

The preaching of the cross

Regarding the preaching of the cross, Paul wrote, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God … For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18, 22-24).
Paul was willing to only boast in the cross (Galatians 6:14). The cross is crucial to our salvation because we can have life by His lifting up (John 3:14). One who seeks to be justified by Mosaic Law is “under a curse” (Galatians 3:10). Nothing good can come of one who would try to be justified by perfect law keeping because there will inevitably be a time in which the follower will make a mistake and sin against the law (Romans 3:23). The “curse” Jesus bore relates to the command given in Deuteronomy 21:22-23 (Galatians 3:13). This is capital punishment for capital crimes. If a man did something deserving of death, he was to be put to death and he was to be hung on a tree for all to see. Though innocent, Christ was treated in His death as if He had been guilty; that is, He was put to death as if He had personally deserved it.
His resurrection proved He was God’s Son (John 8:28; Romans 1:4). The resurrection is explained in the gospel, and it is this gospel that can draw men to God (John 12:32). In fact, if this won’t move a man, a man can’t be moved.
Kyle Campbell

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A good kind of hate

Hate is defined as a strong or passionate dislike. It is a feeling from within us directed towards certain objects, animals, people, and even ourselves. We are told by Jesus not to have this for one another but instead we are to love one another (Luke 6:27). But even though hate is wrong toward one another, this does not mean that we should never have hatred. In fact, if we want to make it to heaven, we must hate sin.

We can find a lot of passages, especially in Psalms, about hatred or abhorrence of evil. A familiar one might be Psalm 119:104: “Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.” A familiar passage in the New Testament would be Romans 12:9, which says, “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.” We not only hate evil but also we should cling to what is good. Since hatred is a strong or passionate dislike toward something, if we have hate towards sin, we are going to stay away from it. It’s only when we are charmed by temptation, and the hate within us for evil starts to fade, that we fall for sin. If we are going to make it to heaven, we must have a strong hatred for every false way. Then and only then can we have the strength to say no to temptation.

Jonathan Glaesemann

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Are you secure?

A lot of what we believe is secure today isn’t, which has been proved by criminal and/or unethical activity like hacking and phishing. Our email, passwords, and websites are not secure. Even the government can monitor what we do with texts and emails.
But God has had this capability since time began. Psalm 139:7-12 says, “Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.”
Achan thought he could hide treasure in his tent, but everything was destroyed for his sin (Joshua 7:19-26). Ananias and Sapphira withheld money and lied, thinking that God wouldn’t know; both died by the hand of God (Acts 5:5, 10). God knows what goes on in His world. Amos 5:12 says, “For I know your manifold transgressions and your mighty sins: they afflict the just, they take a bribe, and they turn aside the poor in the gate from their right.” Don’t ever think that you can be secure in your sins from the presence of God. God promised through Solomon, “Whoso walketh uprightly shall be saved: but he that is perverse in his ways shall fall at once” (Proverbs 28:18).
Kyle Campbell

Saturday, May 12, 2012

"Like" if you love Jesus

If you have a Facebook account, you probably know exactly what the phrase “Like if you love Jesus” means. Under these words is usually a picture of Jesus. There are usually a lot of “likes” on the post and you might notice that a few of your friends have “liked” it too. But just because we “like” a Facebook post, does this necessarily mean that we love Jesus? Does it prove anything to “like” these posts? Absolutely not! These Facebook posts, in my opinion, are posted just to see how many “likes” one can rack up. To get even more “likes,” they will put more than just the phrase “Like if you love Jesus” so that it will read “Like if you love Jesus, if you don’t, keep scrolling” so as to make one feel guilty if they don’t “like” it. But again, does it mean that you have to “like” a post in order to show your love for Jesus? Here’s an even better question, “Does our eternal destiny depend on it?”

To some it may seem that way. Why do I think this? Well, I happened to see another post the other day similar to the one I’ve been discussing. It read, “Like for Heaven, ignore for Hell.” Now does it seem too harsh to say that people feel like they have to “like” these posts? Well, if that were not the case, then there wouldn’t be so many “likes” on them.

The fact of the matter is, our eternal destiny absolutely does not depend upon “liking” a Facebook post. Our salvation is dependent upon our faith (Hebrews 11:7), the changing our mind to repentance (Luke 13:3), our confession (Romans 10:10), and baptism (Mark 16:16). By doing this we can not only save our souls, but we can also show our love for Jesus (John 14:15)! After you have been saved, continue to live your life for the Lord, proving your love for Him by living as a Christian, striving to put God and others before yourself. If you do this, then there is no sense in “liking” a Facebook post to prove that you love God, because you have shown it in your walk of life (Matthew 5:13). So the next time you run across one of these posts and you want to show that you love Jesus, get off of Facebook and get out there to let your light shine before men so that they will see the love of Christ in you, not by the clicking of the “like” button, but by your sincere desire to do the Lord’s work (James 1:25)!

Jonathan Glaesemann

Monday, May 7, 2012

Don't be baited

It is important to have the right bait for fishing. If you think about it, Satan is a fisherman too, and he has bait for us in the form of the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life (1 John 2:16). James said, “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death” (James 1:14-15). This progression demonstrates the similarity between being tempted by sin and a fish being attracted to bait.
It is overwhelming at times when righteous people think of all the temptations that are faced. We fight temptation with sex and violence on television and movies, with the corrupting influence of friends, neighbors, and coworkers, with the love of wealth, and with general apathy. All of these are formidable foes.
Just because we think that we have defeated them once doesn’t mean that we have defeated them permanently. Satan is patient and he will wait for us to eventually slip up and sin. He doesn’t believe in the practice of “catch and release,” which I did a lot in my childhood. He is purposeful in his work (1 Peter 5:8), and he accuses brethren (Revelation 12:10), or makes it appear as if the saints are hypocritical, insincere, and full of evil motives and secret sins. We cannot be ignorant of his schemes or devices (2 Corinthians 2:11), or we will be drawn in and lost.
Kyle Campbell

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


People are going to remember the terrible 2012 saga of Joe Paterno for many, many years. He was a great coach with expertise and generosity, but his legacy was horribly soiled only months before his death. What about yours? Peter wrote, “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation” (1 Peter 2:11-12).
We are being watched by people around us. When we slip in our actions, we not only put our eternity in jeopardy, but we also give people reason to doubt the gospel. However, another important fact to remember is that the Lord also watches us (Psalm 139:7-12; Hebrews 4:13). What legacy are you leaving when people don’t see you? Peter said, “For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil” (1 Peter 3:12).
For our final thought, Peter wrote, “Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you: Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead” (1 Peter 4:1-5). Our legacy should be to cease from sin. How will God and others see you?
Kyle Campbell