These contradicting terms are often humorous—like “pretty ugly” and “lightweight tank.” However, there is nothing funny about a dead church. Is your faith alive and passionate or is it lifeless and dull?
In Israel's northern city of Caesarea Philippi, among the ruins of a worship centre dedicated to the Greek god Pan, a cave exists that was long believed by those who worshipped there to be the doorway into the netherworld. It was in the vicinity of this grotto, the alleged gateway to hell, that Jesus promised: "Upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it" (Matthew 16:18).
From Pentecost in the first century to the present day, Satan has attempted to destroy Christ's Church—yet it endures. From a small group of Jewish outsiders in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago, Christ built His Church to reach even the remotest parts of the world. Despite controversies, wars, and denominational splits, the Church continues to be the means through which God announces to a dark and dying world that light and life have come in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ.
For these reasons, and many more, we learn about and appreciate the body of Christ, the Church.
For millennia, average Christians as well as learned theologians have strained more than one brain cell to try to understand the incomprehensible mystery surrounding the conception and birth of our Saviour. We'll not lose ourselves in the unsolvable riddle that is the conception of God the Son. Rather, we'll lose ourselves in the wonder that is God the Holy Spirit's most significant mission.
All of us who follow Christ have sensed God's working, even if we couldn't put our finger on exactly what He was doing. But how do we recognize it? This spiritual sense comes from the Holy Spirit who indwells every believer and who gives believers inner promptings to participate in God's activities in their lives.
The Christian life is like a car. One needs at least two important things to drive it: a key and fuel. When an individual comes to faith in Christ, he or she is given the key—salvation. But the car of the Christian life doesn't get very far without fuel—the divine enablement of the Holy Spirit, what the Bible calls being “filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18)
Of the three persons in the godhead, including God the Father and God the Son, God the Holy Spirit is the least understood and the most mystifying. Let's dispel some of the myths and mystery by getting reacquainted with the Spirit of Power.
To combat ageism, we first need to become aware of it in ourselves and those around us. We become informed by reading about aging and talking with older people about ageism.
Words are powerful things. That’s why Paul was concerned about certain men in the church who had “gone astray from the truth” (2 Timothy 2:18).
After more than 50 years of full-time ministry, Chuck Swindoll shares a serious warning from God’s Word to help ministry leaders keep their hearts straight—directed to Jesus and His priceless benefits rather than ephemeral money and its vaporous profits.
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58). As believers today, we must renew that same spirit of determination and commitment to faithfulness, to constancy, to endurance—no matter how sombre the road or how grievous the cost.