But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.  1 Peter 3: 14-16

For the Church - Apologetic Report
Wednesday, 15 August 2018 15:10

Sin Doesn’t Take a Summer Vacation

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The minivan was packed, my wife and kids were waiting, and I paced once more through the house, making sure I wasn’t forgetting anything important. It wasn’t long after the van pulled away that I realized what I had missed.

How could I have once again forgotten something so essential for...

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Wednesday, 15 August 2018 15:05

Come Thou Fount - Part 3

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Editor's Note: This post is Part 3 of a 3-part series. Click to read Part 1 and Part 2.

Our journey through "Come Thou Fount" comes to a close with this third and final verse. My hope is that the Church at-large will again find great refuge in the rich hymns of old. As we do so, may...

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I can honestly say that I’ve grown to love visiting my church members when they’re staying in the hospital. I’m surprised to hear myself say that, since there was a time when I positively despised hospital visitation. I’m a rather shy guy by nature who has a...

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Every pastor knows the constant weight of sermon preparation. Sunday is a standing, unmovable deadline. It is like living in final exam week, with a massive deadline before you every Lord’s Day. But the preacher’s test is a public one, for all to see. He will be judged by God’s...

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It has been exciting to see a surge in church planting happening around the world. I believe that planting churches, or should I say, planting churches well, is probably the most effective strategy for reaching those without Christ that there has ever been. Now that you know I’m pro-church...

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Tuesday, 14 August 2018 15:05

How Does Praying For Others Help You?

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"[Pray] at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel" (Ephesians 6:18-19).

This...

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Monday, 13 August 2018 15:15

When Christ's Call is Urgent

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"Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is." Ephesians 5:15-17

When Christ calls us to himself, he calls us immediately. There is no "ramp-up"...

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Monday, 13 August 2018 15:10

True Preaching is Indispensable! What is it?

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In September 1967, D. M. Lloyd-Jones gave an address for a student conference at Westminster Theological Seminary on the topic, "What is Preaching?" The address is included in the Banner of Truth book Knowing the Times: Addresses Delivered on Various Occasions 1942-1977. I have always been...

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Sunday, 12 August 2018 15:15

He Has Done All Things Well

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And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, “He has done all things well. He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”-- Mark 7:37

But oh, kids, that’s just the beginning! For when he looks up to say “Eph-pha-tha – Be opened” he’s not just talking...

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Sunday, 12 August 2018 15:10

Links For The Church (8/13)

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For The Long Days

Alex Lewis writes about his experience with depression and how the Lord has taught him through his suffering. 

Life Lessons from Ecclesiastes

The book of Ecclesiastes is often misunderstood but gives us a beautiful picture of how we can have hope in the troubles of life.

God's...

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Sunday, 12 August 2018 15:05

Christ as Substitute

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What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a substitute?

Consider with me for a moment the famous scene from Indiana Jones. Jones is trying to steal a golden idol, and to take that idol, he must put something of equal weight in its place quickly to spare himself from triggering all...

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Saturday, 11 August 2018 15:15

The Lord Reigneth

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"The Lord reigneth, let the earth rejoice."-- Psalm 97:1

Causes for disquietude there are none so long as this blessed sentence is true. On earth the Lord's power as readily controls the rage of the wicked as the rage of the sea; his love as easily refreshes the poor with mercy as the earth with...

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Doubt is back in the news. We’ve all heard a great deal about postmodernism over the years; one of the ways it continues to influence us as a culture is to make us prize uncertainty and distrust certainty. It seems more authentic, more truly human, even more virtuous, to live in gray areas...

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Thursday, 09 August 2018 15:10

4 Ways Elders Should Seek Accountability

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Guys, let’s face it. If a pastor’s accountability isn’t in the local church, it’s probably not real accountability. It might give the illusion of accountability so he can traffic in the vocabulary without the entanglements of the substance.

Here’s the problem: Not...

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Wednesday, 08 August 2018 15:15

Beware of the Whisperer

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As an 80's kid, Ghostbusters was a big part of my childhood. I would wait with anticipation to watch the cartoons each week, and playing with the action figures got me through the commercials. I even had my own "proton pack" with which I rescued our family from many dangerous enemies.

In...

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Wednesday, 08 August 2018 15:10

When You Want to Put On a Mask

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When Adam and Eve rejected God’s goodness and authority by eating the forbidden fruit, their eyes were opened and they suddenly recognized that they were naked. This new, self-conscious reality set in motion a series of actions, each one a strategy to hide the shame that they felt over what...

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Wednesday, 08 August 2018 15:05

Come Thou Fount - Part 2

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Editor's Note: This post is Part 2 of a 3-part series. You can read Part 1 here.

Here I raise my Ebenezer; hither by thy help I've come; and I hope, by thy good pleasure, safely to arrive at home. Jesus sought me when a stranger, wandering from the fold of God; he, to rescue me from danger,...

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Tuesday, 07 August 2018 15:10

For The Love Of The Church

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Sometimes loving the local church is hard. As with any relationship or commitment, there are ups and downs. However, loving other Christians is one of the clear signs of salvation (John 13:35). Unfortunately, many Christians do not have a right love for the church and most aren’t even sure...

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Tuesday, 07 August 2018 15:05

Are We Allergic to Insignificance?

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Can you imagine if all of your conversations were recorded? Certainly, some things we’ve said would embarrass us a bit if they became public record.

The early disciples had one of those conversations. Looking back years later, I’m sure they cringed at the memory. In Matthew 18 they...

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Monday, 06 August 2018 15:15

It Isn’t About Me

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When you meet with the body of believers in which God by his sometimes secret design has put you, remember this great truth: it’s not about “me.”

You don’t gather to be mainly about you, but them. “Let all things be done for edification,” Paul said. That is, do...

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Monday, 06 August 2018 15:10

3 of the Serpent's Lies We Still Believe

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"Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the wild animals that the LORD God had made” (Genesis 3:1).

Everything was good. Very good, in fact. All creation existed in perfect harmony, and at the center of everything was the crown jewel of creation. The man and the woman lived in...

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Sunday, 05 August 2018 15:15

When We're Shocked to Find Sinners at Church

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I have made no secret of how impactful—yes I know that’s not a word—Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Life Together has been in my life. I have read it a few times over the last several years, but the first time I read it was in the context of a men’s small group in my...

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Sunday, 05 August 2018 15:05

When You’re Hurt by the Church

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My husband and I grew up in a church which, at the time, felt like a Christian utopia. We thought we had the right doctrine and the right practice of Christian life. We had deep friendships and accountability. Our fortress was safe from strife.

Eventually, our church endured a messy split. Through...

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Sunday, 05 August 2018 15:05

Links For The Church (8/6)

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One Of The Best Things Churches Can Do For People With Mental Illness

Amy Simpson writes about the ways that the church can let those with mental illness serve in their congregations.

The Visible Body Of Christ

"The means of grace are present together is in the church," writes Guy Richard. He...

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Saturday, 04 August 2018 15:15

All Things Work Together for Good

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"We know that all things work together for good to them that love God."-- Romans 8:28

Upon some points a believer is absolutely sure. He knows, for instance, that God sits in the stern-sheets of the vessel when it rocks most. He believes that an invisible hand is always on the world's tiller, and...

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