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
Saturday, 05 January 2019 14:15

The Hand of the Lord

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"Now the hand of the Lord was upon me in the evening."-- Ezekiel 33:22

In the way of judgment this may be the case, and, if so, be it mine to consider the reason of such a visitation, and bear the rod and him that hath appointed it. I am not the only one who is chastened in the night season; let me...

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As Luke told the story about the opening moments and early hours that Jesus hung on the cross (Luke 23:32-43), he especially highlighted something about Christ’s character—his love. This trait of Jesus is especially noteworthy when observing that all around the cross, sin was rampant.

One...

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Thursday, 03 January 2019 14:10

Body Image and a Better Understanding of Beauty

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Regardless of age, ethnicity, religion, or socioeconomic status, women around the world and throughout time have faced (and still do) incessant attacks on their souls through lies propagated by the Enemy about beauty and value.

From the deception of Eve by the serpent in Genesis 3, to the isolation...

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Wednesday, 02 January 2019 14:15

Jesus, the First Missionary

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When we think of Christmas, I would venture that the first thing popping into your mind isn’t missions. We think of family and honey-baked hams and Michael Buble - anything but missions. Perhaps, though, you’re more theologically bent, and you run towards the...

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Wednesday, 02 January 2019 14:10

5 Tools Every Rural Church Needs

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Recently, I had a conversation with a pastor from out-of-state at a conference. He told me he was from a small town in the Southwest. “How small?” I asked, as I am always curious about small towns.  

“Oh, very small,” he assured me. “Only...

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Wednesday, 02 January 2019 14:05

The Fruit of Faithful Presence

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In recent weeks, over 100 members of Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu, China, have been imprisoned. Among them is Pastor Wang Yi, one of China’s foremost Protestant pastors and Christian leaders. Foreseeing this possibility, Pastor Yi drafted a letter, “My Declaration of Faithful...

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Tuesday, 01 January 2019 14:15

Tips for Lay Preachers

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Preaching is a daunting task, especially for those of us who fill the pulpit when the regular preaching pastor is away. My aim in this article is to help lay elders, youth leaders, pulpit suppliers, seminarians, and anyone else who preaches occasionally understand how to play your role effectively....

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Tuesday, 01 January 2019 14:10

Some Hope for Disciplining Children

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Growing up I often heard my grandmother (among others) say that she had to discipline me because she was “training you in the way you should go, so that you won’t depart from it when you get older.” Well, a few decades, lots of drugs and alcohol, an arrest, and sundry other acts...

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Monday, 31 December 2018 14:15

Spurgeon's Top 4 New Year's Resolutions

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Charles Spurgeon preached at least 14 sermons about the New Year in his 38 years at the Metropolitan Tabernacle. Though many themes arise in his comments, belief is as pervasive as any.

“Oh, to believe from January to December!”

Spurgeon prayed and called for belief in every New...

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Sunday, 30 December 2018 14:15

Ending on a High Note

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“Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.”-- Jude...

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Sunday, 30 December 2018 14:10

Putting Numbers In Their Place

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It happened again last Sunday. It shouldn’t have happened. I know better. I worked through it and I thought I had a grip on it.

But it happened- the attendance at church was lower than usual. That in and of itself wasn’t what shouldn’t have happened. It was my response to low...

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Sunday, 30 December 2018 14:05

Links For The Church (12/31)

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More Than Piety: Everyday Work And The Holy Spirit

"The consummation theme gives us a deeper understanding of the Holy Spirit’s work in God’s cosmic plan as God brings forth the completion of his reconciliation and restoration project." - TediAnne Hasapopoulos

Skip Resolutions in...

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Saturday, 29 December 2018 14:15

Better the End than the Beginning

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"Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof."-- Ecclesiastes 7:8

Look at David's Lord and Master; see his beginning. He was despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. Would you see the end? He sits at his Father's right hand, expecting until his enemies be...

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Thursday, 27 December 2018 14:15

The 10 Most-Read Posts of 2018

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Here are the top ten most-read entries at FTC this year, in descending order.

1. 5 Distinctives of Biblical Leadership by Mike Ayers

"If we will recommit ourselves to the standard of God’s Word as opposed to taking our beliefs from the culture, we may catch a glimpse of the brilliant...

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Thursday, 27 December 2018 14:10

A Destructive Daily Problem

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Living a just and holy life requires one to be capable of an objective and impartial evaluation of things. - St. Augustine (354–430)

There is a giant problem in East Africa: snails. Lissachatina fulica, giant African land snails, originated in Kenya and have traversed as far as Asia and...

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Wednesday, 26 December 2018 14:10

The Primacy of the Master of Divinity Degree

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Recently I found myself corresponding with future seminary students about the differences between the Master of Divinity and the shorter Master of Theological Studies degrees. The dialogue, in sum, explored whether the Master of Divinity degree was worth the extra time and expense. I argued,...

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Wednesday, 26 December 2018 14:05

The Goal and Purpose of Ministry Within the Local Church

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I attended the University of Georgia for my undergraduate studies. When I entered the university, I hadn't declared a major, but eventually, I decided on Biology. Why? I don’t know. I’ve never worked in my degree field and the classes I had to take were much more...

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Tuesday, 25 December 2018 14:10

The Gospel and My Grandpa

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Some of my fondest childhood memories were at my grandparents' house. Every day after school I would walk just a few blocks to their house. I would open the door to the smell of bagel bites (my favorite snack), and the sound of my grandmother playing the piano and singing a gospel hymn –...

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Tuesday, 25 December 2018 14:05

Giving Up Our Rights

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Consider the formula: Giving up rights = Gospel advancement. Rights are those preferences and freedoms we enjoy as Christians related to what we eat, drink, and enjoy and even some things that we are owed or deserve.

To us in the West, willingly giving these up is an uncomfortable concept.

However,...

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Monday, 24 December 2018 14:15

Was Charles Spurgeon Grinchy?

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It’s true. Charles Spurgeon had a love/hate relationship with Christmas. In seventeenth-century England, Christmas was often associated with moral laxity and splurging. The Puritans resisted the Roman Catholic flavor of the festivities, and so did Spurgeon. Like his predecessors, the preacher...

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Sunday, 23 December 2018 14:15

Christmas Reminds Us That Jesus is God

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What would prompt us to refer to a man as God? And even if we acknowledge that Jesus was somehow God, how did he become God? Was he born a man and later “divinized” in some way, perhaps at his baptism? Many have wrestled with these questions throughout church history, but the...

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Sunday, 23 December 2018 14:10

Immanuel

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We are conditioned for disappointment from a very young age. Life just doesn’t always work out the way we want it. Sometimes it’s because we have a skewed perception of reality, which is particularly true when we are younger, and other times it’s because reasonable expectations...

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Sunday, 23 December 2018 14:05

Links For The Church (12/24)

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The “Mega Joy” of Christmas

The joy that comes at Christmas is not ordinary, average, or easy to ignore. "The great song of God's triumphant redemption" plays in the background and brings, what Matthew Miller calls, "mega joy."

Christmas for the Weary

Sam Allberry describes four titles of...

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Saturday, 22 December 2018 14:15

Good Cheer for Christmas

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From Spurgeon's sermon "Good Cheer for Christmas," preached December 20th, 1868 . . .

"And in this mountain shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined."-- Isaiah 25:6

"In this...

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Thursday, 20 December 2018 14:15

'The Grinch' And The Gospel

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How the Grinch Stole Christmas!(1957) by Ted Geisel (otherwise known as Dr. Seuss) has never been a compelling story to me. Don’t get me wrong—I appreciate the pushback against Christmas consumerism, enjoy the musical score, and find Max the dog adorable. But even as a little girl...

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