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

Erik Raymond - Apologetic Report
Tuesday, 15 August 2017 10:05

What Does it Mean to be the Apple of God’s Eye?

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Our English phrase the apple of your eye is a helpful translation of the Hebrew which is the little man of the eye. When you look into someone's eye, you can see yourself reflected in the pupil of their eyeball as a little person. Also, your eye is the most...

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Monday, 31 July 2017 10:01

Is Hell for Real?

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imageQuestions about hell continue to be among the most common questions I receive as a pastor. Many involve the existence, nature, and duration of hell. People also want to know the reason for hell. Is it really necessary? 

These are important questions. The Bible...

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Sunday, 30 July 2017 10:05

The Holy Spirit is Not an “It”

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There are times when precision is needed and there are other times when it is not. When we are talking about God then we must always be in the first category. This is because God is the being who is worthy of the highest regard. He is infinitely more valuable...

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Sunday, 18 June 2017 10:05

Nehemiah Sets the Table for Christ’s Feast

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The scene may be hard to imagine: people in the covenant community pawning their fields, homes, and vineyards in order to put food on the table. Worse still, the people that were fronting the money were other members of the covenant community. However, this was...

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Wednesday, 14 June 2017 10:05

Fresh Gospel Wine in Naboth’s Vineyard

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You may be familiar with the story in 1 Kings 21. Ahab is one of the worst kings in the history of Israel. His lusts are boundless. One day he decides that he wants to take the vineyard that belonged to a man named Naboth. He offered to give him another patch of...

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Monday, 12 June 2017 10:05

When the Chariot of Guilt Rolls Into Town

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As Christians we typically bounce off of two extremes:

  1. Undervaluing the work of Christ by clinging to our own merit
  2. Undervaluing the work of Christ by wallowing in our guilt

This is as dangerous as it is insane (and unbelieving).

Sometimes I find myself bouncing off...

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Sunday, 11 June 2017 10:05

The King of the Hill

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At the doorpost of the 15th Psalm, the songwriter asks a couple of questions. These questions deal with how someone might safely dwell in the presence of God. In other words, how may someone have access to God and his covenant blessings?

What follows in the Psalm...

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Wednesday, 31 May 2017 10:05

God Blesses Messy People

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Overall, would you say that the characters in the Bible have it all together or are a bit of a mess? If Genesis is any indication of the rest of the Bible (and it is), the answer is most certainly, they are a bit of a mess.

Adam and Eve, the first family, who,...

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Tuesday, 30 May 2017 10:05

Just Say No! A Key to Learning Contentment

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What does self-denial have to do with my contentment? Below is an excerpt from my book, Chasing Contentment, (pp. 107-110) where I work out some practical considerations of a life ordered by Jesus’ requirement that all who follow him deny themsleves (Lk. 9:23).
As...

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Thursday, 25 May 2017 10:05

The Gospel Diet

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…who loved me and gave himself for me. (Gal. 2.20c)

In Galatians 2 we read the Apostle saying that Christ “loved” and “gave himself up” for him. These two phrases are like spiritual protein and carbs for us. On the one side we are loved. This prevents...

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Tuesday, 23 May 2017 10:05

Running to the Pantry of Good Works

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I am not a legalist.

I say this at the outset because I am scared of the label, both from the perspective of perception and also the spiritual implications. I don’t want to be that guy.

I am sure you can relate.

At the same time, I’ve noticed a troubling personal trend. This...

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Monday, 22 May 2017 10:05

Smelling the Gospel Flowers in Proverbs

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In the past I have been guilty of treating the Book of Proverbs a little bit like a commute to work. I sped through familiar passages and topics while aiming to get where I needed to go. Often times, this destination has been a rebuke that I needed to hear concerning my tongue or...

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Israel was clamoring for a king. They wanted to be like the nations around them (1 Sam. 8.4). God obliges their request and sends Samuel to anoint the son of Kish.

Saul had many of the attributes people look for in a leader.  He was tall, handsome, and well-spoken. He was someone...

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Monday, 15 May 2017 10:05

Doctrine is Precious in the Storm

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Theology often gets a bad rap. Pitted against application, doctrine is painted as stuffy and out of step. But so often when we read the Bible we find that it is the theology that drives the devotion. Orthodoxy gets pressed down into the crevices of our lives to make us grow. Like...

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Thursday, 11 May 2017 10:05

Are You Aiding and Abetting Apathy?

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If you are involved in a local church and have attempted to encourage others in their walk with Christ then you have probably said or heard the following countless times:

“I need to get back in the Word.”

“My prayer life has been kinda dry lately.”

How do you...

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Tuesday, 09 May 2017 10:05

Pastoral Bullies

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It was a bad day at church. What was supposed to be a blessed and meaningful worship experience felt like a punch in the gut.

What happened? Those in authority were selfish bullies.

We read about these leaders in 1 Samuel. Eli’s sons aptly described by the author as...

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Sunday, 07 May 2017 10:05

The Gospel Sneaks Up on Me

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Over the last twenty years, we have been blessed with six children in our home. As a result of the spread in their ages, I have been getting scared by our kids since the late 90’s. I have been startled so many times that I’ve lost count. Have you ever noticed that kids...

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Wednesday, 03 May 2017 10:05

Are You All In on the Promises of God?

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“You can tell a lot about someone’s priorities by looking at their bank account and calendar.” Is this true? To some extent, I think it is. How people spend their time, and their money reveals a great deal about them.

At the end of Abraham’s life, we see what he...

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What is the difference between justification and sanctification? I am thankful that this is a frequent question that I get as a pastor; thankful because people are thinking but also because this is so important. After all, we are talking about our standing before God.

In short,...

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I am pleased to share with you the Emmaus Pastoral Residency. As a young Christian with a passion for ministry this type of program was not only something I desired, but also something I would’ve benefited from immensely.

The Emmaus Residency is a twelve-month...

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Wednesday, 26 April 2017 10:05

Learning Contentment Through Repetition

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In our home, we have six children. As you can imagine, this brings a parade of child-training opportunities. In addition to the blessing of children, the Lord has blessed me with a wife who is very creative and persistent in how she trains the kids.

Not surprisingly, young children...

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Monday, 24 April 2017 10:05

God Still Uses Ordinary Means and Ordinary Men

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At the end of Ezra 4 the people who started out rebuilding the temple with a head of steam had fizzled out. They were crippled by a fear of man. As they cowered in discouragement and shame, the dust settled on the building project.

So what does God do?

He sends a couple of preachers, Haggai &...

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Thursday, 20 April 2017 10:05

Preachers: God Will Make the Dents

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One interesting aspect of living in the Midwest is the sudden change in weather. We can go from sunshine to ominous clouds to run for cover faster than an opponent can score on Nebraska’s Defense. A particularly arresting demonstration of this extreme weather is the hail...

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Wednesday, 19 April 2017 10:05

We Need More “Parlour Preachers”

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Do you have a burden for people to know and love Jesus more? If you are a Christian the answer here is certainly, “yes.” This is the great cry of our hearts. Though, we admit, the cry is often muffled and not attended with appropriate zeal. For a host of reasons, we find...

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Monday, 17 April 2017 10:05

What is Expository Preaching?

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I can think of five different but equally interesting conversations over the last couple of years where I’ve discussed expository preaching. They were interesting because those I talked with had such different understanding of what exposition is. This is one of the bi-products...

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