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

Grace To You - Apologetic Report
Monday, 14 March 2016 01:00

Together Against Featured

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by Jeremiah Johnson

Division, disunity, and discord are constants in a world ruined by sin. On virtually every front, over every conceivable issue, mankind is at war with itself. Driven by pride and greed, everyone wants his or her own way, and no one is given to sacrificing or surrendering for the sake of another.

And even when the people of the

Friday, 11 March 2016 00:00

John the Baptist: The True Meaning of Greatness Featured

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by John MacArthur

Imagine walking several grueling miles through rough, dry terrain to listen to an outcast from society proclaim a countercultural message that assaulted all your religious beliefs and practices. Not many of us would sign up for such a journey, or sit patiently through such a confronting sermon. And yet large crowds from Jerusalem

Wednesday, 09 March 2016 00:00

John the Baptist: A Voice Crying in the Wilderness Featured

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by John MacArthur

After recounting John’s incredible birth, the biblical record quickly moves forward to the beginnings of his ministry. He lived much of his life in the obscurity of the Judean desert before the word of God came to him initiating his prophetic ministry when he was about thirty years old (Luke 3:2). At that time, he suddenly

Tuesday, 08 March 2016 00:00

Thanks, Updates, and Housekeeping

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by Cameron Buettel

We are very thankful for the discerning readership we have on this blog. Our most recent series—The Pastor’s Job Description—has been a timely reminder of the uplifting environment many of you foster in the comments section.

Sometimes it’s hard to keep pace with all the theological questions, objections,

Monday, 07 March 2016 00:00

John the Baptist: The Last Prophet Featured

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by John MacArthur

What does God mean when He designates someone as great? In popular culture, greatness is usually defined in terms of privilege, accomplishment, money, and power leading to some means of fame. A truer view of greatness, albeit less popular, centers on someone’s lasting significance for providing far-reaching benefits to

Friday, 04 March 2016 00:00

How Do We Measure a Shepherd's Success? Featured

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by Cameron Buettel

Most people love to keep score. It doesn’t matter if it’s your favorite team lighting up the scoreboard, tracking the ebb and flow of the political season, or simply watching the numbers roll until it’s your turn at the deli counter. There’s something reassuring about quantifying success, popularity, or

Wednesday, 02 March 2016 00:00

What to Look for in a Shepherd Featured

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by Jeremiah Johnson

Do you remember what it was like as a child picking teams on the playground? The tallest and biggest kids always went first, based on the assumption of physical prowess. But they weren’t always the best choice—sometimes the game required the speed, flexibility, and coordination the bigger kids lacked. And sometimes

Monday, 29 February 2016 00:00

Abusive Shepherds Featured

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By Cameron Buettel

The threat of infiltrators is something that secular society takes very seriously. Anyone who enters the United States from abroad knows that. Fingerprint scanners, sophisticated passport technology, and heavily armed border security all indicate that imposters and frauds will not be permitted entry.

It’s tragic that the

Friday, 26 February 2016 00:00

Don't Starve the Sheep Featured

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by Jeremiah Johnson

One of the great tragedies of the influx of extrabiblcal leadership models into the church is that it’s easy for pastors to lose sight of the work the Lord originally called them to do: feed His sheep.

Think about it: Say you’re a pastor who has modeled his ministry after successful CEOs. Your priorities could vary

Wednesday, 24 February 2016 00:00

Why Does God Call Them Shepherds? Featured

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by Jeremiah Johnson

CEO, president, even king—there are several leadership models that inform and define how modern pastors function in their churches. And with the current obsession of innovating new leadership styles, techniques, and structures, you can be sure that many more will rise in popularity in the coming years.

However, as Cameron

Monday, 22 February 2016 00:00

The Absence of Shepherds Featured

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By Cameron Buettel

Imagine you’re trying out a new church this coming weekend. You find your seat just as the pastor opens with a word of prayer. After some worship songs, he returns to greet the new visitors, make some announcements, and pray over the offering.

After another song or two, you expect to see him step onto the stage to deliver

Friday, 19 February 2016 00:00

Can We Really Do All Things Through Christ? Featured

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By Cameron Buettel

Tim Tebow was featured on the cover of the July 27, 2009 issue of Sports Illustrated, decked out in his Florida Gators uniform. But what made the image so striking was the message written in Tebow’s eye black—under his right eye was the word “Phil,” and under his left the numbers “4:13.”

That

Wednesday, 17 February 2016 00:00

Is Calling on the Lord's Name All It Takes to Be Saved? Featured

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by Jeremiah Johnson

Imagine living your whole life thinking you were saved from the penalty of your sins, only to discover that your assurance was false. It would be a tragic revelation with horrific eternal consequences. And I fear that many professing believers are in for that severe shock when they enter into eternity.

Self-deception is at

By Cameron Buettel

All over the world, on any given day of the week, Jesus Christ’s body is repeatedly sacrificed. According to the Roman Catholic Church, that’s what happens every time they celebrate the Mass—their version of Communion, or the Lord’s Table.

In The Faith of Millions—a book certified by the Roman

Wednesday, 10 February 2016 00:00

Did Christ Promise Us Supernatural Power and Protection? Featured

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by Jeremiah Johnson

Next week will mark the second anniversary of Jamie Coots’s death. He was a father, pastor, and one of the stars of the National Geographic Channel’s reality series, Snake Salvation. The show followed Coots’s life and ministry as a prominent leader in a sect of Holiness Pentecostals who incorporate handling

Monday, 08 February 2016 00:00

Christianity Is Not a Religion, It’s a Relationship Featured

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by Cameron Buettel

The word religion has become a pejorative in the pulpits of too many preachers, and it has spread to the pews, as well. Well-meaning evangelists and church leaders are willing to labor long and hard to portray religion like a straight-jacket of rules and regulations. The way of Christ is then put forth as the fresh alternative to

Friday, 05 February 2016 00:00

Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin Featured

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by Cameron Buettel

We live in a therapeutic culture that seems determined to do away with sin. Adultery and every form of immorality has been re-classified as sex addictions. Addictions to drugs and alcohol are classified as diseases, not the results of deliberate actions. And guns are now perceived as a greater evil than the murderers pulling the

Wednesday, 03 February 2016 00:00

When God Closes a Door, He Opens a Window Featured

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by Jeremiah Johnson

Christians sometimes find their theology in the strangest places.

That’s not meant as an indictment—most of us are not searching for truth outside the confines of Scripture. But the church seems to have a nasty habit of allowing the world’s influence and wisdom to encroach upon territory that rightfully belongs

Monday, 01 February 2016 00:00

The Hedge of Protection Featured

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by Cameron Buettel

Have you noticed how some Christians speak a different language when they pray? I’m not referring to speaking in “angelic” gibberish language or whatever passes for “speaking in tongues” these days. I’m talking about how some believers attempt to elevate the language and terminology they use

Wednesday, 27 January 2016 00:00

Backsliding Featured

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by Cameron Buettel

My early months as a Christian were a joyous feast of fellowship. There was nothing I loved more than to be with my new brothers and sisters in Christ. Every believer I knew seemed so sanctified and intimate with the Savior. I actually felt intimidated by lives that were seemingly lived on another plane of righteousness to my own

Monday, 25 January 2016 00:00

Traveling Mercies

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by Gabriel Powell

“Please pray for traveling mercies as we go to . . .”

I don’t eat a lot of sushi, but when I do, one of the ingredients is usually imitation crab. To me, “traveling mercies” is imitation crab in Christian lingo. The phrase communicates something, but it’s a cheap substitute for biblical truth.

A

Friday, 22 January 2016 00:00

The Lord Told Me Featured

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by Cameron Buettel

The church has fallen into a dangerous pattern when it comes to divine direction. Too many believers today are trying to hear directly from God—whether through an audible voice or a stirring of their souls. Worse still are the people who legitimize everything from heresy to fundraising schemes to simple personal decisions

Wednesday, 20 January 2016 00:00

Does Jesus Need Your Invitation? Featured

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by Cameron Buettel

One doesn’t simply invite himself over to the White House for a night in the Lincoln Bedroom, or into Buckingham Palace for tea with the Queen. No matter how earnest your desire or assertive your request, you will be denied access.

And that’s no surprise to most people. We understand that monarchs and heads of state

Monday, 18 January 2016 00:00

John MacArthur on the Danger of Christian Clichés Featured

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If an unbeliever with no religious background walked into your local church, what sense—if any—would he or she be able to make of phrases like “Ask Jesus into your heart,” “I felt led,” or “Let go and let God”? Taken at face value, what should any of that mean to an outsider? And more importantly,

Friday, 15 January 2016 00:00

How to Live in a Pagan Culture Featured

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by Jeremiah Johnson

As believers, we know we’re called to be salt and light in the world (Matthew 5:13-16). But are you ever discouraged or underwhelmed by what little difference your life seems to make? Are you concerned that your influence as salt and light might not reach very far or go very deep?

In a society obsessed with global impact