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Truth or Consequences - Exodus 20:16

When I was growing up my mother had a little rhyme she often repeated to her four sons. You probably heard it many times while you were growing up: Sticks and stones may break my bones But words will never hurt me.As much as I hate to admit it, my mother (who wasn’t wrong about many things) was way off base with that little rhyme. If you analyze those words, they might be called the Stoic’s Credo, for only a person More

Do You Want to be Set Free? - Genesis 44-45

If we will face the truth about ourselves, we can be set free. More

Love Means Telling the Truth - 2 Corinthians 7:8-13

God intends for the church to become a body of committed, loving truth-tellers. Easy to say, hard to do. More

The King Has Come! - Matthew 2:1-6

We begin with the words of Flannery O’Connor: “The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” Truth is truth whether we like it or not. The fact that I personally may object to the truth doesn’t matter. Those things that are objectively true remain true even if I doubt them or deny them or even if I rail against them. This is not a popular position to take in these days when “truth&rd More

How Much Sin Will God Forgive? - Psalm 51

If God forgave David, he will certainly forgive you. If a murdering adulterer could find grace, there is hope for you and me. More

Ready to Give an Answer - I Peter 3:15

"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord; always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you the reason for the hope that you have” (I Peter 3:15). Peter says to be ready to give an answer. Are you ready to give an answer for what you believe? Are you ready to answer the really hard questions?This morning we are beginning a new sermon series called Why I Believe, subtitled Equipping You to Share your Faith. Fo More

Are We All Hindus Now? - Exodus 20:1

Christians must reassert the supernatural basis of the Christian faith. We must not stutter where God has spoken clearly. And we must make clear the utterly exclusive claims of Jesus Christ. More

Balancing Truth and Love - 2 John

“Affiliation with the enemies of the Cross spells a lie to all claims to believe the truth.”Robert Lightner This little letter contains one of the strongest warnings in the New Testament. If a false teacher comes to your house, do not receive him (that means, do nothing that appears to give him public or private support), and do not greet him (that means, do nothing that will identify you with him or his false teaching). More

The King Has Come! - Matthew 2:1-6

We begin with the words of Flannery O’Connor: “The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” Truth is truth whether we like it or not. The fact that I personally may object to the truth doesn’t matter. Those things that are objectively true remain true even if I doubt them or deny them or even if I rail against them. This is not a popular position to take in these days when “truth&rd More

The Whole Bible in One Message

Here’s the whole Bible presented as a drama in six acts, starting with creation and ending with the Second Coming of Christ. More

From Rahab to Jesus - Hebrews 11:31

God delights in saving notorious sinners. He proved it by saving Rahab, a prostitute in ancient Jericho whose faith saved her whole family. There is no pit so deep that the love of God is not deeper still. There is no sin so terrible that Jesus cannot forgive it. More

How to Be a Leader People Want to Follow

To be credible means that you are believable. To be authentic means that you are genuine and real, not a fake or phony. Put the words together and a credible, authentic leader is someone who can be trusted because he is what he professes to be. He is the real deal, what you see is what you get. More

God Guarantees Our Salvation - 1 Peter 1:3-5

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (I Peter 1:3-5 ESV). I ha More

What About Those Who Never Hear The Gospel? - Romans 1:18-20

The subject for this morning is perhaps the most troubling question that Christians can face. The fate of those who never hear the gospel is both difficult and emotional. It’s a tough question to think about because at its heart, it touches many people we know personally. Taken at its widest point, the question involves friends and neighbors who seem utterly resistant to any talk of spiritual things. They never come to chur More

Shall We Kill Our Children Today? - Hebrews 11:23

The amazing faith of Moses’ parents shows us the high value that God puts on children, including those children that are born in less than ideal circumstances. Christians love children because God loves children. Ours is true pro-family religion. More

What About Those Who Never Hear The Gospel? - Romans 1:18-20

The subject for this morning is perhaps the most troubling question that Christians can face. The fate of those who never hear the gospel is both difficult and emotional. It’s a tough question to think about because at its heart, it touches many people we know personally. Taken at its widest point, the question involves friends and neighbors who seem utterly resistant to any talk of spiritual things. They never come to church, More

The Man Who Would Be King: Christ Speaks to the Problem of Frivolous Curiosity - Luke 23:1-12

This is the story of a man who had a chance but didn’t take it and was never offered another one. The man’s name is Herod Antipas. On Good Friday morning Jesus stood on trial before him. What happened on that fateful day led directly to the crucifixion of Christ. It also sealed Herod’s eternal destiny.In considering this story, there are three facts that will help us put it in perspective. First, Herod Antipas is th More

Have You Been With Jesus? - Acts 4:13

The world cannot ignore a life truly changed by Christ. More

Trouble in the Church! - Romans 16:17-20

Greet one another with a holy kiss … but don’t go kissing everyone.That will serve as a useful summary of our text. Sometimes it’s not what you say but when you say it that matters. Paul writes these stern words immediately after a long paragraph extending personal greetings to various friends in the church at Rome. As he shares his heart with his readers, he concludes with a call to greet one another with a holy k More

"We Did Not Give in to Them:" Why Unity Must be Based on Truth - Galatians 2:1-10

I want to begin by calling your attention to the most important verse in our passage—verse 5, which reads, “We did not give in to them for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might remain with you.” If you didn’t know anything else about the background of that statement, two things would be apparent even without further information:1) Paul had backbone. He was in a battle with someone over the gospel, an More

Sola Scriptura: The Bible and Only the Bible - 2 Timothy 3:16

"Your word, O Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.” Psalm 119:89 “You have exalted above all things your name and your word.” Psalm 138:2b “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” Matthew 24:35 “The Scripture cannot be broken.” John 10:35b “Your word is truth.” John 17:17 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebu More

Renewing Your Passion - II Timothy 1

Today we are beginning a summer series from the little book of II Timothy. People sometimes wonder how pastors choose what to preach on. In this case, I feel like I didn’t choose II Timothy; II Timothy chose me. Last fall as we were finishing up our trip on the “Bible Bus,” we came to II Timothy. Even though I had read the book before, the power of its message grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. It seemed to say, More

What Happened to All Your Joy?A Lesson in Spiritual Pediatrics

I want to begin this sermon not with a comment on the text but with a personal update. I’ve been on the road a lot lately, most of the time preaching in various conferences. My travels have taken me to New York in May, to Wheaton in June, and to Michigan in late June and again in July. Earlier this week Marlene and I attended the annual Christian Booksellers Association convention in Atlanta. Many of you have prayed for me and More

Open My Eyes, Lord - Ephesians 1:15-23

God invites us to seek his face. He wants us to know him better. It’s not as if our Heavenly Father is hiding himself from us. But we can only have a close relationship with him if we will seek it in prayer. More

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions About The Christian Life - Chapter 8

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FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions About The Christian Life - Chapter 9

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The ABC’s of Wisdom: Building Character with Solomon - Confession

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The First Law: He's God and We're Not

This is the first sermon in a new series called “The Seven Laws of the Spiritual Life.” For the last few years I have been thinking about putting together a short list of the basic principles of the Christian life. What are those truths that every believer needs to know in order to have a healthy relationship with God? This project turned into a lengthy personal journey that took me to all parts of the Bible. I wanted a s More

Why I Believe in God - Genesis 1:1

I believe in God because nothing in the universe makes sense without him. After all the arguments on both sides are finished, you still have to decide for yourself. You still have to choose. What choice have you made? More

How We Know What We Know - I Corinthians 2:10-13

"But God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words t More

God's Freedom - Romans 9:6-18

While studying Romans 9, I was struck by Paul’s question in verse 14: “Is God unjust?” In our hearts we already know the answer. God is not unjust. But oftentimes he seems inconsistent. The very examples Paul chooses seem to uphold that inconsistency.He chooses Isaac over Ishmael.He chooses Jacob over Esau.He loves one. He hates the other.He chooses one.He doesn’t choose the other.To make matters worse, Paul s More

Only One Gospel: Why We Preach an Unpopular Doctrine - Galatians 1:1-10

Today we are beginning a brand-new sermon series on the book of Galatians. Whenever a pastor starts a new series, especially an exposition of a book of the Bible, it’s always useful to know why this book and why now. After all, there are 65 other books in the Bible. So why study Galatians now? For me the answer is simple. In the last several years the Lord has blessed our congregation with many new people from many different re More

What the World Doesn't Know - I Corinthians 2:6-9

"We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. However, as it is written: ‘No eye has see More

God's Freedom - Romans 9:6-18

While studying Romans 9, I was struck by Paul’s question in verse 14: “Is God unjust?” In our hearts we already know the answer. God is not unjust. But oftentimes he seems inconsistent. The very examples Paul chooses seem to uphold that inconsistency.He chooses Isaac over Ishmael.He chooses Jacob over Esau.He loves one. He hates the other.He chooses one.He doesn’t choose the other.To make matters worse, Paul s More

Is Jesus Really the Only Way to Heaven? - John 14:6

There are many good things to be learned from the religions of the world, but there is only one way to God. Jesus is the way. More

Open My Eyes, Lord - Ephesians 1:15-23

I wonder if we would be happy if our prayers were published so that others could read them. That’s a fascinating thought, isn’t it? What if every prayer you prayed, word for word, somehow ended up on the Internet so that anyone, anywhere could read them? Would our prayers be worth reading if they were published? And would they qualify for the pages of Holy Scripture or would they be more fit for the National Enquirer?In t More

The ABC’s of Wisdom: Building Character with Solomon - Honesty

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Fact or Fable in Genesis: Was the World Really Created in Six Days? - Genesis 1:1-2:3

Did the events described in Genesis 1-11 really happen? Does it matter? The answer is yes to both questions. They really happened and it really matters because ideas have consequences. What you believe about where you came from will radically impact the purpose of your life. More

The Life God Blesses - II Timothy 2:14-26

Almost five years ago we started sending free copies of my books to prisoners across America. Through a partnership with Prison Fellowship, we have distributed tens of thousands of copies of Keep Believing, What a Christian Believes, and An Anchor for the Soul. The response has been overwhelming. To date we have received well over 10,000 letters from prisoners. The letters have come from almost every prison in every state. If you sta More

Up with Worship!

“Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker!”“Worship isthe submission of all our nature to God.It is the quickening of the conscience by his holiness;the nourishment of mind with his truth;the purifying of the imagination by his beauty;the opening of the heart to his love;the surrender of will to his purpose. And all of this gathered up in adoration,the most selfless emotion of wh More

Forever Settled in Heaven: Building on the Unshakable Foundation - Psalm 119:89

Our church theme for 2002 is “God’s Word: Our Unshakable Foundation.” Considering the events of the last few months, it seems like a theme perfectly suited for these perilous times. We need a foundation that cannot be shaken by world events or personal circumstances. We need a place to stand during the hard times that come to all of us sooner or later.In order to help us think about this theme, we are beginning the More

Always Springtime in Heaven: I Believe in Life Everlasting - II Corinthians 5:8

This is the final message in the series on the Apostles’ Creed. When we started in January, there was snow on the ground. We end on a hot summer Sunday in July. Our church theme this year is “Back to Basics,” and our theme verse is Jude 20, “But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith.” In the first sermon in this series, I pointed out that “build yourself up” is a comm More

What Angels Wish They Knew - 1 Peter 1:10-12

“Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been More

No Condemnation - Romans 8:1

For those who are in Christ Jesus, now, today, not tomorrow, not next week, not next year, but NOW, there is no condemnation. More

Is Jesus the Only Way to Heaven? - John 14:6

In preparing this message, I faced several important challenges:First, many of us already know the answer to this question. We’ve thought it, we’ve discussed it with others, and we know what we believe. Second, we know that most of the world gives a different answer than we give. That poses a difficulty in that we know we believe something that is not universally accepted and is, in fact, unpopular in many quarters.Third, More

A Forgotten Doctrine: The Wrath of God - Romans 1:18-20

Sometimes the title tells the whole story. My sermon today is about the wrath of God. It is truly a forgotten doctrine, even in the evangelical church. I’ll dare say that many of you have never heard a sermon on God’s wrath—that is, not a full sermon devoted to this one topic. The reasons for this apparent neglect are not hard to find. Most of us would rather hear about love and grace. I know I would rather preach a More

Kingdoms in Conflict - Matthew 6:10

“Your kingdom come” is not a passive prayer. If you ever decide to make the kingdom of God the first priority in your life, you may not become a missionary, but you will become fundamentally different from the world around you. More

Praying From the Footnotes - Matthew 6:13

When we pray, we are to begin by asking that God’s name be hallowed and we are to end by praising God for his sovereign rule over the affairs of men. Thus the Lord’s Prayer begins with God and ends with God. More

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions About The Christian Life - Chapter 2

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Bad Manners at the Dinner Table: A Powerful Lesson in Biblical Confrontation - Galatians 2:11-14

This is a sermon about conflict in the church—where it comes from and how to handle it. As a place to begin, I’d like to start with the observation that most church conflicts fall into one of two categories. Let’s talk first about the second category.Category 2 conflicts are those disagreements that are non-biblical in nature. That is, they deal with matters that are not directly discussed in the Word of God. Most c More

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2013 KBM Winter Report