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When I was in college and was taking my first semester of Chemistry, my professor announced that there was an open invitation to hear a Chemistry professor speak on science and Christianity. Attendance was completely voluntary and it did not happen during regular class time. The professor giving the lecture was probably the most famous and most decorated professor on campus. His name was Dr. Henry Schaefer. He came to the University of Georgia after getting his undergraduate degree at MIT, a Ph.D. at Stanford, and teaching for 18 years at University of California at Berkeley and at the University of Texas. At this point in time he has been nominated for the Nobel prize five times and has authored over 1,400 articles.

He became a Christian while he was at Berkeley and began giving lectures on science and Christianity. He had given lectures on the topic at a number of schools but when he attempted to speak on the topic at UGA, it became national news and some of his peers even tried to get him fired. I remember reading about this in the student newspaper. The university president stood by Dr. Schaefer and his right to deliver these lectures on his own time and he has now lectured on the topic at over 350 universities around the world.

Eventually the lectures were expanded into essays and the collection of essays has become a book. The book is called Science and Christianity: Conflict or Coherence, published (shockingly) by the University of Georgia. I think my copy was purchased from the Discovery Institute but I think you can also get in on Amazon.

Going back to the open invitation to hear Dr. Schaefer speak when I was taking my first chemistry class for science majors, I didn’t actually go hear the lecture. Looking back, I now wish that I had gone. But, in reality, as an 18 year old college student it was probably more than I was ready to digest at that point in my life. Thankfully, I now have the lectures in book form. I actually just finished reading this book and I highly recommend it. If you have any interest in the relationship between science and the Christian faith you should definitely pick up a copy. Don’t believe the narrative that to be a scientist you must deny faith. Dr. Schaefer blows this argument right out of the water with quotes from leading scientists that he knows personally.

Do you have someone in your family who isn’t friendly towards the faith but has bought into scientism or values intellectual conversation? If so, you may want to give them a copy of this book. Dr. Schaefer’s academic pedigree and credentials are second to none. The authority with which Dr. Schaefer speaks requires anyone with an open mind to listen to what he has to say, even if they disagree with him when all is said and done.

So, go get yourself a copy of this book. Better yet, do a search on Youtube for Henry (or Fritz) Schaefer and some of his lectures will come up. Listen and enjoy what he has to serve up to you. It will engage your mind and it will point you to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Soli Deo Gloria

Maybe you’ve experienced it. Surely you have at least witnessed it. Relationships have their ups and downs. Sometimes they deteriorate and sometimes they deteriorate to the extent that you don’t hear what each other is saying. The deterioration has a deleterious impact on your communication and it is so hard to recover. When you say something, the other person doesn’t hear what you are saying. Rather, they hear what they think you mean rather than what you actually are saying or what you mean. Sometimes your communication partner will even assign motive to what you are saying and by the time they process what came out of your mouth, it is nothing like what you actually meant. When you reach this state, you just don’t hear each other and it is hard to repair the relationship because you just don’t hear each other. You just talk past each other and the emotions heat up and you get angrier and angrier with each other.

This is where race relations are in this country. The different sides in the culture war are just yelling slogans at each other. People are yelling and not listening. The slogans used are employed to advance a particular narrative on race relations. Opponents are caricatured and very little listening is done.

Some chant “Black Lives Matter!” while others yell “All lives matter.” Some say “Make America Great Again” while others are infuriated by the slogan. The truth of the matter is, other than the rare exception, nearly all Americans would agree that black lives matter and that all lives matter. Nearly all Americans want America to be great. It is not the statement or slogans but it is the unspoken statements that make those on both sides of the culture war angry. It is the assumptions we are making about people when they use terms like “systemic racism” or “white privilege.” We aren’t communicating with each other. I feel like it is like the relationship that has reached that point where you just aren’t communicating. We just aren’t hearing each other. We are talking past each other and just getting angrier and angrier.

So, I am wondering if we have past the point of no return. How do we get to a point of where both sides can hear each other and listen to the legitimate concerns that both sides have in the race debate? Both sides have to be willing to listen.

Today’s cultural conversation is about police brutality against the black minority. One side of the cultural debate has a particular negative point of view about law enforcement. Is there anything that law enforcement can do in order to get the black community’s trust? Will the black community be satisfied with anything less than being freed of the shackles of police? Is there a way to move forward or will there be division in our society forever.

There is hope for our society. Change can happen but it won’t come through reconciling the two sides of the culture war. The change will happen through heart change and it must happen one person at a time. Hope is found in the gospel of Jesus Christ and nothing else will change the strife and division that we see. It ebbs and flows but it is always there. Sometimes it is below the surface and at other times it erupts like it is now. But the strife is always there. It can only be overcome with heart change. The heart change I am referring to is the change that Jesus bring to a heart that is dead in trespasses and in sin and He comes and gives a new heart. This new heart views the world in light of God’s laws and the fact that we have committed sins for which we deserve death as our punishment. It sees others as better than ourselves and places the interest of others above our own. It sees others as people that are loved enough that Christ would die and take the penalty for their sins. Without this heart change and the transforming power of the gospel, things will not get better. May the prayer of our hearts be, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

Soli Deo Gloria

 

I have had the opportunity to be around several Muslims during my audit life. Muslims respect and revere their holy book, the Quran. Many of them have stands in their homes where they proudly display their Korans. Many Muslims will memorize large portions of their holy book. They won’t even let the bottom of their feet face their Koran out of the respect they have for their Koran. They have great respect for the book and hold it in high honor.

Now let us think about the Bible and how Christians treat their Bibles. I know a lot people will leave their Bibles in the back seat of their cars all week or just throw it on their dash board. Many Christians think nothing of throwing their Bibles on the floor. But, that is not the issue I want to bring up here. My question has to do with writing in your Bible. Do you mark or take notes in your Bible? I know they make Bibles that are designed specifically for you to take notes in them or to journal in your Bible. Does marking in your Bible show respect or disrespect or is it neutral in terms of the regard it shows for your Bible?

I personally do not write in my Bible. Some in my family mark their Bible like crazy and some pages of their Bible have every verse highlighted. That is not an exaggeration. Sticky notes and sermon notes can be found all throughout some of the Bibles. Mine does not have verses highlighted or underlined. Here are the reasons I try to keep my Bible clean of notes and highlights.

  1. Pen, pencil, and highlighters can take a toll on the pages. By marking in the Bible it will not last as long. It will wear out sooner. Some premium Bible are quite expensive and I want my Bibles to last as long as possible.
  2. By marking in your Bible, when you re-read verses the parts that are highlighted will naturally jump out at you. If there are no marks in the Bible, it will be like reading each verse fresh every time you read it. You won’t necessarily be drawn to what was meaningful the last time but can read it fresh. Allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you with just the words of Scripture and not past sermon notes or personal notes.
  3. If you work with Muslims or interact with Muslims, you can show that you respect the Bible just as much as they respect their Koran by not writing in it and by treating the printed Word with respect. By writing in it or throwing it around, you show that you don’t regard your Bible as highly as they regard their Koran.

The Bible is God’s Word and we should treat it as such. Having the Bible in the English language cost people’s blood and lives in history.  We owe a lot to translators in history who worked tirelessly and risked all so that it could be read by everyone far and wide in our language. We all have our ways of showing that respect; some of us by not writing and some of us by writing in it and keeping our thoughts on the page.

In the end, if we leave our Bibles closed all week we are not showing the regard for the Bible and giving it the priority in our lives that we should. So, I encourage you and urge you to read and spend time reading, memorizing, and meditating your Bible. Don’t wait until tomorrow. I urge you to do it today.

Do you writing in your Bibles? Do you highlight and take notes in it? Or, do you just have convictions against writing on the pages of your Bible? Perhaps your reasons for not marking in your Bible are more practical. I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.

I am not a prolific reader. In fact, I really didn’t read much growing up. I avoided reading books I was assigned in school other than the rare exception. I usually just got by on class discussions about the books. That usually gave me enough information to get by without actually reading the books.

As Christians we are called to read. It is part of our spiritual growth and discipleship. This is one reason that most old institutions of higher learning started out as Christian schools. But, I am a slow reader and not a very good one so it takes me forever to get through a book. Consequently I have not read a great number of books.

Through my studies, I have learned that there a particular books that have been especially influential in the lives of many Christians over the years. Many of them I have not read but some I have. I have heard of many missionaries talk about how they treasured The Life and Diary of David Brainerd or Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret. I have heard others mention books such as Mere Christianity or Pilgrim’s Progress as being foundational in their spiritual growth.

Since I’m not much of a reader, I don’t have a list of books that have so greatly influenced me. But, if I had to list some books that I loved and I would like to read again due to their impact on me as a Christian, here are a few.

1. Tortured for Christ, by Richard Wurmbrand

3. Let the Nations Be Glad, by John Piper

2. Missionary Patriarch: True Story of John Paton

4. Come and Welcome to Jesus Christ, by John Bunyan

I have heard of several great Christians throughout history speak in the same way of Luther’s commentary on Galatians. I am working my way through it right now and I must say it is every bit as good as advertised.

So, what about you? What books have influenced you? What are some of your favorites? I would love to hear your list.

It is that time of year again. It is time to come up with resolutions for the new year. One of mine is always to read, study, and memorize Scripture in the new year. As far as reading the Bible, there are a three approaches you could take to that resolution.

1. Read through the entire Bible. There are a few strategies to do this.

You could use the old fashioned method of just picking up the Bible and start reading in Genesis 1:1 and read 4 chapters or so every day until you get to Revelation 22:21. Some people may call this approach “radical” but it may work for some.

You could also read the Bible chronologically. There are Bibles and Bible reading plans that have the chapters of the Bible organized in chronological order. Here is an example of a such a Bible reading plan. Most chronological Bibles are study Bibles so I would just use a free reading plan.

There are also plans to guide you through the entire Bible in other ways. One such reading plan is Book at a Time Reading Plan. This is the plan I used in 2019. You can read about it here. There are many plan out there if you just search online or even check your favorite Bible app. Another one to consider is Robert Murray M’Cheyne’s plan from the nineteenth century. It is free and you can find it here. It has four readings per day–two to read privately and two to read as a family.

2. Read through part of the Bible

For some, reading through the entire Bible is overwhelming and feels like too big of a task to tackle. If you are one of those people, a plan that covers part of the Bible may be for you. One such reading plan is called F260. This reading plan is broken down into 260 days of readings. You will have 5 days of readings per week with only 2 chapters per day to read. It also includes two memory passages every week.

3. Focused reading on smaller portion of the Bible

Another idea to consider is to follow a plan to have a more focused approach. By that i mean to focus on fewer passages but to become more familiar with them. Quality rather than quantity. Sean McDowell suggests this approach here. This is a very valuable approach and has its benefits. You can more about it on Sean’s blog but the drawback is that you will be missing out on large portions of God’s Word and only studying passages you choose.

What plan will you choose?

What plan will you use is 2020? Are you still on the fence about reading your Bible or are you just looking for a plan for next year? If you need convincing or want to know how to develop a Bible reading habit, read this post over at the Gospel Coalition. I don’t know which plan I’ll use yet but I’m leaning towards the M’Cheyne plan supplemented by some of Sean McDowell’s suggestions. I’d love to hear your plan for 2020.

Soli Deo Gloria

I start out every year with some sort of Bible reading plan. Sometimes it is a plan to read through the entire Bible in a year. In other years I have just read through portions of the Bible with more targeted reading. Some plans have you read the Old Testament and New Testament every daily with some Psalms and Proverbs.

In 2019, I used a plan from the Navigators. The Navigators offer three Bible reading plans that you can read about and download here. The plan that I used was called the Book-at-a-Time Bible Reading Plan. I enjoyed this reading plan for a couple of reasons.

  1. As the name of the plan suggests, you read through a book of the Bible at a time. You are not only reading through a book of the Bible at a time but you supplement that reading with a portion of wisdom literature and Isaiah. The significance of reading through a book at a time is that you are reading through larger portions of the same book everyday. You get a bigger chunk of the same book every day and you get more of the continuity of the story that is being told in each book of the Bible. I also find it easier to complete readings when you are reading large portions of the same book daily.
  2. This reading plan also has what is calls “reflection.” Reflection days are days where there is no assigned reading. On reflection days you can meditate of previous readings or work of Scripture memory or catch up on the reading if you have fallen behind. I need to be more disciplined so I inevitably find myself getting behind. These days of reflection have given me the time to either catch up on my reading or even get ahead. You read enough on the other days that the plan is able to give you these reflection days. I find myself struggling to be faithful in my reading especially during the holidays when we have house guests or when we go visit family.

We are a getting close to the end of the year so it is time to select a Bible study plan for next year. Do you have Bible reading plans that have worked well for you? What has worked for you? I think the important part of being faithful to spend time in the Scripture daily is that it needs to be a priority and become part of your daily habit. If it is not part of your daily life, I urge you to make it a priority in your life. To be able to read and hear from the Lord every day is an honor, privilege, and a time to be treasured.

Let me know your thoughts on what works for you and your daily Bible reading.

Soli Deo Gloria

This is a letter not to a specific worship leader but to any and all worships leaders who do the things listed below. It seems that worship leaders in many, or even perhaps most, evangelical churches have bought into the lie that they have to conduct worship in a certain way in order to attract people or get more attenders in the worship service.

The first area of confusion is this: Worship leaders think that the singing and music are the main part of worship. In fact, this fallacy is so ubiquitous that some people use the words “worship” and “music” interchangeably. But, in reality the main part of worship is the preaching of the Word and rightly dividing and applying Scripture. The music prepares our hearts for worship and helps us to corporately lift up the name of Christ and focus on His attributes and give Him praise, but the central part of worship is the preaching of the Word.

Getting to the music, I urge you to stop doing these things if you are the worship leader.

STOP leading us in music that that repeats lines over and over in order to work us up into a state of emotion. Stop trying to manipulate my emotions with the music. Stop making us sing the same lines over and over while building in volume and tempo and drums in order musically manipulate my emotions. Don’t try to work me up into a state where I will “Amen” anything you have to say just because I am all emotional (rather than actually engaging my mind) due to the music and manipulation.

STOP making the music so loud that I have to yell at people when I greet them. The music does not have to be over 100dB for us to hear it. It doesn’t have to be that loud for us to praise God. Do you have the music so loud because the congregational singing is horrible or because you are trying to simulate a music concert? Please don’t feel the need to simulate a music concert in order to attract people to church. It is a service of worship. The point is to praise and lift up the name of Christ. We worship in Spirit and in Truth, not in overwhelming loudness and in the dark.

STOP turning the lights down during worship. Again, it is not a concert. We are there to worship Christ. It doesn’t need to be dark in order to attract me to come. Worship is for the believer. Evangelism is done for the unbeliever. Please stop focusing on the environment to draw people in.

STOP singing about fluff and emotional psychobabble. We don’t need any more Hillsong or Bethel Redding music. Honestly, the music we sing from Hillsong could be sung by nearly any theological liberal or universalist church because it just lacks substance. It lacks doctrine. It lacks specific biblical truth that nourishes the Christians’ soul. One thing that this music doesn’t lack is musical emotional manipulation.

I urge you, the worship leaders, to start doing the things listed below.

START engaging my mind with your music selection. You must go through my mind to reach my heart to reach my emotions. My emotions won’t be stirred or manipulated by music. Engage my mind with doctrinally sound lyrics. Christ communicates to us through words. Words communicate truth. Emotions do not.

START reminding me of Christ and the Gospel when we are singing during worship. Remind me about how I was an enemy of Christ but He made a way for me to be reconciled to Him. Remind me of how I was under God’s wrath but Christ took the punishment for me so God’s justice could be satisfied. I don’t need any more of the “God’s presence is sweeping me off my feet because He loves me” music. It is not wrong. It is incomplete and a steady diet of it creates a church of theologically illiterate people.

START signing songs that do not have theologically inaccurate statements. You can say I’m being picky. I say words carry meaning so choose words carefully to communicate an accurate meaning. People sing songs throughout the week in their heads. Don’t pick songs that have bad theology. People will be repeating bad theology in their heads all week.

Jesus said, “But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such people the Father seeks to be His worshippers. God is spirit, and those who worship must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:23-24 NASB) I know that the worship leaders truly want to lead us into worship. I know they take their job seriously and want us to worship in spirit and truth. However, in most evangelical churches that I have visited worship in spirit, emotion, and very shallow truth and with very little doctrinally informed truth. May our worship leaders use their influence to teach Christians solid doctrine through the music selection.

Soli Deo Gloria

Week after week, Christians return to their local church for fellowship and to be fed the by the preaching of the Word in worship. The church members trust the pastor to handle the Word rightly and to expose their hearts from the truths of the Word. How do you, as a Christian, know that the preaching you are hearing every week is good or even right? David Mathis at Desiring God has an article on this. You can read it here.

It is important that you are getting sound doctrine in the preaching you are receiving which is “in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God.” (1 Timothy 1:10-11) How do you know if you are getting good preaching at your church? Maybe David Mathis’ article will shed some light on it for you. In my experience, here are some things to be on the lookout for to know if you are getting good preaching.

  1. Is the sermon gospel-focused? Is the scarlet thread of Christ and his finished work on the cross weaving through the message? The Bible is God’s story so any sermon should be about God and should be gospel focused. It should not just be part of an invitation at the end. It should be a major theme of the sermon.
  2. Are you getting a to-do list? The Bible is not a to-do list or a list of rule to follow in order for God to accept us. The sermon should be about what God has done and not about what we need to be doing. What we need to be doing is casting ourselves on Christ and His grace at the foot of the cross. It should not be a list of thing we need to do in order for God to accomplish His work in our lives.
  3. Are you getting the same points every week? Are you always being told what to do or how to live in order to be made right before God? If so, RUN! Go find a church that preaches the gospel and the biblical doctrine of grace.
  4. Do you have a hard time telling how he got his sermon from the text he read at the outset? If so, it is probably not because you are dumb. The sermon is probably not derived from the text. This is a common practice today in evangelical churches. We need pastors who rightly divide the Word and derive their points from the grammar, structure, and words of the text. The message should be dealing with the text and it should be clear how the sermon comes from the text.
  5. Does the sermon have anything to do with living your best life now? If so, RUN! The Christian life is not about being happy or comfortable. In fact, Jesus teaches that the opposite is true. We should expect opposition and persecution. We should embrace the suffering God sovereignly ordains in our lives to become more like Christ and to glorify Him.

These are just a few points that come to mind when I think about whether or not you are getting good preaching. If you are not getting good solid biblical preaching, please go somewhere that the pastor serves up the meat of the Word week after week. The main part of worship is the preaching of the Word. May we worship Him in Spirit and in Truth.

Soli Deo Gloria

If there is one thing that the Excogitating Engineer enjoys, it is listening to podcasts. He listens to podcasts almost every time he drives to and from work. He listens to various kinds of podcasts — news, apologetics, sermons, history, etc. In this particular post, the Excogitating Engineer would like to give props to his favorite podcasts in the category of Christian Podcasts. Sermons that churches upload to i-Tunes do not fall into this category. This category of podcasts are basically podcasts that are Christian commentary or discussions. Sermons will be another category so don’t be offended if your favorite preacher is not on this list.

I am going to list my top Christian podcasts in the same way that the College Football Playoff selection committee lists their top teams. I will give you my top four Christian podcasts and then I will give you my first 2 podcasts out which just barely missed the cut. These podcasts are not necessarily ones that I agree with the most. They are merely the ones that I find listening to the most in my car. Some of them could be analogous to a train wreck that you just can’t stop looking at. The podcasts could be a train wreck but I just keep listening. So here we go with my top four podcasts and the first two out.

  1. White Horse Inn. The White Horse Inn is hosted by Dr. Michael Horton and he has a panel of pastors or teachers. They discuss theological issues, doctrines, or sometimes they will just walk through a book of the Bible and discuss it. I like it because it is 30 minutes which is a perfect length for my commute to work. The hosts are solid theologically. I don’t always agree with them but I like the fact that the panel is made up of people from various church traditions but have a solid commitment to the Gospel.
  2. The Briefing. The Briefing is a 30 minute cultural commentary by the amazing Dr. R.  Albert Mohler, the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He selects the major news stories or editorial articles of the day from major new sources and will talk about them. He discusses the news items and helps you, the listener, understand how to view the story through the lens of a biblical worldview. It is all done on the fly with no transcript. Not only is his commentary excellent, he constantly amazes with his knowledge on a vast array of topics.
  3. Theology. Driven. This podcast is a relatively new podcast for me. I’ve know about it for less than six months. There are three guys that drive around in a car and another who joins their conversations via Skype. They talk about whatever they want. Usually they start out with a few minutes of banter and spend the rest of the time discussing a theological topic. I haven’t been listening to this podcast for very long but the guys on this podcast are not learned like the ones in my top 2 podcasts, but they are solid lay people. There is one thing I can’t figure out. Why do they have to drive around to talk? Why not just sit down somewhere with a good internet connection and record the podcast? I understand the “driving” theme in the name of the podcast but is it really necessary to literally drive to “explore the open road of life?”
  4. Doctrine and Devotion. Doctrine and Devotion is very similar to the previously discussed podcast. Instead of having a panel of four hosting the show, it is a panel of two. The type of conversation is similar and they come from a similar theological perspective — Reformed Baptist. The hosts are Joe Thorn and Jimmy Fowler who are both elders at the same church in St. Charles, Illinois. They have a lot of banter in their show as well and they get very silly and even rude sometimes. If you can get through that, the content of what they have to say is pretty good. And, I wish they would stop talking about smoking all the time.
  5. Mortification of Spin. This podcast is a discussion or conversation between Todd Pruitt, Carl Trueman, and Aimee Byrd. The Excogitating Engineer enjoys their conversation and sometimes disagreements. Carl Trueman is especially enjoyable to listen to with his British accent. One of the shortcomings of this show is that the hosts are all Presbyterian. I know, the previous two podcasts are hosted by Baptists. The difference is that this podcast is supposed to represent the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. That being the case, I do not think that Presbyterians are the only Confessing Evangelicals. I enjoy the show but would appreciate more diversity in church traditions.
  6. Stand to Reason. The last of my top 6 is Stand to Reason. This used to be my most listened to podcast, until I introduced more variety into my podcast library. I’ve definitely been listening to this podcast the longest. The host, Greg Koukl, starts off with some commentary and then takes questions from callers. I enjoy listening to the questions and I learn from Greg by listening to how he answers people’s questions. I think about how I would answer the same question as I listen to him  skillfully present the Christian position on issues or theological challenges.

There you go. My top 6 podcasts. I would love to hear your thoughts on these or what your top Christian podcasts are. Of course, there are others that I like but these are the ones I listen to the most.

Soli Deo Gloria!

I have been involved in a conversation with a group of men about the gospel. We all understand that we are all sinners and we are under God’s wrath. As Romans 3:23 says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 6:23 says that the penalty for that sin is death: “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” We are all separated from God because of our sin. We are all sinners without exception. We all deserve God’s wrath without exception. We all inherited our sin nature from Adam. We are sinners and we sin.

The interesting thing about conversations about the gospel is that, many times, these conversations end up focusing on what one must do to get into heaven. We talk about how some people think that they have done enough good deeds during their time on earth to get into heaven. Some people don’t even consider their bad deeds but think that the good deeds of their life will tip the scales in their favor, while their bad deeds don’t even make it on the scale. I think this a fairly normal conversation when people talk about works and the fact that nobody’s works are good enough to get them into heaven. We are all in need of God’s grace to get into heaven. No amount of good deeds and can tip the scales in our favor.

The more I reflect on these conversations about getting into heaven, the more I think that we are asking the wrong questions and we need to approach the discussion from a completely different angle. When I look at the words of Christ in the New Testament, I do not see him engaging people in conversations about whether or not they will get into heaven or even if they have lived lives good enough to merit entrance into heaven. It is clear that heaven and hell are realities and that heaven is a place where Jesus is preparing an eternal place for us to dwell with Him. But, His conversations usually center around people’s faith and repentance. He tells people that their sins are forgiven because of their faith or reflects on the sadness of situations such as the rich young ruler who loved his possessions more than following Christ. One thing we don’t hear Him ask is, “What will you tell the Father when you die and get to heaven?”

The reason we don’t hear Jesus ask the question about entrance into heaven is that the most important issue to be discussed is the reality and seriousness of people’s sin and their enmity with God. We need to repent and believe and then live a life of obedience and faith. John 10:10 says, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” Jesus doesn’t say that He came so that people could go to heaven but that we could have an abundant life — now.

May we frame our gospel conversations around what is important. May we understand the seriousness of our sin and the depth of our depravity. We were dead in our trespasses and sin. By God’s grace, He provided His Son to take our punishment and in return we receive His righteousness. This is the great exchange. May we focus on reason Christ came to earth which was to take the wrath of God upon Himself on our behalf and redeem His people. It was not to give us life-after-death insurance to give us a way into heaven. May we have a biblical understanding of the gospel and may we preach that gospel to ourselves and to others!

Soli Deo Gloria