Did Judas Preach the Gospel?

Judas returns 30 pieces of silverThe spiritual condition of Judas is an age-old debate and not the one I mean to engage in today. I want to add a new wrinkle to the discussion; did Judas preach the Gospel? When the Apostles were sent out with the power to heal the sick and cast out demons (Matthew 10, Luke 9) did Judas do those things as well?


Hindsight is Still 20/20

Screenshot 2015-11-18 at 2.54.57 PMHave you ever thought of a witty comeback long after it’s too late? We’ve all missed our chance at a laugh out loud one liner or zinger that could have an ended an argument at one time or another. Preachers also have to deal with continuing to critique a sermon long after it’s been preached.

A couple of weeks ago I preached this sermon at Unity Baptist. In summary, Jesus was the light of the world in John 1 but in Matthew 5 said to his followers “You are the light of the world.” The sermon was about being salt and light and how Jesus empowers us to be those things in his absence. There’s nothing wrong with the sermon the way it is. But then just a couple of days ago I came across this verse:

As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. John 9:5 

John 1 describes Jesus as the light of the world. Jesus says himself a few chapters later that as long as he is in the world he is the light of the world. Then he tells his followers, that will be conformed to his image and become his hands and feet, they are the light of the world. It would have been perfect. What makes matters worse is that we have been studying John’s Gospel on Sunday nights and read this passage only a few weeks ago.

Hey, you live and learn. By posting this I am sure to remember next time.

Academic Discussion: Paul’s Thorn in the Flesh

It’s been almost two years since we had a series of academic discussions. You can see all of those titles by clicking here. What do I mean by academic discussion? We can present evidence, share our logic and reasoning, but the position we take can be neither proven nor disproven. Such an exercise can hone our analytic or linguistic skills, but at a practical level there is little value if that’s the only type of discussion we are having. I will continue to spend most of my time and energy sharing the Gospel, offering apologetics and encouraging others, but occasionally…

Screenshot 2015-10-30 at 9.36.29 AMThe Apostle Paul refers to a thorn in his flesh in 2 Corinthians 12:7 that he credits with keeping him humble. There has been much debate and discussion as to what this particular thorn was, and even if we are capable of knowing. In the Tyndale New Testament Commentary on Galatians, R. Alan Cole states that there is “no real evidence” that Paul’s trouble had anything to do with his eyes. While there may be no real evidence I think that clues left by Paul combined with modern medical understanding point very convincingly to just such a conclusion. Continue reading

Preaching the Hell Sermon

Screenshot 2015-10-08 at 1.39.55 PMI have been the pastor of Unity Baptist Church for one year. (We have an anniversary luncheon coming up this Sunday as a matter of fact.) I have preached 51 of the past 52 consecutive Sunday services without preaching a sermon on hell. It may have come up but was never the subject. The Master’s Table has been online since 2008 and there is not a post with hell in the title. And when I did finally preach that sermon (link here for those interested) it was a message about heaven, hell and an exhortation to share the Gospel. Continue reading

There’s a Reason He Calls Us Sheep

jesus_shepherdPsalm 23 is one of the best known and most often quoted passages in the scriptures. David plainly says “The LORD is my shepherd.” In John 10, Jesus identifies himself as the Good Shepherd. The sheep know his voice and follow him, and he gives his life for the sheep. Isn’t that adorable? Continue reading

Asking for It

And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in. And your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, too many to be numbered or counted for multitude. Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?” 1 Kings 3:7-9

Solomon was told to ask for anything and the one thing he asked for was wisdom. He was humble enough to realize the task of leadership was too great for him to bear alone and asked God for the wisdom and understanding in order to rule God’s people Israel. Think about the last prayer you prayed to God; what did you ask for? Continue reading

The Rain Falls on the Just and the Unjust

rainIt is a rainy morning in NW Georgia, just like it is in much of the South and just like it has been for many days. As a matter of fact it has rained every single day for the past week. That’s good for the water table and our farmers this summer but rain has never been my personal favorite. Continue reading