Forgetting What is Behind

Greetings, gentle readers. I hope this Lenten season finds you well.

I’m sure from the title, you have surmised what this post will address. After all, about 90% of my posts since November have had to do with my struggles with an old pain. And there seems to be no end to those insufferable (I mean, er…inspirational) Internet memes in my Facebook feed that constantly admonish me to just “forget it and let it all go.”

Well, you’d be wrong. 🙂

I was doing research for another topic the other day and stumbled across Philippians 3, where the Apostle Paul speaks about “forgetting what is behind.” And after reading what he wrote, I wondered for a second if he had utterly lost his mind and I had signed up for the wrong religion: Continue reading

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5 Ways to Recognize a False Gospel

Image found at stephenblack.org

Thanks, dear readers, for bearing with me through some heavy posts. It’s so good to get back to some practical teaching! I really think this kind of teaching is needed today. Jesus said that in the last days, many false prophets and teachers would appear. According to the Internet, just about every person who has written a Christian book in the past 15 years has been labeled a false prophet at some point: everyone from Joyce Meyer to John Hagee. The label is losing its power. So how can the average believer discern the true gospel from a false one? Here’s a handy guide. Continue reading

What it Means to be Christian (Part 3): Hope

A couple of Sundays ago, my husband and I heard a sermon in church on marriage. The speaker that morning told a story about a woman who lived in extreme turmoil over her husband’s lack of faith. The poor woman was convinced that her husband was on his way to hell and prayed daily, fervently, for his salvation. The thought that he might die before accepting Christ weighed heavily on her heart and routinely brought her to tears.

My husband is not a believer. And the story of this wife’s anguish unsettled him a bit. So over lunch, he asked me if I felt the same as she did. I confessed that although I do pray for his salvation, I’m not in turmoil over his lack of faith. Why? Because I’m not fully convinced he’s headed for hell. Continue reading

Are You Saved?

I accepted Jesus Christ as savior at 5 years old. I remember the moment so well. I came running down the sidewalk toward my father as he picked me up from school that day, shouting, “Daddy, I’m saved! I asked Jesus into my heart today!” I was so full of joy at knowing that no matter how dark or lonely my life became, Jesus would always be near to comfort me.

But my joyful assurance wasn’t to last.

See, I would go to church and hear ministers ask me if I was really saved. Because there was a chance I might not have been completely sincere in my confession of faith the first time around. I might have prayed the sinner’s prayer without really knowing what I was doing. I might have done it simply to impress someone or to obtain my “get out of hell free” card. I might have unknowingly “back-slidden” since then or left some sin unconfessed during that first prayer. At any rate, I had to question, question, question. Were my motives for following Christ pure? Was my life completely without sin? Was I doing everything possible to be holy? Would God find me worthy of heaven at The Judgement? I had to be sure! My eternal soul depended on it. Continue reading