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Pastor Jay's Blog

This blog is Pastor Jay's weekly musings about God's Word, God's world, and God's call to our culture.  We hope they encourage, challenge, and inform you.  Sign up to recieve them in your email. 

Posts Tagged with "DOCTRINE"

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Are There Animals In Heaven?

Among the list of common questions people ask this one hasrisen higher and higher on the list. As many in our culture move farther and farther away from the agrarian life, so too they are moving farther away from typical notions of animal life. What were once work animals or even simply pets are now considered "kids" and furry babies. The growing list of what qualifies a...

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You Need Mystery, Not Ignorance

It seems that most people will tell you that ignorance is bad and you should do all you can to remedy it. That is, except theological ignorance. Many people are just fine with copious amounts of ignorance in this department. They don't seem to need it to drive a car or pay taxes, and so all is well. But A.W. Tozer sets us straight by saying that what you think when you t...

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God’s Love: General or Specific

Imagine you were at the doctor's office for a physical. When everything was done the Doctor came in, sat down and said, "I have bad news and good news. You have a serious disease. But I know what to do. I have done this surgery thousands of times. I have scheduled the surgery and we are going to get this taken care of. I am glad you came in. Have a great day." You sit...

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The Saddest Form of Legalism

Legalism is a category of false teaching that is so regularly misunderstood that the church engages in friendly fire because it doesn't know the enemy from the ally. Many Christians have been labeled a legalist because they wisely restrained themselves from something they knew could cause problems later. Legalism is not necessarily making a rule or boundary for oneself...

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An Arminian Dilemma

Last week our church looked at the difficult doctrine of election as we were going through Ephesians 1:4. Therefore, I wanted to piggyback on that teaching with a thought I believe should be greatly problematic for Arminians. Let me start with one of the key beliefs held by the Arminian. The Arminian holds that the freedom of the human will is so central and vital t...

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God’s Love is Not Sentimental

God's love is one of the most common themes in many churches. Nothing wrong with that. It is clearly a major theme in Scripture. But just because we have lined up with Scripture's emphasis on God's love, doesn't mean we are lining up with Scripture's description of God's love. People make God's love into a divine version of whatever the culture is peddling; something...

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You Can’t Scare People Out of Hell and into Heaven

Jesus ended his Olivet Discourse with the sobering reality of eternal punishment and eternal life. Hell is frightening, unimaginable, andfrequent. At least it is relatively frequent in the gospels. Jesus spoke more about Hell than anyone else. If you are wanting to be like Christ and speak like Christ, then Hell will be something you talk about. But how do you talk ab...

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Sin in a Holy God’s Presence

One of the constant proofs that we are more sinful than we dare dream is that we don't ask the questions that matter. People ask, "Why isn't God blessing me" when they should be asking "why isn't God destroying me?" People ask, "Where is God in this trial" when they should be asking "Why would God be in this trial." Most of the time we are comfortable with a sin-cursed w...

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Another Argument for the Total Lordship of Christ

A couple of weeks ago, I addressed an understandable challenge to preaching the Lordship of Christ in a person's life. This challenge said that if a person cannot know everything that Christ will call him to in the future, such as sin to forsake or life decisions to make, then demanding Christ's Lordship is too demanding. You can read why that challenge won't work here...

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Free from Righteousness

I have been in Romans chapter 6 for a while and a certain verse caught my attention. Romans 6:20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. "Free in regard to righteousness". Really? Is this an exaggeration? One of the impossible issues for most unbelievers to accept is the assertion of the complete corruption of their hearts. They wi...

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Do Miracles Happen Today?

The knee-jerk answer to that question by most Christians is "Well, of course." But in order to be Christians who do not lean on their own understanding, and do not lean on knee-jerk answers, we have to do more. The fear of the Lord calls his people to test everything by the Word of the Lord, because the Word has the final say on what we teach, and how we are corrected ...

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Why Secularism Failed to Deliver More Tolerance

Many people are beginning to recognize division and intolerance are everywhere, and they are only getting stronger and more hostile. College campuses have to deal with violent rioting over speakers with certain viewpoints while at the same time creating "safe spaces" for students threatened by opposing ideas. Is this the legacy of progressivism: fight or flight? Apparent...

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Is Endurance and Assurance Incompatible?

Several weeks ago our church was looking at a verse of Scripture which seems to unsettle, if not all out destroy, the concept of assurance. Jesus says in Matthew 10:22 "but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved." The question of incompatibility goes like this: "How could assurance of eternal life ever be possible if endurance is an evidence of salva...

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Why Saying “Some Catholics Are Saved” is Foolish and Problematic

Over the years, I have regularly heard this comment in evangelical circles, "It is possible for a Catholic to be saved." Now, I understand that context matters. If the comment was made during the heavy exchange of a thoroughly biblical dialog, with two people grappling over the precise doctrines of conversion, such a comment would not be too much of a concern. Sadly, tha...

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The Letter and the Spirit: A False Dichotomy

It is not unusual to hear someone speak about the letter of the law and the spirit of the law. Here is one memorable example from my past. I climbed into a friend's old jeep and buckled in. As I clicked in the seatbelt, I noticed that three fourths of the seatbelt was torn just above the buckle. I mentioned that I was buckled in but I wasn't sure it would do any good wit...

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The Gospel According To The Video Recorder

Why didn't God have the video recorder invented before the time of Christ so that we all could see the life of Christ and not just read about it? Before I attempt an answer, let me set the stage for the question. As I preach through the gospel of Matthew, we have begun to watch Jesus in action. In chapter 4, Matthew presents Jesus as the King who steps onto the scene on...

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Scripture Or Direct Speaking: Where Is A Deeper Relationship Found?

Last week I preached a message on what it means "to have a relationship with God." While we hear that phrase frequently, it really is a stunning thought. My message was from Psalm 21 and it dealt primarily with how God maintains His relationship with us. What I didn't deal with was the whole idea of communication. Communication stands at the heart of every relationship. ...

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