The Significance of Summer Camp

I’m so excited. I’m at Summer Camp. That’s right. Right now I’m in Cocoa Beach with students from Second Baptist. It’s going to be a great week!

As I’m here, multiple memories of camps just like this one come flooding to my mind. Such. Great. Memories.

Let me make a confession. I don’t like the beach. Really never have. My family loves the beach. So I tolerate the salt and sand out of love for them.

But I love summer camp with my church. Why? Continue reading

“What Can the Righteous Do?”

Yesterday I quoted Psalm 11:3 and wrote a post called “If The Foundations Are Destroyed.” I noted how two essential foundations of our society have eroded: the authority of the Bible and the primacy of the family. Today, I want to deal briefly with the second half of this verse: “What can the righteous do?”

What can the righteous do when the foundations are destroyed? How are followers of Christ supposed to respond to the issues of homosexuality and same-sex marriage? As with everything else in life, there is certainly a biblical principle to be applied here.

Ephesians 4:15 instructs us to “speak the truth in love.” Now, in its context, this passage is dealing specifically with unity within the church but I believe this principle extends beyond the church. There are several other places in Scripture where you see a balance of “grace and truth” as well. (John 1:14 is one example)

Let me deal briefly with two simple principles as we think about what it means to speak the truth in love. It is important to find a biblical balance.

1. Love without truth leads to liberalism- Biblical love doesn’t mean ignoring, accepting, or condoning sin. It means loving the sinner enough to tell them the truth; seeking to reach the sinner with the gospel. No matter who you are, your personal opinion will never change the truth of God’s Word. While we are to love homosexuals, we cannot affirm their behavior according to the Bible.

2. Truth without love leads to legalism- Holding to truth means  never compromising the biblical standard of righteousness. On the issue of homosexuality the Bible is clear. Therefore, we must uphold the truth- it is sin, an abomination. But this does not mean that we hate, shun or despise homosexuals. On the contrary, we love them as Christ loves them and seek to win them to the truth.

Admittedly, this is a difficult balance to discover. Only the Holy Spirit of God can help the believer avoid the traps of legalism and liberalism as you learn to “speak the truth in love.”

“If The Foundations Are Destroyed…”

The Psalmist asks in Psalm 11:3, “If If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” The foundations of our nation are under attack. Any honest person cannot disagree that the moral fabric of our society and the source of our law is based upon the Word of God.

How do you destroy a society based on the Bible? It’s simple, seek to discredit the Bible at its very core. “God didn’t create the heavens and the earth as the Genesis account declares. Instead, we are a product of random chance, natural selection and Darwinian evolution.” Once you convince a population to believe such things, you can win them over to a morality of your own choosing. If there is no objective standard of righteousness, “evolving beliefs” and personal preference win the day. God help us!

How would I destroy this country if i were the enemy? I would attack it at the very core on two major fronts: the authority of God’s Word and the primacy of the family.

1. The authority of the Bible- In many ways, the enemy has won the battle against the Bible. Whether the issue is creation, the exclusivity of Christ, homosexuality or abortion, it seems that he has convinced the masses that God’s Word is outdated and antiquated.

2. The primacy of the family- Once a society is convinced that God’s Word no longer matters, any moral degradation is possible and likely. Remove the foundation of biblical authority and “home” and “family” can be completely redefined according to social norms, political posturing and personal preference.

It might not be popular to say, but the first signs of the fracturing of the family began with the epidemic of divorce. If the enemy can convince a society, even professing believers, that divorce is no big deal, he has struck a damaging blow to the very core of the family – marriage.

From there, it is only a logical next step to redefine marriage. In fact, if God has no right to condemn divorce, He has a right to condemn same-sex marriage. Since the Bible no longer has any authority, God’s opinion on homosexual marriage is irrelevant.

Another clear evidence of this attack is abortion. When the Bible no longer matters and we believe we are the result of random chance, life is devalued to a simple “choice.” How has the enemy convinced us to destroy the next generation? By framing the debate around the rights of women instead of the rights of unborn children. It has become simply a matter of convenience.

The primary issue in our upcoming elections will not be economic, political, international, or social. It will be moral. The enemy wants to destroy our society by destroying the family. How? By murdering unborn children and destroying the foundation of marriage. “If the foundations are destroyed, what will the righteous do?”

Five Words That Can Change Your Life

Today, I starting a series of posts on this blog over the next few weeks.  These entries will be based on a Wednesday night series I’m doing at my church on Romans 8. The series is called Five Words That Can Change Your Life and it focuses on five themes through Romans 8: freed (verses 1-8), empowered (verses 9-13), adopted (verses 14-17), transformed (verses 18-30), and loved (verses 31-38).

This is seriously one of my favorite chapters in the entire Bible and I am going to love this series! No doubt it is one of the most significant chapters in the Bible as well. This chapter is significant in many ways.

1. It is significant theologically- This chapter helps us grapple with some of the deepest theological issues of our day – election, predestination, and foreknowledge. Not to mention its excellent treatment of the Spirit-filled life, the love of God and our adoption into God’s family.

2. It is significant emotionally- This chapter encourages our hearts – we discover that nothing can separate us from God’s great, everlasting love. When you realize that you have been adopted into the family of God you come to understand God’s love in a deeper and more significant way. Paul proclaims, “What can separate from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus?”

3. It is significant practically- This chapter reminds us how we are to live – not according to our fleshly desires but according to the Spirit who indwells us. We are not just told what to do, but we are also told how to do it. After describing his struggle in the “inward man” in chapter 7, Paul instructs the believer on how to live in the power of the Holy Spirit.

4. It is significant spiritually- This chapter teaches us about our incredible position in Christ Jesus – we are now made righteous in God’s sight because we have been identified with Christ through salvation. “If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.”

5. It is significant eternally- This chapter gives us an eternal perspective – suffering, pain and heartache are to be viewed with heaven in mind. Paul says, “The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”

This is possibly my favorite chapter of Scripture and I can’t wait to walk through its paragraphs, sentences and words over the next few weeks.  It most certainly will be life-changing!