Category: Christian Growth

What is the Problem in the Church?

In Matthew 16:18, the “church” is first mentioned in God’s Word as Jesus tells Peter that his revelation ‘Jesus is the Christ’ is the rock upon which Jesus will build His church. And “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

Jesus established His church to spread the gospel and equip Christians to walk as His disciples, living as he lived in obedience to the Father. The Christian Church should starkly contrast secular culture and be light in an increasingly dark world. But is this happening in America? A strong argument can be made that the church is increasingly ineffective in transforming lives and the culture we live in.

Who is to blame for this problem? Is it church leadership failing to equip the believers? Or is it the people they lead? People who want enough Jesus to be saved, but not enough to be transformed into living a life holy and pleasing to God?

We explore these questions this morning with Dave Wager of Nicolet Bible Institute.

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The Basics are Critical

Sometimes Christians get so wrapped up in the ways we have always done things that we lose sight of what is really important: the Basics. In no area is this more true or important than in the role of church. We go every week and “do our thing,” but how many of us have taken the time to see how God defines “church” and the requirements He has placed upon it?

First up today is our guest, Doug Wakefield, of Best Minds, Inc. to give us a healthy perspective on the economy, stock market ups and downs, and a refresher on what Christians need to be focusing on. Doug writes the monthly research newsletter, The Investor’s Mind.

In our second segment, we cover a few disappointing news stories practically condemning the liberal media of complicit bias. We also briefly review the job of a news-person today and the principles of journalism. (You’re not going to believe the Associated Press story – which they redacted – that led to fear, misreporting, and even violence all because of the anti-Trump agenda of the AP.)

In our third segment, we get back to the basics explore exactly how God defines church and the marching orders He has given her. Are we fulfilling the commands for the church that the Lord has given us in His Word?

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Reasons for Hope Despite Increased Attacks on Bible

Already in the first week of this month, we’ve heard about stories that reinforce the fact our culture, our country, and this world just seem to keep spinning out of control. The truth however, is that the God of the universe and author of Creation has never left his throne.

Disney is getting backlash over its recent promotion of LGBTQ agenda which features a gay moment in the new Beauty and the Beast, Satanists are seeking religious rights in America, a UK court considers reading the Bible out loud a criminal matter, and the radical Alinsky left in this nation is keeping its foot on the gas pedal of their anti-American agenda. There’s so much going on we must get back to the basics and remember who is in control.

Though the world and things around us appear to be falling apart, the Bible teaches us things are actually falling into place. Many solid pastors and ministry leaders in the committed remnant of true believers remind us we are living in the greatest times of biblical prophecy since Jesus walked the earth. We must hold loosely the things of this world as we set our hearts and minds on things above.

Today’s guest is Carl Kerby, the President of Reasons for Hope Inc. Carl shares his extensive knowledge and understanding of God’s creation. Providing answers for difficult questions, Carl inspires people to dig deeply into God’s Word to debunk the lies and myths that attack the Christian faith.

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Why Does God Compare People To Sheep?

Many of us want to believe we are strong, independent, intelligent, adventurous, and even invincible. In the Bible however, God compares us to sheep – over and over. Not a flattering comparison, but there are many reasons for this. First, since we are the sheep of His pasture, we are dependent on Him. We also have a Good Shepherd who feeds us and tends to our needs.

If we dwell in the shelter God provides, and if we abide in the shadow of the Almighty as Psalm 91:1 suggests, then we are protected. When we stay close enough to Jesus our Shepherd, we can rest in His shadow and grow in His presence. Our responsibility is to stay close to Him, keep listening to His voice, and to not stray. Though we often follow many people and things in this life, we were made to follow after God, our Leader.

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What do you mean, ‘God is Sovereign’?

When we claim to know and love God, but cannot give an answer when tragedy happens around us, we look foolish to the world. When Rob Bell was doing a book tour for “Love Wins”, he appeared on MSNBC to promote his book right after the tragedy in Japan where a tsunami killed hundreds of people. Martin Basheer of MSNBC asked Bell a question: “With this tsunami that killed hundreds of people—did it happen because God was not powerful enough to prevent it or because He didn’t care that hundreds would die?” Bell fumbled around, as he usually does on any deep theological question and then just said something like “Well some things are just best left alone and not talked about…” Rob Bell missed a golden opportunity to share the gospel with millions of viewers that day, but given his misguided theology we have no reason to believe he would have presented the true gospel anyway.

But the point is that the sovereign nature of God, along with man’s ability to have free will and make decisions on his own, is an important issue we should discuss and understand to the best of our ability so we can answer serious questions unbelievers—and even Christians—may have when tragedy strikes.

Our guest this morning Pastor Mike Abendroth of No Compromise Radio joins us to discuss what it means that God is sovereign and how we reconcile that with the fact God has given men free will to act.

Today, we look at Abendroth’s previous book, The Sovereignty and Supremacy of King Jesus: Bowing to the Gracious Despot.

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If You Build it, They Might Come

We would all love to see a growth in the number of strong Christian churches in America. Over the past fifteen years there has been a fervent effort to plant more churches, but the statistics show that pretty much for every new church that opens, another closes its doors. Is it time we rethink our strategy on Church planting? Pastor Randy White joins us to discuss the Church Plant Movement and its current shortcomings.

We are also joined by Dr. Cal Beisner of The Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation to discuss President Trump’s nominee to head up the EPA. Is there reasonable common ground that bible-believing Christians can find with environmentalists?

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Ignoring Two Thirds of the Bible

Biblical apologetics–the study of why we believe what we believe–is a crucial part of the Christian life, yet by most accounts highly ignored. And it seems even when Christians gather to study God’s Word the focus is on the New Testament, and we ignore two thirds of the Bible that is rich with important teachings and examples of God’s plan to reconcile man to Himself–and why Jesus coming as God in the flesh to die on the cross was necessary.

If we do not study and understand Old Testament teachings we can easily be deceived by slick atheists or secular humanists who point out what they claim are “contradictions” between the God of the Old Testament and Jesus Christ.

Joining us this morning to help us have the tools necessary to read and correctly interpret the Old Testament is Dr. Randy White. His latest book is an excellent tool to help Christians read and appreciate the richness of the Old Testament: “The Bible Graphically Presented”

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From Creation to Christ with Jay Seegert

As we again celebrate Christmas, too many Christians come in at the “middle of the story” (the birth of Jesus), missing out on the story line and feeling somewhat empty. They do not understand the amazing story of creation, the fall of man and God’s attempt at reconciling man to Him. The richness of the gospel is relegated to a single event rather than an amazing testimony to God’s holiness, justice, reconciliation and love.

Jay Seegert of The Starting Point Project joins us this morning to discuss the importance of not just coming in during the middle of the Christmas story, and how we miss out on so much when we do.

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Who’s in Charge of the ‘Kingdom Now’?

A crucial doctrine of Christianity is the eventual return of Jesus Christ to judge all men and establish His everlasting Kingdom. Sadly, Bible prophecy is ignored in many churches so Christians are left to their own to try to understand that glorious day when our Lord returns to vanquish evil.

One question I love to ask professing Christians is this: When Jesus returns what does the world look like and what does He do? If their answer involves us, human beings establishing universal justice or cleaning up the world of poverty and pollution, then I know I am dealing with someone who embraces what is called “Dominion theology.” This is the idea that when men clean up the earth Jesus returns and we simply “hand over the keys” to Him so to speak. This is a dangerous form of Humanism, elevating man and discounting God.

One arm of Dominion Theology is called “Kingdom Now” theology and this morning we are joined by Pastor Andy Woods who has written several books discussing this movement.

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What is the Problem in the Church?

In Matthew 16:18, the “church” is first mentioned in God’s Word as Jesus tells Peter that his revelation ‘Jesus is the Christ’ is the rock upon which Jesus will build His church. And “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

Jesus established His church to spread the gospel and equip Christians to walk as His disciples, living as he lived in obedience to the Father. The Christian Church should starkly contrast secular culture and be light in an increasingly dark world. But is this happening in America? A strong argument can be made that the church is increasingly ineffective in transforming lives and the culture we live in.

Who is to blame for this problem? Is it church leadership failing to equip the believers? Or is it the people they lead? People who want enough Jesus to be saved, but not enough to be transformed into living a life holy and pleasing to God?

We explore these questions this morning with Dave Wager of Nicolet Bible Institute.

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So Many Questions… Only One Source for Truth

Every week we receive hundreds of emails, phone calls and texts from you, Stand Up for the Truth listeners, asking questions or making comments about the biblical issues we address on the program. I wish we had the time to respond to each one personally, but it is near impossible.

Today, we start a brand new regular segment where we share as many of your comments and questions as we can to hopefully help encourage and inform others with similar questions or concerns.

Our standard but important disclaimer: We will give the best advice and answers we can based on our understanding of God’s Word. But you must always rely on the Bible first, as the only source of eternal, inerrant, sufficient truth.

Thanks to listener questions, the subjects covered on today’s program are: church discipline, Andy Stanley’s series ‘Who Needs God,’ The Shack, apathy in the Christian church, United Church of God theology, IF Gathering led by Jennie Allen, Is Calvinism heresy, fundamental Christian truth vs liberal ‘feeling’ theology, moral relativism, examining the evidence proving the reliability of Scripture.

One of the things addressed on today’s program was Sozo prayer.

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Faith: But faith in Whom?

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no man may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, took the wrath of God against sin on the cross in our place, so through our faith in Him we might be forgiven of our sins and have eternal life with God. Faith plays a crucial role in the life and eternal destiny of every human being. Today we discuss our faith in Jesus Christ and God’s faithfulness toward us even when we are not faithful to His will for us with Pastor Mike Abendroth.

We also discuss a movement within a certain sect of Roman Catholicism calling on Pope Francis to proclaim Mary “co-redemptrix” with Jesus Christ. But the group claims this will point people to Jesus rather than distract them away from the only one who can save us. We’ll discuss their argument in our final segment today. Join us live at 9am central Thursday.

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Islam, ISIS & National Security

President Trump has vowed to destroy ISIS. But will that really do anything significant in ending the scourge of Islamic terrorism? Or will the next radical organization simply step up and fill the void?

The truth is we are not merely fighting a minority of radical terrorists…we are fighting against an ideology bent on world domination and elimination of any religious beliefs that do not submit to the false god Allah.

Ryan Mauro of The Clarion Project joins us to discuss ISIS and president Trump’s new “travel bans”. He will also contrast the “Woman’s March” in our nation with the strong women fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

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