1. The Forgotten Admonition for the Last Days

    July 2, 2015 by Paul Chappell

    looking-up

    Now, more than ever before, current events remind us that we are living in the last days.

    The events of this past week have pointed to Bible prophecies concerning the progressive lifestyles of sin (2 Timothy 3:1–4) and the oblivion of and disregard for God’s judgment (Matthew 24:37–39).

    As we know, Scripture gives us many admonitions for these last days: We are to contend for the faith (Jude 3). To preach the Word (2 Timothy 4:2). To witness to the lost (Matthew 24:14). To be sober–minded (1 Peter 4:7). To watch with prayer (1 Peter 4:8).

    But there is one command that many of us forget. This command is expressly given in relation to the last days. And it is specifically stated to be an issue of vital significance. Tragically, it is often neglected. (more…)


  2. A Free Toolbox—Spiritual Leadership Conference Session Downloads

    June 29, 2015 by Paul Chappell

    SLC-sessions

    As laborers together with God (1 Corinthians 3:9), it is imperative that we, as spiritual leaders, are not simply maintaining the work of God, but that we are building.

    At Spiritual Leadership Conference 2015, our theme was from Jesus’ words, “I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18). Each service and session was filled with biblical truth on building in the local church.

    Videos of all the services as well as mp3 audio downloads of the workshop sessions are available—all for free.

    The sessions include a wide variety of topics in the following areas: (more…)


  3. What the Supreme Court’s Ruling on Same-Sex Marriage Means to Christians

    June 26, 2015 by Paul Chappell

    United States Supreme Court

    By now, you’ve heard of the landmark 5-4 ruling by the United States Supreme Court in favor of same-sex marriage.

    As a Christian pastor, I’m deeply grieved at the Court’s decision to ignore biblical revelation and redefine God’s institution.

    Indeed, marriage is God’s institution, and He has clearly defined it for us.

    From Creation itself, God made marriage a sacred union between a man and a woman:

    Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.—Genesis 2:24

    Jesus quoted from this passage, affirming that marriage between a man and a woman was God’s special institution “at the beginning”:

    And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?—Matthew 19:4–5

    To attempt to expand the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples, is actually a redefinition of marriage that undermines the very core of what it is. And an honest assessment of what is taking place indicates that the redefinition will not stop with today’s decision.

    So what does this decision mean for Christians? How should we respond to it? (more…)


  4. Growth Points 64: Are We Making Disciples or Developing Superficial Converts?

    June 24, 2015 by Paul Chappell

    Jesus told us in John 15:16 that He has ordained us—set us apart for a purpose—to bring forth fruit that remains.

    As pastors and Christian leaders, it’s fair that we occasionally ask ourselves, “Are we making disciples here? Or are we simply developing superficial converts?”

    It’s a hard question. But I believe it’s important. The reality is that sometimes we can get people to go through motions without leading them to go deeper in their personal walk with God. Over time, people without a growing walk with the Lord will not remain faithful.

    In this Growth Points video, we talk about the process of how new Christians are grounded the Word of God through points of discipleship in local church ministry:


    (If you cannot see this video in your RSS reader or email, you can watch it here.)

    Note: The Continue discipleship resource mentioned in this video is available from Striving Together Publications.


  5. 3 Ways the Church Can Help the Christian Home

    June 20, 2015 by Paul Chappell

    dad-and-baby-daughter

    There’s no question about it: the home is under attack today. And I’m not just talking about subtle attacks that cautiously undermine biblical values. I’m talking about a full on, vicious, satanic attack that is shaking the very definition of the family itself.

    How can the local church support Christian families? We must not only support the definition of the family, but we must support actual families as well—the people in our churches.

    For twenty-nine years, we’ve labored at Lancaster Baptist Church to help Christian homes. We have opposed every form of legislation or change in society that undermines the family. I’ve preached hundreds of messages from every Bible passage that pertains to developing a strong home. We’ve held annual couples retreats, offered counseling, taught lessons, and published resources for families.

    When it comes to Satan’s attacks on families, the church cannot stand back and simply observe the carnage. We must step in and help. (more…)