People who believe that God wants to enrich their bank accounts and solve all their health issues engage in materialistic thinking. The health-and-wealth gospel gets just about everything wrong about God and the Good News. In the New Testament, there is no promise of exterior change. On the contrary, Paul tells us to remain where we are, in the condition we find ourselves, 1 Corinthians 7. The Good News is about transformation of the interior and the destiny of our eternal soul.

Closer to home, people who believe that, in order to be a viable congregation, it must have its own building, a full-time paid preacher, and some sort of association with an organized, official school also engage in materialistic thinking. (I see and hear this all the time in missions.) That’s a modern-day formula for church growth and health that many of our people have bought into. Not to mention even the denominational groups who are into professional shows, massaged messages, and mega-everything. You’ll not find any of that anywhere in the New Testament. Continue reading

The longer on earth a saint remains,
The stronger grows desire for heaven;
The body feels its aging pains,
And more to God’s own side he’s driven.

The heavier load of life directs
The sight of faith to things above;
To Jesus’ cross my trial connects,
To service the Holy Spirit drove.

Oh, Lord Messiah, come for me!
Break open the clouds with angels’ shout!
The humble soul would soon see
The end of Satan’s and saints’ dispute!


Describe how your difficulties have increased your desire for eternal things.

Alzheimer’s is a terrible disease, because it robs a person of his memory. People have had mates or parents ask, “Who are you?” Such loss of memory robs one of his life.

Normal people forget, too. Sometimes forgetting is a coping mechanism. Victims of accidents and other trauma often cannot remember the moments surrounding the event.

Sometimes it’s just natural for facts, truths, and ideas to get crowded out. Sometimes it’s lack of attention. At other times, it’s deliberate, such as when false teachers “forgot” the flood as evidence of the non-continuity of creation, in 2 Pt 3.5. Continue reading

NOTE: This article uses simple English for the widest possible audience.

In ancient times, a powerful man named Naaman caught a horrible skin disease. The disease eats away the body’s limbs. It would eventually kill him.

Naaman was commander of the armies of Syria. He was a pagan. He did not worship the one true God.

Naaman heard that he could be cured of his disease in Israel. Israel was God’s people before Jesus arrived on the earth. The Syrian commander was directed to Elisha, a man of God. Continue reading

For children born in a world of hate, have hope —
They’ll learn to love in a godly home where hearts
Are tender, eyes aren’t haughty, ears are quick
To hear the word of God — Have highest hopes!

For churches holding forth the truth, have hope —
In spite of walls and damning doctrines, light
Can penetrate the darkness, the glory of God
Can bring a sinner to turn — Have highest hopes!

For saints who serve in hard travails, have hope —
To suffer with Christ is honor, his hand upon you,
His power within will reap a harvest of souls —
We see not how he works — Have highest hopes!

Timidity is infectious. Many a church would be stronger if it were weeded out–just as Gideon’s army was. Its weakness lies in its great numbers, not because numbers necessarily weaken–but because there are so many half-hearted people on the church roll. They have lost their interest, if they ever had any, and are indifferent, without thorough consecration. They add no strength–but only hinder the other members and dampen their zeal. —J.R. Miller

It is true, to a great extent, that great numbers weakens the church, because weak people are in the numbers. More can and ought to be said about helping the timid and fearful in those numbers to come to faith, but when sought outside of the will of God, the desire to have greater numbers weakens the church and undermines its mission and health. Continue reading