Saturday, July 29, 2017

The Cure for Doubt

A recent Barna research release indicates that approximately two-thirds of Christians have or currently face periods of doubt with regard to their faith and relationship with the Lord.  Precedent for dominating doubt goes all the way back to the first century,  One of Jesus’ specially chosen apostles would be forever nick-named “Doubting Thomas” because he refused to believe that Jesus had risen from the dead until he could personally see and touch him.

According to church tradition, Thomas overcame his doubts and eventually took the Gospel of Christ to the Indian subcontinent in AD 52, ministering in what are the present-day states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. There he baptized the first Christians of that region, founding what is now known as the Mar Thoma Church. 

How should Christians today deal with their doubts?  We no longer have the Lord physically present to reassure our wavering faith and dispel our doubts as did the Apostle Thomas.  But we do have a secure foundation upon which to rest our faith, quell our fears, and satisfy our questions.  And that is the biblical revelation of the character and purposes of God.

The Apostle Paul encouraged the Thessalonian Christians that God would ensure their establishment in the faith.  Furthermore, He would protect them from the onslaught of attacks from the evil one, designed to disrupt and destroy their faith in the Lord (2 Thess. 3:3).  Similarly, the Apostle Jude, using the same Greek word, assures his readers that God is able to keep them from stumbling in their faith and to eventually present them in a sinless, perfected state on the Day of Resurrection.


Left to our own strength and wills, we would have reason to worry and doubt our ability to follow the Lord to the end of this earthly pilgrimage.  But, thankfully, our long-term spiritual welfare rests upon the promises God has made to His own, not upon our own ability to navigate the temptations and spiritual minefields of this world.  So take heart, Christian, our faithful God will never give up on you.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

A Reason for Optimism

One would have to be living in a remote location untouched by the media to fail to grasp the seemingly inexorable drift into depravity which has overtaken our society in recent decades.  While we were always a nation of sinners, that sin is now more open and embraced than ever before.   In many ways our moral code has been turned on its head, with large segments of society embracing lifestyles which were once nearly universally condemned as evil

But a survey of 2,030 Americans from all fifty states, conducted by the American Bible Society during January and February of this year, provides some reason for hope.  81 percent of those surveyed stated their belief that morals are declining in America, a 5 percent increase from 2016.  39 percent blame corporate greed; 33 percent consider the entertainment industry the problem.  But 27 percent say it is due to lack of Bible reading.

Half of Americans are considered “Bible users,” and 81 percent are “Bible engaged,” “Bible friendly” or “Bible neutral” in contrast to the 19 percent that are either “Bible skeptic” or “Bible antagonistic.”  Moreover, 70 percent of Americans are confident the Bible can bring hope to America, as opposed to the 30% who place that hope in the president of the United States.

Presently 20 percent of Americans are “Bible engaged,” meaning they view the Bible as the inspired word of God and read the Bible at least four times a week.  38 percent are “Bible friendly,” who consider it God’s word but read it fewer than four times a week.  And there is some evidence that Bible skepticism may be declining.

Overall, we need greater engagement with the Word of God which is indeed “sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit” (Heb. 4:12).  God’s truth makes plain the subtleties of sin and the deceptions of evil that have blinded men to the truth.  It is also the means by which God brings spiritual life to the lost souls of men and women (Rom. 10:17) and fully transforms them thereafter (John 17:17).


There should be no more important objective in your life than filling your mind with a steady diet of God’s word.  These days, Bible reading competes with texts, tweets, instant messages, and the lure of the information society that constantly woos us.  Caring for the state of your eternal soul calls upon you to prioritize time in God’s word on a daily basis.  Don’t sell your soul for the Pablum of the world when you can dine on that which is “sweeter than honey,” on truth that will endure forever.