Grace to You

  • Judgment Begins with the Household of God
    By the time the apostle John was nearing the end of his earthly life, he was acutely aware that “all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12). He told people in his pastoral care, “Do not be surprised, brethren, if the world hates you” (1 John 3:13). But as John was living out his final days in torturous labor on the Isle of Patmos, he may have looked back in amazement at how different his circumstances were from what he expected when he set out to follow Jesus. Israel had very high expectations for... Read more »
  • Friday's Featured Sermon: "Preaching the Word in an Out-of-Season Culture"
    In the closing lines of his final epistle, the apostle Paul charges Timothy, his young apprentice in the faith, to “Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction” (2 Timothy 4:2, emphasis added). You may read that verse and wonder, as many have, what Paul means regarding the timeliness of the teaching of God’s Word. How can biblical preaching be “in season and out of season”? In his sermon “Preaching the Word in an Out-of-Season Culture,” John MacArthur explains the simple point of Paul’s exhortation. We might debate exactly what Paul had... Read more »
  • An Apostle in Exile
    We often think of Revelation as a prophetic look at the second coming of Christ. We think of the judgment that awaits the world because “He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him” (Revelation 1:7). We tend to look at the promise of God’s wrath in horror, but also with a sense of relief that it will not fall on us. But before the visions of the book of Revelation reveal the subject of God’s judgment against unrepentant sinners and the... Read more »
  • The Pathology of an Apostate Church
    Churches can descend into apostasy on a wide variety of issues. They might succumb to mysticism, feminism, worldliness, works righteousness, or any of the myriad corrupting threats poised against the church. But there is a common thread uniting every church that turns from the truth after error. Setting aside the authority of God’s Word is the most well-worn path to apostasy. Consider the spiritual ground that is lost when the church surrenders biblical authority. If Scripture does not speak with absolute, inerrant authority, the offer of justification by grace through faith cannot be extended to desperate sinners. One can’t argue for... Read more »
  • The Legacy of the Reformation
    In medieval Europe, the Roman Catholic Church had a stranglehold on all matters pertaining to spiritual life. In an era when Bibles were rare and inaccessible to all but the clergy, the hierarchy of Rome established itself as the gatekeeper controlling access to Scripture, and thus to God. The priests granted forgiveness, bestowed blessing, and served as the arbiters of eternal reward. By the 1400s, the church was overrun with layers of institutional corruption. Behind a transparent veil of piety, immorality and wickedness permeated the church. Throughout Christendom, church parishioners struggled to survive and eke out a humble existence, while the... Read more »
  • The Danger of Calling the Church to Repent
    Have you ever heard of a church that repented? Not individuals, but an entire church that collectively recognized its congregational transgressions and openly, genuinely repented, with biblical sorrow and brokenness. Sadly, you probably have not. For that matter, have you ever heard of a pastor who called his church to repent and threatened his congregation with divine judgment if they failed to do so? It’s not likely. Pastors today seem to have a hard enough time calling individuals to repent, let alone calling the whole church to account for their corporate sins. In fact, if a pastor were so bold as to lead... Read more »
  • Assaulting the Nature of Truth
    Words matter to God. After all, they are His chosen means of communication. He doesn’t bring people to a saving knowledge of Himself through mystical, subjective experiences. He has spoken clear, objective, propositional truth to His creatures through His written Word. That’s why Peter—who saw firsthand the profound supernatural power of God, both in the life of Christ and in his own apostolic ministry—pointed to Scripture as “the prophetic word made more sure” (2 Peter 1:19). Even after Peter heard the voice of God from heaven (v. 17-18), his unfailing confidence was in the written Word of God. Obviously, as fallen creatures... Read more »
  • Friday’s Featured Sermon: “The Love God Hates”
    God is love. That popular notion—excerpted from 1 John 4:8—is often seen as the trump card to God’s other, less popular characteristics. Those looking to ignore His judgment and dispense with His wrath see God’s loving nature as His alpha attribute by which all others are to be defined, or altogether overridden. But as John MacArthur points out in his sermon “The Love God Hates,” God’s attributes of justice and wrath aren’t in conflict with His love—they are rather a natural extension of that love. Because God loves perfectly, He also hates perfectly. The two are actually inseparable—to love perfectly is to... Read more »
  • The Truth About Spiritual Warfare
    Any thorough discussion of the exclusivity of Christ should include the issue of spiritual warfare. Not the nonsense we see in the charismatic church, where a faith healer attempts to bind the demons of back pain and seasonal allergies through your television screen. True spiritual warfare isn’t about parlor tricks or incantations. It’s a tireless effort to which all believers have been called, an endless battle we must wage every day. In his first epistle to the Corinthian church, Paul addressed a growing problem among the believers there. Not only was the church careless with their observance of the Lord’s Table,... Read more »
  • The Danger of Ignorant Zeal
    Being a member of a healthy church isn’t an end in itself. It’s a wonderful blessing and privilege to sit under the faithful teaching of a shepherd who rightly handles God’s Word. But we must never allow that blessing from God to cultivate complacency in our relationship with Him. The nation of Israel serves as a sobering reminder of that danger. Regarding Israel, Paul writes, “Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation” (Romans 10:1). This is vital to understand, because he’s not talking about rank pagans here. Israel had the Old Testament. They... Read more »