Soul First

Strong Souls (2)

I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls. 2 Corinthians 12:15

Listen Now | Download

No Cushy Calling
The Apostle Paul was only one of the many remarkable men and women used of God to establish and grow the Christian movement in that first generation. As we see in the book of Acts, Paul was almost continually on the move, pausing only on a couple of occasions for extended stays in one place or another. He preached, evangelized, taught, counseled, and trained leaders for the emerging churches. In the process he endured no small amount of hardship – deprivation, harassment, persecution, stoning, imprisonment, and, ultimately, death at the hand of the Romans.

Clearly, this was no cushy calling. Why would Paul spend so much time, invest all his best energy, and become so thoroughly and completely spent? He tells us: For the souls of those the Lord had called into His churches.

The Secret of Success

Strong Souls (1)

When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. Acts 14:21, 22

Listen Now | Download

A Right-Side Up World
The book of Acts recounts the incredible story of how the Christian movement grew from a small sect in a distant outpost of the Roman world to become a network of hundreds of churches involving multiplied thousands of believers with an impact that, as even unbelievers noted, was turning the Roman world upside-down (Acts 17:1-9).

Fully Aware of the Consequences

When Not to Obey (7)

… and when they had called in the apostles, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. Then they left the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name. Acts 5:40, 41

Listen Now | Download

The Limits of Civil Government
In this series we have looked at some of the godly men and women in Scripture who, for one reason or another, disobeyed the civil authorities and received the blessing of God. We could have looked at many more – Rahab, for instance, who deceived her rulers by hiding the Hebrew spies; Jonathan who scoffed at his father’s foolish order and ate some honey anyway; the prophet Elijah, who continually exasperated Ahab and his wicked bride; the prophets as they stood up to corrupt kings and rulers; John the Baptist, Paul before the Jewish authorities, and even the Lord Jesus Himself.

The point is simply for us to remember that the powers-that-be in this temporal realm are neither absolute nor final. At the end of the day believers must obey Christ and not allow government in any way to usurp the place of God or King Jesus in their lives and ministries.

Little Disruptions

When Not to Obey (6)

And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.” John 2:15, 16

Listen Now | Download

A House of Prayer, not Commerce
So much for gentle Jesus, meek and mild. What’s going on here? Jesus recognized that, under authority from religious and civil rulers, merchants of various kinds had set up shop in the temple precincts, ostensibly to facilitate worship on the part of people who had come from afar or from other lands. If they had to come a long way, it would not be convenient to bring their sacrifice with them. Why not just buy one at the temple, you know, right before you go in? And if you’ve come from another province and didn’t bring your credit card, why, they could exchange your money for you so you could purchase your sacrifice with local coin.

When to Speak

When Not to Obey (5)

But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.” Acts 5:29

Listen Now | Download

The Threat of the Gospel
Political leaders can sometimes find religion to be a thorny issue. It has been not uncommon, throughout Western history, for civil magistrates to lash out against Christians in an effort to interrupt or cease the spread of the Gospel of the Kingdom. The Romans unleashed ten waves of violent persecution against the Church between the years 100 and 314, only to fall ultimately under the irresistible power of the Gospel. The local ruler on the Hebridean island of Eigg slaughtered Donan and his fifty companions, hoping to extirpate the Gospel from her land. She did not. The Medici’s hanged and burned Savonarola; his reforms went ahead anyway. Luther was put under the ban, and a contract issued on his life; the Gospel spread like wildfire. 72,000 Huguenots were murdered on a single day in 1572, but the Gospel kept going on. The Church came under severe persecution in the Soviet Union; now only one of these entities remains.

When to Worship

When Not to Obey (4)

When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously. Daniel 6:10

Listen Now | Download

Control Freaks
Governments like to control things, have you noticed that? That old temptation to abuse political power has many guises. With Darius we see a new example of government going bad and acting horridly. Darius may have been a very powerful man and a skilled military leader. But he was apparently a few cars short of a full train. He was easily flattered by his lackeys and, thus, led to take an action that even he would later recognize as completely foolish.

Darius’ fellow Persians, who were appointed to administer the realm he had taken over from the Babylonian king, didn’t like the fact that Daniel was kept on in an influential role. He wasn’t “one of them” after all, and he should not be allowed more power than they, or, so these political appointees reasoned.

<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next > End >>

Page 1 of 327
You must be logged in to comment on Christian Worldview Journal articles.