January 30, 2018

VIDEO: What Did Jesus’ Death Do?

We frequently hear that Jesus’ death changed the course of history, but what specifically did his death DO for mankind? Did it have multiple purposes? Why doesn’t anything seem to be getting better?  Want more in-depth answers and Bible study? Check out Episode 911: “What is the Legacy of Jesus’ Death and Resurrection?” for more Scriptures and details on this topic.

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January 29, 2018

Ep.1006: Has the Gospel Been Corrupted? (Part I)

The present day lessons from the Wheat and Tares Parable

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Play Part II

CHAPTERS

[00:16:53]
If the kingdom of heaven is not future, not perfect and not in heaven, then what is it?


[00:35:53]
Next the enemy will infiltrate with counterfeit seed. Why were they not watching and ready for it?


[00:53:33]
Satan's role in this prophecy seems to be business as usual for him. What can we learn?


[01:10:42]
Who wins the battle?


Theme Scripture: Matthew 13:25

So much of what Jesus taught was about the practical parts of living – learning to love, forgive and encourage one another - and these are the parts of his teachings that seem to garner the most attention. Jesus did, however, spend significant time imparting prophetic teaching as well.  He came to earth as a man to ransom the human race, and in so doing, to call out "a people for his name."  Much of his prophetic teaching was focused on how that calling would work and what that calling would face by way of challenges and pitfalls.  Jesus was specific about what to expect regarding that calling regarding Christianity in terms of corruption and deceit.  It sounds odd to think about Jesus calling out some future failures of what would come to be thought of as the Christian world, but he did.  How did he do it?  What did he say?  What did he mean?  What should we be paying attention to? Is Christianity corrupted?

Continue Reading

Jesus taught some of his most powerful lessons by way of parables – stories to illustrate a point, an event or a prophecy.  Most of the time Jesus’ parables were delivered without interpretation, but occasionally he paused and explained their meaning to his closest followers.  The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares fits into this unusual category...and it is a prophetic gold mine!

This parable is a pointed story Jesus told to illustrate coming circumstances that would surround the development of his true followers – the true Christian church - through the coming generations.  His message was clear and began simply: the “sons of the kingdom” as a group, were pictured by the seeds a farmer (Jesus) sowed in his field (the world).  The farmer’s intention was to develop and care for this precious and developing crop (true Christianity) throughout the growing season, which he interpreted as the age of time when the Gospel would be preached in the world.  The story turns when an enemy (Satan) sows false seed into the field for the sole purpose of creating a lookalike of true Christianity that had the potential of corrupting the good seed and ruining the farmer’s (Jesus) potential harvest.

The bottom line of Jesus’ story is that his true Christian followers would be exposed to, and even victims of, false churches and organizations and their massive corruption.  As we look back upon the trajectory of what is now known as "Christianity," we can easily and often trace such corrupting events.  Looking at these things with honesty and clarity can be difficult, if not downright disturbing.

Knowing that all of this not only has happened but continues to happen, what should we do about it? Check out our January 29, 2018 podcast, “Has the Gospel Been Corrupted? Part 1” and find out.  We begin by filling in the gaps of the story and continue with a constant eye on our own personal thoughts and what our personal responses should be to defend against these prophesied and problematic circumstances.  Click here for Part 2 of "Has the Gospel Been Corrupted"?

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January 29, 2018

VIDEO: Has the Gospel Been Corrupted? (Part I)

Jesus taught us many things and often spoke in parables to hide their true meaning. One of the few parables he explained was the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares. He predicted that the gospel message would be corrupted as time moved further away from when he and his Apostles died. We are grateful for this warning because, by expecting this to occur, we can begin to understand what we need to watch out for. It reinforces just how crafty Satan is and how wee can be deceived if we are not diligent. Watch this 2-minute vlog and then listen to the entire podcast of the same name.

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January 22, 2018

VIDEO: Podcasting With a Purpose

Christian Questions is a weekly Christian podcast that aims to provoke meaningful discussion along spiritual lines. We invite you to “Think about the Bible like you never have before.” Your hosts, Rick and Jonathan, were on the radio for 18 years before going all podcast in 2016. They discuss biblical topics relevant to your life right now! We welcome listener participation, encouraging a nurturing, politically-free environment of expression on biblical topics. We aim to provide a comprehensive perspective on a wide range of studies and delve into the deep layers of Scripture.

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January 22, 2018

Ep.1005: Does God Bless Us When We Act in an Unrighteous Way?

Examining untruth, integrity and God's blessing

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Theme Scripture: 1 Samuel 21:8

When I was a kid and faced with the potential consequences ("consequences" nothing...I mean, I was faced with getting punished!) for my actions, there was often that moment that every kid dreads.  I had to tell my dad or mom what I did.  Now look, they already knew what I did; they were teaching me to own what I did.  Anyway, at those fateful and fearful moments, my dad would often say “tell the truth and shame the devil!”  This was never easy to hear for it reminded me that God is pleased with truth and the devil is pleased with lies, and even though lying seemed like a “get out of jail free” card, it was really an “out of the frying pan and into the fire” card.  Guidelines are easier when you are a kid.  As adults, how well do we do when faced with the gray areas and the white lies of life?  Do we have resolve?  Is it strong?  What is it based upon?  Can God bless us when in those gray areas? Does God just accept us as we are?

Continue Reading

David of the Old Testament was called “a man after God’s own heart.”  His life was tumultuous, tragic at times and varied to say the least.  David at a young age was anointed to be the next king of Israel and went from being the young man who killed the giant Goliath to becoming a highly respected and sought after warrior in Saul’s army.  When Saul’s heart turned dark, David’s death became Saul’s obsession.  Here is where the whole "acting in an unrighteous way" comes into play.  The Old Testament records several instances of David lying and making up stories to escape the unstable and obsessive reach of Saul.  At first glance we might have polar opposite reactions.  Some might say that this is not so bad – the guy is a madman and David needed to escape.  Others might say that this way off the mark as lying is clearly and repetitively condemned in Scripture.

Here we have a man after God’s own heart – who on several occasions did not tell the truth.  Here is the thing...God blessed him throughout his life so we have to ask if that blessing was at all because of these specific untruths or was it in spite of them, or could the answer contain some of both?  Let’s look at what we know.  God simply does not bless unrighteous behavior.  He does, however, bless those who are truly seeking to do His will, in spite of their unrighteous behavior.  Where does that leave us with David and consequences for his actions?

Check out our January 22, 2018 podcast, “Does God Bless Us when we act in an Unrighteous Way?” and see where some of the untruths of David’s survival tactics fit in with the blessing of God.  Some of the answers here may be surprising.  By the way, what about us?  Are we in the same category as David, or as Christians are we bound by different standards?  What are you waiting for?  Find out!

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January 22, 2018

VIDEO: Does God Bless Us When We Act in an Unrighteous Way?

How well do we do when faced with the gray areas and the white lies of life? Do we have resolve? Is it strong? What is it based upon? Can God bless us when in those gray areas? Watch this short vlog and then listen to the full podcast episode of the same name where we drop in on David of the Old Testament, who seemingly used lying and deceit at different points in his life.  Should we follow his example?

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January 15, 2018

VIDEO: Is My Gender YOUR Business?

On this information-filled podcast, this explosive subject is dealt with head on from a medical standpoint, overlayed with Christian principles.  The topic is treated with respect and empathy.  Watch this short vlog and then listen to the full podcast to get our take on this aspect of society.

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January 15, 2018

Ep.1004: Is My Gender Your Business?

Bringing transgender community truths and Christian love together

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CHAPTERS

[00:18:16]
Where does medical science weigh in?


[00:36:41]
In the long-term, does a transgender individual usually find happiness?


[00:54:01]
Are we giving children who claim to be transgender the most effective support possible?


[01:12:53]
Where do we go from here?


Theme Scripture: Hebrews 12:13

As Charles Dickens opened his classic novel, A Tale of Two Cities, he wrote, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” He went on to explain the contradictions of his own culture. Here we are generations later, and we can easily say the same thing. Our culture is filled with wonder, technology and advancement, as well as suffering, misunderstanding and false narratives. One group of our culture that finds itself right in the middle of all of this is those who are transgender. For many, the idea of being transgender is not only foreign but perhaps even highly doubtful. For others, being transgender feels natural and needs not only recognition but respect as well. This truly poses a dilemma of understanding and acceptance for many on all sides of the matter. So, how do we, how should we as Christians approach such a sensitive and passionate part of our world? Where should we stand? Why should we stand there? How should we approach those with whom we may disagree?  Specifically we are talking about people who are transgender.  Being transgender is a separate issue from being gay.

Continue Reading

Gender identification

There are few issues in our present social environment that invoke such an emotional reaction as issues of gender identification. It was less than two decades ago that this was not a mainstream discussion, and as such was not in the minds of the vast majority of the population. To go from an almost zero awareness back then to what seems like a front row, everyday event now, is for most average individuals simply overload. What does this all mean? Is being transgender a choice or a destiny? Can children really understand their gender and what are the facts? These are all not only legitimate but necessary questions.

What does medical science say?

In this podcast we addressed these questions and more. Our approach was simple - look at the matter first though the eyes of medical science and then approach it from the standpoint of Christianity. While this approach might sound simple, it proved to be just the opposite. For regular people like us to be able to put our hands on reliable, complex and comprehensive information regarding being transgender was challenging. Where do you look?  Who do you trust? And then understanding what it all means – not what we might like it to mean - but what it truly means was daunting, frankly, sometimes surprising and at times even disturbing.

Check out our January 15, 2018 podcast, “Is My Gender Your Business?” and follow along with us as we look for answers to the really hard questions. We tackle and simplify things like:  the genetics of gender, puberty blockers - how they are used and the science behind them, mental issues and challenges commonly attached to transgender people, suicide rates and then the issue of children and the decision to pursue a transgender life. Most importantly and throughout we continually come back to a key personal question of Christianity and its role and responsibility.  While this certainly was not an easy or lighthearted episode, we believe it will prove to be a valuable tool for you to use in your everyday experience.

 

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January 14, 2018

VIDEO: How Do I Provoke in a GOOD Way?

How can you be a “positive provoker” to help others make better decisions and be happier in life?  We have some great suggestions using the Bible for inspiration.  Listen to our vlog and then to the full podcast on this subject.

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January 09, 2018

Ep.: What does the Bible say about cremation?

In the Garden of Eden after the fall, mankind was promised, “By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” (Genesis 3:19).

The standard practice for the nation of Israel in Bible times was burial in a tomb, cave or in the ground. However, the Bible nowhere indicates that burial is the only allowed method for managing dead bodies; nor does it specify that a body cannot be cremated. For example, when Saul and Jonathan were mutilated by the Philistines – their bodies were cremated and their ashes buried (1 Samuel 31:8-13).

Jesus’ own words suggest that it is not the method of disposal of remains that matters, but the quality of the life lived,

“Let the dead bury the dead…”
Luke 9:60

We know the resurrection is provided for all through Christ’s death, “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to judgment.” (John 5:28-29)

In 1 Corinthians 15, the Apostle Paul reminds us “…What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body.”

There is no indication that the same bodies of flesh which are buried (or reduced to ashes) will be what is raised. The Creator of the Universe does not need those original human organic components to reconstruct a resurrection body – He will provide a body as He “sees fit.”

Some Christians are firmly opposed to cremation, while others much prefer it to burial. The reasons are varied and the matter is a purely personal decision. The Bible does not dictate any approved method of body disposal.

To learn more about what happens after death, listen to our series, “Where Does Your Soul Go When You Die?”
Tags: , ,

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January 08, 2018

Ep.1003: How Do I Provoke in a GOOD Way?

Learning the what, who, why and how of positive provoking

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CHAPTERS

[00:18:15]
Listening, communicating, understanding and provoking are good! Does this mean we are done?


[00:36:09]
How do we keep from exasperating God?


[00:54:11]
Is there a level of provoking that is more general and less dramatic?


[01:12:06]
Is there a type of provoking to avoid?


Theme Scripture: Acts 15:39

The world is full of provoking and it is NOT A GOOD THING.  First, there is the provoking that takes place among children by way of demeaning and bullying those who seem weaker or different.  Then there is provoking on an adult social level as those on various sides of issues regarding personal freedoms and beliefs poke and prod one another.  And let’s not forget the provoking on a political level as those on opposite sides of the aisle name call and cast aspersions at one another.  Basically, provoking stinks!  Now that we have proclaimed that provoking is a problem, there is a verse in the Bible that tells us to provoke one another in a good way.  So, how does that work?  What are we supposed to say or do and how are we supposed to do it?  Can we provoke with a positive place purpose?

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One of my favorite parts of Scripture is the drama of life it permits us to experience.  The early Christian church had a major issue of how Christianity was supposed to work and it resulted in a lot of provoking.  Jewish Christians saw Christianity as an extension of the most sacred markers and traditions of their Jewish heritage.   Those who converted Gentiles to the faith saw Christianity as a freeing from all past heritage in exchange for sacrificial obedience as a footstep follower of Jesus.  This major dispute led to lines being drawn in the sand and the stacking up of opposing sides for supremacy.  As these battle lines formed, this debate had all the markings of negative provoking at its worst.

Then something happened.  Each side began to listen to the other, and though the debate and discussion was somewhat heated, they worked it out.  They provoked one another to a higher, more inclusive and more growth-oriented example of true Christianity.  They found a common ground and both sides committed to that commonality for the sake of not only themselves but the future of Christianity as well.  This simple summation of a complex event shows us that provoking can, in fact, have enormously positive and long-lasting potential, but honestly, don’t get too excited.  Why? ‘Cause positive provoking does not come naturally, easily or without a personal price along the way.  We cannot wish or hope or merely pray ourselves into such a position.  No, to learn to provoke in a solid and positive way we must grow into it.  Step by step, experience by experience, victory by victory and defeat by defeat.

Here’s an idea!  Check out our January 8th, 2018 podcast, “How Do I Provoke in a GOOD Way?” and see what it takes to get to a place within your own character where you influence on others is not only for good but it actually pushes those around you towards that which is good.  Think about that.  You can actually push others (gently and wisely, of course) towards better living and better decisions in their daily experience.  Now that is something worth learning!

 

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Ep.1002: What Would You Want Your Grandchildren to Know?

Focusing on the most important things to pass on as a legacy

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CHAPTERS

[00:18:41]
What does flow mean for those you leave behind?


[00:36:16]
What are the steps to get to where you want to end up?


[00:54:12]
Do you tell your legacy with the negative parts?


[01:12:10]
What challenges do we face?


Theme Scripture: Proverbs 1:7

Whether we think about it or not, we all leave a legacy behind us as a result of our life and experience.  Sometimes that legacy can be rich with wisdom, accomplishment and example, and other times our legacy can be a sad tale of unfulfilled potential, broken dreams and a trail of “if only” and “why didn’t I?”  The thing is, we choose much of what our legacy will look like!  What if you thought about your legacy in the context of leaving something behind of great value to your grandkids?  Aside from material things to give them physical comfort in life, what would you want them to learn?  What would you want them to know so that their lives could blossom with fulfilled potential and with true contentment?  Even if you don’t have grandchildren, let’s suppose that you do and are writing them a letter with words of wisdom…what will you say?  For example, Elijah in the Old Testament left us an amazing example.

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Most likely, one of the primary things we would focus on would be to attempt to transfer the wisdom we have attained through years of experience to the exuberance of youth they are now uncovering.  It would be so cool to be able to package such wisdom up into a box of gummy bears so our grandkids would gladly ingest it as another treat from grandma or grandpa, but you and I both know that’s just not going to happen.  For us the delivery of wisdom to young minds and hearts will take a much more clear and concerted effort on our part.  We would need to not only have a clear picture of what we want to impart, we would need to think through how to impart it (gummy bears notwithstanding) and how to deliver such important gems in a way that will be attractive and understandable.  We might even want to add a bit mystery.  After all, we are dealing with kids, and curiosity is a great tool!

Let me suggest that we begin with an age old truth, an age old equation that has over the last few generations begun to lose its footing.  This simple addition exercise is:  The honoring of God + the honoring of your parents = a beautiful character.  The wisdom here is fundamental in its placement and staggering in its results.  If we teach our grandkids that God is the center of their world and they are not, it provokes a dramatic pause.  If we teach our grandkids that honoring their parents is their best path to get to God, it provokes an understandable process. If we teach our grandkids that these two things added together will promote a healthy and contented life, it can once - it takes hold - provoke motivation.

Check out our January 2nd 2018 podcast, “What Would You Want Your Grandchildren to Know?” and join us as we, with the help of our special guest Todd Alexander, walk through this whole process of imparting wisdom to future generations.  This podcast is sure to waken some of the biggest and best ideas you already own regarding creating a legacy of wisdom and power for those you care about!

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VIDEO: What Would You Want Your Grandchildren to Know?

Whether we think about it or not, we all leave a legacy behind us as a result of our life and experience. Sometimes that legacy can be rich with wisdom, accomplishment and example, and other times our legacy can be a sad tale of unfulfilled potential, broken dreams and a trail of “if only” and “why didn’t I?” What advice do you want to leave your loved ones so that their lives could blossom with fulfilled potential and with true contentment? Watch this 2-minute vlog and then listen to the complete podcast to recenter your thinking about the influence you have on those closest to you.

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