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Posts from April 2014

50 Items

The Purpose of the Church?

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THE PURPOSE OF THE CHURCH Mike Johnson  The Bible clearly teaches that Christ came and built His church.  In Matthew 16:16-18 he said that he would build His church, and in Acts 2 we can read of its establishment. Does the church have a particular purpose for being in existence?  If no purpose for the […]

How Well Do You Listen?

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HOW WELL DO YOU LISTEN? Mike Johnson How well do you listen?  We would not remember some of the most famous statements ever made if someone had not listened carefully to what was said.   Listening and listening correctly is very important to learning.  One person put it like this: “Talk, and you say what you […]

The Book of Mark

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The Book of Mark Mike Johnson  The writer of  the book of Mark is probably “John Mark” who is mentioned several times in God’s Word.  He was a cousin of Barnabas, and his mother was named Mary.  Mary was a faithful Christian in Jerusalem who owned the house where the Christians met for prayer while […]

A Lesson from Luther

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A Lesson from Luther Mike Johnson Luther was quite slow from a mental standpoint.  He was well-liked in the community, and it was easy to get along with him.  However, some of the young men in the neighborhood could not resist having some fun with him from time to time.  At the little store where […]

Three Great Questions

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THREE GREAT QUESTIONS Mike Johnson   Where do we come from?  What are we doing here?  Where are we  going?  These are three great questions which have always concerned mankind.  Philosophers have tried to answer these questions but have been unsuccessful.   However, since God has chosen to speak to us through the Bible, we can […]

Love for God

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Love For God Mike Johnson The Bible teaches we are to love God. Matthew 22 reveals a case where some Pharisees were questioning Jesus. A Scribe asked Him what the greatest commandment was. In verse 37, Jesus replied, “. . . You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and […]

Ignoring Sin

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IGNORING SIN Mike Johnson An often made statement made by people today is, “I just don’t let it bother me.”  In many areas, we would all be better off taking this approach.  With sin, however, this is a dangerous approach.  Many people are very complacent regarding their sin, and instead of seeking a remedy for […]

Hate Sin!

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Hate Sin! Mike Johnson The Bible has a great deal to say about the subject of hate. People typically think that Christians are not supposed to hate, and generally, this is true. However, the Bible teaches that Christians are to hate sin! Many passages speak about hating evil or sin. Romans 12:9 says that we are to […]

Go Away for Now

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GO AWAY FOR NOW Mike Johnson Luke tells us in Acts 24 of a time when Paul, who had earlier been seized by the Jews, was brought before the governor of the area—a man named Felix.  Charges were brought against Paul, and he presented his defense.  Felix, hoping to receive a bribe, refused to let […]

Flattery

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FLATTERY Mike Johnson At a reception in Washington, a widow asked a young man to guess her age.  “You must have some idea,” she said, as he hesitated.  “I have several ideas,” he admitted with a smile.  “The trouble is that I hesitate whether to make it ten years younger on account of you looks, […]

Evil Surmising

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Evil Surmising Mike Johnson I Timothy 6:4 speaks of the sin of “evil surmising.”  The passage says, (KJV) “He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings.”  What is evil surmising?  We need to know what it is to see if we are guilty […]

The Purpose of Baptism & Acts 9:17

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THE PURPOSE OF BAPTISM & ACTS 9:17 Mike Johnson If baptism is for the remission of sins, why did Ananias call Saul “brother” previous to his baptism?  This objection is sometimes raised regarding Saul’s conversion.  Acts 22:16 does point out that Saul was baptized to wash away his sins.  However, the response of the objector […]

The Importance of Truth

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The IMPORTANCE OF TRUTH Mike Johnson What is truth?  This is a very good question.  Pilate asked it in John 18:38.  He may, however, have asked the question with scorn rather than with a thirst for knowledge.  Nevertheless, it is still a significant question. Jesus said in John 17:17 in his prayer to God, “ […]

Truth Is Narrow

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TRUTH IS NARROW Mike Johnson Truth is narrow.  This concept is easy to see, and most people understand it.   Consider an illustration from science.  We know under ordinary conditions, at sea level water freezes at 32 degrees.   Suppose a scientist says, “I am very broad in my scientific beliefs.  I am not one of you […]

The Book of John

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The Book of John Mike Johnson  The book of John adds much to our understanding about the mission and the life of Christ.  It is an extremely important account of His Life. John was an apostle.  He was a son of Zebedee.  James, another of the apostles, was his brother.  John seems to have been […]

Jonah & the Great Fish

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Jonah & the Great Fish Mike Johnson Most are familiar with the story of Jonah, which is in the book of the Bible called Jonah.  Jonah was fleeing from God in a ship and was eventually cast into a stormy sea.  There he was swallowed by a great fish, and he lived in the belly […]

Church Growth 04 – Factors in Church Growth (1)

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CHURCH GROWTH (IV) Factors in Church Growth (1) Location of the Building Mike Johnson When a church does not grow, or even declines in its membership, questions are often raised as to why this occurred.  Why do some churches grow while others decline in numbers?  A number of factors can come into play. One factor […]

Lessons from Naaman (II Kings 5:1-14)

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LESSONS FROM NAAMAN Mike Johnson II Kings 5:1-14 tells us about one of the more well-known cases of healing in the Old Testament. This story tells of a man named Naaman, who was healed of leprosy by God. In this article, we will discuss the story of Naaman and then draw some valuable lessons. The Story […]

Buy the Truth & Sell It Not

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BUY THE TRUTH & SELL IT NOT Mike Johnson Proverbs 23:23 says, “Buy the truth, and sell it not . . .” This passage shows the extreme value of truth.  We are to spare no pains or costs to obtain it, and once we have it, we are to keep it safe.  We should not be […]

An Important Choice

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AN IMPORTANT CHOICE Mike Johnson Life is full of choices, and we must make decisions every day. Some decisions we must make are not as important as others are. However, the most important choice we face is in the spiritual realm. Jesus spoke of options that every person faces in Matthew 7:13, 14. Here he said, […]

Can We Understand the Bible Alike?

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CAN WE UNDERSTAND THE BIBLE ALIKE? Mike Johnson If we can understand the Bible at all, we can understand the Bible alike. The Bible is truth, and truth does not contradict itself. If two people disagree on a Bible passage, both cannot be correct, as the Bible does not teach two different and conflicting concepts. We may misunderstand the […]

Two Mandatory Appointments

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TWO MANDATORY APPOINTMENTS Mike Johnson There are very few things in life that we absolutely must do.  A person does not even absolutely have to eat.  A person, of course, must eat if he wants to live, but he can quit eating and die if he wanted to.  However, we cannot avoid two future events.  […]

Warn the Unruly

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WARN THE UNRULY Mike   Johnson  In  I  Thessalonians  5:14,  Paul  gave  some important teaching that all Christians need to listen to.  He stated that Christians are to,  “be patient toward all men,” they are to  “support  the weak,”  and they are  to  “comfort  the feebleminded.”   The first responsibility that  he  enjoins, however, is to “warn […]

Wise Men & Fruit

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Wise Men & Fruit Mike Johnson  Here are two questions that I would like for you to answer.  1. How many wise men came to visit Jesus when he was born in Bethlehem?  2. What kind of fruit did Adam and Eve eat when they sinned in the garden? Most would probably say that three […]

The Parable of the Great Supper

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THE PARABLE OF THE GREAT SUPPER Mike Johnson  “The Parable of the Great Supper” is recorded in Luke 14:16-26.  This parable was presented in the house of one of the chief Pharisees.  Verse one indicates that Jesus had gone there on the Sabbath day to eat bread.  While there, Jesus healed a man and also […]

Good from Bad (Phil. 1:12-14)

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GOOD FROM BAD (Philippians 1:12-14)  Mike Johnson Paul wrote the book of Philippians while in prison.  His trial had probably already taken place, and he seemed to be waiting for the verdict.  It appears he expected to be released but was uncertain about it.  Paul, no doubt, did not enjoy being imprisoned.   Nevertheless, it is […]

A Faithful Man Who Feared God Above Many

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A FAITHFUL MAN WHO FEARED GOD ABOVE MANY  Mike Johnson The book of Nehemiah tells about the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem by the Jews who returned from the Babylonian captivity.  After the completion of the walls, Nehemiah appointed Hanani, his brother, and Hananiah as rulers of Jerusalem. It is interesting to note the statement made […]

How Do We Acquire Faith?

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How Do We Acquire Faith? Mike Johnson There are many views concerning how people acquire faith. Some people say the alien sinner is to pray for faith. Others may say that God miraculously strikes a person with faith, and they may cite how they received “theirs” one day in a cornfield. We need to consider what the Bible has to say […]

Church Growth 03 -Improper Methods of Growth

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CHURCH GROWTH (III) Improper Methods of Growth Mike Johnson For some congregations, numerical growth is the most important issue.  They will do almost anything to obtain new members or to retain those whom they already have.  They take great pride in the size of their congregation, showing little concern about whether their methods of growth […]

Are All Good, Moral People Christians?

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ARE ALL GOOD, MORAL PEOPLE CHRISTIANS? Mike Johnson George is a good, moral man.  He is faithful to his wife and a good father to his children.  Geoge does not use profanity or drink alcohol.  He coaches little league baseball and is even considered to be a pillar in the community.  George, however, is not religious; […]

Watch Out for That Lion!

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Watch Out for That Lion! Mike Johnson Proverbs 22:13 says, “The slothful man saith, There is a lion without, I shall be slain in the streets.”  If a lion were really outside of a person’s house, he would be wise to stay inside.  However, in that it is a slothful (or lazy) man speaking, it […]

Church Growth 02 -Concepts of Growth

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CHURCH GROWTH (II) Concepts of Growth Mike Johnson There are actually two ways a church can grow.  Generally, when people speak of the growth of a church, they are talking about numerical growth.  The reason for this is that numerical growth can be easily observed, and this type of growth is usually looked upon as […]

The Parable of the Mustard Seed

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The Parable of the Mustard Seed Mike Johnson  Matthew 13:31-32 is one of the accounts where “The Parable of the Mustard Seed” is found, and it tells us about the growth of the kingdom. The passage says:  “Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of […]

Words of the Apostles and Jesus

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WORDS OF THE APOSTLES AND JESUS  Mike Johnson  Are the words of the Apostles of equal authority with the words of Jesus?  Some people view the words of Jesus as being that which a person must accept while viewing the words of the Apostles, and other writers of the New Testament, as less important.  Some […]

Instability

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INSTABILITY Mike Johnson “O Ephraim, what shall I do to you? O Judah, what shall I do to you? For your faithfulness is like a morning cloud, And like the early dew it goes away.” (Hosea 6:4) Hosea uses two figures in this verse to describe the spiritual condition of Ephraim (Israel) and Judah.  Their […]

Evil Company

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Evil Company Mike Johnson The story is told of two parrots who lived near each other. The one was accustomed to singing hymns while the other was addicted to swearing. The owner of the latter obtained permission for it to associate with the former in the hope that its bad habit would be corrected. Instead […]

By What Authority?

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BY WHAT AUTHORITY? Mike Johnson “By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority“?  These two questions, asked in Matthew 21:23, were asked of Jesus by certain chief priests and elders of his day who were trying to trap him.  Their motives were not good, but their questions showed they […]

Some Facts About the Judgment

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SOME FACTS ABOUT THE JUDGMENT  Mike Johnson   What does the Bible teach about the Judgment Day?  We need to understand particular facts about the judgment.  It is frequently mentioned in God’s Word and was often preached (Acts 24:25; 10:42).  Consider some facts in God’s Word about the judgment. IT IS CERTAIN Few things in […]

I Would Be Wet All the Time

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“I WOULD BE WET ALL THE TIME”  Mike Johnson   The Bible teaches that baptism is for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38) and, thus, is essential for salvation.  Sometimes people object to what this passage says about baptism by saying, “If baptism is for the remission of sins, then it would be necessary to […]

The Spirits in Prison

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The Spirits in Prison Mike Johnson I Peter 3:18-20 is a passage, which has prompted many questions. It speaks of Jesus having gone to preach to the spirits in prison.  The text says: For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put […]

Respect for God’s Word (Rev. 22:18-19)

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Respect for God’s Word Mike Johnson Revelation 22:18-19, a passage found near the end of the Bible, is a very significant passage.  It says: “For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written […]

In Everything Give Thanks (I Thes. 5:18)

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IN EVERYTHING GIVE THANKS (I Thessalonians 5:18) Mike Johnson I Thessalonians 5:18 says, “In everything give thanks. . . .” This teaching occurs during a series of short admonitions near the end of the book of I Thessalonians. Earlier, Paul told them they needed to “rejoice always,” and they were to “pray without ceasing.” We might […]

Is Ignorance An Excuse?

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IS IGNORANCE AN EXCUSE? Mike Johnson Some people seem to think that if a person is ignorant about what the Bible teaches, God will not punish him. However, many passages teach that ignorance is not an excuse (Hos. 4:6, Rom. 10:1-2). The Bible even commands us to add “knowledge” (II Pet. 1:5), and it commands […]

I’m Not as Bad as He Is

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“I’M NOT AS BAD AS HE IS” Mike Johnson Consider a case where an officer pulls someone over for speeding.  The officer approaches the stopped car, and the driver responds by saying, “I know that I was going over the speed limit, but I have probably been passed by two hundred cars just in the […]

The Inspiration of the Bible

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The Inspiration of the Bible Mike Johnson  There are many people who do not believe in the inspiration of the Scriptures, and this number seems to be growing.  There are even some religious people who deny “inspiration” in the sense that the Scriptures teach it.  They define inspiration to mean only that the Bible bears […]

God’s Promises

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God’s Promises  Mike Johnson Promises are prevalent in our society.  Some try and keep their commitments, and others do not.  The promises made by many people are often not very dependable.  We see this with politicians, salespeople, employers, and in some cases, even with friends.  It is also true that the passing of time makes […]

God is Omnipotent

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GOD IS OMNIPOTENT  Mike Johnson Do you know that God is omnipotent? Well, He is, which means He has ALL POWER.  Jeremiah 32:27 says, “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?” (NASB) One way we see God’s power is due to the forces of nature being […]

God and Temptation

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God and Temptation Mike Johnson A view held by some is that God tempts us to sin. Others feel that if God does not tempt us, He is at least to some degree responsible. Does God tempt people to sin? Is He responsible for our sins? A critical passage to examine is James 1:13. This passage […]

The Possibility of Apostasy

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THE POSSIBILITY OF APOSTASY Mike Johnson Consider this question.  Can one who has been born again, i.e. one who has entered into a proper relationship with God, conduct himself in such a way so as to be eternally lost?  Many say one cannot.  They hold a doctrine known by such names as “Once Saved,  Always […]

You Can Only Live So Long

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YOU CAN ONLY LIVE SO LONG Mike Johnson You can only live so long.”  According to an AP article, these were the last words of a tenor as he performed at the Metropolitan Opera House, in New York City, during a production.  The man was standing at the top of a ten-foot ladder when he […]