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Posts from April 2014

52 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? Some of the most famous statements ever made would not be remembered if someone had not listened carefully to what was said. Listening, and listening properly, 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 was easy to get along with.  However, some of the young men in the community just 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 that 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, “ . . .  Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and […]

Ignoring Sin

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IGNORING SIN Mike Johnson A very common statement made by many 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 very dangerous approach.  Many people are very complacent regarding their sins, and  instead of seeking a […]

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 clearly teaches that Christians are to hate sin! A number of passages speak about hating evil or sin.  Romans 12:9 […]

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 Evil surmising is listed as a sin in I Timothy 6:4.  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 know whether we are […]

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 is a principle that is easy to see, and most people understand it.   Consider an illustration from science.  We know that 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 […]

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

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Jonah Mike Johnson Most are familiar with the story of Jonah which is recorded in the book of 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 of the fish for three days […]

He Was a Faithful Man . . .

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HE WAS A FAITHFUL MAN WHO FEARED GOD ABOVE MANY Mike Johnson  The book of Nehemiah tells about the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem.  This was done by the Jews who returned from the Babylonian captivity.  After the walls were completed, Nehemiah appointed Hanani (his brother)  and Hananiah (the ruler of the palace) as rulers […]

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

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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 important lessons. […]

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 “buy” it, and once we have it, we are to keep it safe.  We should not be […]

Some Important Choices

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SOME IMPORTANT CHOICES Mike Johnson  Life is full of choices.  We must make decisions every day.  Some of the choices that we face are not as important as others.  The most important choices that we face are in the spiritual realm.  Jesus spoke of choices that each of us face in Matthew 7:13,14.  Here he […]

Can We Understand the Bible Alike?

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CAN WE UNDERSTAND THE BIBLE ALIKE? Mike Johnson If we understand the Bible at all, we can understand the Bible alike.  The Bible is truth and truth does not contradict itself.  There may be two people who disagree on a Bible passage.  These two cannot both understand the passage and still disagree.  The Bible does not […]

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 really wanted to.  However, there are two future […]

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

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

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.  This was done by the Jews who returned from Babylonian captivity.  Nehemiah appointed Hanani, his brother, and Hananiah as rulers of Jerusalem after the walls were completed.  It is interesting to note what is […]

How Do We Acquire Faith?

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How Do We Acquire Faith? Mike Johnson  There are many views concerning the means by which people acquire faith.  Some people say that 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.  […]

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.  He 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 unto thee?  O Judah, what shall I do unto thee?  For your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew that goeth 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 doest thou these things“?  “Who gave thee 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.  Although their motives were  not good, their questions showed that they understood […]

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?  It is very important for us to understand certain facts about the judgment.  The judgment 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 […]

I’d Be Wet All the Time

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“I’D BE WET ALL THE TIME”  Mike Johnson The Bible clearly 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 baptize […]

Don’t Judge Me!

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“Don’t Judge Me!”  Mike Johnson  In society, as well as in the church, people who are in leadership positions have lost their backbone!    Many people have gotten, what might be called, the “Ann Landers/Dear Abby” syndrome. (They wrote an advice column in the newspaperseveral years ago.)  What is this you ask?   This “syndrome” comes from […]

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 a lot of 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, […]

Respect for God’s Word

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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 unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, if any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the […]

In Everything Give Thanks

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“In Everything Give Thanks” Mike Johnson I Thessalonians 5:18 says, “In everything give thanks. . . .”  This teaching is given in the midst of a series of short admonitions near the end of the book of I Thessalonians.  Earlier, Paul had told them that they needed to “rejoiced always,” and that they were to […]

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, a number of passages teach that ignorance is not an excuse (Hos. 4:6, Rom. 10:1-2).  In fact, the Bible even commands that we add “knowledge” (II Pet. […]

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 might pull 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 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 common in our society.  There are those who try and keep their promises, and there are others who do not.  It almost goes without saying that the promises made by many people are often not very dependable.   Man makes promises but is not willing to keep them.  This is […]

God is Omnipotent

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GOD IS OMNIPOTENT  Mike Johnson  Do you know that God is omnipotent? Well He is, which means that 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 God’s power can be seen is that the forces of nature […]

God and Temptation

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God and Temptation Mike Johnson  A view held by many people is that God tempts people to commit sin.  There are others who feel that God is at least, in some way, responsible when people sin.  Does God tempt man to sin?  Is He responsible for our sins? An important passage to examine is James […]

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 […]