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209 Items

The Unknown God

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THE UNKNOWN GOD Mike Johnson At the Areopagus, in the very well know city of Athens, Paul preached a sermon to a group philosophers and well educated men.  He started his lesson by saying, “for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: […]

So You Think You Have Problems?

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SO YOU THINK YOU HAVE PROBLEMS? Mike Johnson Christians have hardships from time to time. Some face social ostracism. Some have difficulties with their families because of their religious beliefs. Other Christians may have to suffer economically because of their stands for righteousness. There are times when a person might suffer physical abuse or even […]

Job Sinned Not

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JOB SINNED NOT! Mike Johnson Job 1 tells us of Satan’s quest to get Job, who was a righteous man, to sin against God. Satan had told God that the only reason Job was righteous was because God had, as Satan put it, “made a hedge about him.” Satan agreed with God that Job was […]

God Is Our Refuge (Psalm 46)

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GOD IS OUR REFUGE (Psalm 46) Mike Johnson In the 1500’s, Martin Luther wrote a hymn called, “A Mighty Fortress.”    The opening lines are: “A mighty fortress is our God, A bulwark never failing; Our helper He, Amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing.” It is said Luther based this song on Psalm 46. This […]

Blot Out My Transgressions (Ps. 51:1)

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“Blot Out My Transgressions” Mike Johnson In II Samuel 11 and 12, we can read the story where David committed adultery with Bathsheba.  To cover up his sin, he had her husband, Uriah, murdered.  He was eventually confronted by Nathan, a prophet of God.  At this point, David admitted he had sinned against the Lord. […]

Be Still and Know That I Am God (Ps. 46:10)

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“BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD” (Ps. 46:10) Mike Johnson In Psalm 46:10 God said, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” It is thought this was written during the time frame when Hezekiah was the king of […]

Where Is This Coming He Promised?

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(II Peter 3) “WHERE IS THIS COMING HE PROMISED?” Mike Johnson The Bible frequently speaks of the second coming of Christ.  In one of the historical accounts (Acts 1:8-11), the Apostles were told by two angels, after Jesus had ascended to Heaven, “…Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same […]

Praise the Lord! (Ps. 111)

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Praise the Lord! (Ps. 111) Mike Johnson Psalm 111:1 says, “Praise the Lord! I will praise the Lord with my whole heart, In the assembly of the upright and in the congregation.” This verse starts out by exclaiming, “Praise the Lord!”  This expression is sometimes regarded as the title of this Psalm.  With certainty, it […]

God’s Perfect Law of Liberty

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God’s Perfect Law of Liberty Mike Johnson James 1:25 says, “But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”  This verse reveals some important points about God’s perfect law […]

How Do You View Sin?

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How Do You View Sin? Mike Johnson In our society today, sin is often viewed as acceptable.  In the past, however, shame was often associated with sin.  Today, it is common for people to admit openly to engaging in sinful practices, making no attempt to hide them.  For example, a couple living together, although now  […]

Looking Into God’s Mirror

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Looking Into God’s Mirror (James 1:22-25) Mike Johnson Mirrors are everywhere.  Most bathrooms have a mirror.  They also may be strategically placed in various places in a house.  We see them in stores, they are in our automobiles,  and a woman will often carry a mirror in her purse.  It is not usually very difficult […]

The House of Mourning

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The House of Mourning Mike Johnson Ecclesiastes 7:2 says, “It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.” Why is it better to go to the house of mourning […]

A Blessed Rest

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A Blessed Rest Mike Johnson Revelation 14:13 says, “And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.”  The word “blessed” means “happy.”  There is an […]

“The Heavens Declare the Glory of God” (Psalm 19)

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“The Heavens Declare the Glory of God” (Psalm 19) Mike Johnson Psalm 19 is beautifully written and has been revered by many people over the years. From it, many have been caused to conclude there is a God who created the universe, and He has revealed Himself to mankind through the Scriptures. As can be […]

Caution & Compensation

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Caution And Compensation (Psalm 19:11) Mike Johnson In speaking about God’s commandments, Psalm 19:11 says, “Moreover by them Your servant is warned, And in keeping them there is great reward.” Here we are told God’s Word warns us.  A warning is usually associated with danger.  Parents, for example, warn their children when there is danger.  […]

Applying God’s Word

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Applying God’s Word Mike Johnson People often hear the Word of God but are not willing to obey it.  Some may intend to obey, but they never seem to get around to it.  It is not enough to simply hear or even know God’s Word: we must be willing to obey it. Notice an interesting […]

They Are Without Excuse

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“They Are Without Excuse” (Romans 1:19-20) Mike Johnson In Romans 1 and 2, there is a discussion of the spiritual conditions of both the Jews and the Gentiles.  The conclusion is found in Romans 3:23 which points out all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Although the Jews were God’s chosen […]

Design Demands a Designer (Psalm 19)

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Design Demands a Designer (Psalm 19) Mike Johnson Psalm 19:1-4 says,  “The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language Where their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the […]

The Importance of Words And Thoughts

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The Importance of Words and Thoughts Mike Johnson (Psalm 19:14) Psalm 19:14 says, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.” This verse is found at the end of a very beautiful Psalm.  In verses 1-6, the writer spoke […]

Presumptuous Sins

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Presumptuous Sins Mike Johnson Psalm 19:13 says, “Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; Let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, And I shall be innocent of great transgression.” What is a presumptuous sin?  This is a sin which is committed with arrogance and grows out of self-reliance and […]

My Rock & My Redeemer

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My Rock & My Redeemer Mike Johnson Psalm 19:14 says, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.”  Consider the last part of the verse where the Psalmist refers to God as his strength and redeemer. The Hebrew word […]

More Valuable Than Gold

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More Valuable Than Gold Mike Johnson Psalm 19:10 (thought to be written by David) says the Word of God is “… more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.” (NASB) Wealth, whether in the form of gold or some other type of precious metal […]

Acceptance by Our Strength And Redeemer

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Acceptance by Our Strength And Redeemer (Psalm 19:14) Mike Johnson Psalm 19:14 says, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.” This verse is found at the end of a very beautiful Psalm.  In verses 1-6, the writer spoke […]

Leaving Something Behind for Your Children

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Leaving Something for Your Children Mike Johnson It is not uncommon for parents to leave an inheritance for their children, and it is nice for children to be able to receive it. From an inheritance, perhaps a child can pay off a car, a house, or maybe pay for college for someone in the family. […]

God’s Word Is Enduring

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GOD’S WORD IS ENDURING Mike Johnson I Peter 1:22-25 “Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides […]

A Study of Psalm 51

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A Study of Psalm 51 Mike Johnson In the Old Testament, there is a particular psalm in which the author expresses the depths of his heart in asking God for forgiveness.  He seems to have a childlike faith in God’s mercy and shows much profoundness and tenderness. Psalm 51 is often called a psalm of […]

God Is from Everlasting to Everlasting

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God Is From Everlasting to Everlasting Mike Johnson (Psalm 90)  It is thought Psalm 90 was written by Moses during the time the children of Israel were in the wilderness.  Based on the tenor of the Psalm, it was possibly written during a time when Moses was very discouraged.  In this Psalm, the greatness of […]

God Is Our Dwelling Place

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God Is Our Dwelling Place Mike Johnson It is thought Psalm 90 was written by Moses during the later part of the time the children of Israel wondered in the wilderness. In this Psalm, Moses concluded by appealing to God for compassion and mercy asking very humbly for God’s help. He contrasted God’s eternal nature […]

Are You Frozen?

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Are You Frozen? Mike Johnson I would like to relate a story which I have had for many years in my files.  I don’t know the name of the author, but the message is certainly clear. The story is called, “Waiting too Long.”    “Once a man standing by Niagara saw an eagle sitting on […]

A Broken & Contrite Heart

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A Broken & Contrite Heart Mike Johnson  In Psalm 51, the writer expresses great sorrow for sins he had committed.  It is thought this Psalm was written by David after his sin with Bathsheba.  He repeatedly asked God for mercy and forgiveness. Consider verses 16-17 which say, “For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I […]

My Sin Is Always Before Me

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My Sin Is Always Before Me Mike Johnson Psalm 51 is thought to have been written by David after his sin with Bathsheba.  In II Samuel 11-12, we are told David committed the sin of adultery and then murder trying to conceal what he had done.  He was confronted by Nathan, the prophet.  David admitted […]

Restore Unto Me the Joy of Your Salvation

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Restore Unto Me the Joy of Your Salvation Mike Johnson It is thought that Psalm 51 was written by David after his sin with Bathsheba.  In this Psalm, he is engulfed with emotion; he is asking God to have mercy on him and extend His forgiveness.  In the first part of verse 12 he said […]

Why Is Sin So Bad?

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Why Is Sin So Bad? Mike Johnson Psalm 51 is thought to have been written by David in connection with his sin with Bathsheba.  You might recall that he had committed adultery with Bathsheba, and he had her husband (Uriah) killed to cover up his deed.  In Psalm 51, David was expressing his remorse for […]

Have Mercy on Me, Oh God!

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Have Mercy on Me, Oh God! Mike Johnson Psalm 51:1-2 says, “Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your lovingkindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin.” It is thought that this Psalm was written by David […]

“Everything I Have Is for Sale . . .”

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“Everything I Have Is for Sale . . .” Mike Johnson A number of years ago a friend of mine had a classic automobile.  He really took care of that car.  Every so often, he would have it painted and would keep it polished to a showroom shine.  He took good care of it mechanically.  […]

Pray Without Ceasing

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Pray Without Ceasing Mike Johnson I Thessalonians 5:17 says, “Pray without ceasing.”  This verse is found in the midst of a series of short admonitions given by Paul near the close of the book of I Thessalonians.  He had just said that Christians should “rejoice always.”  These two admonitions can be connected.  Prayer is often […]

Worms For Sale

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WORMS FOR SALE  It is an old story, but is still worth telling.  A lark, singing in the high branches of a tree, saw a traveler walking through the forest carrying a mysterious little black box. The lark flew down and perched on the traveler’s shoulder. “What do you have in the little black box?’ […]

Support the Weak

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SUPPORT THE WEAK Mike Johnson Paul closes out the book of I Thessalonians with some very important and practical exhortations.  In chapter 5, verse 14; he “exhorts” (NASB — “urge”) the brethren to, among other things, “support the weak.” Christians certainly have a responsibility to “support the weak.” The weak are those who are spiritually […]

The Christian & Tithing

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THE CHRISTIAN AND TITHING Mike Johnson Should Christians tithe today? This is a very good question and one that is important. Tithing involves giving one-tenth to God. Many speak of tithing today, but is it binding upon Christians? Tithing was a part of the Law of Moses, and there are very strict regulations concerning tithing […]

These Names

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THESE NAMES Mike Johnson     A few years ago, while traveling, I took particular note of signs in front of church buildings.  After a period of time, I started making a list of the various names which groups called themselves.      At the end of the trip, my list was quite long and also interesting.  […]

The Kingdom & Colossians 1:13

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THE KINGDOM AND COLOSSIANS 1:13 Mike Johnson “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear son.” (Col. 1:13) The above passage reveals what God did for the Colossian Christians as well as for those who are Christians today and contains some very important information […]

Priorites

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Priorities Mike Johnson  “We need to put first things first.”  “You need to get your priorities straightened out.”  These are common expressions in our society.  Certainly, priorities do need to be kept in mind.  There are some things that are more important than others. The Bible has a lot to say concerning priorities.  God expects […]

Does Moral Goodness Make One a Christian?

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DOES MORAL GOODNESS MAKE ONE A CHRISTIAN? Mike Johnson Many honest and sincere souls have been deceived into believing that if a person is morally good, then he is a Christian.  No one can be a true follower of Christ without being on a high moral plane.  However, Christianity is more than simply being good. Acts […]

Daughters of Men, Sons of God

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DAUGHTERS OF MEN, SONS OF GOD Mike Johnson  “And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.” (Gen. […]

Can We Trust Our Feelings About Salvation?

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CAN WE TRUST OUR FEELINGS ABOUT SALVATION? Mike Johnson Some people seem to rely solely on their feelings for assurance of personal salvation.  They may say, “I know that I am saved because I feel that I am.”  They will often ignore very plain passages in the Bible about salvation because of a “feeling” they […]

The Book of Philippians

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The Book of Philippians Mike Johnson The book of Philippians was written by Paul to the church at Philippi.  This book has been called the most personal and spontaneous of all of Paul’s letters.  The word “joy” or “rejoice” occurs at least 17 times in the book.  The church at Philippi was the first church […]

Are All Religious People Christians?

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ARE ALL RELIGIOUS PEOPLE CHRISTIANS? Mike Johnson   Many people today are religious.  They may belong to a denomination and attend services regularly.  Others, while not belonging to any particular denomination, may believe in God, read their Bible, and pray from time to time.  These are all “religious,” but does the fact that they are make […]

The Parable of the Rich Fool

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The Parable of the Rich Fool Mike Johnson   The parable of the Rich Fool is recorded in Luke 12:16-21.  Here, Jesus said:  And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:  And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no […]

The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant

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The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant Mike Johnson The parable of the Unmerciful Servant is recorded in Matthew 18:23-35.  This parable was preceded by Peter asking the question, “. . . how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him?  Till seven times?”  Peter probably felt the number which he mentioned was […]

Does Every Person Have a Right to His Own Belief?

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Does Every Person Have a Right to His Own Belief? Mike Johnson  The answer to the above question is in one sense YES but in another sense is NO. To begin with, consider the question from a “constitutional” or “legal” standpoint.  One does have a right to his own belief in matters of religion according to […]

The Authority of Elders

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THE AUTHORITY OF ELDERS Mike Johnson Elders have a very important function in the Lord’s church.  They are to oversee the flock; they are to feed or shepherd the local congregation of which they are a part of (Acts 20:17, 28; I Pet. 5:1-2).  Elders are to watch for grievous wolves (or false teachers) who […]

The Parable of the Tower

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THE PARABLE OF THE TOWER Mike Johnson   The parable of the Tower and the parable of the King are recorded in Luke 14:28-32.  Both of these parables show the importance of “counting the cost.” Verses 28-30 records the parable of the Tower which we will consider.  Here is the parable:  For which of you, intending […]

The Parable of the Two Sons

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THE PARABLE OF THE TWO SONS Mike Johnson This very interesting parable is recorded in Matthew 21:28-32. At this point, Jesus’ enemies were making an intense effort to discredit Him. After their attempt, He presented, “The Parable of the Two Sons.” Verses 23-27 reveal the circumstances surrounding this parable.   The chief priests and elders had […]

The Parable of the Chief Seats

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The Parable of the Chief Seats Mike Johnson “When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him; And he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin […]

What? No Gym?

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What?  No Gym? Mike Johnson  A lot of people would be surprised if they visited a large church and found out that the church did not have a gymnasium or something called a “fellowship hall.”  People expect churches to be involved in social functions.  What does the Bible say about recreation as a function of […]

Elders

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Elders Mike Johnson The Bible clearly teaches that a local congregation is to have certain men ruling over them who are called “elders.”  Acts 14:23 speaks of elders being ordained in every church.  It says, “And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the […]

Where Did Can Get His Wife?

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WHERE DID CAIN GET HIS WIFE?  Mike Johnson The above question is a very old question.  Other questions are perhaps more important, but this question is frequently asked (sometimes by scoffers) and should be discussed. Genesis 4:16,17points out that Cain went to the land of Nod after he killed his brother.  Verse 27 says, “And Cain […]

Are We to Keep the Sabbath Today?

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ARE CHRISTIANS TO KEEP THE SABBATH TODAY? Mike Johnson Should Christians observe the Sabbath today?  Many people feel that those who worship on Sunday, instead of the Sabbath, are in violation of God’s Word. To them, assembling on the first day of the week instead of the seventh is a man-made practice. There are more […]

The Role of Women in the Church

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THE ROLE OF WOMEN IN THE CHURCH Mike Johnson The role of women in society has changed greatly in recent years. It seems that many are even pushing for an almost “gender neutral” society. Some changes that have taken place have been good but many have not been. The changes in society tend to eventually […]

I’m All Shook Up

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“I’m All Shook Up…” Mike Johnson  These words perhaps echoed from the facilities of a local congregation in Huntsville, Alabama  as they presented “A Tribute to the King of Rock & Roll.”  Pictured in the newspaper advertisement for the show was an Elvis impersonator.  I don’t know if “Elvis” sang this song, “I’m All Shook […]

Is Conscience A Safe Guide?

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IS CONSCIENCE A SAFE GUIDE? Mike Johnson “Always let your conscience be your guide.”  “Just do what your conscience says.”  This is the attitude many people have when trying to determine what is right or wrong.  They think as long as the conscience is followed, on some doctrinal matter or even on a moral issue, […]

Confusion Abounds

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CONFUSION ABOUNDS! Mike Johnson FROM HUNTSVILLE: I agree with “West Coast.” Protestant worship services are mostly selling tickets to ball games, pictures, records and signing petitions on political issues. There is very little spirituality. And the music is a disgrace. No hymns anymore just modern junk. –Disgusted GREENWICH, CONN: That Protestant person is not alone […]

The Church & The Individual

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THE CHURCH & THE INDIVIDUAL Mike Johnson  Sadly, there has been much division in the Lord’s church over the course of the last 30 to 40 years.  This division has centered on such issues as church-sponsored recreation and church support of human institutions (orphan homes, colleges, rest homes, homes for unwed mothers, etc.).  One argument […]

The Parable of the Ten Virgins

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The Parable of the Ten Virgins Mike Johnson  The “Parable of the Ten Virgins” is recorded in Matthew 25:1-13.  The passage says that there were ten virgins who were waiting for the return of a bridegroom.  He was delayed in coming, and the result was that five of the virgins, who were referred to as […]

The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree

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The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree Mike Johnson  Fig trees are mentioned quite often in God’s Word .  For example, Matthew 21 speaks of a withered fig tree; John 1 mentions a person being found under a fig tree; James 3:12 asks a question about fig tree.  The fig tree is also mentioned in […]

Profane & Vulgar Speech

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PROFANE AND VULGAR SPEECH Mike Johnson The use of vulgar and profane language is at an all-time high in our society today.  Profanity is everywhere, and it is difficult to escape from it. Without a doubt, the media (specifically television and the movies) has had a major impact on the way people talk.  “Hollywood” has […]

Religious Titles

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Religious Titles Mike Johnson Most preachers use some type of religious title. Some call themselves “Reverend.” Priests in Catholicism are called “Father.” One religious organization (the Masons) refer to certain ones in their organization by such titles as “Worshipful Master” or “Most Worshipful Grand Master.” What does the Bible say about the use such religious […]

Who Are These People?

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Who Are These People? Mike Johnson  Perhaps you are a member of the church of Christ, and you look at yourself as “mainstream” as it is sometimes worded.  You know that there are also people meeting in town who are supposed to be members of the Lord’s church, but you really don’t know much about […]

A Lesson from a Squirrel

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A LESSON FROM A SQUIRREL Mike Johnson  A few years ago while walking; I saw a squirrel fall from a tree.  This is something that I never expected to see.  I have often watched squirrels perform all kinds of amazing acrobatic feats.  I have seen them do a tightrope walk across a telephone wire; I […]

The Enslaving Power of Sin

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The Enslaving Power of Sin Mike Johnson  Man today often pictures sin as a pleasant delight.  Sin, according to many, is not something to be “avoided” but is something to be “pursued.”  The moral teaching of God’s Word is often looked upon as “old-fashioned,” and those who try to adhere to the high standard of […]

Are We Complacent About Sin?

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ARE WE COMPLACENT ABOUT SIN? Mike Johnson Many years ago my wife and I moved into a house which was very close to a well-traveled train track. Trains traveled on the tracks throughout the night.  At first, the whistles from the trains woke us up.  Before long, however, our sleep was rarely disturbed by the […]

The Conversion of Saul

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The Conversion of Saul Mike Johnson  The conversion of Saul is recorded in three places in the Word of God.  It is recorded in Acts 9:1-18, Acts 22:1-16, and Acts 26:12-18.  We will focus on the accounts in Acts 9 and Acts 22 as we examine this conversion case. Background Information Saul was born in […]

Saints

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  SAINTS Mike Johnson  There is a great deal of misunderstanding about the term “saint.”  Some think of the term in connection with receiving a second blessing from God which makes a person “sanctified” and incapable of sinning.  Still others say that after a person has been dead for a number of years, he may […]

The Parable of the Pharisee & the Publican

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The Parable of the Pharisee and the Publican Mike Johnson  The  “Parable of the Pharisee and Publican” is only recorded in Luke18:9-14.   Jesus pointed out that a Pharisee and a publican both went into the temple to pray.  He then contrasted their prayers and attitudes. The parable is addressed to “certain which trusted themselves that they […]

The Parable of the Net

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The Parable of the Net Mike Johnson  In Matthew 13, there are several parables recorded.  In this article, the “Parable of the Net” will be examined.  It is recorded in verses 47-50.   Here is the parable. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of […]

The Parable of the Marriage Feast

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The Parable of the Marriage Feast Mike Johnson  In Matthew 21, Jesus presented “The Parable of the Two Sons,” and “The Parable of the Wicked Husbandman” after certain chief priests and elders had questioned His authority (21:23).  After hearing these parables, they perceived that Jesus was talking about them (21:45), and wanted to arrest Jesus […]

The Parable of the Hidden Treasure

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The Parable of the Hidden Treasure Mike Johnson  Matthew 13:44 records the Parable of the Hidden Treasure.  It says, “Again the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that […]

Don’t Treat Prayer Like a Spare Tire

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DON’T TREAT PRAYER LIKE A SPARE TIRE Mike Johnson  Do you spend a lot of time thinking about the spare tire in your automobile?  Many people do not.  In fact, many do not even check to see if they have a spare tire in their trunk.  However, there is a time when all attention is focused […]

Was Peter the First Pope?

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WAS PETER THE FIRST POPE? Mike Johnson The above question is certainly a good question and needs to be considered.  There are many who think that Peter was the first pope.  However, the Bible does not even teach that there should be the position of a pope, much less that Peter was the first one.  […]

Peer Pressure

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PEER PRESSURE Mike Johnson  A woman who had reached the age of 102 was discussing her longevity.  She said, “Well, at least I don’t have to worry about peer pressure.”   Someone 102 probably does not have any peers left.  However, peer pressure influences most people, to one degree or another, and it is a great […]

Patience

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Patience Mike Johnson The term “patience” occurs frequently in the Bible.  Patience is a difficult lesson to learn in the age that we live in, yet, it is a trait that Christians must have.  The church at Ephesus, for example, was commended for their patience (Rev. 2:2-3).  Hebrews 12:1 says that Christians are to “run […]

Our Regard for Others

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OUR REGARD FOR OTHERS Philippians 2:3 Mike Johnson The book of Philippians emphasizes the importance of unity.  Paul, in Philippians 1:27, encouraged the Christians at Philippi to “ . . . stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel . . . .”  In Philippians 2:2, he […]

Going After the Noble Prize

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Going After the Noble Prize Mike Johnson Are you going after “The Noble Prize”? You might think, “How can I go after that prize? I don’t know anything about physics, chemistry, or physiology. I am not involved in the field of literature. I am not a well-known person who has done a lot for world […]

Missing Out on A Valuable Treasure

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Missing Out on A Valuable Treasure Mike Johnson  “One person’s junk is another person’s treasure.”  I am confident that almost everyone has heard this expression.  We know that something which may seem worthless to one person may be viewed as valuable by another.  The popularity of garage/yard sales in our country attests to this. An […]

The Book of Matthew

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The Book of Matthew Mike Johnson  The book of Matthew is probably the best known of all of the gospel accounts.  When people want to find the teaching of Jesus on any Bible subject, they will often start by turning to the book of Matthew.  This may be due to the fact that Matthew is […]

Church Growth 11 – Why Churches Die (4)

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CHURCH GROWTH (XI) Why Churches Die (4) Lukewarmness/Unfaithfulness Mike Johnson  There are a number of factors which may exist in a congregation which pertains to the spirituality of its members.  Over time, these factors will cause the congregation to die.  For example, a congregation may die because it does not receive sound preaching and teaching.  […]

Church Growth 10 – Why Churches Die (3)

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CHURCH GROWTH (X) Why Churches Die (3) A Failure to Evangelize Mike Johnson There are a number of external factors which can contribute to a congregation’s demise.  Such factors as the location of the building, the wicked times in which we are living, an inability to attract Christians who move into the area, and a […]

Church Growth 09 – Why Churches Die (2)

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CHURCH GROWTH (IX) Why Churches Die (2) Not Having Needed Leadership Mike Johnson There are a number of  external factors which can contribute to a congregation’s demise.  Such factors as the location of the building, the wicked times in which we are living, an inability to attract Christians who move into the area, and a […]

Church Growth 08 – Why Churches Die (1)

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CHURCH GROWTH (VIII) Why Churches Die (1) Lack of Proper Teaching Mike Johnson There are a number of external factors which can contribute to a congregation’s demise.  Such factors as the location of a building, the “wicked times in which we are living,” an inability to attract Christians who move into the area, and a […]

Church Growth 07 – Factors in Church Growth (4)

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CHURCH GROWTH (VII) Factors in Church Growth (4) Young People Mike Johnson There are many congregations today which have very few young people.  When a congregation starts to dwindle, often it is left with very few children.  Some young people grow up, get married, and move to another area.  Others remain in the area but […]

Church Growth 06 – Factors in Church Growth (3)

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CHURCH GROWTH (VI) Factors in Church Growth (3) Christians Who Move into the Area Mike Johnson A church may grow for various reasons.  Some churches grow because they are located in a city or in an area where many people are moving to.  Some of these people may be members of the Lord’s church, so […]

Church Growth 05 – Factors in Church Growth (2)

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CHURCH GROWTH (V) Factors in Church Growth (2) “The Times We Are Living In” Mike Johnson There are a number of factors which can affect church growth.  Sometimes, the lack of growth in a congregation is explained by the “times we are living in.”  The moral and religious climate of today can have a negative […]

Put Away Lying

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Put Away Lying (Ephesians 4:25) Mike Johnson “Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another.” (Eph. 4:25) This verse tells us that Christians are to put away lying.  The context tells us that the old man is to be put off, and the new man […]

Lying

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Lying Mike Johnson  The Bible has a lot to say on the subject of lying.  Lying is clearly disapproved of by God and certainly should be avoided by Christians. The Old Testament frequently speaks of lying.  Proverbs 16:17 makes it clear that a “lying tongue” is one of the things that the Lord hates.  Further, […]

The Book of Luke

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The Book of Luke Mike Johnson  Luke wrote the book of Luke as well as the book of Acts.  These two books are very similar in style.  A man named Theophilus was addressed in each book.  Luke and Acts are sometimes called companion books.  Acts is actually a continuation of Luke.  It seems that Luke’s […]

Loyalty

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LOYALTY Mike Johnson Several years ago I saw a bumper sticker on an automobile which said: “101% Bama— I’ll Never Change.”   The sticker expressed the extreme loyalty that the owner of the car had for his favorite football team, the University of Alabama Crimson Tide.  I take it that his loyalty would not be affected […]

Lie Not to One Another

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LIE NOT TO ONE ANOTHER Mike Johnson  The sin of lying is very common.  However, that does not make it right.  A famous preacher was once preaching to a very large audience, and he used in his text the story of Ananias and Sapphira who lied and were struck dead.  The old preacher proclaimed, “God […]

Lasciviousness

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Lasciviousness Mike Johnson  The sin of lasciviousness is mentioned several times in God’s Word.  It is important to discuss this sin, especially in the times that we live in. It seems that there are several definitions which can be given for lasciviousness.  The Greek word in the original is apparently a fairly broad word which […]

The Book of Job

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The Book of Job Mike Johnson The book of Job is a very important and useful book.  It is included in a category of books known as “poetry.”  The book deals with the problem of pain and suffering. The book of Job shows us some very important facts about God, Satan, and the problem of […]

Jesting

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JESTING Mike Johnson  Ephesians 5:3-5 has a list of sins that Christians are to avoid.  Such sins as fornication and covetousness are listed.  Verse four mentions the sin of jesting (KJV). It says, “neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient:  but rather giving of thanks.”  The NASB translates the expression “not […]

Hate Father & Mother

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Hate Father and Mother Mike Johnson  Luke 14:26 says, “If any man come to me, and hate not his father and mother, and wife, and children, brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be may disciple.”  Why does Christ say that we must hate our fathers and mothers and other family […]

The Book of James

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The Book of James Mike Johnson The book of James is a very practical and helpful book of the Bible.  The purpose of this article will be to give a brief overview of this very important New Testament letter. Let us start by asking, “Who wrote the book of James?”  This is obvious— James wrote […]

Infant Baptism

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Infant Baptism Mike Johnson  There is a lot of disagreement on the subject of baptism.  People disagree on the purpose of baptism as well as how one should be baptized.  There is also controversy on who should be baptized.  Some say that infants are proper candidates for baptism while others say that a person must […]

Immortality

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IMMORTALITY Mike Johnson  “Death is not a period but a comma in the story of life.” A comma is used in a sentence to indicate a pause.  A period is end punctuation.  It is used to show the end of a sentence.  With this idea in mind, the above quotation says a great deal.  It […]

Ignorance

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Ignorance Mike Johnson The moon was a thin crescent in the Canadian skies on the night that the astronauts neared it for the first landing on the surface.  A farmer in Nova Scotia could not get over the unnecessary risks that the astronauts were running and said, “You’d think they’d at least wait until it […]

The Health Inspector & Authority

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The Health Inspector and Authority Mike Johnson  Many years ago I worked in a meatpacking plant.  One responsibility that I had was to roll a vat, which contained tubular molds of lunchmeat, up to an ice bin and then fill the vat with ice.  I was told to use a stainless steel shovel which was […]

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 […]

The Book of I Peter

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The Book of I Peter Mike Johnson  The book of I Peter, as the title implies, was written by Peter.  Peter, along with his brother Andrew, was one of the 12 apostles.  Peter and Andrew were fishermen as were James and John.  Peter, James, and John seem to have made up an inner circle around […]

The Parable of the Servant

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The Parable of the Servant Mike Johnson The Parable of the Servant is found in Luke 17:7-10. “But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat? And will not rather say unto him, […]

The Parable of the Lost Sheep

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The Parable of the Lost Sheep Mike Johnson In Luke 15, there are three parables which teach the same general lesson.  They are “The Parable of the Lost Sheep,” “The Parable of the Lost Coin,” and “The Parable of the Prodical Son.”  In this article, we will discuss “The Parable of the Lost Sheep” which […]

The Parable of the Two Builders

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The Parable of the Two Builders Mike Johnson  From time to time a great deal of damage is done throughout our country and throughout the world as a result of extensive rainfall.  Flood waters, as well as mudslides, can cause death and destruction.  A house can actually topple down a hillside.  Such events, although tragic, […]

The Conversion of the Ethiopian

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The Conversion of the Ethiopian Mike Johnson  The conversion case of the eunuch from Ethiopia is one of the more familiar conversion cases in the Bible.  We know that the facts are accurate because they come from the inspired Word of God (II Timothy 3:16-17). The conversion is recorded in Acts 8.  The account takes […]

The Parable of the Sower

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The Parable of the Sower Mike Johnson One of the most familiar parables taught by Christ is the Parable of the Sower.  Most realize that a teacher has a great responsibility, but this parable emphasizes that hearing is very serious as well. The person who hears bears much responsibility.  The Parable of the Sower is […]

Church Growth 01 -Introduction-

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CHURCH GROWTH (I) Introduction to Church Growth Mike Johnson What can we do to make our congregation grow?  Brethren often ask this question. It is very important for a church to grow.  First, to even continue to exist, a church must grow.  A church not growing over a period of time is a dying church.  […]

Slow Paced Favors

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SLOW PACED FAVORS Mike Johnson  Proverbs 3:27-28 says, “Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.  Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and tomorrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee.” The verses make it clear […]

The Parable of the Wicked Husbandman

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The Wicked Husbandmen Mike Johnson  The Bible indicates that Jesus taught a great deal by parables.  He would take something that the people were familiar with and compare it to a spiritual truth in order to educate them.  In His parables, Jesus discussed such things as planting seeds, baking bread, finding a hidden treasure, going […]

The Parable of the Good Samaritan

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The Parable of the Good Samaritan Mike Johnson  In Luke 10:25, we read of a certain lawyer who tempted, or tested, Jesus with a question.  The question was, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?”  Jesus responded by asking the lawyer to tell Him what was written in the law.  This question should have […]

The Parable of the Lost Son

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The Parable of the Lost Son Mike Johnson  There are three very well know parables recorded in Luke 15.  They are: the Parable of the Lost Sheep, the Parable of the Lost Coin, and the Parable of the Lost Son.  The setting in which Jesus presented these parables is recorded in verses 1-2.  The publicans […]

The Parables /Introduction

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The Parables (Introduction) Mike Johnson  “All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake He not unto them.”  (Mt. 13:34)  This passage tells us of the beginning of Christ’s teaching by parables.  It also indicates that one of the chief methods employed by Jesus in his instruction was the […]

My Departure is at Hand

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“My Departure Is at Hand” Mike Johnson  In II Timothy 4:6, while in a Roman prison near the end of his life, Paul wrote, “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.” The Greek word (analusis) which is translated “departure” is found only here in the […]

Conviction

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CONVICTION Mike Johnson  Are you a person who has strong convictions?  Once you learn what the Bible teaches, are you willing to believe and practice it no matter what?  In the Bible, we can read of a number of people who had strong convictions.  At all costs, they were determined to follow God.  For example, […]

Lessons from the Tempting of Jesus

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Lessons from the Tempting of Jesus Mike Johnson There are three accounts in the Bible of the temptation of Jesus.  These are found in Matthew 4:1-11, Mark 1:12-13, and Luke 4:1-13.  Matthew and Luke give the more detailed account. The accounts tell us that Jesus was tempted by Satan after he had fasted in the wilderness […]

The Wrath of God

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The Wrath of God  Mike Johnson God loves us!  This fact should cause us to be greatly encouraged.  Many people do understand that God loves them but have misconceptions about His love.  One of the misconceptions of God’s love is reflected when people say, “God is a God of love; He will not punish me […]

What is Repentance?

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WHAT IS REPENTANCE? Mike Johnson  What is Repentance?  This is a very important question.  It is important to understand the meaning of repentance because repentance is essential to salvation.  In Acts 2:38 the people were told that they needed to repent (in addition to being baptized) for the remission of sins.  Thus repentance is certainly […]

To Live is Christ / To Die is Gain

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TO LIVE IS CHRIST/TO DIE IS GAIN Mike Johnson Paul wrote the book of Philippians, as well as some other books, while in a Roman prison.  He was in prison awaiting a decision about his fate.  He might be released and would then be able to continue preaching.   However, the decision could go against him, […]

Blaming Others for our Sins

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BLAMING OTHERS FOR OUR SINS Mike Johnson  It is very common for people to try to blame their mistakes on others. People have a tendency to want to shift responsibility, to pass guilt on to someone else. There is also a tendency to blame SIN on other people. This was done in biblical times by such […]

Cheetahs and Christians

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Cheetahs and Christians Mike Johnson  The fastest land animal is a large cat called the cheetah.  It can run like a car driving down the interstate—almost 70 miles per hour.  The cheetah is built for running.  It has long legs, a very strong flexible spine which works like a spring, bending up and down allowing […]

Rejoice Always

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Rejoice Always Mike Johnson  I Thessalonians 5:16 says, “Rejoice always.”  This verse is said to be the shortest verse in the Bible in the Greek.  Ironically, the shortest verse in the English deals with the opposite emotion which is sorrow.  This verse is John 11:35 which says, “Jesus wept.” It is amazing how many times […]

Thinking About the Hereafter

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Thinking About the Hereafter  Mike Johnson  A man once asked, “Do you ever think about the hereafter?”  He thought a few seconds and said, “I go in a room in order to get something, but once I get there I can’t remember what I went to get.  So I think, ‘what am I here after?’” […]

A Useless Religion?

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A USELESS RELIGION?  Mike Johnson  James 1:26 says, “If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless.” (NKJV) Do you know that it is possible for our religion to become vain? First, Jesus pointed out that it is possible for […]

Authority 12 (False Standards)

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  FALSE STANDARDS Mike Johnson  Why is there so much division and confusion today in the religious world — so many different doctrines and so many religious groups?   One reason is that so many have never been taught, or at least have never learned, the importance of Bible authority.  Some may acknowledge that we are […]

Authority 11 (Generic and Specific Authority)

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GENERIC AND SPECIFIC AUTHORITY  Mike Johnson There are many who have failed to understand the concept of generic and specific authority. They may understand that we are governed by direct command or statement, approved example, and necessary inference.  However, if they do not understand the concept of generic and specific authority, along with the concept […]

Authority 10 (Necessary Inference)

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NECESSARY INFERENCE  Mike Johnson We are governed today by three forms of Bible authority.  These are direct command or statement, approved example, and necessary inference or conclusion.  Most are willing to accept direct commands or statements as forms of Bible authority.  Some may question the concept of approved example, but there is a growing number […]

Authority 09 – (Approved Example)

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APPROVED EXAMPLE Mike Johnson  What should be our attitude toward the concept of “example” as an acceptable form of Bible authority?  There are three possible attitudes one might have.   First, one might say that all examples are binding.  This attitude is unlikely, however, and, as we will see later, this would actually be a ridicules […]

Authority 08 (Direct Statement)

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DIRECT STATEMENT Mike Johnson  The Bible teaches that we are governed by direct commands (along with approved example and necessary inference), but, in addition, there are other kinds of statements which do not actually occur in the command form, but they still serve as our guide. These statements actually have the same force of authority […]

Authority 07 (Direct Command)

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DIRECT COMMAND Mike Johnson  How is Bible authority established? It seems clear from the Scriptures that God intends for us to derive our authority for our actions and beliefs in four ways. These are direct command, direct statement, approved apostolic example, and necessary inference. (Sometimes direct command and direct statement are combined.) The forms of […]

Authority 06 (The Silence of the Scriptures)

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THE SILENCE OF THE SCRIPTURES Mike Johnson  What should be our attitude regarding the silence of the Scriptures?  What should be done regarding those situations about which the Lord says nothing?  These questions pertaining to the silence of the Scriptures are very important.  Disagreement on how to regard the silence of the Scriptures has caused much […]

Authority 05 (Adherence to the New Testament)

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ADHERENCE TO THE NEW TESTAMENT Mike Johnson  It is clear in the Old Testament that God’s Word was intended to be adhered to and not deviated from it in any way (Deut. 4:1-4, 5:32-33; Josh 1:7; Num. 22:18, 24:13; Pb. 4:26-27, 30:5-6; Lev. 18:4-5).  Consider now the same concept from the New Testament. Jude (v. […]

Authority 04 (Authority & the Old Testament)

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AUTHORITY AND THE OLD TESTAMENT Mike Johnson  One of the most vital questions involved in the study of Christianity is the question of supreme authority.   During the life of Christ, this question was discussed as the chief priests and elders asked, “By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority?” (Mt. 21:23)  […]

Authority 03 (The Authority of the Bible)

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THE AUTHORITY OF THE BIBLE Mike Johnson  The authority of God, Christ, and the apostles is very clearly taught in the Scriptures  (Ps. 50:10-12; Heb. 1:1-2; Mt. 16:19, 17:5, 18:18; II Cor. 5:20; Phil. 4:9).   Also, the Holy Spirit played a role as he guided the apostles “unto all truth.”  Consider now the authority of God’s […]

Strike the Tent

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STRIKE THE TENT  Mike Johnson The last words people speak before they die may be spoken under a variety of circumstances.  Sometimes a person speaks his last words without realizing that death is near.  For example, a person’s last words may be a comment about what a beautiful day it is.  Sometimes a person’s last […]

Authority 02 (The Authority of God, Christ, & the Apostles)

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THE AUTHORITY OF GOD, CHRIST, & THE APOSTLES Mike Johnson  Everyone is subject to authority today.  Many are employees and are thus subject to the authority of their employers.  All of us, whether we want to be or not, are under the authority of our government.  There is authority that by choice we put ourselves under, […]

The Brevity of Life

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The Brevity of Life Mike Johnson The Bible uses many different terms to express the brevity of life.  It describes life as a wind, a cloud, grass, a flower, and also as a vapor. (Job 7:6-10, 14:1-2; James 4:14; I Pet. 1:24).  The Christian and the alien sinner constantly need to have the concept of […]

Authority 01 (Introduction)

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WHY IS DIVINE AUTHORITY NEEDED? Mike Johnson  “By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority?”  These questions were asked of Jesus in the Jerusalem temple by certain chief priests and elders of the Jews (Mt. 21:23).  Although not sincerely motivated, these questions bring out two principles.  First, there is a need […]

God’s View of the Death of the Righteous

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God’s View of the Death of the Righteous Mike Johnson  Dealing with the death of a loved one can be one of the greatest agonies that a person has to face.  We think of the death of a loved one in terms of heartache, tears, sorrow, and pain.  Yet, Psalm 116:15 says, “Precious in the sight […]

Concern for Others

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CONCERN FOR OTHERS  Philippians 2:4  Mike Johnson   An often overlooked, yet significant passage, Philippians 2:4 says, “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”  This concept is contrary to the popular notion espoused by humanists and others who selfishly care only for themselves.  Many people today will only […]

Are All Believers Christians?

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Are All Believers Christians? Mike Johnson  Are all believers Christians?  The Bible answer to this question is “No.”  The Bible teaches that becoming a Christian takes more than simply being a believer. John 12:42-43 actually speaks of unsaved believers.  It says, “Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees […]

Swift to Hear, Slow to Speak, Slow to Wrath

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SWIFT TO HEAR, SLOW TO SPEAK, SLOW TO WRATH  Mike Johnson  In James 1:19, James addresses his “beloved brethren” and gives a very important admonition.  The verse  says, “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.” Contextually, this exhortation seems to refer particularly to our disposition […]

The Purpose of Baptism

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The Purpose of Baptism Mike Johnson  Baptism has been a controversial subject in the religious world and also a neglected subject by many preachers and teachers.  Baptism is not at all an obscure subject as the word “baptism,” or some form of it, occurs more than one hundred times in the New Testament.  This subject […]

He That is Baptized Not?

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HE THAT IS BAPTIZED NOT?  Mike Johnson  Mark 16:16 says, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved….”  This verse shows plainly the purpose of both “belief” and “baptism.”  However, some point out that since the last part of verse 16 says, “…but he that believeth not shall be damned,” and does not say, […]

Baptism and the Conversion of Saul

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BAPTISM AND THE CONVERSION OF SAUL Mike Johnson  The conversion of Saul is recorded in Acts 9.  We learn here that Saul was on his way to Damascus to persecute Christians when the Lord appeared to him.  At this point, he realized that Christ was actually God’s son ( v. 6).  Saul was told to go […]

Belief & Baptism

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BELIEF AND BAPTISM Mike Johnson Mark 16:16 says, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned.”  Jesus spoke these words just prior to his ascension.  Here, salvation is promised but it is conditional.  Actually, there are two conditions stated as being necessary for salvation. They are […]

The Silent Killer

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The Silent Killer Mike Johnson  High blood pressure is sometimes referred to by doctors as “the silent killer.”  It is referred to in this way because people often do not even know that they have high blood pressure until it has already done its damage. This is not an article about high blood though, but […]

God’ Inspired Message

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GOD’S INSPIRED MESSAGE  Mike Johnson  In I Thessalonians 2:13, Paul wrote, “For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively […]

Carried by Angels

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Carried by Angels  Mike Johnson An interesting line occurs near the end of Hamlet, as Shakespeare has Horatio saying these words as Hamlet dies: “…Good night, sweet prince, / And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!” (5.2.361-2).  Shakespear’s idea of angels being near when an individual dies does not conflict with what we […]

Bad Language

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Bad Language Mike Johnson The story is told of a farmer who drove his team of mules into town, but he was very late in returning.  His wife asked him what had taken so long.  The farmer replied, “Well, on the way back I had to pick up the preacher, and from then on, these […]

Bad Company

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Bad 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 […]

Use of the Bible

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USE OF THE BIBLE Mike Johnson People use the Bible in many different ways.  Sadly, some only use the Bible as a place to record marriages, births, deaths, etc. Some people use it to swear on, sometimes calling for an entire stack.  Others use it just as an ornament for a living room table, thinking […]