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280 Items

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Do Not Stand in the Path of Sinners (Psalm 1:1) Mike Johnson Psalm 1:1 says, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful.” Here we see a person must not walk in the counsel of […]

#1 – Introduction

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The Possibility of Apostasy (1) (Introduction) 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 to be eternally lost?  Many say one cannot.  They hold a doctrine known by such names as “Once Saved, Always […]

#10 – Hebrews 3:4-13

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The Possibility of Apostasy (10) (Hebrews 3:4-13) Mike Johnson The inspired writer wrote the book of Hebrews to the Hebrews (or Jews). Many of them had become Christians, and there was a tendency to return to the religion in which they formally practiced. They wanted to go back to the Law of Moses and observe […]

#11 – Hebrews 6:4-6

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The Possibility of Apostasy (11) (Hebrews 6:4-6) Mike Johnson Many passages teach that a child of God can fall from grace. One such passage is in Hebrews 6:1-3. Here, the writer urges certain ones (who he had characterized earlier as “babes” in Christ- v. 13), to “go on unto perfection.” He wanted them to become mature; […]

#12 – Hebrews 10:26-31

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The Possibility of Apostasy (12) (Hebrews 10:26-31) Mike Johnson We are continuing to examine passages which show the possibility of apostasy.  Consider a very familiar context in the book of Hebrews.  Hebrews 10:26 says,   “For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for […]

#13 – James 5:19-20

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The Possibility of Apostasy (13) (James 5:19-20) Mike Johnson James 5:19-20 says, “Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.” He is […]

#14 – Who Really Has Security?

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The Possibility of Apostasy (14) (Who Really Has Security?) Mike Johnson People who believe the doctrine of “once saved, always saved” usually place much emphasis on and take great comfort in their view, looking upon it as one of their most essential beliefs.  They also tend to see any group who does not accept this […]

#2 – Galatians 5:1-4

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The Possibility of Apostasy (2) (Galatians 5:4) Mike Johnson   Can a child of God fall from grace?  Galatians 5:4 plainly says to those who are Christians that they can fall from grace.   It seems some were teaching it was necessary to obey certain aspects of the old law to be saved, such as circumcision.   […]

#3 – II Peter 2:20-22

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The Possibility of Apostasy (3) (II Peter 2:20-22) Mike Johnson II Peter 2 describes particular false teachers.  Not only did they teach false doctrine (v. 1),  but they were very immoral.  Please read the entire chapter for a full description of these ungodly people. There is no doubt they were, at the time of this […]

#4 – II Peter 1:5-11

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The Possibility of Apostasy (4) (II Peter 1:5-11) Mike Johnson It would be incorrect to say these verses do not apply to a Christian. Peter is speaking “to those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of God and Savior Jesus Christ” (1:1). He says further they had received all things […]

#5 – John 15:1-5

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The Possibility of Apostasy (5) (John 15:1-6) Mike Johnson John 15:1-6  records the Parable of the Vine and the Branches.  It says:   I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that […]

#6 – Acts 8:5-25 (Simon)

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The Possibility of Apostasy (6) (Acts 8:5-25) Mike Johnson Many passages teach that a child of God can fall from grace.   Among them is Acts 8:5-25, which describes the conversion of the people of Samaria and a sorcerer named Simon.  Many responded to Philip’s preaching and became Christians.  Verse 12 says they believed, and Philip […]

#7 – I Corinthians 10:12

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The Possibility of Apostasy (7) (I Corinthians 10:12) Mike Johnson Many teach that once a person becomes a Christian, he cannot possibly be lost. This doctrine is known as “Once Saved, Always Saved,” “The Impossibility of Apostasy,” and “The Perseverance of the Saints.”  This teaching is contrary to many passages in God’s Word; among these […]

#8 – I Corinthians 9:27

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The Possibility of Apostasy (8) (I Corinthians 9:27) Mike Johnson In this series, we have been looking at passages that show the possibility of apostasy.  Many passages teach that a child of God can fall from grace. Among them is 1 Corinthians 9:27, which says, “But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, […]

#9 – I & II Timothy

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The Possibility of Apostasy (9) (1 & 2 Timothy) Mike Johnson In I and II Timothy, Paul calls Timothy’s attention to many things that can happen to a person’s faith. Those who teach “once saved, always saved” usually teach that people are saved by “faith only.” It should then be no trouble to see if […]

2019 (#1)

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A diamond is a chunk of coal that made good under pressure. The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity.  The optimist see the opportunity in every difficulty.” (Winston Churchill) Gossip and anger are like drinking poison and expecting someone else to die. A lot of us would like to move mountains, but few of us […]

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 […]

A Broken & Contrite Heart (Ps. 51:16-17)

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A Broken & Contrite Heart Mike Johnson In Psalm 51, the writer expresses great sorrow for the sins he had committed. According to the notes at the beginning of this Psalm, David wrote it after his sin with Bathsheba. He repeatedly asked God for mercy and forgiveness. Consider verses 16-17, which say, “For You do not […]

A Faithful Man Who Feared God Above Many

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

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 […]

A Lesson from Luther

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

A Prayer for Forgiveness (Ps. 25)

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A PRAYER FOR FORGIVENESS (Psalm 25) Mike Johnson Consider the following quote regarding Psalm 25. The sob of a great sorrow sounds throughout this psalm. The circumstances of its writing were those of desolation, affliction, distress, travail, as the latter part especially shows. Yet the main content is one full of help to all who […]

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 […]

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.”           Do you know that our religion can become vain? First, Jesus pointed out that our worship is futile if we […]

Abide in the Doctrine of Christ

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Abide in Christ’s Doctrine (II John 9-11) Consider a warning found in II John 9-11. These verses say, “Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not […]

Acceptance by Our Rock and Redeemer (Ps. 19:14)

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Acceptance by Our Rock 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 at the end of a magnificent Psalm.  In verses 1-6, the writer spoke about […]

Adding to or Taking Away From God’s Word

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Adding to or Taking Away From God’s Word (Revelation 22:18-19) Mike Johnson Revelation 22:18-19 says, “For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, […]

Adherence to the New Testament

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ADHERENCE TO THE NEW TESTAMENT Mike Johnson From the Old Testament, it is clear that God’s Word was intended to be followed and not deviated from 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. 3) told the early […]

An “Unforgivable” Sin?

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AN “UNFORGIVABLE” SIN? Mike Johnson 1 John 5:16 says, “If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin which does not lead to death, he will ask, and He will give him life for those who sin not leading to death. There is sin leading to death. I do not say that he should pray about […]

An Important Choice

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

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 be a hear only or know God’s Word: we must be willing to obey it. Notice an […]

Are All Believers Christians?

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Are All Believers Christians? Mike Johnson What is necessary for people to be acceptable in the eyes of God?  Many feel that to obtain salvation, all that is needed is the belief that Christ is the son of God. Does the Bible teach this? John 12:42-43 speaks of unsaved believers.  It says, “Nevertheless even among […]

Are All Good, Moral People Christians?

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

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 particular denomination and attend services regularly.  Others, while not belonging to any specific religious group, may believe in God, read their Bibles, and pray from time to time.  These are all “religious,” but does the fact that they […]

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, and trains traveled on the tracks throughout the night. At first, the whistles from the trains woke us up. Before long, however, the passing trains rarely disturbed our […]

Are We to Keep the Sabbath Today?

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ARE WE 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 violate 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 than 150 Biblical […]

Are You Frozen?

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Are You Frozen? Mike Johnson Consider a story, which I have had for many years in my files.  I do not know the name of the author, but the message is evident. The story is called “Waiting too Long.” Once a man standing by Niagara saw an eagle sitting on a lamb frozen in a […]

Bad Company

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Bad Company Mike Johnson There is a story told of two parrots that lived near each other.  One parrot often sang 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, the […]

Bad Language

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Bad Language Mike Johnson Once a farmer drove his team of mules into town. He was very late in returning, so 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 mules didn’t understand one word […]

Baptism and the Conversion of Saul

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BAPTISM AND THE CONVERSION OF SAUL Mike Johnson In Acts 9, we read of the conversion of Saul. Here we learn 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 God’s son (v. 6). Christ then told Saul to go […]

Be Careful Where You Sit (Ps. 1:1)

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Be Careful Where You Sit (Psalm 1:1) Mike Johnson   Psalm 1:1 says, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful.” The person who God blesses is one who will not walk in the counsel […]

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 […]

Be Very Careful (Eph. 5:15)

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Be Very Careful Mike Johnson Ephesians 5:8-14 emphasizes the importance of walking in the light, as opposed to darkness (9), which manifests itself in goodness, righteousness, and truth. Paul tells them they were to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness” (11). Verses 15-16 then admonishes, “See then that you walk circumspectly, not […]

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 […]

Benefits for Those Who Fear God (Ps. 25:12-15)

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BENEFITS FOR THOSE WHO FEAR GOD (Psalm 25:12-15) Mike Johnson Psalm 25:12-15 says the following: (12) who is the man that fears the Lord? Him shall He teach in the way He chooses. (13) He himself shall dwell in prosperity, and his descendants shall inherit the earth. (14) The secret of the Lord is with […]

Biblical Authority (TREATISE)

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    BIBLICAL  AUTHORITY   Mike Johnson       “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 works in […]

Biblical Authority 1 (The Need for Divine Authority)

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BIBLICAL AUTHORITY (1)  The Need for Divine Authority (Introduction) Mike Johnson “By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority?” These questions were asked of Jesus in the Jerusalem temple by certain Jewish chief priests and elders (Mt. 21:23). Although not sincerely motivated, these questions bring out two vital principles. […]

Biblical Authority 10 (Approved Example)

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Biblical Authority (10) 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, a person might say that all examples are binding. This attitude is unlikely, however, and, as we will see later, this would be a […]

Biblical Authority 11 (Necessary Inference)

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BIBLICAL AUTHORITY (11) Necessary Inference Mike Johnson Three forms of Bible authority govern us today. 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, and a growing number challenge […]

Biblical Authority 12 (Generic and Specific Authority)

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BIBLICAL AUTHORITY (12) Generic & Specific Authority Mike Johnson Many have failed to understand the concept of generic and specific authority. These people may realize the need for a direct command or statement, approved example, and necessary inference for Bible authority. However, if they do not understand the concept of generic and specific authority, along […]

Biblical Authority 13 (The Silence of the Scriptures)

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BIBLICAL AUTHORITY (13)  The Silence of the Scriptures Mike Johnson  What should be our attitude regarding the silence of the Scriptures?  What should we do regarding situations about which the Lord says nothing?  These questions are critical.  Disagreement on how to regard the silence of the Scriptures has caused much division over the years.  If […]

Biblical Authority 14 (Incorrect Standards)

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BIBLICAL AUTHORITY (14)  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 many have never received teaching, or at least have never learned the importance of Bible authority. Some may acknowledge the need for guidance […]

Biblical Authority 2 (The Authority of God)

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A Study of Bible Authority (2)  THE AUTHORITY OF GOD Mike Johnson Everyone is subject to authority today. Many are employees and are subject to the rule of their employers. We are all under the authority of our government, whether we want to be or not. There is authority we put ourselves under by choice, […]

Biblical Authority 3(The Authority of Christ)

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Biblical Authority (3)  The Authority of Christ Mike Johnson Many people today do not understand the importance of having Bible authority. In previous articles, we have noted that we must follow divine authority instead of trying to direct our own steps. We discussed the authority of God and noted that God certainly has the right […]

Biblical Authority 4 (The Authority of the Apostles)

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Biblical Authority (4)  The Authority of the Apostles  Mike Johnson Many acknowledge the authority of God and Christ, but do not accept or understand the authority of the Apostles. Some people today say we only need the words of Jesus to guide us. Some who take this position place a great deal of emphasis on […]

Biblical Authority 5 (Obedience and the Old Testament)

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A Study of Bible AUTHORITY (5)  Obedience and the Old Testament Mike Johnson One of the most vital questions involved in the study of Christianity is the question of authority. As was noted earlier, during the life of Christ, the chief priests and elders raised this question when they asked Jesus (Mt. 21:23), “By what authority […]

Biblical Authority 6 (The New Testament: God’s Message)

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BIBLICAL AUTHORITY (6) Authority and the New Testament Mike Johnson The Scriptures teach the authority of God, Christ, and the apostles (Ps. 50:10-12; Heb. 1:1-2; Mt. 16:19, 17:5, 18:18; 2 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 the […]

Biblical Authority 7 (Adhering to the Gospel Message)

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Biblical Authority (7) Adhering to the Gospel Message Mike Johnson From the Old Testament, it is clear that God’s for the Scriptures to be followed and not deviated from 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. 3) […]

Biblical Authority 8 (Direct Command)

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Biblical Authority (8) Direct Command Mike Johnson How do we establish Bible authority?  It seems clear from the Scriptures that God intends for us to determine biblical authority in four ways.  These are direct command, direct statement, approved apostolic example, and necessary inference.  (Sometimes direct command and direct statement are combined.)  A broader classification of […]

Biblical Authority 9 (Direct Statement)

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Biblical Authority (9) Direct Statement Mike Johnson The Bible teaches direct command is one form of Bible authority. (Others are approved example and necessary inference). There are, however, other kinds of statements, which do not occur in the command form but still serve as our guide. They have the same force of authority as a direct […]

Blaming Others for Our Sins

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BLAMING OTHERS FOR OUR SINS Mike Johnson It is widespread for people to try to blame their mistakes on others; we tend to want to shift responsibility. People also blame SIN on other people. Many did this in biblical times; regrettably, the blaming of sin on others also takes place a lot today. Commonly blamed for […]

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.  Nathan, a prophet of God, eventually confronted him.  At this point, David admitted he had sinned against the Lord. Most agree […]

Bridle That Tongue!

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BRIDLE THAT TONGUE! Mike Johnson Many are familiar with Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 15:8-9, where He says we can make our religion vain by “teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.  However, there is another way we can make our religion vain, which people may not be as familiar. James 1:26 says, “If anyone among […]

Buy the Truth & Sell It Not

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

By What Authority?

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

Can We Trust Our Feelings About Salvation?

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

Can We Understand the Bible Alike?

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

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 […]

Cheetahs and Christians

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Cheetahs and Christians Mike Johnson The fastest land animal is a large cat called a 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 strong, flexible spine which works like a spring, bending up and down, allowing it […]

Church Growth 04 – Factors in Church Growth (1)

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CHURCH GROWTH (4) Factors in Church Growth (1) Location of the Building Mike Johnson When a church does not grow, or even declines in membership, people may ask why this occurs. Why do some churches grow while others drop in numbers? Several factors can come into play. One factor can be the location of the building. […]

Church Growth 01 – Introduction

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Church Growth (1)  Introduction to Church Growth Mike Johnson What can we do to make our congregation grow? Church members often ask this question. It is essential for a church to grow. First, to even continue to exist, it must grow. A church that is not increasing over a period of time is dying. Second, […]

Church Growth 02 – Concepts of Growth

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CHURCH GROWTH (02)  Concepts of Growth Mike Johnson There are 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 we can easily observe the numerical increase, and we tend to look at this type of growth […]

Church Growth 03 – Improper Methods of Growth

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CHURCH GROWTH (3)  Improper Methods of Growth Mike Johnson For some congregations, numerical growth is the most crucial 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 […]

Church Growth 05 – Factors in Church Growth (2)

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CHURCH GROWTH 05  Factors in Church Growth (2) “The Times We Are Living In” Mike Johnson There are many factors, which can affect church growth. Sometimes, we explain the lack of growth in a congregation by the “times we are living in.” The moral and religious climate of today can have a negative bearing on […]

Church Growth 06 – Factors in Church Growth (3)

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CHURCH GROWTH (6)  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.  Some of these people may be members of the Lord’s church, so the […]

Church Growth 07 – Factors in Church Growth (4)

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CHURCH GROWTH (7) Factors in Church Growth (4) Young People Mike Johnson There are many congregations today, which have very few young people. When a group starts to dwindle, it is often 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 08 – Why Churches Die (1)

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CHURCH GROWTH (8) Why Churches Die (1) Lack of Proper Teaching Mike Johnson There are many 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 lack of […]

Church Growth 09 – Why Churches Die (2)

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CHURCH GROWTH (9) Why Churches Die (2) Not Having Needed Leadership Mike Johnson There are many 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 lack of […]

Church Growth 10 – Why Churches Die (3)

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CHURCH GROWTH (10) Why Churches Die (3) A Failure to Evangelize Mike Johnson There are many external factors, which can contribute to a congregation’s demise.  Such factors as the location of the building, wicked times in which we are living, an inability to attract Christians who move into the area, and a lack of young […]

Church Growth 11 – Why Churches Die (4)

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CHURCH GROWTH (11)  Why Churches Die (4) Lukewarmness/Unfaithfulness Mike Johnson There are many negative factors, which may exist in a congregation, which pertain to the spirituality of its members.  Over time, these factors will cause the congregation to die.  For example, a group may die because it does not receive sound preaching and teaching.  It […]

Concern for Others (Phil. 2:4)

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CONCERN FOR OTHERS  Philippians 2:4  Mike Johnson  An often overlooked yet significant passage, Philippians 2:4 says, “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”  The NASB says, “your own personal interests.” This concept is contrary to the popular notion espoused by humanists and others […]

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 with the complaints […]

Contend Earnestly for the Faith (Jude 3)

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Contend Earnestly for the Faith (Jude 3) Mike Johnson It is clear from the Old Testament that God intended for us to adhere to His Word, and the Scriptures should not violated (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 standpoint of the […]

Conviction

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CONVICTION Mike Johnson Are you a person who has strong conviction?  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 many people who were like this.  At all costs, they were determined to follow God.  For example, Paul, Stephen, […]

Daughters of Men, Sons of God (Gen. 6:1-2)

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DAUGHTERS OF MEN, SONS OF GOD Mike Johnson “Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose.” […]

Delighting on God’s Law (Ps. 1:2)

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Delighting on God’s Law (Psalm 1:2) Mike Johnson   Psalm 1:1 tells us the person who will be blessed by God must not walk in the counsel of the ungodly, he must not stand in the path of sinners, and he must not sit in the seat of the scornful.  Then verse 2 describes a […]

Design Demands a Designer (Ps. 19:1-4)

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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 […]

Divine Authority

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DIVINE AUTHORITY  Mike Johnson “By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority?” These questions were asked of Jesus in the Jerusalem temple by certain Jewish chief priests and elders (Mt. 21:23). Although not sincerely motivated, these questions bring out two vital principles. First, there is a need for authority in religion, […]

Do Not Be like the Chaff (Ps. 1:4)

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Do Not Be like the Chaff (Psalm 1:4) Mike Johnson Psalm 1:1-3 describes a godly person.  This passage tells us that righteous people do not walk in the council of the ungodly; they do not stand in the path of sinners; they do not sit in the seat of the scornful.  Instead, they delight in […]

Do Not Judge Me

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“Do Not Judge Me” Mike Johnson Matthew 7:1 says, “Judge not, that you be not judged.”  Many people know this passage, but often misunderstand it. They have the mistaken idea that if we do not agree with them on specific Bible questions or their manner of life, we should not say anything about it.  If […]

Do Not Preach Any Other Gospel

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Do Not Preach Any Other Gospel! (Galatians 1:6-9) Mike Johnson In Galatians 1, Paul said he marveled because the Galatians were “turning away so soon” to “a different gospel.”  He also pointed out there were some who had troubled them and wanted to pervert the gospel of Christ.  Then (v. 8) he warned, “But even […]

Do We Really Love God?

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DO YOU REALLY LOVE GOD? Mike Johnson  Do you genuinely love God? If asked this question, many people would say, “Yes.” However, how many do truly love God? I John 5:3 says, “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.” Thus, a test of our […]

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.  People do have a right to their own belief in matters of religion according to […]

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 mistakenly believe that if a person is morally good, then he is a Christian.  No one can be a faithful follower of Christ without being on a high moral plane.  However, Christianity is more than merely being moral. Acts 10 tells about […]

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 […]

Everything I Have Is for Sale . . .

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“Everything I Have Is for Sale . . .” Mike Johnson Many years ago, a friend of mine had a classic automobile.  He 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; any work needed, […]

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 […]

Evil Surmising

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

Facing the “Spin Cycles” of Life (Ps. 37)

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FACING THE “SPIN CYCLES” OF LIFE (Psalm 37) Mike Johnson Consider the following story about a boy who wanted to wash his cat. The little boy went to the store and bought some Tide detergent.  The cashier said to the boy, “It’s nice of you to run errands for your parents. Do you do the […]

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, […]

Following Elders into Error

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FOLLOWING ELDERS INTO ERROR Mike Johnson Elders have a vital 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 threaten […]

Get Some Good Advice! (Ps. 1:1)

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GET SOME GOOD ADVICE! (Psalm 1:1) Mike Johnson Psalm 1:1 says, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful.” In this passage, we see what we cannot do if we want to be blessed by […]

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 […]

God and Temptation

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

God Is from Everlasting to Everlasting (Ps. 90:2)

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God Is From Everlasting to Everlasting Mike Johnson (Psalm 90:2)  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 Just & Impartial

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God Is Just & Impartial Mike Johnson The Bible teaches that God is impartial.  Psalm 89:14 says, “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Mercy and truth go before Your face.”  In Acts 10:34, Peter told Cornelius, “…In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality.” Those who make decisions today may not […]

God Is Love

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GOD IS LOVE Mike Johnson 1 John 4:8 says, “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”   This verse shows the importance of love.  As the passage points out, a person who does not love others does not even “know God” since “God is love.”  It is interesting to note […]

God is Omnipotent

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

God Is Omnipresent

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 GOD IS OMNIPRESENT Mike Johnson  Is God omnipresent? The Bible does indeed teach this idea. Being omnipresent means He is all or ever-present. It is possible today to flee or hide from other people. A fugitive, for example, may remain at large for many years or perhaps even for a lifetime. No one, however, can […]

God Is Omniscient

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GOD IS OMNISCIENT Mike Johnson God is omniscient, which means He has infinite knowledge, i.e., He knows all. I John 3:20 points out that God “knows all things,” and Psalm 147:5 says, “Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite.” One way God reveals His knowledge is through the prophecies of […]

God Is Our Dwelling Place (Ps. 90:1)

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God Is Our Dwelling Place Mike Johnson According to the beginning note, Moses wrote Psalm 90.  A standard view is that Moses wrote the Psalm during the later part of the time the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness. In this Psalm, Moses concluded by appealing to God for compassion and mercy, asking very […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

God’s Promises

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

God’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 […]

God’s Word Is Enduring (I Pet. 1:22-25)

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GOD’S WORD IS ENDURING Mike Johnson 1 Peter 1:22-25 says, “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 […]

Going After the Noble Prize

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Going After the Noble Prize Mike Johnson Are you going for “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 […]

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

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

Hate Father & Mother

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Hate Father and Mother Mike Johnson  Luke 14:26 says, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.”  Why does Christ say that we must hate our fathers and mothers and other family members?  […]

Hate Sin!

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

Have Mercy on Me, Oh God! (Ps. 51:1-2)

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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.” David wrote this Psalm, it is thought, after his sin […]

He That is Baptized Not?

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HE THAT IS BAPTIZED NOT?  Mike Johnson Mark 16:16 says, “He who believes and is baptized will 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 who does not believe will be condemned,” and does not […]

Heed the Warnings (Ps. 19:11)

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Heed the Warnings (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.” It is clear, God’s Word warns us.  A warning is usually associated with danger.  Parents, for example, remind their children when there is danger.  Similarly, […]

How Do We Acquire Faith?

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

How Do You View Sin?

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How Do You View Sin? Mike Johnson In our society today, there is often acceptance of sin. In the past, however, shame was often associated with sin. Today, it is common for people to admit openly to engaging in sinful practices, not even attempting to hide them. For example, a couple living together, although now […]

How Excellent Is Your Name (Psalm 8)

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HOW EXCELLENT IS YOUR NAME (Psalm 8) Mike Johnson  Some consider Psalm 8, “the most well-known psalm people have never read.”  Understandably, the tendency today is to focus more on the New Testament, which results in people having less familiarity with the Old Testament.   Yet, quotations of Psalm 8 occur so much in the New […]

How to Live a Happy Life (Ps. 1)

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How to Live a Happy Life (Psalm 1) Mike Johnson Psalm 1:1-2 says, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law […]

How to Not Have God

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How to Not Have God (II John 9-11) Mike Johnson 2 John 9-11 says, “Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, […]

How to Prosper (Ps. 1:3)

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How to Prosper Psalm 1:3 Mike Johnson   Psalm 1:1-2 points out how that the person who will be blessed by God does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly; he does not stand in the path of sinners, and he does not sit in the seat of the scornful.  Instead, he delights in […]

How Well Do You Listen?

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

Humility Is Essential! (Ps. 25:8-9)

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HUMILITY IS ESSENTIAL! (Psalm 25:8-9) Mike Johnson Psalm 25:8-9 says, “Good and upright is the Lord; therefore He teaches sinners in the way. The humble He guides in justice, and the humble He teaches His way.”  This passage shows the importance of having humility in receiving God’s Word.  Humbly listening to instruction is important even […]

I Do Not Permit a Woman to Teach…

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“I DO NOT PERMIT A WOMAN TO TEACH…” Mike Johnson The above statement is in I Timothy 2:11-12. The verses say, “Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.” Many may be surprised to learn that […]

I Would Be Wet All the Time

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

I’m All Shook Up

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

I’m Not as Bad as He Is

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

Ignorance

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Ignorance Mike Johnson The moon was a thin crescent in the Canadian skies on the night 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 was […]

Ignoring Sin

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

Immortality

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

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

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

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 to baptize someone. There is also controversy regarding whom to baptize. Some say infants are proper candidates for baptism, while others say a person must be a penitent believer before baptism. Is there authority for […]

Instability

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

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.”  Many have this attitude when trying to determine what is right or wrong.  They think as long as they follow the conscience, on some doctrinal matter, or even on a moral issue, they will be […]

Is Ignorance An Excuse?

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

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 […]

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, to sin against God.  Satan had told God that the only reason Job was upright was that God had, as Satan put it, “made a hedge about him.”  Satan agreed with God that Job was righteous […]

Jonah & the Great Fish

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

Lasciviousness

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Lasciviousness Mike Johnson The sin of lasciviousness is mentioned several times in God’s Word. It is essential to discuss this sin, especially in the times we live. It seems several definitions exist for lasciviousness. The Greek word in the original is a fairly broad word which can include several things. Thayer defines the word (766 […]

Leaving Something for Your Children

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Leaving Something for Your Children Mike Johnson It is common for parents to leave an estate for their children, and it is helpful 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 tuition for someone in the family. […]

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

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

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 in Matthew 4:1-11, Mark 1:12-13, and Luke 4:1-13.  Matthew and Luke give a more detailed account. The accounts tell us that Satan tempted Jesus three times after he had fasted in the wilderness for […]

Let Us Therefore Fear (Hebrews 4:1)

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LET US THEREFORE FEAR (Hebrews 4:1) Mike Johnson  Hebrews 4:1 says, “Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it.” The verse starts with the word “therefore,” which connects it to what has previously been said. In chapter 3, the writer […]

Lie Not to One Another

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LIE NOT TO ONE ANOTHER Mike Johnson The sin of lying is prevalent.  However, this does not make it right.  A famous preacher, while preaching to a large audience, used as his text the story of Ananias and Sapphira and told how they lied, which resulted in God striking them dead.  The old preacher proclaimed, […]

Lift up Your Soul to God (Psalm 25:1)

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LIFT UP YOUR SOUL TO GOD (Psalm 25:1)  Mike Johnson Psalm 25:1 says, “To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.”  The author of this Psalm, regarded as David, starts his prayer in a very reverential way, humbly appealing to God’s mercy, and desiring His pardon. This verses teaches a lot about the nature […]

Looking Into God’s Mirror (James 1:22-25)

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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 difficult to […]

Love for God

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

Loyalty

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LOYALTY Mike Johnson Several years ago, I saw a bumper sticker on an automobile, which said: “110% Bama— I’ll Never Change.”   The sticker expressed the extreme loyalty the owner of the car had for his favorite football team, the University of Alabama Crimson Tide.  I take it that his resolve would not be affected by […]

Lying

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Lying Mike Johnson The Bible has a lot to say on the subject of lying. God disapproves of lying, and Christians should avoid it. 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, Proverbs 12:22 says, “Lying lips are an abomination […]

Make a Joyful Shout! (Psalm 100)

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MAKE A JOYFUL SHOUT! (Psalm 100) Mike Johnson A very well known and oft-quoted poem, Psalm 100 centers on worshiping and knowing God. Although it contains only five verses, the psalm has essential and relevant information. Some think David is the author, although there is uncertainty. The speculation is that the Jews used this psalm […]

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 another may view something, which may seem worthless to one person, as valuable. The popularity of garage/yard sales in our country attests to this. An Associated Press Story […]

More Valuable Than Gold (Ps. 19:10)

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More Valuable Than Gold (Psalm 19:10) 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 […]

My Rock & My Redeemer (Ps. 19:14)

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My Rock & My 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.”  Consider the last part of the verse where the Psalmist refers to God as his strength and redeemer. Vine’s […]

My Sin Is Always Before Me (Ps. 51:3)

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My Sin Is Always Before Me (Psalm 51:3) 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.  Nathan, a prophet of God, eventually confronted him.  At this point, David admitted he had sinned against […]

No More, No Less (Rev. 22:18-19)

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NO MORE, NO LESS (Revelations 22:18-19) Mike Johnson   “For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this […]

O Lord, Our Lord… (Ps. 8:1)

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“O Lord, Our Lord…” (Psalm 8:1) Mike Johnson  Psalm 8:1 says, “O Lord, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth, who have set Your glory above the heavens!”  Christians often incorporate this beautiful verse as an introduction to their prayers.  In the Psalm, David speaks of the greatness of God compared […]

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 […]

Patience

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Patience Mike Johnson The term “patience” frequently occurs in the Bible. Patience is a painful lesson to learn in the age in which we live, but Christians must have this trait. Christ praised the church at Ephesus for their patience (Rev. 2:2-3).  Hebrews 12:1 says that Christians are to “run with patience” the race that set before […]

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 powerful […]

Praise the Lord! (Ps. 111)

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Praise the Lord! (Psalm 111:1) 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 by exclaiming, “Praise the Lord!” This expression is, by some, regarded as the title of this Psalm. With certainty, it […]

Pray Without Ceasing

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Pray Without Ceasing Mike Johnson I Thessalonians 5:17 says, “Pray without ceasing.” This verse is 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, as prayer often removes obstacles […]

Precious in the Sight of the Lord

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Precious in the Sight of the Lord Mike Johnson Psalm 116:15 says, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.”  We think of death in many different ways. The death of a loved one is one of the greatest agonies a person can face in his/her life. Typically, we think of […]

Presumptuous Sins (Ps. 19:13)

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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?  A presumptuous sin is a sin that is committed with arrogance and grows out of […]

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.  We should keep priorities in mind.  Some things are more important than others are. The Bible has a lot to say concerning priorities.  God expects people to put “first things […]

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 significant impact on the way people talk. “Hollywood” has […]

Put Away Lying (Eph. 4:25)

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Put Away Lying (Ephesians 4:25) Mike Johnson Ephesians 4:25 says, “Therefore, putting away lying, ‘Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,’ for we are members of one another.”  This verse tells us Christians are to put away lying. The context shows the need to put off the “old man” and to put […]

Rejoice Always (I Thes. 5:16)

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Rejoice Always Mike Johnson I Thessalonians 5:16 says we are to “Rejoice always.” In the Greek, this passage is the shortest verse in the Bible. In contrast, 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 incredible how many times the concept […]

Religious Titles

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Religious Titles Mike Johnson Most preachers use a religious title.  Some call themselves “Reverend.”  In Catholicism, they call their priests “Father.”  One religious organization (the Masons) refers 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 of such religious […]

Remembering and Forgetting (Ps. 25:6-7)

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REMEMBERING AND FORGETTING (Psalm 25:6-7) Mike Johnson  Psalm 25:6-7 says, “Remember, O Lord, Your tender mercies and Your lovingkindnesses, for they are from of old. Do not remember the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions; according to Your mercy remember me, for Your goodness’ sake, O Lord.”  In these verses, David is asking God […]

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

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

Restore Unto Me the Joy of Your Salvation (Ps. 51:12)

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Restore Unto Me the Joy of Your Salvation (Ps. 51:12) Mike Johnson According to the beginning notes of Psalm 51, David is its author, and he wrote the Psalm after his sin with Bathsheba.  Engulfed with emotion, he is asking God to have mercy on him and extend His forgiveness.  In the first part of […]

Saints

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  SAINTS Mike Johnson There is a great deal of misunderstanding about the term “saint.”  Some think of the word in connection with receiving a second blessing from God, which makes a person “sanctified” and incapable of sinning.  To be qualified as saints, still others say that people must meet specific qualifications (such as performing […]

Seek God When He May Be Found (Ps. 32:7)

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Seek God When He May Be Found (Psalm 32:7) Mike Johnson In Psalm 32, David describes, what might be called, the “blessedness of forgiveness.”  In this Psalm, David speaks of the agony of sin and of the joy of receiving forgiveness from God.  In the course of doing this (V. 6), he speaks of the […]

Setting Sail on the Seas of Eternity (II Timothy 4:6)

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Setting Sail on the Seas of Eternity (“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,” occurs […]

Show Me, Teach Me, Lead Me (Ps. 25:4-5)

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SHOW ME, TEACH ME, LEAD ME (Psalm 25:4-5) Mike Johnson Palm 25 is a Psalm of repentance.  The psalmist humbly expresses a desire for God’s forgiveness and wants direction from God. In verses 4-5, he appeals to God by saying, “Show me Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth […]

Slow Paced Favors (Proverbs 3:27-28)

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SLOW PACED FAVORS Mike Johnson Proverbs 3:27-28 says, “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do so. Do not say to your neighbor, ‘Go, and come back, and tomorrow I will give it,’ when you have it with you.”  The verses make […]

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 […]

Some Facts About the Judgment

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

Spiritual Growth

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Spiritual Growth Mike Johnson Although numerical growth is significant, spiritual growth is also essential for churches today. Someone once asked a fellow Christian if the congregation where he attended had grown any. He responded by saying, “yes.” However, he then added, “We have not grown numerically, but we have grown spiritually.” He was saying they […]

Strike the Tent

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

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 vital warning. The verse says, “So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.“ Contextually, this appeal seems to refer mainly to our disposition […]

The “Believe as You Please” Method Of Church Growth

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The “Believe as You Please” Method Of Church Growth Mike Johnson          Most congregations want to grow, but often churches today use methods to do so, which are contrary to Biblical principles.  One approach is the “Believe as You Please Method.”        This method of growth does not require any […]

The “Come as You Are” Method of Church Growth

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The “Come as You Are” Method of Church Growth Mike Johnson        Churches want to grow in number, but, sadly, there are many improper methods used by churches today to increase their membership.  One of these is the “Come as You Are” method. This method of growth is prevalent today in denominationalism. Slogans […]

The “Have Fun” Method of Church Growth

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  THE “HAVE FUN” METHOD OF CHURCH GROWTH Mike Johnson         Churches want to grow numerically, and there are many ways they try to accomplish this. Any method chosen must not conflict with the Scriptures. One approach, which is contrary to God’s Word, is the “Have Fun Method.”  The concept of the […]

The Authority of Christ

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The Authority of Christ Mike Johnson Many people today do not understand the importance of having Bible authority. In previous articles, we have noted that we must follow divine authority instead of trying to direct our steps. We discussed the authority of God and noted that God certainly has the right to reign over humanity. […]

The Authority of God

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The Authority of God Mike Johnson Everyone is subject to authority today. Many are employees and are subject to the rule of their employers. We are all under the authority of our government, whether we want to be or not. There is authority we put ourselves under by choice, and there is authority we find […]

The Authority of the Apostles

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The Authority of the Apostles Mike Johnson Many acknowledge the authority of God and Christ, but do not accept or understand the authority of the Apostles. Some people today say we only need the words of Jesus to guide us. Christ certainly has authority (Mt. 28:18, 17:1-8), but we must understand the authority, which also […]

The Authority of the Bible

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The Authority of the Bible Mike Johnson The Scriptures teach the authority of God, Christ, and the apostles (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 Word. God also […]

The Blessed of Forgiveness (Ps. 32)

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THE BLESSEDNESS OF FORGIVENESS (Psalm 32) Mike Johnson Psalm 32 describes the blessedness of forgiveness in a different way than in any other psalm. It describes the psychological, and perhaps physical, effects of unconfessed sins, and it speaks of the remedy for obtaining the forgiveness of sins and the happiness that follows. We often have […]

The Book of I Peter

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The Book of I Peter Mike Johnson Peter wrote the book of I Peter, as the title implies.  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 Jesus as […]

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 essential New Testament letter. Let us start by asking, “Who wrote the book of James?” The author is apparent— James wrote it. James 1:1 says, […]

The Book of Job

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The Book of Job Mike Johnson The book of Job is genuinely significant and useful. It is a part of a category of Old Testament books known as “Poetry.” It deals with the problem of pain and suffering. The book of Job shows us some essential facts about God, Satan, and the problem of pain. […]

The Book of John

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The Book of John Mike Johnson The book of John adds much to our understanding of the mission and life of Christ. There is much evidence, both internal and external, to show that John was the author of the fourth Gospel. John was an apostle and was a son of Zebedee, and James, another of […]

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, and many call them companion books as Acts is a continuation of Luke.  It seems Luke’s goal was to tell the whole story of Christianity. He also addressed […]

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 […]

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 this book.  This popularity may be due to it being the first book of […]

The Book of Philippians

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The Book of Philippians Mike Johnson Paul wrote the book of Philippians 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 started by […]

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 […]

The Christian & Tithing

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THE CHRISTIAN AND TITHING Mike Johnson Should Christians tithe today?  This question is important.  Many people today speak about tithing, which involves giving one-tenth to God. However, is this practice binding on Christians today? Tithing was a part of the Law of Moses, and there are stringent regulations concerning it found in such passages as […]

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 throughout the years.  One area of division involves the church-sponsored recreation and church support of human institutions (orphan homes, colleges, rest homes, homes for unwed mothers, etc.).  One argument used to justify church support and involvement in such […]

The Consistency of Truth

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THE CONSISTENCY OF TRUTH Mike Johnson Truth is always consistent; it does not contradict itself.  Thus, if the Bible is truth, there will be no contradictions in it. Sometimes people say, “You can prove anything by the Bible.”  This statement is degrading to the Bible, and it reflects on the integrity of God.  If it […]

The Conversion of Saul

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The Conversion of Saul Mike Johnson The Bible records the conversion of Saul in three places. 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 the city of Tarsus […]

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 well-known conversion cases in the Bible. We know the facts are accurate because they come from the inspired Word of God (II Timothy 3:16-17). Acts 8 records this conversion. The account takes a natural division. […]

The Enslaving Power of Sin

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

The Fear of the Lord Is Strong Confidence (Pb. 14:26)

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THE FEAR OF THE LORD IS STRONG CONFIDENCE Mike Johnson Christians are to fear (have reverence and respect for) God.  Those who genuinely fear God see the importance of obeying His commandments.  Ecclesiastes 12:13 tells us we are to “Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all.”  Also, if we fear God, […]

The Form of Baptism

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THE FORM OF BAPTISM Mike Johnson What is the form of baptism taught in the Bible?  There is division in the religious world regarding this question. One creed says dipping someone in water is not necessary, but, instead, sprinkling or pouring water on an individual is acceptable. Some say immersion is a choice, while others […]

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 I had was to roll a vat, which contained tubular molds of lunchmeat, up to an ice bin and then fill the container with ice.  The instructions were to use a stainless steel shovel, which was used […]

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 […]

The House of Mourning (Eccl. 7:2)

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The House of Mourning Mike Johnson Ecclesiastes 7:2 says, “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 take it to heart.“ Why is it better to go to the house of mourning than to the house […]

The Importance of Biblical Teaching

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The Importance of Biblical Teaching Mike Johnson The Bible emphasizes that it is essential for our teaching to be in a very bold and straightforward manner, and preaching must be in strict compliance with the Bible. The early church received a great deal of teaching, and the Bible describes the instruction done then and that […]

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, “ […]

The Importance of Words And Thoughts (Ps. 19:14)

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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 at the end of a magnificent Psalm.  In verses 1-6, the writer spoke about the […]

The Inspiration of the Bible

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The Inspiration of the Bible Mike Johnson Many people 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 the marks of literary […]

The Kingdom & Colossians 1:13

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THE KINGDOM AND COLOSSIANS 1:13 Mike Johnson   “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love….” (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 essential […]

The Office of an Elder

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The Office of an Elder Mike Johnson The Bible teaches that a local congregation is to have certain men overseeing them called “elders.”  Acts 14:23 speaks of the appointment of elders 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 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 […]

The Parable of the Chief Seats (Lk. 14:8-11)

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The Parable of the Chief Seats Mike Johnson “When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place, lest one more honorable than you be invited by him; and he who invited you and him come and say to you, ‘Give place to this man,’ and then […]

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 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 […]

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 […]

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 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 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 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 […]

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 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 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 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 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 […]

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 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 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 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 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 […]

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 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 […]

The Possibility of Apostasy (Treatise)

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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 to be eternally lost?  Many say one cannot.  They hold a doctrine known by such names as “Once Saved, Always Saved,” “The […]

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 […]

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 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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

The Sins of Youth (Ps. 25:7)

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THE SINS OF YOUTH (Psalm 25:7) Mike Johnson Sometimes, people try to minimize the sins of youth.  A person may say, for example, “After all, young people must sow their wild oats.”  However, David took the sins of his youth very seriously.  In Psalm 25:7, he pleads with God, “Do not remember the sins of […]

The Spirits in Prison (I Peter 3:18-20)

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

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 of 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: […]

The Wrath of God

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The Wrath of God  Mike Johnson God loves everyone! This fact should cause us to be encouraged. Many people understand that God loves them, but they have misconceptions about His love. Some say, “God is a God of love; He will not punish me for my sins.” As a result of this attitude, many continue […]

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.  […]

They Are Without Excuse (Rom. 1:19-20)

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

They Were Simply Christians

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THEY WERE SIMPLY CHRISTIANS Mike Johnson If someone asked me what I am religiously, I would say, “I am a Christian.” The person might look at me in a puzzled way and ask, “But what kind of Christian are you?” Many religious groups today wear names to refer to themselves other than a name, which […]

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 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?’” The man […]

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 that always have concerned humanity.  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 […]

To Live is Christ / To Die is Gain (Phil. 1:21)

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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, […]

Truth Is Narrow

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

Two Mandatory Appointments (Heb. 9:27)

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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 stop eating and die if he wanted to.  However, we cannot avoid two future […]

Uphold the Weak (I Thess. 5:14)

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Uphold the Weak (I Thess. 5:14) Mike Johnson Paul closes the book of I Thessalonians with some very important and practical exhortations. In chapter 5:14, he “exhorts” (NASB — “urge”) the brethren to, among other things, “uphold the weak.” Christians have a responsibility to “uphold the weak.” The weak are those who are spiritually weak. […]

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 […]

Warn the Unruly (I Thess. 5:14)

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WARN THE UNRULY Mike   Johnson In I Thessalonians 5:14,  Paul gave some critical teaching for all Christians. He stated that Christians are to “be patient toward all men,” they are to “uphold the weak,” and they are to “comfort the fainthearted.” However, the first responsibility he urges is to “warn those who are unruly.” This responsibility, in addition […]

Was Peter the First Pope?

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WAS PETER THE FIRST POPE? Mike Johnson The above question is undoubtedly a good question and needs examination. Many think Peter was the first pope. However, the Bible does not even teach that there should be the position of a pope, much less Peter being the first one. Consider just some of the reasons why […]

Watch Out for That Lion!

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Watch Out for That Lion! Mike Johnson Proverbs 22:13 says, “The lazy man says, “There is a lion outside! I shall be slain in the streets!” If a lion were 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 is clear that […]

What is Repentance?

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

What Is Truth?

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WHAT IS TRUTH? Mike Johnson What is truth?  This question is critical.  Pilate asked it at Jesus’ trial in connection with the accusation made that Jesus was a king in a civil sense and thus a rival.  It seems he asked it with scorn rather than with a quest for knowledge. Regardless, this question is […]

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 4:16,17 points out that Cain went to the land of Nod after he killed his brother.  Verse 27 says, “And […]

Where is the Gym?

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Where is the Gym? Mike Johnson Many 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 the […]

Where Is This Coming He Promised?

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“WHERE IS THIS COMING HE PROMISED?” (II Peter 3) 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 […]

Where Should We Pray?

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WHERE SHOULD WE PRAY? Mike Johnson Is it necessary for people to pray in a particular location for their prayer to be acceptable or effective?  Many think they must be in a specific place, such as a church building, for God to hear their prayers.  What does the Bible teach on this question?  Is the […]

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 said.  You know that there are also people meeting in town who are supposed to be members of the Lord’s church, but you do not know much about them. […]

Why Is Sin So Bad? (Ps. 51:4)

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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 […]

Wise Men & Fruit

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Wise Men & Fruit Mike Johnson Here are two questions 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 three wise men […]

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 […]

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?’ […]

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 […]