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So far Denny has created 988 blog entries.

Conversion to Christian Faith

2019-02-27T10:02:12-04:00 March 4th, 2019|

While driving, you have probably seen what appeared to be a big pool of water on the road. But when you came to the place, no water. It was only a mirage. And if you are really thirsty and you chase a mirage, you will be sorely disappointed.

The thirst for things in the world is like that. When you thirst for a better job, more money, another car, more expensive clothes, a bigger house…; the list could go on and on. When you really thirst for such things because the grass looks a lot greener in your neighbor’s yard, you usually wind up disappointed. Why? Because such things are a mirage. They don’t give true lasting pleasure you think they will. That’s why many folks turn to alcohol and drugs. They think drinking or popping pills will give them a more lasting sense of contentment. But again, if you take this route, you will be sorely disappointed. You will be chasing a mirage.

You see, there is only one person who can really quench your thirst for lasting contentment. That person is the Lord Jesus Christ. Listen to what He said to a woman who was drawing water from a well, “Everyone who drinks of this water shall thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water which I shall give him shall never thirst, but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up into eternal life” (John 4:13-14). Jesus is talking about satisfying all your innermost cravings. He doesn’t necessarily mean that He will give you a new car or a new house. But He’ll do something far better. He’ll give you the gift of His Holy Spirit. And God’s Spirit in you will fill you with a peace that passes understanding.

To help you, please click here and listen to a message called, “Seek The Lord that You May Live.”

Capital Punishment and Murder

2019-02-27T10:07:57-04:00 March 3rd, 2019|

Is capital punishment right? Should the death penalty be abolished? What does the Bible have to say about all this? God doesn’t favor the death penalty, does he? But what about the cross? Yes, the cross!

The cross represents God’s final verdict with regard to all sin. The Bible says, “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). And again, “The soul who sins will die” (Ezekiel 18:4). And Christ died on the cross. Why? He died to pay the penalty due to others for their sin. Yes, Christ paid the death penalty! He himself did not deserve to die. But He stood in the place of others. “Christ died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust” (1 Peter 3:18).

But was it necessary for Christ to die? No! God could have left all mankind to die in their sin. But praise be unto God, He decided otherwise. And because God takes sin so seriously, He could not just sweep all our sins under the rug. Sin had to be punished. And God punished sin on the cross. The sins of men and women like you and me were placed on Christ. And Christ paid the death penalty for sin!

The result is that the cross became both the place of judgment and the great display of God’s love. Romans 5:8 says, “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” You see, whether you believe in the death penalty or not, you must either accept the death of Christ as the only adequate payment for your sins or you must face the death penalty for sin yourself.

To help you with a Biblical perspective, click here and listen to a lesson called “Murder, War, and Capital Punishment.”

Responsible to God?

2019-02-27T09:58:36-04:00 March 2nd, 2019|

Did you know we are all responsible to God for how we behave ourselves?  We are.  God made us. As a result, our first and highest responsibility is to God.  The Bible challenges the negative reaction of people like us.  It says, “That which is known about God is evident within them” (Romans 1:19). God’s fingerprints are all over you and me, even within us.  We cannot escape from God.

Conscience is one of those sets of fingerprints.  Whenever people do something wrong, they react just as the Bible describes. “They show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them” (Romans 2:14). Why do our consciences bother us?  Why do arguments arise in our minds? We are responsible to God.

We also react to the truth of conscience exactly as the Bible describes: we “suppress the truth” (Romans 1:18). We throw all the trash we can find into the spring of truth bubbling up within us. We make every effort to ignore the truth welling up from within.

It’s time for a change. It’s time to start being honest with ourselves. It’s time to stop these evasive efforts to suppress the truth. Rather, we need to accept the truth.  We were created by God. For this reason, we are responsible to Him.

To help you understand this point better, please click here and listen to a message called, “There is Peace With God.”

 

Biblical Ministry

2019-02-02T13:01:24-04:00 March 1st, 2019|

Do you find the church irrelevant because it does not meet your needs? Would you be more willing to listen to the church if it followed the teachings of Jesus Christ more fully?

Perhaps we had better listen to what Jesus Himself said about why he came into the world, “The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:9). “Well,” you say, “That lets me out. I’m not lost. I know exactly where I am and where I’m going.”

Wait a minute. When Jesus speaks about being lost, He is talking about being lost in sin. And when Jesus talks about salvation, He has reference to being saved from the consequences of sin.

“But I’m not worried about sin,” you answer. “I’m really a pretty good person.” Yes, you may consider yourself to be pretty straight. But God says, “There is no distinction, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:22-23). In other words, we are all in the same boat. The boat is called SIN and the boat is sinking. And we all need to be saved or else we will all drown in our sins.

And so Jesus comes to you and to me and says, “The kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:15). Yes, Jesus calls you to turn away from sin and trust in His death as the only adequate payment for your sin. This is His basic message. And it meets your basic need, your need for salvation from sin.

The apostle Paul followed Jesus. He also preached “repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21). Like Jesus, Paul knew that your primary need is the need for salvation from sin. To help you understand this better, please click here and listen to a message on “Paul’s Ministry.”

Which Way are You Running?

2019-02-27T10:06:09-04:00 February 28th, 2019|

Do you consider yourself a Christian? Then you must be a follower of Christ. You must believe certain things about Christ. You believe Jesus Christ, the divine Son of God, the second person of the Trinity, is Lord of all. He is Lord of lords and King of kings. The Bible says, “God has made Him both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36).

Not only so, but you also trust in Christ. The Bible teaches you to receive salvation from the terrible consequences of sin when you sincerely bow before Christ and commit yourself to Christ as your Lord. You trust in the Lord of glory as the one who died on the cross in payment for your sins. You truly believe this same Lord Jesus was raised from the grave in order to give you new life. This is not all.

You also dedicate yourself to serving Christ as Lord. Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father” (Matthew 7:22). The point is, you cannot confess Christ as Lord and live contrary to His will and also say your confession of Christ is a true one. Rather, you must “prove yourselves doers of the word and not merely hearers only who delude themselves” (James 1:22).

You see, your conduct shows which way you are running. Whether you are running the race of life in service of Christ or whether you are running in the other direction in opposition to Christ. You cannot have it both ways. You cannot say you are a follower of Christ and live as though you are not. To help you think this through, click here and listen to a sermon called, “Which Way Are You Running?”

The Lord Opens Your Heart

2019-02-02T12:59:05-04:00 February 27th, 2019|

A lot of people make a great deal of fuss over the Bible and what it says about Jesus Christ. But, those fundamentalists do seem a little extreme in their thinking. What they say really doesn’t make sense. It’s not logical.

Very true. But don’t those who reject the Bible and the Christ of the Bible also have a certain mindset? Sure they do, and so they cannot truly understand the Bible. Interestingly enough, the Bible itself talks about people like this. It says, “A natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them” (2 Corinthians 2:14).

So if you are not a Christian and have not received the gift of the Holy Spirit, your mind is unable to grasp the true meaning of the Bible. You need some supernatural help from God. You need to ask God to open your heart and mind so that you will be able to understand the Bible.

Long ago, when Jesus taught people from the Old Testament in the Bible, “he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures” (Luke 24:45). The apostle Paul saw the same thing happen to people when he spoke to them about Christ. Acts 16:14 tells us, “A certain woman named Lydia,…was listening; and the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul.” Imagine, Jesus Christ, reaching down from heaven, opened this woman’s mind and heart so that she would understand what Paul was preaching.

If you do not understand the message of the Bible, you need the same kind of radical heart surgery. Talk to God about it. And to help you, click here and listen to a message called “The Lord Opens Your Heart.”

God is Real

2019-02-02T12:57:17-04:00 February 26th, 2019|

Paul was an intellectual giant. Had he not devoted his life to Christ, Paul would be studied today along with Plato and Aristotle. Paul taught the created world is a revelation of God. It displays God’s eternal power and divine nature. “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power, and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made” (Romans 1:20).

For example, an acorn carries within it the plan for growing an oak tree. The purpose to grow an oak tree is also within that acorn. Did the acorn come up with that plan? Did the acorn also determine to carry out that plan? Of course not. Then where did this plan and purpose come from?

Evolutionists say this plan and purpose for oak trees came about by chance. But chance merely describes the probability that something will take place. When a coin is tossed, we speak of a fifty-fifty chance of it coming up heads. But chance cannot manufacture anything. And chance has nothing to do with why acorns produce oak trees. Rather, those little acorns point to the God of creation who has a plan for everything. And those little acorns point to the God of creation who has a purpose for everything. Is God real? What do you think? Acorns reveal Him.

To help you realize this is the case, please click here and listen to a message explaining why you are “Without Excuse” when you ignore God.

Corruptible gods or Incorruptible Christ

2019-02-22T11:27:44-04:00 February 25th, 2019|

During my college days, I went to my dorm room one evening to find a group of classmates sitting in a circle on the floor. There was the scent of incense in the air and a miniature Buddha in the center of the circle. “What are you doing?” I said. “We’re seeking help for tomorrow’s exam,” was the response. Even as an unbeliever, I shook my head and left the room. The Second Commandments begins, “You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them” (Exodus 20:4-5).

The word likeness refers to any art form, shape, representation, or image. The image may be physical or mental. The commandment does not prohibit art. The key is that the image must not be an object of worship, an idol. The idol is an image of stone, wood, or metal, fashioned for the purpose of worship. When the commandment refers to objects or beings “in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth,” the reference is to all of creation. Crafting images of anything in creation for the purpose of worship is forbidden.

An image, therefore, stands in the place of something else. Moloch, the Ammonite god, was visually portrayed with a human torso and the head of a bull. The worship of Moloch included child sacrifice (2 Kings 23:10). This god was worshiped as a divine king.

The only ‘image’ we are permitted to worship is Jesus Christ. “He is the image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15). Words fail us. He is not simply the image of the True God; He is God (John 1:1). “He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature” (Hebrews 1:3). He is not “the work of men’s hands” (Isaiah 37:19).

God’s purpose is to conform us to the image of His Son (Romans 8:28). The opposite is true of those who reject the Son and serve idols, whether made of wood or stone or fabricated in the mind. “Those who make them will become like them, Everyone who trusts in them” (Psalm 115:8 and 135:18). This is the classic difference between believers and idolaters rooted in the fall and its aftermath.

In our day, there are those who nurture the image of a utopian state. They desire to see men and women worship at the altar of government power. Nebuchadnezzar called men and women to worship a golden image on the pain of death (Daniel 3:6). To worship the image was to bow to Nebuchadnezzar. Dignitaries deify themselves. The golden statue became the image of government power based upon human authority. “Moreover, such authority must always be necessarily coercive…” (T.H.L. Parker, Calvin’s Preaching, 40). Those who worship at the altar of government power become like it. They too cannot tolerate ‘foreign gods.’

But Daniel teaches that the Son of Man (Daniel 7:13) is the Sovereign Lord over men and nations. He delivers Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from the fiery furnace (Daniel 3:27). He subdues King Nebuchadnezzar. His “reason returned” to him (Daniel 4:34). Then Nebuchadnezzar confessed, “His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom” (Daniel 4:3).

Your hope is not in the image of corruptible government power. Your hope is in the image of the “incorruptible God,” Jesus Christ (Romans 1:23). “You shall not make for yourself an idol” (Exodus 20:4).

Denny Prutow

Benevolent Living

2019-02-02T12:45:22-04:00 February 25th, 2019|

Would you prefer to be at the mercy of harsh, impersonal forces over which you have no control?Or would you rather be in the hands of a loving, benevolent, caring God? The answer seems plain. Even so, many people cannot stand the idea of the all-knowing God telling them the best way to handle their lives. So they opt for cold and calculated chance.

But think to through. Jesus exclaims, “You have heard that it was said, ‘you shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy,’ but I say to you love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you in order that you may be sons of your father who is in heaven, for he causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good and send rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matthew 5:43-45).

Jesus gives us the best possible reason to be benevolent to others around us. We are to reflect the love of God. God brings the blessing of sunshine. What a terrible thing it would be to live in perpetual darkness. We would not survive for very long. God also brings the blessing of rain. Sometimes we think we have too much or too little, but we are at God’s mercy. Isn’t it much better to be able to go to a loving father and seek his face when we think there is too much rain or not enough?

If God does not exist, we live in a universe controlled by emotionless chaotic forces, and there is no place to turn. It is every man and woman for themselves. That’s an ugly, intolerable world. And I am thankful it is not the world in which we live. We live in a world controlled by the most benevolent master conceivable – the living God. Let’s follow Jesus Christ in learning the love of the father. To help you, click here and listen to, “Following Jesus Christ.”

With or Without Excuse

2019-02-02T12:43:50-04:00 February 24th, 2019|

Have you ever been sitting in your boss’ office in front of her desk with the door closed behind you? You know what the boss is about to say, because you are feeling guilty. You did not get the job done in time. The bottom line is that you have not kept your word. You feel bad. Well, guilt is not an uncommon thing.

The fact of the matter is, it would be strange if we did not experience guilt. Why? Deep down, everyone knows that God, their creator, exists. We try to get out from under this knowledge by suppressing it. Listen to what the Bible says, “Since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes, his eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20). In other words, when men and women look at the creation, the invisible God is made visible. That is, what God has made reveals his power and majesty. When we process this information, we do one of two things – we either acknowledge God or as Romans 1:18 says, “We suppress the truth in unrighteousness.” We use all sorts of argumentation to deny the existence of God.

One thing we cannot escape is the feeling of guilt. You see, we really are creatures of God. We really know this is true. So, we are responsible to our creator for our lives and conduct. When we ignore or reject the creator, guilt is inevitable. To help you understand this better, click here and listen to “Without Excuse.”