by Johnathan Arnold
Read: 1 Peter 1:13-25.
Sometime before Peter wrote his first epistle, Nero, a deranged emperor, induced mass panic in the Roman Empire by setting fire to his own capital city. While he was likely making room for his profligate building projects, Nero cast blame on Christians who were already mistrusted for turning Romans away from the Greek gods.
Peter writes to encourage persecuted Christ-followers who were scattered across the empire and uncertain about the future. He challenges them to look beyond this present world to Jesus’ second coming and to focus on living a holy life in this present age.
by Todd Arnold
"Why didn't John do that? He knew it needed done. He's just lazy! Can't anyone else see when something needs done around here?" I thought as I slumped into my chair with exhaustion.
Ever find yourself in a similar situation? Things need done, and everything seems to fall in your lap. But you just can't do everything. Getting everything done effectively requires a team that works together well.
by Johnathan Arnold
The Bible frequently warns about a Christian’s attitude towards government. While some “political” positions (e.g. pro-life) are Christian positions, people are often hypersensitive and super-defensive about platforms that are sub-scriptural; for example, policies on immigration or sentiments about the Second Amendment. Political drivenness which is not submitted to God’s revealed expectations for a Christian’s attitude towards government is likely to create a climate in our churches which is more Republican than Christian. Whether it’s Donald Trump or another elected official, Democrat or Republican, we are called to take the high road in our attitudes and actions. Before you insult the government, keep in mind what the Bible commands.
From Clarity to Confusion: The Alarming Acceptance of Homosexual Identity in Wesleyan-Arminian Churches
by Jeremy Fuller on behalf of the General Board
John Wesley was promoted to Heaven on March 2, 1791, at the age of 87. It has been well said that when Wesley was carried to his grave, he left behind him a good library of books, a well-worn clergyman's gown, and the Methodist Church. His unwavering commitment to Christ and the clarity of the holiness message precipitated a Revival of True Religion, the like of which few Christian pilgrims in other centuries have had the privilege to witness.
by Valorie Quesenberry
As a woman in the 21st century, I am appalled at the carnage I see in womanhood today. What our culture offers to young girls is a confusing mix of message and image. On the one hand, they are told to “follow their hearts.” On the other, they are told to be tough and break through the glass ceiling. Fashion icons promote glamour and packaged beauty; therapists croon the celebration of the natural woman. Cooking shows and restaurants hawk indulgent creations; gyms and trainers threaten BMI and heart disease. Hollywood teases with unrestrained womanly sexuality; woman’s advocate movements disdain the very idea of feminine appeal. And everywhere, the confusion and carnage continue.
by H. Robb French
It is extremely significant to note that the great revivals of more modern times have been preceded and accompanied by an earnest spirit of fasting and praying on the part of God’s people. There was a noticeable absence of fanfare and high-powered advertising, which we fear often serves as a cheap and easy substitute for the price to be paid for a true spiritual awakening.
by Johnathan Arnold
One might think that the Jew-Gentile controversy is over, but I’m astounded by the number of times I have encountered this issue. I’ve navigated it first-hand with several family members, a former parishioner, and a Seventh-Day Adventist friend — all who observe a handful of Jewish ceremonial laws and feast days. I’ve been asked countless other times by those who are curious or concerned.
Travel notes from conference president Jacob Martin.
by Robert Booth
I once visited a gentleman who had been attending the Gospel Center for over thirty years. As we talked, our conversation turned towards the many physical problems that he had encountered over the years. Near the end of our conversation, he said these words: “I am so glad that there won’t be any hospitals in heaven."
by Darrel Stetler II
I recently made a leadership decision that was fraught with some amount of peril. Most good leadership decisions are. If you’re not risking, you’re probably not leading as aggressively as you should.
I was contacted by someone who expressed genuine concern about the decision I had made. I was so impressed by them and their attitude, I decided to share it with you.
In this rare historical recording, George Straub shares his testimony of being saved, entirely sanctified, and called to preach. Straub was one of the founders of God's Missionary Church and served as Conference President for many years.
by David Wise
The testimony of a life lived solely for the glory of God in the midst of high-level corruption and pride speaks to us today. The open window stands as a symbol of one man’s intense desire to love God with “a pure heart fervently” in even the darkest of circumstances.
Slightly adapted from Select Hymns: with Tunes Annext (1761)
John Wesley's practical advice for singing in an early Methodist hymnal is still applicable to us today. He warns, "beware of singing as if you were half-dead or half-asleep," but emphasizes above all else, "sing spiritually."
John Zechman recently retired from 28 years of service to Penn View Bible Institute. The following tributes are selected from the June 2018 edition of the God's Missionary Standard. Please share your tributes to President Emeritus Zechman in the comments section below.
by Johnathan Arnold
In a recent sermon by Andy Stanley, son of esteemed Baptist preacher Charles Stanley (a radio minister who George Straub, founder of God's Missionary Church, highly respected and listened to each week), Andy encouraged Christians to “unhitch” their faith from the Old Testament. He contends that “Peter, James, Paul elected to unhitch the Christian faith from their Jewish scriptures, and…we must as well.” He goes on, “The Bible did not create Christianity. The resurrection of Jesus created and launched Christianity. Your whole house of Old Testament cards can come tumbling down.”
While the resurrection of Jesus is the heart of Christianity, Andy Stanley’s understanding of the Old Testament (OT) verges on heretical. He argues that nothing in the OT, including the Ten Commandments, is binding for Christians, and that new believers should essentially disregard the first half of their Bible. He goes as far as to suggest that the inerrancy of the Old Testament is not worth defending.
While Andy’s conclusions are blatantly wrong, he addresses a question that many Christians are asking: “What should I do with my Old Testament? Should I keep some of the laws? All of them? None of them?” Many Christians end up cherry-picking particular laws which seem pertinent while completely ignoring others. The long sections of laws in Leviticus and Deuteronomy are often the subject of tongue-in-cheek jokes. In high school, one of the most intelligent girls in my class dismissed my faith because, in her opinion, “if you are going to obey the whole Bible, you better not wear polyester or touch pig skin footballs!”
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Dr. Timothy Cooley, Sr.
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