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Dose of Truth

    by Brent Barnett

We must be wise and discerning when understanding strategically how to engage the lost without getting corrupted by the world. But engage the lost with the truth of Jesus Christ we must, and two passages in particular provide a very clear roadmap for us of how we can and should do this. The first is found in John 17 in Jesus’ prayer for His disciples, including the twelve and all who would come after them, including us. John 17:14-18 says,

“I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not…  ( Click for more )

October 31, 2011

I believed several lies when I was younger. I used to hear various preachers, whether in person or on the radio, and I would stand in awe because they had achieved such recognition, such fame, and such renown. I used to go to the Christian bookstore, and I would look at the popular authors of the day, and I would conclude that they were being majorly used of God. I browsed the section of Christian biographies, and I envied those Christians of recognized success. I believed that there were normal Christians and that there were extraordinary Christians. I thought that…  ( Click for more )

October 24, 2011

The other day, I was teaching my five-year-old daughter about the story of Job, and one of the topics that came up was Satan. We talked about how he used to be an angel but then got jealous of God and was forced out of heaven. We talked about how he hates God and how he wants to make people do bad things. But I told her that she didn’t have to be afraid of Satan because God is bigger and stronger than Satan. In fact, I explained from Job’s experience how Satan is accountable to God and how he cannot do anything unless God grants him permission. I also referenced…  ( Click for more )

“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.” - 2 Corinthians 2:14

One of the main thrusts and core passions of Relevant Bible Teaching is the emphasis on revealing the wonder, the power, and the freedom that comes in being one with Christ as we abide in Him and as we are indwelt by Him. Though it is true that God is omnipresent, we often forget that He has chosen to make His home in our hearts (John 14:23). He is near, close, real, and highly relevant in…  ( Click for more )

Karma is a core doctrine of eastern belief such as in Hinduism or Buddhism. It is the idea that good moral efforts have a cause and effect relationship with benefit and welfare in this life or in the next. For example, should someone love his neighbor, perhaps he could be reincarnated as a king rather than a cow. Or, should somebody lie, steal, and murder, they would suffer ill fate in this life as the universe metes out justice. The core thinking is that there is a sense in which man’s behavior dictates or even controls his destiny. A person might think that if…  ( Click for more )

For those who have read my past writings, particularly Catch Fire, you know that I believe that God could do a great work of revival amongst His people leading to the conversion of many who are lost. I hope I never lose that belief or stop praying to that end. However, we shouldn’t be deceived into thinking that somehow Christians will take over the globe and win everybody to Christ. The book of Revelation exists for a reason, for most will refuse the gospel and shake their fists at Christ until the very end. The way is indeed narrow, and few find it (Matthew 7:14). This…  ( Click for more )

August 22, 2011

Friend is a very loosely used term. For example, one sports announcer always welcomes all of his sportscast viewers by calling them his friends. Facebook calls any old classmate or associate a friend. Friend can mean a lot, or it can mean a little. It can be just some person that we know casually, or friend could carry a much deeper connotation, perhaps even a bond as deep as family. So how does a friendship develop? What makes a friendship last? What are friends supposed to do for one another? The Bible is clear that a friend is more than just a person whose name we know.…  ( Click for more )

Parenting is a difficult, complex, and ever-evolving task as kids change, grow, and as we as parents learn, change, and grow. However, there are some certain constants that impact every parenting decision that we will ever make. Scripture gives us some clear, firm, timeless, and enduring principles that must shape our parenting philosophy and techniques. Specific strategies may come and go, but these truths act as bedrocks that must underpin every conversation, element of discipline, and point of instruction. If we miss these, we will miss the honor of the calling, the…  ( Click for more )

August 8, 2011

The Lord has given us a Great Commission, to go into all the world and preach the gospel and teach all men the commandments of Christ, thereby making disciples (Matthew 28:19-20). He wants the church to multiply through true regeneration as people put their faith in Christ for forgiveness and turn from their wicked ways. The gospel must always be forefront in what we do and say. It is the main thing we are called to advance, speak about, and proclaim. It is the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16), and it is how faith comes to the unsaved (Romans 10:17). We are…  ( Click for more )

There is such a thing as a pain that doesn’t go away in this lifetime. For some, that is hard to imagine. For others, they know it is true because they experience it every day. Our body may be the temple of the Holy Spirit, but it in its mortal, perishable form is marred by sin, weakness, and eventual death. This earthly body will die one day, for then we will be given a new eternal body that will live forever with Christ in heaven (1 Corinthians 15:35-37). There all pain will be gone and all tears wiped away (Revelation 21:4). There will be no more death…  ( Click for more )

July 25, 2011

It doesn’t take long being a Christian before we realize the limits of our knowledge. For example, can one ever truly understand the Trinity? How are three Persons of the Trinity One and the same God? Sure, ice, water vapor, and liquid water are all H2O, but does that kind of analogy really explain the majesty and wonder of the Godhead? What about the idea of eternity and the perpetual existence of God? Thinking about forever past and forever future will cause our minds to overheat if we don’t stop trying to process that reality. The Bible gives us insights…  ( Click for more )

July 18, 2011

The Bible has much to say on what love is, such as being without jealousy, envy, arrogance, or boasting. We learn that love is patient, kind, forgiving, unselfish, persevering, hope-filled, and always and forever bound intricately with the truth of Jesus Christ with which true love always rejoices (1 Corinthians 13:4-8). But in what follows we will consider not so much what love is but what love does. In other words, given what love is, let us consider the practical outworking and transformative power of God’s love. When we are exposed to Divine love and receptive…  ( Click for more )

By learning what Scripture says we are not to do, we can actually glean a lot about what we should be doing. After all, most every example we see around us is wrong, so, rather than fall in line with the world around us, we should seek to do the exact opposite. #1 The wicked despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7 says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Fools are not interested in growing, maturing, conforming to righteousness, or in being introspective about where and how they need to change.…  ( Click for more )

“Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.” -1 Corinthians 10:12

No man is above frailty, the prospect of failure, and the reality of stumbling. Pride ignores this fact, while faith humbles itself before the fear of God, yearning and longing for His enabling, empowering, and sustenance for life in Christ on this earth. He is our food, our life, our daily bread, and our means to accomplish anything eternal for Christ. Without a daily leaning upon Christ and turning to Him quickly when we do stumble, we will fall further…  ( Click for more )

One of the more iconic scenes in classic literature is played out in Shakespeare’s Macbeth. After MacBeth and Lady MacBeth conspire to murder King Duncan, Lady MacBeth, who initially seems the more hardened to the effects of guilt, essentially loses it and begins ranting about the blood that she can’t get off her hands no matter how many times she washes them. Of course, there is no blood visible to the eye, but her conscience, even while she is asleep, knows that there is blood on her hands. Long before Shakespeare came along, our Lord indicted the people of…  ( Click for more )

“For that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.” -Luke 16:15

Satan uses all kinds of things to fool people. After all, he was the most beautiful and bright angel in all of heaven (Ezekiel 28:13, Isaiah 14:12). He knows how to look good and feign to be good like God when all he wants is to bring us death, slavery, and pain. His masquerade as an angel of light is his main mode of operation (2 Corinthians 11:14). He uses deceptive tactics to blur the vision of the world and to make them focus on something else while…  ( Click for more )

With the continued attacks on the doctrine of hell and on God as eternal Judge [1], it is worth reminding ourselves of the justice of God and His power to cast into hell. As Luke 12:5 says, “But I will warn you whom to fear: fear the One who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him!” Many want to void the doctrine of hell or give people an eternity of chances to get it right. But, although God is love as proven by Him sending Christ to the cross, He is also just. If He wasn’t just, the cross wouldn’t have…  ( Click for more )

May 23, 2011

James 3:1 says, “Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water?” All Christians at one time or another will struggle with responding bitterly to the various predicaments of life, but God’s call through James is that we would learn to spring forth pure things rather than that which is rotten and of no use or glory to God. After heading out into the wilderness for three days under the hot desert sun and having found no source of drinking water, the Israelites came to Marah (Exodus 15:22-23). Yet Marah was named Marah, or “bitter,”…  ( Click for more )

May 16, 2011

I recently learned of a thing called the “normalcy bias.” This concept refers to a particular bias of human nature whereby people doubt that a tragedy could occur even despite clear warnings to the contrary. The denial and refusal to believe the clear facts leads people to flounder and suffer the consequences when disaster does strike. Too often people underestimate the potential for a worst case scenario to unfold simply because such an event is abnormal or rare. For example, many refused to leave New Orleans when Katrina was coming onshore despite clear…  ( Click for more )

The Pharisees occupied a prominent position in the synagogue during Jesus’ day. They viewed themselves as the most righteous, the best, the holiest, and the leaders of the people. They took the extensive laws of the Old Testament covenant and multiplied them and made them ridiculously specific. Their entire lives revolved around proving to themselves, to God, and to the people just how great they were because of how they kept the externalities of the law according to how they themselves had written it. As Jesus said in Mark 7:6-7, “THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH…  ( Click for more )

When Jesus was tempted in Matthew 4:1-11, the devil employed a variety of strategies, seeking to trip Jesus up. As He was feeling hungry in verse 3, Satan said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” Jesus replied, “It is written, 'MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.'" Satan knew that Jesus knew His own Word, so he tried to debate with him concerning the Word. Obviously, it wouldn’t have done any good to try to convince Jesus that the Word held errors,…  ( Click for more )

The devil is ruthless, living only for the sole purpose of defying God and stealing His glory. He longs to make the pinnacle of God’s creation, mankind, remain alienated from God. He desires to take God’s children, those who have turned from sin unto righteousness by the blood of Christ, and make them doubt or give into the flesh. He is a preying lion seeking to devour and destroy (1 Peter 5:8). He has a variety of methods to employ to this end, but the constant in his strategy will be to attack the Word of God. He must do this because the Word of God is …  ( Click for more )

April 18, 2011
There is nothing wrong with being a confident person; however, it does matter what or Whom we put our confidence in. Either our confidence is ultimately in God or in ourselves. One is faith and the other is arrogance, pride, and conceit. We need only look to one of the most powerful men ever to walk the earth to discern the difference, for it is a lesson he himself had to learn. Daniel 4:28-30 says, “All this happened to Nebuchadnezzar the king. Twelve months later he was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon. The king reflected and said, 'Is…  ( Click for more )
April 11, 2011

At our cores, even as new creations in Christ, there is an ongoing war within, a battle between the Spirit and the flesh. As Galatians 5:17 says, they are at enmity with one another. In fact, our lives could be described as a summation of consecutive struggles between the flesh and the Spirit. Faithfulness brings us great joy and peace along with eternal rewards, for such is the fruit of obedience. Failure, on the other hand, brings pain, sorrow, frustration, anger, and consequences, for such is the nature of sin. The devil has come to steal, kill, and destroy, while…  ( Click for more )

April 4, 2011

The love of violence is becoming mainstream in our culture between the mixed martial arts fighting and the gory, graphic video games marketed to young kids. As the marketers tell us, there is something within all of us that enjoys the fight, the beating, the blowing up, and the killing. They are right about sinful man, and violence does sell. In Jesus, however, we have a very different picture. Isaiah 53:9 says of Jesus, “His grave was assigned with wicked men, Yet He was with a rich man in His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was there any deceit in…  ( Click for more )

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