I’ve been talking a lot about heaven and hell. But who goes where? In other words, what makes someone right with God and given a place in heaven, and what makes someone wrong with God and therefore banished from his presence after they die? And who decides these things? I know, I know. These are … Continue reading Who says who goes to heaven or hell?
Last week I talked about how awesome heaven is. Today I’d like to pause on a much more difficult topic: Hell. Speaking about hell, C.S. Lewis wrote: “There is no doctrine which I would more willingly remove from Christianity than this, if it lay in my power.” I don’t like talking about hell either. It … Continue reading He loves you too much to lie to you about hell
A 2007 Gallup poll revealed that 81% of people believe in heaven, but only 69% believe in hell. That seems strange to me. But it’s also very telling. We like to believe in things we like, but not in things we don’t. The Scottish theologian James Denney did a survey of Jesus’ teaching and found … Continue reading Believing what we WANT to be true, verses what actually is
There’s an old story about two men who were thrown into a dungeon. One man learned that his family was dead. But the other learned that his family was alive and waiting for him if and when he ever got out. The one who learned that his family was dead wasted away and died rather … Continue reading How you picture your future
There is a lot of suffering in the world. There is personal anguish and anxiety. There is family and relationship stress. There is oppression and violence and war. None of this surprises me because we live in a broken world. But it bothers me. It bothers me because it’s not what God intended. So, in … Continue reading For those who are suffering
A man misunderstand the game Monopoly. He didn't realize that everything he accumulated went back in the box at the end of the game. How many of us live real life in the same way?
“You can’t stop progress.” Has anyone ever said that to you? It’s the idea that society changes and moves “forward” in certain ways—in ways many people agree with. Therefore, they attach a positive value to that “forward” movement (called “progress”). Saying ‘you can’t stop it’ is a way of saying ‘don’t even bother trying.’ As … Continue reading I’d rather be on the right side of eternity than history
Yesterday we learned that the great preacher Billy Graham passed away at the age of 99. So for today’s devotional, and as a testament to Graham’s own teaching, let me share a story he once told, and which captures something about the hope that was deep within him. There was a 30 year-old truck driver … Continue reading It’s a win-win (With thanks to Billy Graham)
I had planned on writing about something else today. But a congregant just passed away and I felt the need to share this question with you. Are you ready for your own death? Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t think about it until it’s too late. In previous eras, people thought about death a lot … Continue reading Your John 3:16 moment
As you know, the “Up!” devo was on a break for a week while I was on vacation. But now I’m back and ready to walk faithfully into a new year. I hope you are too. And one of the things that helps us do that is to evaluate what we’re spending our time thinking … Continue reading Why other people’s standards are distracting