Courage and the Dog Soldier
'Ready Answer' by Mike Ford (1955-2021)
Though we are surrounded and sometimes buffeted by numerous difficulties, trials, and threats, God is always faithful to provide what we need to endure and overcome them. Keying in on I Corinthians 16:13, Mike Ford illustrates what the apostle Paul advises Christians to do to persevere through the threatening times ahead.
God's Kingdom in the Parables (Part Four)
'Prophecy Watch' by David C. Grabbe
The eight parables of Matthew 13 form a structure called a chiasm, in which the individual parables form pairs (first and eighth, second and seventh, etc.) that correspond to and resolve each other. Utilizing the prevailing theme of God's Kingdom, David Grabbe shows how Jesus' parables of the Pearl of Great Price, the Dragnet, and the Householder resolve the problems raised in their corresponding earlier parables.
'Political' Science
'World Watch' by Joseph B. Baity
Advances in scientific knowledge have propelled the modern age literally into the stratosphere and beyond, elevating the status of science and scientists to near-veneration. Due to this high level of respect for science, political and cultural leaders are using it to push agendas that contradict established facts. Joseph Baity points out the damage that happens when politics hijacks scientific inquiry for its own ends.
Christmas, Syncretism, and Presumption
'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh
Many who consider themselves Christians believe celebrating Christmas honors Jesus Christ, even though the holiday has no biblical support. While it is attractive and appealing, Christmas is actually a spiritual trap because it is not true. John Ritenbaugh explains that it is highly presumptuous to believe that such a syncretized holiday, blended liberally with heathen customs, could please God.
First Love (Part Two)
Bible Study by Martin G. Collins
Jesus Christ's reprimand of the Ephesian church in Revelation 2:4, "You have left your first love," seems odd being said to a church that appeared so busy doing God's will. Martin Collins explains, not only where the Ephesians' problem lay, but also the remedy Christ provided within the letter itself to improve both their spiritual lives and their works.
Why Hebrews Was Written (Part Ten): Christianity's Claims
'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh
The opening chapter of the epistle of Hebrews makes several astounding assertions about Jesus Christ and the exalted offices He holds. If true - and the Bible assures us that they are - they require a reverential response. John Ritenbaugh posits twelve claims that the Father, the Son, and Their way of life make upon humanity's attention and loyalty, giving mankind no excuse for its failure to respond to God.
A Crisis of Ignorance
'World Watch' by Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Although living in an age awash in information, with knowledge on any subject just a few clicks or keystrokes away, we find appalling ignorance everywhere. Young people can hardly write intelligibly in their own language, and calculating change for a retail purchase seems to be a mind-bending chore. Richard Ritenbaugh exposes a society in which learned knowledge is declining - and that spells certain trouble both nationally and spiritually.
Daily Thanksgiving
'Ready Answer' by Staff
Too many Americans confine their giving of thanks to the one day on which the national holiday occurs - and many confine their activities on Thanksgiving to little more than eating and drinking too much, watching football, and planning their Black Friday shopping trip. Answering four vital questions about thanksgiving will help us to evaluate our approach to this spiritual duty.
Dying—Once in a Lifetime (Part One)
'Ready Answer' by Charles Whitaker
Atheists and God-haters in general are always trying to find discrepancies in the Bible. One they pull out every now and then is the alleged contradiction between I Corinthians 15:51 and Hebrews 9:27: Will some people never die - or will they die once like everyone else? Charles Whitaker parses the two verses to show that they are not contradictory at all because they speak about different, though related, subjects.
God's Kingdom in the Parables (Part Three)
'Prophecy Watch' by David C. Grabbe
The two middle parables of Matthew 13 speak of hidden things: hidden leaven and hidden treasure. Generally, in these parables, the second of each chiastic pair resolves the first. David Grabbe explains how the hidden treasure the man finds provides the spiritual solution to the leaven - corruption - the woman hides in the three measures of meal.
The Changing Face of Mainstream Christianity
'World Watch' by Joseph B. Baity
There is a reason for the precipitous decline in American morality: Some basic tenets of mainstream Christian churches in the United States are markedly different from what they were just a few decades ago. Joseph Baity provides evidence that nominal Christianity no longer agrees with the teachings of Jesus Christ in several critical areas.
First Love (Part One)
Bible Study by Martin G. Collins
In His letter to the Ephesians, Jesus Christ scolds the church for having lost their "first love" (Revelation 2:4), despite their tireless zeal in defending the gospel from false apostles. What, exactly, did they lose? Martin Collins answers from Scripture: A Christian's foremost responsibility is to love God wholeheartedly. Even so, a spiritual decline similar to the Ephesians' loss of their first love broadly affected the first-century church.
Why Hebrews Was Written (Part Nine)
'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh
In John 1:18, the apostle John writes that Jesus came to reveal the Father. In His life, Jesus revealed a great deal more of the Father than just His existence. John Ritenbaugh explains that God, through Christ, has communicated tirelessly with humanity through men and angels. The first chapters of Hebrews displays Christ's superiority over even the angels, who as their Creator, "makes His angels spirits and His ministers a flame of fire."
Be There Next Year
'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh
Members of God's church usually return home from the Feast of Tabernacles with renewed spiritual vigor. Even so, we are painfully aware that some members fall away each year. John Ritenbaugh writes that we must actively seek God and His righteousness to ensure that we will be around to enjoy next year's Feast.
Amos 5 and the Feast of Tabernacles
'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh
How can we evaluate whether our Feast of Tabernacles is a "good" one or not? Using God's criticism of Israel's feasts in Amos 5, John Ritenbaugh shows that the ancient pilgrimage locations of Bethel, Beersheba, and Gilgal provide instruction about what God wants us to learn from His feasts.
Preparing for the Feast
'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh
It is a rare individual in God's church who does not enjoy keeping the Feast of Tabernacles. Each feast becomes "the best Feast ever!" But why does God want us to keep this Feast? John Ritenbaugh shows that the Feast of Tabernacles is far more than a yearly vacation. It is a time set apart for both rejoicing before God and learning to fear Him.
God's Kingdom in the Parables (Part Two)
'Prophecy Watch' by David C. Grabbe
Jesus' parables in Matthew 13 center on a repeated phrase, "The kingdom of heaven is like . . .," and thus they are often called His "Kingdom Parables." David Grabbe expounds on the Parables of the Wheat and the Tares, the Mustard Seed, and the Leaven, keeping this theme at the forefront and showing that Jesus' original audience could easily understand that He spoke directly to them.
The Branch of God's Planting
'Ready Answer' by Bill Onisick
God's Word often employs the metaphor of grafting a branch into a rootstock, the best known of which is Paul's use of it in Romans 11. Bill Onisick describes the process of grafting and the measures that must be taken to ensure a healthy plant, comparing them to what God does to graft His elect into His spiritual Family, to the rootstock of Jesus Christ our Savior.
Excellence in Character (Part Three)
Bible Study by Martin G. Collins
God's purpose is a family matter; He is reproducing Himself in human children transformed to spirit. He wants each member of His Family to have the same righteous character that He does. To this end, Martin Collins writes, each Christian must develop godliness through righteous behavior and service, adding virtue to their faith.
Leaving Christianity Behind
'World Watch' by Richard T. Ritenbaugh
The Millennial Generation, those born in the 1980s and 1990s, is changing the face of the nation, transforming society on both public and private matters - and religion too. Richard Ritenbaugh explores why young people, including Generation Z, are rejecting religious practice for values of their own invention.