Saturday Sampler: September 4 — September 10

In The Millennial Kingdom: Back to the Future, Part 8, Clint Archer of The Cripplegate makes sense of God’s promises to Israel in the Old Testament. He clears up a lot of confusion, while demonstrating principles of good Bible interpretation.

Ah, the excitement of being engaged! Yet sometimes the engagement period forces us to think more carefully about Prince Charming, as Michelle Lesley shows us in The Mailbag: My fiance and I don’t agree on theology. If you or your daughter is contemplating marriage, this post will provide excellent guidance concerning the most essential aspect of Christian marriage.

Writing as a For the Church contributor, Lydia Schaible encourages us to Age with Joy. Since I’m a little over a year away from 70, I desperately needed this Biblical point of view. Maybe some of you will also find comfort in what she has to say.

Looking over sermon notes that her elder preached in 2013, Elizabeth Prata writes The Love of Jesus is,.. in The End Time. Both she and I blogged about God’s wrath last week, so this essay provides wonderful balance without compromising truth. Her use of Scripture highlights the object and incredible nature of Christ’s love, so you’ll want this clarifying perspective. You might also see her companion piece, God’s love is...

As a citizen of Australia, Stephen McAlpine is technically under British rule, making his reflections on the passing of Queen Elizabeth II all the more poignant. The day the Queen Met the King includes encouraging glimpses of Her Majesty’s Christian faith, contrasting it against the militant secularism that engulfs England and western culture. As an American, I appreciate reading his view of the situation. As a Christian, I love his concluding paragraphs.

I’m glad someone besides me repudiates the lie that God won’t give you More Than You Can Handle! Austin Dovin, writing in For the Church, firmly insists that He indeed often exceeds our limitations so that we must rely on Him.

Saturday Sampler: August 28 — September 3

Progressives and non-Christians love claiming that the Bible condones slavery, as if that approval gives cause to reject its authority. Thankfully, SlimJim posts a helpful Fact Sheet on Bible and Slavery on his The Domain for Truth blog. It’s short and easily read, but it clears up a lot of common misconceptions about slavery in Biblical times.

I do not condone the new trend of employees quiet quitting at their jobs. But there’s an even worse trend, as Stephen McAlpine shows us by his post, Hey Christian, Don’t “Quiet Quit” Your Faith. I don’t always agree with McAlpine, so I can’t recommend his post blog without reservation. But this article deserves attention. We very much need reminders such as he gives us here.

Clint Archer, writing for The Cripplegate, finishes his excellent series on eschatology with More Reckonings: Back to the Future, Part 7. This series has answered many of my questions about the end times. I pray it’s also helped you.

Homosexuality has become an uncomfortable topic for Christians because the world no longer regards it as shameful. Calvin Goligher, contributing to Reformation 21, writes Talk about an Awkward Term to remind us why standing for God’s design for human sexuality is so necessary, even when our culture would rather that we conform to current attitudes.

Maybe discernment is easier than we think. By Comparing Two Religions (that go by the same name) in her Growing 4 Life blog, Leslie A uses Scripture to differentiate between true and false Christianity. Although sometimes the particulars are more subtle than the examples she uses, careful examination will ultimately expose false teaching.

R. Scott Clark’s The Lapsed Now And Then: What The Decian Persecution Teaches Us About Recovering From Covid wonderfully draws on early church history to help us walk in grace toward our brothers and sisters with whom we disagree. Even if the very thought of history makes your skin crawl, give this piece a chance. Its application just might bless you.

After reading When You Hear of a Scandal by Darryl Dash, I’ve decided to subscribe to Dashhouse. What a balanced, godly response to the constant deluge of scandalous information that assaults us daily!

I’m not sure how much of you care about Roman Catholicism, but I found Leonardo De Chirico’s September article in The Vatican Files extremely helpful in understanding the political dynamics of this religious system. One Roman (Vatican) Stop After a Catholic (German) Push examines a current controversy caused by progressive German Catholic leaders. While we Protestants may not have much interest in the skirmish in and of itself, De Chirico provides invaluable insight into Rome’s resistance to the Gospel.

Thanks to Michelle Lesley for posting Throwback Thursday – Nine Reasons Discerning Women Are Leaving Your Church again. Please remember as you read this one that Michelle is a strong proponent of active church membership, so she is by no means advocating Lone Ranger Christianity. Rather, she highlights nine serious problems that churches need to address.

Do you sometimes dream of performing a great ministry for God? I know I find myself wanting to be a well-known blogger with thousands of devoted followers. So I praise the Lord for The End Time, in which Elizabeth Prata reminds us that Blooming where He plants you glorifies God just as beautifully as the ministries that receive notice and applause. Elizabeth published this little gem of an essay precisely when I really needed it!

Saturday Sampler: August 21 — August 27

I’ve been on both extremes of viewing my salvation that Elizabeth Prata describes in If in fact the Spirit dwells in you… This study of the assurance of salvation, published in The End Time, addresses both over-confident false converts and insecure believers. A diligent student of God’s Word, Elizabeth uses Scripture in its context to help readers discern their standing with God.

If John and I could have had children, homeschooling would have been the only option we’d consider. In contrast, Tim Challies allowed each of his children to choose. His youngest has decided to complete her final two years of high school at home. The Day We Became Homeschoolers shares her surprisingly mature reasons for deciding that homeschool is best for her. It gives first-person evidence that public schools in Canada indoctrinate children. As you read, bear in mind that the United States generally follows Canada’s lead.

If Jesus has paid the penalty for our sins, why does the Bible indicate judgment for believers? Clint Archer answers this question by writing Reckonings & Rewards: Back to the Future, Part 6 for The Cripplegate.

Answering a question from one of her readers, Michelle Lesley writes The Mailbag: When OMG a 3CV? This blog post will make you think about how you use the Lord’s Name both in casual conversation and in your personal prayer time. I’m not sure we take the Third Commandment as seriously as we ought, so I applaud Michelle for writing this piece.

Reflecting on his recent Twitter exchange with Beth Moore, Josh Buice explores the topic of how Christians express love. Do I Love Beth Moore? Y/N appears in the G3 Ministries Blog, thoughtfully working through Biblical types of love as opposed to worldly expectations and presumptions. He reminds me that clear communication depends on clearly defining terms before demanding a yes or no answer.

J. Alan Branch contributes to For the Church with a fascinating retelling of how Joseph Smith twisted a passage in Isaiah to cover up for one of his many outlandish claims. How Dangerous Hermeneutics Can Inform False Teachers is about more than a nasty episode in Mormon history, however. It points to the necessity of proper Bible interpretation to avoid error.

Saturday Sampler: August 14 — August 20

What Can a Heart Do? by Tim Challies might strike you as a little odd in the first few paragraphs, but keep reading. It’s a fascinating article that will give you plenty of food for thought.

If you need help understanding eschatology as much as I do, Clint Archer’s current series in The Cripplegate is a blessing. Granted, The Great Tribulation: Back to the Future, Part 5 may not exactly feel like a blessing, as Clint himself admits. Still, it blessed me to have him walk me through the Scriptures to give me a handle on the chronology of end time events. I can’t recommend this blog post too highly!

What does the Bible really say about lawsuits? Michelle Lesley explores that question by writing The Mailbag: Should I Sue? Her response looks at Scripture, discussing its context, and from there examines some possible ramifications of filing a suit. She also directs us to seek both Biblical and legal counseling in order to make a wise and godly decision.

Leslie A recently had a conversation that made her think about Our Best and Highest Endeavor as Christians. The point she makes in this post in Growing 4 Life is so simple, and yet it makes a case for a practice that (to our shame) we often neglect. Think about her point, asking the Lord if you need to grow in this matter.

Just after I published my article on shut-ins, Michelle Lesley ran a Guest Post: Ministering to the Sick: More than a Checklist by Melissa Morris. Melissa speaks as someone all too familiar with catastrophic illness, so she provides a helpful insider’s perspective.

Inspired by teaching in her home church, Elizabeth Prata writes ACTS: A prayer method for The End Time. Even if you know this popular approach to prayer (I’ve been using it for over ten years), you may find her interpretation of it refreshing. The Scriptures she uses are especially beautiful, and well worth your consideration.

Saturday Sampler: August 7 — August 13

In her post for TheoThoughts, Lisa Spencer challenges certain tweets from the Woke crowd by writing Can we only imagine? on race and ethnicity in the eschaton. She introduces this piece with a disclaimer that some of her points are only speculation. I’m not sure about that. Practically everything she says lines up with Scripture as far as I can tell. And her emphasis on the main focus of God’s Kingdom is absolutely beautiful!

As a pastor’s wife, Melissa of Your Mom Has A Blog joins her husband when he counsels married couples. She draws on her counseling experience — as well as her own 23 years of marriage — to write Dishes and Divorce: Why Little Things Can Lead to a Breakup. Even if you’ve been married for a while, her insight can serve as encouragement to keep your marriage healthy.

In his G3 Ministries Blog, Josh Buice confronts the latest trend among evangelicals. Dear Christian, Stop Being Winsome challenges the idea that we must avoid offending people, even if that avoidance requires us to compromise truth. He lists several examples from Scripture of behavior that was decidedly not winsome.

Do you struggle with the sin of complaining? I sure do! So I appreciate Leslie A for writing It’s All in How You Look at It in Growing 4 Life. It’s amazing to see how this woman gets such profound spiritual lessons out of mundane things like clouds and reading glasses.

Gentle Reformation features An On-Going Battle by Kyle E Sims. He gives a hopeful and encouraging perspective on the seemingly endless struggle against sin. I read it soon after a discouraging time of confessing sins that I’d thought I’d made significant progress mortifying, finding a wonderful sense of relief and joy in God’s grace. Maybe this post will offer you similar reassurance.

Once again. Beth Moore has drawn attention to herself by justifying her rebellious action of preaching in a Sunday morning church service. In an essay for The End Time, Elizabeth Prata explains that The Bible is clear: Women cannot be pastors or teach men. This even includes Beth Moore. Elizabeth is, in my opinion, the leading authority on this particular false teacher, having researched her extensively for over a decade.

In his post for Knowable Word, Peter Krol writes Context Matters: The Whole Armor of God to show how that famous passage from Ephesians 6 fits into the epistle as a whole. I especially like his emphasis on the Lord’s strength as we battle against spiritual forces.

Leslie A has a second blog post this week, again drawing on her simple experience as a grandmother to make a spiritual application. A Lesson from the Candy Store warns us about the ways false teachers easily deceive us.

Saturday Sampler: July 31 — August 6

You’ll probably wonder why I’d start this week’s Sampler with such a heady article as Leonardo De Chirico’s Nature and Grace in the Theology of Joseph Ratzinger — A Historical Sketch of the Nature-Grace Interdependence in this month’s edition of Vatican Files. Okay, reading it requires a little more effort than reading a typical blog post. But it goes a long way in clarifying how Roman Catholic thought (even in the 21st Century) departs from the Bible’s teachings on nature and grace.

False teachers are more harmful than a lot of us might think. In The End Time, Elizabeth Prata warns, Don’t let anyone disqualify you from the prize! Using Colossians 2:18, she shows us some of the subtle tactics these teachers use in their attempts to divide Christians from the true Gospel.

Clint Archer makes a compelling case for a Pre-trib Rapture in Rapture vs Second Coming: Back to the Future, Part 4. I’ve been learning a lot through his series, which The Cripplegate has been running, and I definitely appreciate understanding his position. I would have liked it better, however, if he had presented the common arguments for Mid-trib and Post-trib raptures. Thankfully, he did touch on the reasons to reject those possibilities, which helps me understood the Pre-trib position better.

Pastor Tedd Mathis shares a Letter to a good man about the Gospel in teddmathisdotcom. I regret that I didn’t write a similar letter to my mom before her death. If you have unsaved loved ones who stand at the doors of eternity, Tedd’s letter might serve as a helpful template for your own letter (of course, you’ll write in your own words, using some original thoughts, to avoid plagiarism).

I have a second offering from The Cripplegate, this time written by Jesse Johnson. How to become a Calvinist in 5 easy steps is entertaining and amusing. It may also encourage you to keep praying for your Arminian friends.

Michelle Lesley encourages women to focus on our legitimate opportunities in Throwback Thursday – Unforbidden Fruits: 3 Ways Women MUST Lead and Teach the Church. I read this blog post when Michelle first published it in 2018, and I believe I included it in Saturday Sampler at the time. But the debate over women pastors has only escalated since then, so I’m pleased to bring it to your attention a second time. She gives marvelous suggestions for ways women should serve our local churches.

Saturday Sampler: July 24 — July 30

False converts do exist, sadly. In TheoThoughts, Lisa Spencer warns us to Beware of the bootleg anointing of false salvation. I love her reminder of the Source of true conversion, as well as her balanced explanation of how we can examine ourselves.

I’ve never been strong on eschatology, I’m ashamed to say. So Clint Archer’s current series in The Cripplegate is really helping me! I particularly appreciate the presentation of various viewpoints, as we see in 1 Kingdom, 3 Views: Back to the Future, Pt 3. Although Clint doesn’t hide which view he favors, he acknowledges that solid Christians hold differing opinions. He also trusts his readers to reach our own conclusions. If, like me, you’ve shied away from studying eschatology, please don’t pass up this opportunity to learn.

Elizabeth Prata of The End Time responds to some of her critics with Should we look at a teacher’s lifestyle? Or only his/her doctrine? She carefully takes us through Scripture concerning this very important aspect of Biblical discernment.

Technology hasn’t exactly created new sins, but it does provide new ways of sinning. In The Mailbag: She’s single and pregnant by IFV. How do I respond?, Michelle Lesley explores attitudes toward our fellow church members when they openly celebrate their disobedience. She reminds us not to make matters even worse.

Musing on the death of a dear friend, Melissa of Your Mom Has a Blog writes Heaven is True Love Realized. I loved this sweet tribute to her loved one, as well as her encouragement to those of us still waiting to go Home.

What Makes You Really Angry? asks Leslie A in a post for Growing 4 Life. Obviously, most of us (do you see me raising my guilty hand?) rage over the wrong things. We’re selfish. But Leslie directs our attention to something that infuriated the apostle Paul. It should infuriate us as well!

Can we ever have too many posts from Elizabeth Prata? In my opinion: no. And What happens when we go outside of God’s Word? is just too good to neglect in this curation. She starts by a behind the scenes look at the best-selling novel, The Shack, to explore some of the dangers in seeking personal revelations and comfortable understandings of God.

When I read Ryan Higginbottom’s title, Not Every Interesting Detail is Important, in Knowable Word, my initial reaction was shock. Isn’t every word in Scripture breathed out by God? Well yes. At the same time, we have the responsibility to practice proper rules of interpretation. Ryan demonstrates how to determine when details enhance a passage and when they distract us from the meaning.

Saturday Sampler: July 17 — July 23

Sometimes Ryan Higginbottom writes a blog post title in Knowable Word that shocks me. You Don’t Have to Read the Bible Every Day is one such title. After reading the article, however, you may find yourself eager to read the Bible every day.

I had decided last week that I wouldn’t share every installment of Clint Archer’s new series on eschatology in The Cripplegate. But once I began reading Kingdom Come: Back to the Future, Pt 2, I changed my mind! Clint writes with careful balance as he presents all views on this controversial subject, gently explaining his view. So far, he has the same understanding as I do, and he’s helping me see how Scripture supports that understanding. Even if you hold a different eschatological position, this series will encourage you to go back to God’s Word and study your beliefs. Who knows? Perhaps you’ll send me a message on The Outspoken TULIP Facebook page showing me where Clint is mistaken.

A mishap at the dog groomer’s inspired Leslie A to write that Change Isn’t Always Welcome in her Growing 4 Life blog. I opened the post with expectations of warnings against seeker friendly churches that compromise God’s Word in order to attract the unchurched, but I quickly found Leslie going in a much different direction. She addresses something that Christians face as we grow in our obedience to the Lord.

For the most part, I avoid the topic of partisan politics on this blog. But if you read SlimJim’s article, Disturbing: 44 percent of Young male Democrats approves of political assassination, to the end, you’ll understand why I’ve included it in this week’s Sampler. Jim writes for The Domain for Truth.

Having spent a large percentage of my life around ex-gay ministry, I found Rosaria Changes Her Mind About “Conversion Therapy” by R. Scott Clark in The Heidelblog to be absolutely fascinating…and encouraging. Maybe only a few of you will care about this subject (hopefully I’m wrong), but I was so excited by it that I can’t resist sharing it!

Nathan Eshelman, writing for Reformation 21, caught my attention by opening Christ’s Pattern, a Masterful Work with a story of a painting mistakenly attributed to Rembrandt. He uses this historical incident to remind us of how we can imitate Christ.

You know my passion for applying Titus 2:3-5 to how I live as well as how I write this blog. So when I opened The End Time and read Elizabeth Prata’s Younger women, you’ll be older someday, I was tickled pink! Younger sisters, please consider the points Elizabeth makes, so that the Lord will prepare you to be older women who bring glory to Him.

Saturday Sampler: July 10 — July 16

Writing in The Heidelblog, R. Scott Clark shows us how Paul Was A Gospel-Man in preaching salvation by faith alone. I almost stopped reading his piece halfway through, thinking that he advocated unrestrained grace, but thankfully I kept on to the end. Please give Clark a fair shake before deciding that he teaches error. I’m certainly glad I did!

Generally, I try to exercise caution when it comes to eschatology, and I hope you do as well. But in Into to Eschatology: Back to the Future, Pt 1, Clint Archer opens his series on the topic by establishing such Biblical guidelines for studying it that I can recommended his post for The Cripplegate without the slightest bit of reservation. I’ll be reading the subsequently posts eagerly. Will you join me?

Leslie A has such a knack for getting to the root of things! She does it again with There’s a Supplement for That in Growing 4 Life. But why did she have to choose the three sins I struggle with the most to use as examples?

Do you tend to look down your nose at social media? If so, I invite you to read Social media is not ‘an extra’ by Elizabeth Prata of The End Time. If I say anything more about her thought provoking essay, I fear stealing her thunder, and I really want you to read what she has written. Yes, it’s that important.

It’s wonderful when Sunny Shell feels up to making a post on her Abandoned to Christ blog! With tremendous insight coupled with compassion and sensitivity, she first examines the typical understanding of what a “life verse” is. Then she tells us what Everyone’s Life Verse ought to be, and why it ought to be our verse.

We often need to remember that We Are Drawn to Jesus by the Father’s Loving Kindness, as Paul Tautgus demonstrates from Scripture. I appreciate the way his blog, Counseling One Another, emphasizes Biblical doctrine as the means of dealing with life.

You Are Smart Enough to Study the Bible, insists Ryan Higginbottom in his article for Knowable Word. If self-doubt makes you hesitant to study God’s Word, Ryan encourages you to set aside your feelings of inadequacy. He reminds us that the website he writes for provides excellent resources to help.

Saturday Sampler: July 3 — July 9

Did Gay Pride Month get you down? It definitely can be wearing! That’s why Don’t Be Discouraged by Pride Month by Robby Lashua offers such a refreshing perspective. This article, published on the Stand to Reason website, reminds us Who controls the calendar.

I don’t know how many of you follow the antics of the Southern Baptist Convention, nor do I know how many of you even care. But for those of us who are concerned, Michelle Lesley writes The Mailbag: How could anyone stay in the SBC now? it’s a lengthy article, but very helpful to those who struggle with whether or not to stay in an SBC church.

Elizabeth Prata uses the example of Solomon’s marriage to the daughter of Pharaoh in The End Time to illustrate that You cannot pet sin, it will always bite you. Please don’t dismiss her post with the assumption that you already understand the consequences of sin. Elizabeth puts a finer point on the matter, leading us toward greater maturity in sanctification.

Have you ever seen the optical illusion depicting (depending on your perception) either a beautiful young woman or an old hag? Jesse Johnson, in a post for The Cripplegate, uses that image as an analogy for how we can understand the implications of Christ’s temptation in the wilderness. The temptation: beautiful young woman or old hag? may enhance your appreciation of that familiar Bible narrative.

Have you heard about evangelicals who claim to deconstruct the faith? It has been a trend over the last few years, and seems to have gained momentum lately. In an article for Slave to the King, Chris Hohnholz examines this phenomenon to explain why Deconstruction is Not Reformation.

What can catching fireflies on a summer evening teach us about our attitude toward sin? In a post on Growing 4 Life, Leslie A muses on this matter. Flying Free calls us to look at those sins that seem inconsequential (or at least understandable) as well as the freedom we have to fly away from them.