Overcoming Boredom in Church

  • Many people wrestle with boredom in church. Often the pursued solution to this boredom is to find a “bigger” and “better” church experience. But what if this approach doesn’t satisfy?
  • Maybe you need to consider the possibility that your faith has become more “me” centered than “He” centered? Maybe a new church isn’t the answer, but a new posture in worship? Here are 3 words that have the power to forever change your experience of church.
  • “Rejoice”... As you prepare to go to worship, begin by embracing an attitude of gratitude. Reflect on the Lord’s goodness and his many blessings in your life, and thank him for them.
  • “Revere”... Focus your heart on who God is and the amazing reality that he loves you! The more you meditate on the reality that the sovereign Creator of the universe loves you, and has lavished his amazing grace upon you, the more your heart will be bent towards praise.
  • “Refocus”... Follow Paul’s admonition in Romans 12:1-2 and ask God to refocus your heart’s priorities. As you enter worship, say to the Lord, “God, my one desire today is to honor you. Please use this service to transform me, and further conform me to your holy will.”
  • By practicing these 3 “R’s” you can adopt a new posture in worship and experience the fullness of joy and blessing that’s available in gathering for worship at church.

For more information on God’s purposes for worship and the Church, please check out the Apologetics Study Bible for Students, available in our online store.

Loving the Children God has Entrusted to Our Care

  • In Genesis 48 we find an interesting scene where the aged Patriarch, Jacob, on his deathbed, enjoys a final visit with his beloved son, Joseph, and his grandsons, Manasseh and Ephraim. In this scene we find a powerful model of how we can demonstrate love to our children through our time, touch, and talk.
  • In v. 2 we read that Jacob “summoned” or “rallied” his strength in order to make time for his son and grandsons. We get the picture of a man, who even though frail with age, would not miss the opportunity to spend time with his family. It has been said that “love” is rightly spelled, “T-I-M-E”. We can show our children we love them by giving them our time.
  • In v. 8-10 we see Jacob demonstrating his love for his family in the warmth of his embrace and the affection of his kisses. Science tells us that touch is an essential human need from birth to death. However, sadly, many parents fail to convey their love for their children by practicing appropriate, loving touch. Regular, caring hugs and kisses are a powerful tool in building lifelong bonds of trust and commitment between parents and children.
  • In v. 11-16 we find Jacob verbally sharing his love with his son and grandsons. How we talk to our children, especially in conveying our love for them, is vital in building positive relationships. Words of encouragement and affirmation are a testament to our children of our love for them and their importance to us.
  • There is nothing in the scene found in Genesis 48 that would lead us to believe that what Jacob modeled here on his deathbed was foreign to the way he had always loved his family. And the fruit of Jacob’s love is seen in the love returned by Joseph and his sons for their beloved Patriarch.
  • May God give us all the grace to follow Jacob’s example and love our children well. And may we too be blessed in seeing the fruit of our love as it blossoms in the lives of our children and grandchildren.

One of the best ways we can love our children is by passing on to them a legacy of faith. Please visit our online store to find many helpful resources to assist you in sharing a biblical worldview with your family.

Cancel Culture

  • There’s a dangerous movement gaining traction in our world today known as “cancel culture”. This is the practice of publicly bullying, shaming, and silencing a person, business, or institution on the basis of their cultural, religious, or political views.
  • Cancel culture is an anti-intellectual movement in that it does not seek to engage in rational and civil dialogue over different perspectives, but instead seeks to squelch all opposition through the use of ad hominem attacks and boycotts.
  • Cancel culture claims to be an agenda motivated by the goal of tolerance. Unfortunately, the tolerance of cancel culture is anything but genuine tolerance. Genuine tolerance implies the reality of disagreements, while also seeking to engage in those disagreements agreeably. The tolerance of cancel culture is a forced unanimity that leaves no room for dissenting voices.
  • Cancel culture is antithetical to a biblical worldview. It is marked by pride, it leaves no room for grace or forgiveness, and it denies the sanctifying and transforming power of the Holy Spirit.

For more information on the worldview that shapes today’s cancel culture, please check out Jason Carlson’s audio album titled, Answering the Challenges of a Post-Christian Culture, available in our online store.

Responding to Those Who Leave the Faith

  • We often hear the sad news of another public figure who has chosen to walk away from their faith in Jesus Christ. How should believers respond to stories like these? How should we respond to people we know personally who abandon their faith?
  • Our first response should always be prayer. We should pray for the individual who has left the faith, we should pray for those who know and love them, and we should pray that God would be glorified no matter our hurt or confusion.
  • Our second response should be to offer our presence. Many people will feel the initial reaction of wanting to argue or persuade the individual to turn back to their faith. This is a normal response, however, before we deal with someone’s doubts or disappointments we need to assure them of our love and commitment to them.
  • Our third response should be to seek God’s peace. We need to remember that God is sovereign and is working in all situations to bring about his good and perfect plan. We might not always understand his ways, but when we lean on him by faith, we can experience his perfect peace.
  • Our fourth response should be patience. As we trust in God’s will and plans by faith, we need to exercise patience, even though we long to see our friend or loved one’s faith restored. God’s timing is always perfect and we need to remember that Jesus is the good shepherd who loves all of his wayward sheep. He will not give up on them.
  • Our fifth response should be to proclaim. As we pray, love, and trust in the midst of our relationship with those who’ve abandoned their faith, we must repeatedly affirm and share the truths and promises of God with them. We especially need to highlight the beauty of the gospel and God’s amazing grace for all people.

For more helpful ways to love and minister to those who have walked away from the faith, please check out Jason and Jared Carlson’s audio album, Answering the Tough Topics, available in our online store.

Rejoicing Always

  • In times like these when we find ourselves wrestling with fears and concerns related to the Covid-19 pandemic, it can be difficult to find cause for rejoicing. However, the Bible commands Christians to “Rejoice in the Lord always” (Philippians 4:4).
  • How is it that we can be a people of rejoicing, always? It starts by remembering that Christian joy isn’t based on our circumstances; it’s based on the One who superintends our circumstances. As Christians we can rejoice always because our trust is in a God who is sovereign and good in all things.
  • As Christians we can rejoice in what God has done for us in our salvation. The apostle Peter calls this reality “a living hope”; and he declares that we can rejoice in this hope even though we presently suffer grief in all kinds of trials (1 Peter 1:3-6). No matter our circumstances, we have a constant basis for joy in our salvation.
  • As Christians we can rejoice in what God is doing for us through our present circumstances. The apostle James encourages us to find joy, even in our trials, because God uses our trials to grow our faith and mature us (James 1:2-5, 12). Nobody enjoys trials, but when we understand God’s purpose in them, to make us more like Christ, that’s a reason to rejoice.
  • As Christians we can rejoice in what God will do in our lives in the future. How can we rejoice over things that haven’t even happened yet? Because as the apostle Paul tells us, “in all things God works for the good of those who love him” (Romans 8:28). As the Lord assured Israel thousands of years ago, God knows the plans he has for you too (Jeremiah 29:11). So, trust him and rejoice.

For more information on the basis for Christian joy, please check out the many encouraging articles in The Apologetics Study Bible for Students, available in our online store.


  • Joy is something altogether different from happiness. The word “happiness” in Latin is Fortuna. This is where the English word “fortune” comes from. For many people, happiness truly is dependent upon their fortunes or circumstances.
  • As Christians, we are not to live pursuing the fickle state of happiness, but rather, we are to live in a constant state of joy. In fact, the apostle Paul encourages us, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice” (Philippians 4:4).
  • The word “rejoice” can best be understood as a call to “return to the source of our joy”. So, for the Christian, true joy comes not from what we experience in life, but from our relationship with the Giver of abundant life (John 10:10).
  • Nehemiah 8:10 declares, “the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Do you feel weak and overwhelmed by life today? Look to the Lord. He is the source of all joy.
  • Psalm 16:11 says of the Lord, “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” These aren’t subjective experiences we hope for, but objective realities to be found in a relationship with the Lord.
  • Furthermore, we are told in Philippians 3:1-9 that rejoicing in the Lord is a “safeguard”. From what? From false religions and systems of works based righteousness. These pursuits are joy robbers as they offer no ultimate assurance of salvation. Paul says real spiritual joy is only found through faith in Jesus Christ.
  • Are you looking for something more than mere happiness? If so, trust in the Lord. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope” (Romans 15:13).

For more information on the Christian’s basis for joy, please check out the Apologetics Study Bible for Students, available in our online store.

The Mormon’s question, “Have you prayed about the Book of Mormon?”

  • When witnessing to a Mormon it is not uncommon for them to ask the question, “Have you prayed about the Book of Mormon?” When faced with this question it can be helpful to recall the following points...
  • This question is a ploy on the part of the Mormon. Christians have no moral responsibility to seek God over whether historical fabrications and theological heresies are true.
  • The Bible says to test all things (1 John 4:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:21). Ask the Mormon, “Have you tested the Book of Mormon?”
  • Point out the numerous historical and theological inconsistencies in the Book of Mormon.
  • One of the most helpful responses to this question is to simply answer, “Yes, I have; and God told me that the Book of Mormon is a false revelation written by a false prophet.” This response creates a dilemma for the Mormon, for it is now your subjective testimony versus their subjective testimony. You can then invite the Mormon to join you in an objective examination of the Book of Mormon.

For more information on witnessing to Mormons, please check out Dr. Carlson’s book, Fast Facts On False Teachings, available in our online store.

The Bible’s Amazing Prophecies

  • Nearly a third of the Bible is made up of prophecies foretelling future events.
  • The hundreds of fulfilled prophecies found in Scripture are some of the best evidence for its divine inspiration.
  • The Bible contains hundreds of prophecies relating to individuals, cities, nations, and empires; all of which were historically fulfilled (Ex. Jeremiah 25:11-12; Isaiah 44:28; Ezekiel 26:3-14).
  • The Old Testament contains hundreds of prophecies concerning the coming of the messiah and the nature of his ministry; all of which were fulfilled by Jesus Christ (Ex. Micah 5:2; Isaiah 7:14; 2 Samuel 7:12-13).
  • Some of the greatest prophecies in Scripture still await their fulfillment, such as the rapture of the church, the second coming of Jesus Christ, and the Lord’s millennial reign (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Matthew 24; Revelation 20:4-6).

For more helpful evidence on the divine inspiration of Scripture, please check out Dr. Carlson’s lecture, The Bible: Is it the Word of God? available in CD or MP3 in our online store.

Taming the Tongue

  • The tongue is a small 2 oz. muscle, but it’s incredibly powerful. And as the book of James points out, while humans have been able to tame all kinds of animals, no one can tame the tongue (James 3:7-8).
  • Fortunately, though, we aren’t without hope when it comes to our pesky tongues. The book of James also reveals to us the key to finding victory over the tongue’s dangers and harnessing its power for the glory of God: we need to R.A.C.E. to Jesus.
  • First, we need to RECOGNIZE our desperate plight. James 3:8 says, “no human being can tame the tongue.” Like with every other sin in our lives, attaining victory over the tongue by our own efforts is impossible. We need help!
  • Second, we have to ACCEPT the hope of the gospel. James 1:18 says that through God’s gracious provision of salvation we have been reborn, we have a new nature, a new identity; and along with this we receive the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit. It is through the Spirit’s power that we experience sanctification, including the transformation of our tongues.
  • Third, we must CONTINUE regularly in God’s word. In James 1:25 we are told that those who continue in God’s perfect law that brings freedom will be blessed. God’s word is the fuel that produces freedom and victory over sin. Stay in the word!
  • Fourth, we need to ENGAGE the Lord daily in prayer. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” Are you struggling with the tongue? Are you wrestling with sin? Do you need the Lord’s wisdom as you fight these battles? If so, turn to him in prayer and he will help you.

For more information on experiencing God’s transforming power in our lives, please check out the Apologetics Study Bible for Students, available in our online store.

The Question, “What if Jesus Survived the Crucifixion?”

  • One argument sometimes raised against the literal, physical resurrection of Jesus is called the Swoon Theory. This argument posits the idea that Jesus never really died as a result of the crucifixion, but instead, Jesus was mistakenly declared dead and placed in a tomb. After three days in the tomb, Jesus awoke, emerged from the grave, and convinced his followers that he had risen from the dead.

There are a number of problems with the argument that Jesus survived the crucifixion, for example:

  • The Romans were expert executioners; and the executioners presiding over Jesus’ crucifixion made certain he was dead. The Gospels record that the two criminals who were crucified with Jesus had their legs broken to hasten their deaths. However, when the executioners examined Jesus they found no reason to break his legs as he was already dead (John 19:33).
  • The biblical record also reports that the executioners jabbed a spear through Jesus’ side to assure he was dead (John 19:34). The Gospels record that blood and water spilled out of this stab wound, indicating death by traumatic shock and acute heart failure.

Furthermore, even if we assume Jesus survived the crucifixion, there are still numerous challenges for the Swoon Theory to overcome:

  • How did Jesus escape the mummy-like grave clothes he was buried in (John 19:38-42)?
  • How did a barely alive Jesus move the large stone blocking the tomb’s entrance (Matthew 27:60)?
  • How did Jesus get past the guard unit commissioned by Pilate to make the tomb secure (Matthew 27:65)?
  • How did a bruised and battered Jesus convince his followers that he was the risen Lord who had triumphantly conquered the grave?
  • And lastly, what happened to Jesus if he wasn’t God incarnate who rose from the grave and ascended into Heaven? Are we to believe that someone of Jesus’ acclaim just disappeared from history, never to be seen or heard from again?
  • The Swoon Theory is ultimately a desperate attempt to explain away the overwhelming historical evidence for the literal, physical resurrection of Jesus.

For more information on the resurrection of Jesus Christ please check out Dr. Carlson’s lecture, The Resurrection: Fiction or Fact?, available in CD or MP3 in our online store.