Posts

What You DON'T Need to Be an Effective Preacher

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This is for my fellow preachers.  I was reading about John the Baptist this evening.  Obviously he is one of the greatest preachers who ever lived.  How did he become so effective?  Well, let's start with what he did NOT have: A good location.  John came preaching in the wilderness of Judea.  Mt 3:1 A positive and encouraging message.  John preached repentance and judgment.  Mt 3:2, 7-10 A trendy look.  John wore a camel-hair garment with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey.  Mt 3:4 A nice church building.  John preached in the open air and baptized people in the Jordan River.  Mt 3:6 Instead, here's what you do need: You must preach Jesus – faith and obedience to Him.  Mt 3:11 You must have a high view of Christ (devotion to Him).  Mt 3:11 You must preach hell.  Mt 3:12 You must be fearless, not caring if people are offended, or if they reject you.  Mt 3:7-10

Understanding The Crucifixion of Christ

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Crucifixion goes back to 600 BC.  It was invented by the Persians, passed on to the Carthaginians, and then passed on to the Romans.  It was the dominant form of capital punishment by the Romans until AD 337.   William Barclay wrote, “There was no more terrible death than death by crucifixion.” Cicero called it “the most cruel and horrifying death.” Tacitus described it as a “despicable death” It was so terrible that the Romans never crucified anyone in the homeland; it was only used in the provinces, such as Judea.  It was never used on Roman citizens, no matter how horrible the crime.  It was reserved for slaves and the worst criminals who were not Roman citizens. The pain of crucifixion was so horrible that there were no words that could describe it, so a new word was invented -- excruciating.  The word literally means "from the cross." Crucifixion always followed a standard pattern.  When the criminal was condemned, the governor would say, “ Ibis ad crucem ,” or “You will

My Battle With Silent Reflux

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My name is Andy Manning.  I am a Baptist preacher in South Louisiana.  This is the story of my battle with silent reflux. On November 16, 2017, at the age of 37, at woke up with shortness of breath.  I could breathe, but I felt like I wasn't getting enough air.  I felt like I needed to take a deep breath, but I couldn't.  We went to the emergency room, where the doctor took an x-ray of my chest and lungs.  She didn't see anything wrong with me, and suggested that I might be struggling with anxiety.  However, she did notice a spot on my lungs, so she sent me to have it checked out further.  But alas, those tests came back negative.  Still, the shortness of breath lingered.  It never subsided.  I went to my family doctor for help, who prescribed an inhaler for asthma, but it didn't help.  By this time I was getting more and more anxious, wondering what was wrong with me.  Was I dying?  Why couldn't the doctors figure out what was wrong with me?  Did I have cancer, or

Who Was Pontius Pilate?

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Pontius Pilate played such a major role in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ that, to understand the crucifixion, you have to understand the Roman governor behind it. Rome conquered Israel in 63 BC.  A few years later, Rome installed Herod the Great as its puppet king of the entire country.  In 4 BC, Herod died, dividing his kingdom between his three sons.  Antipas received Galilee and Peraea.  Philip received Batanea, Auranitis, and Trachonitis.  And Archelaus, only eighteen years old at the time, received Idumaea, Judea, and Samaria (together making up the province of Judea).  Antipas and Philip were capable leaders, but Archelaus proved to be crooked and cruel.  Thus, in AD 6 Rome deposed him and in his place appointed a Roman governor over the province of Judea.  Fast forward to AD 26-36, when Pontius Pilate served as the fifth governor of Judea. As the governor of a Roman province, Pilate had 3,000 troops under his command, some stationed at his headquarters in Caesarea, and some in

Why Does the KJV Translate "Epi" as "In" Rather Than "On" in Revelation 13:16?

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I recently received this question from a young lady in my church.  She had been debating a friend who believed that the mark of the beast will be something placed "in" the skin, like a microchip.  She argued that Rev 13:16 says the mark will be "on" the skin, not "in".  But her friend pointed out that the KJV says "in" and not "on".  The young lady was at a loss, so she asked me why the modern Bible translations differ from the KJV.  The following is my reply: About your question concerning the mark of the beast:  "In Revelation 13:16, why do modern translations say the mark of the beast will be "on" the hand or forehead, but the KJV says it will be "in" the hand or forehead?" Thank you for the question!  I'm so excited that you are thinking deeply about these things.   The New Testament was originally written in Greek.  The Greek word epi does not mean "in", it means "on".  You can

Problems With KJV-Onlyism: (6) It is Divisive

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One of the main problems with KJV-Onlyism is that is causes division.  It destroys Christianity unity.  Unity was the main thing Christ prayed for in John 17 (v. 20-21).  We are commanded to pursue unity.  Ephesians 4:3 says, “making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” But KJV-Onlyists destroy that unity. It’s one thing to say that you prefer the KJV.  That’s okay.  We all have our favorite translations.  It’s okay even if you think the KJV is the most accurate translation.  I happen to think the CSB is more accurate than the NLT.  But to say that the KJV is the only Bible that is the word of God, and all other translations are corrupt and should be rejected, this is too far.  This is majoring on the minors.   Remember that there are first, second, and third-order doctrines and issues in the church.  First-order doctrines are beliefs that one must hold to be a Christian.  Second-order doctrines are beliefs that Christians must agree on to belong to

Problems With KJV-Onlyism: (5) The KJV Translators Would Not Be KJV-Onlyists

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One of the problems main weaknesses of KJV-Onlyism is that the translators of the KJV would not support KJV-Onlyism.  How do we know?  In the original 1611 edition, the translators included an eleven-page preface entitled "The Translators to the Reader."  In the preface the translators write the following: (1) They admire the work of previous translators of English Bibles.  “And to the same effect we say, that we are so far off from condemning any of their labors that travailed before us in this kind,… that we acknowledge them to have been raised up of God for the building and furnishing of his Church, and that they deserve to be had of us and of posterity in everlasting remembrance.” (2) They declare that all previous English translations are the Word of God, even if they contain minor errors.  They give as an example the word of King James.  If King James gives a speech to Parliament, then that is the king’s word.  If the speech is then translated into French, even with min