Edifying Christian Biographies That Will Bless Every True Christian!

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When it comes to reading, I definitely read the Bible more than anything else.  I do read other books, though!  However, my favorite type of book is not a book on apologetics, systematic theology, comparative religions or Church history.  My favorite kind of book to read besides the Bible is a good Christian biography.

I don’t know exactly how many I have read at this point, but it has to be somewhere around 75-100 over the last 18 years or so.  They are so edifying to me.  When I read about other Saints of God and what God did in them and through them, it stirs up hope, faith and zeal in me.  It makes me believe God for more than I currently am and pushes me further in the faith.

Often times I will get deeply challenged by the faith of some of these past Saints.  The things that they trusted God for and the different miraculous things that God did on their behalf, amazes me.  I thank God for these precious Saints and look forward to hearing more of their stories in the Kingdom of God.

Many people ask me about books I would recommend for them to read.  Below is a list of biographies that I would recommend every and any Christian read.  They are in no particular order.  These are my favorite biographies.  I do believe that God will bless you through them.  In my mind, short of being “inspired by God” as Scripture, these books are like an extension on the Book of Acts.

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Divorce, Remarriage and Adultery, According to the Bible – Is Matthew 19 Talking About Marriage or Betrothal? – Kerrigan Skelly

divorce

Divorce and remarriage is a very sensitive subject, for many different reasons.  It effects adults, it effects children, it could effect where you will spend eternity, it could effect what Church you are able to be a part of and it could effect friendships you have.  When it comes to different viewpoints on this subject from the Bible, there is one that seems to be “on the rise.”

The view that I am referring to, is the one that states the following:  If you have been divorced from your first spouse, you cannot remarry at all unless the first spouse has died.  And if you have already remarried someone else (with your first spouse still alive), then you must now divorce them or you are in perpetual adultery and on your way to Hell.  It doesn’t matter how long you were married to the first spouse or what reasons you had for divorcing him/her.  It doesn’t matter how many children you have or how long you have been married to the current spouse.  It doesn’t matter if your first spouse has remarried someone else or not.

It also doesn’t matter, according to this view, if you were a non-believer when you got divorced and have since become a believer who is now married to another believer.  It doesn’t even matter if your first spouse is still a non-Christian, according to this view.  You should still seek to be reconciled to them or remain single (after you get divorced from current spouse).

This view basically says that any other marriages while the first spouse is still alive are not legitimate marriages in God’s eyes. This view has been responsible for breaking up lots of Godly marriages through false doctrine and false guilt. Many people are now single and either waiting to be rejoined to their first spouse or waiting for that spouse to die.  Some of them are lonely and burning, but are told they would be in sin if the were to marry someone else.

Is this really the way God planned things to be?  Is this position really the Biblical position on divorce and remarriage?  I came really close to believing in it and close to “putting my stake down” on the position.  Fortunately, I continued to study things out and came to different conclusions.  Here’s the first video, where I was basically teaching the view that I have been describing above:

And here’s the second video, where I had changed my mind after studying it out much more thoroughly:

If you want to know what I believe and how it is backed up with Scriptures, the second video is the one you should watch.  My intention in writing this blog post is not to bring up all of the Scriptures in that video and try to prove my current position. Such is already done in the second video from above.  The point of this blog post is to address one of the many objections I have received, from the “no remarriage allowed unless the first spouse has died” group.

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9 Reasons Why Revelation 3:10 Does NOT Support the Pre-Trib Rapture Theory

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Many Christians believe in the Pre-Trib Rapture Theory, when it comes to Eschatology, their beliefs about the end times.  One Scripture that is consistently used to support this view is Revelation 3:10.  I have been teaching through Revelation for a little while now and I don’t believe that Revelation 3:10 supports the Pre-Trib Rapture Theory, at all.  Here are 9 reason why I believe this (point #8 may be the most important point):

1) This verse is wrote specifically and directly to the Church at Philadelphia, not the Church as a whole.

It would only apply conditionally to the Church as a whole, not directly, unconditionally or universally.  The Pre-Trib Rapture people don’t apply the rest of what is written to this Church universally, unconditionally or directly, so why this portion?

 

2) There is no mention of the Church of the end times in this passage, just the Church at Philadelphia.

People who want to apply this verse directly to the “end times” Church can’t give a reason why.  The reason definitely isn’t found in the passage itself.  This is an inconsistency in hermeneutics.

 

3) There is also no mention of “Church ages” in these passages about the seven Churches, let alone about the Church of Philadelphia being representative of the Church right before the rapture.

There is absolutely no reason in the Scriptures to make the different letters to the Churches in Revelation 2-3 into “Church ages”…unless of course you START with Dispensationalism or the Pre-Trib Rapture theory and try to force it upon the Scriptures.  This is called eisegesis.  To properly interpret the Scriptures, we must perform exegesis.  We must find out what the text ACTUALLY says, not try to make it say something that we already believe before we come to the text.

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The Consecrated Communication of the Open Air Preacher (& ALL Christians)

Consecrated Communication

As a Christian and as an open air preacher, I’m constantly trying to memorize and meditate upon more Bible verses/passages.  Besides personal purity (Joshua 1:8, Psalm 119:9-11, Philippians 4:8), I do this because I want to be able to address the things that I see and hear in the open air, directly with the Scriptures.  One thing that comes up quite often is the filthy speech of the sinner.  Often times, they say a lot of gross sexually explicit things, that reveal the depravity of their hearts and that their minds are probably filled with porn.  Their mouths are constantly pouring out cuss/curse words and taking God’s name in vain, as well.

So, I’ve been attempting to memorize more Scriptures concerning such things.  Some of the passages that I have been working on are Matthew 12:33-37, Ephesians 4:29 and Ephesians 5:3-4 and Colossians 3:8.  As I studied these passages and went to the Greek to get a deeper understanding of some of the words being used, I saw some things that are definitely applicable to those who preach in the open air.  I want to share what I have found with you.

In recent years, it seems like the standards of speech for some open air preachers has “gone down the drain”…literally.  All manner of things are said by some open air preachers and even if such things aren’t said by most individual open air preachers, many of the ones who aren’t saying such things justify those who are saying them.  Or maybe the ones who don’t say such things just remain silent in correcting those who do, thinking that it’s not that big of a deal.  Telling filthy, sexually explicit stories is supposedly ok for an open air preacher.  Using curse/cuss words is supposedly ok for the open air preacher.  What’s next?  Will taking God’s name in vain be ok, as well?

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Bible Verse Memorization – Open Air Preaching Bible Verses

BibleMemory

Throughout the years, I’ve had dozens of people ask me about Bible memorization in open air preaching.  I’ve been asked questions about how to memorize the Scriptures (techniques) and what Scriptures to memorize. So, I figured I’d write a blog post on it, so that I have something to point people to when I’m asked this question in the future.

There are all sorts of methods people use, to memorize Scripture.  My advice is to take part in as many techniques as possible.  This way, you have a better chance of solidifying the Scriptures in your mind, that you are attempting to memorize.  Here are some principles that I use, when memorizing Scripture:

1) Don’t overdo it – Don’t start out trying to memorize 20 verses a week.  Such an extreme plan like that, typically leads to someone giving up, due to failure  Start small, with maybe one verse/passage every two weeks.  You could always increase how many verses you memorize every 2 weeks, later on.  YET, If you are consistent with that plan (1 verse/passage every two weeks), you will have memorized 26 verses/passages in the first year.  After 10 years of doing this, you’ll have 260 verses/passages memorized!  Think long term, instead of short term. Be consistent and be faithful.  The goal is not to be able to say, “Look at me, I have lots of Bible verses memorized!”  The goal is to retain the verses in your memory, obey the verses and preach the verses.

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10 Things Consistent Calvinists SHOULD Say (But Usually Don’t) – Refuting Calvinism | Kerrigan Skelly

Calvinism-TrueGospel

This post is in the same theme as my last “10 Things” post (SEE HERE FOR ON THAT POST), except that this one is the EXACT OPPOSITE of the last one.  Sometimes Calvinists remind me of Mormons.  Now, I know that sounds insulting, but please let me explain.  Mormons, often times, try to “hide” some of their more “hard to believe” doctrines from new converts or people they are trying to convert.  They won’t talk about polygamy, the blood atonement doctrine, that Joseph Smith said that the “rest of Christianity” was apostate, that you could have your own planet someday, that God used to be a human being or that Jesus and Satan are brothers.

I see the same thing happening with Calvinists, a lot of the time.  They rarely ever mention their “hard to believe” doctrines while witnessing to the lost, while preaching in the open air or in their prayers.  They rarely ever talk about Unconditional Election or Unconditional Reprobation, on the streets.  They rarely ever talk about Limited/Definite Atonement, while they are witnessing to someone.  They rarely ever mention Irresistible Grace, while they pray.

Why is that?  Are they ashamed of such doctrines?  Do they not think that such doctrines are important?  Do they really believe in them?  In light of these experiences of mine, I have made a list of 10 things that consistent Calvinists SHOULD say, but usually don’t say.  As with the last list, this list doesn’t include all Calvinists.  There may be some Calvinists who would and do say these things.  I couldn’t possibly include all Calvinists, since I don’t know all Calvinists and haven’t had an experience with all Calvinists.  I am simply going by my extended experience with Calvinists, over the last 8 years or so.

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John Calvin Quotes – The Calvinism of John Calvin – Are Calvinists REALLY “Calvinists”?

John Calvin Quotes

As I have dealt with Calvinists throughout the years, there has been one objection that has stood out the most.  There is one thing that I hear them say, more than anything else.  They say this on YouTube videos, on Facebook posts, through email correspondence with them, etc.  They are constantly accusing people of misrepresenting Calvinism, of not knowing what Calvinism “REALLY IS” and of engaging in straw man arguments against their doctrines.

You know what I think the problem is?  I think that that most “Calvinists” aren’t REALLY Calvinists.  They don’t even know what “Calvinism” is.  I’ve been studying Calvinism for about 10 years now.  I’ve studied a lot about Calvinism, both from Calvinists and from those against Calvinism.  I’ve watched videos from both sides, listened to sermons from both sides, read books and articles from both sides, etc.  For the most part, those who are against Calvinism have properly represented it.  There have been those who have engaged in straw man arguments, but they have been few and far between, from what I have seen.

I think that many people who call themselves “Calvinists” haven’t studied much about Calvinism.  They probably heard a passionate sermon from Paul Washer (and YES, HE IS a Calvinist), read an article by Charles Spurgeon, read a book by John Piper, listened to a James White debate, watched an R.C. Sproul lecture or read a John MacArthur Commentary.  Then they put their theological “stake in the ground” and say, “I’m a Calvinist”.  Also, some people are just “bandwagon” Calvinists.  They see it as a popular trend in the circles they are in and “jump in”.  I wonder what will happen when it’s no longer a “popular trend”?

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