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Death is Not Dying

Amy and I just watched this last night and we simply can not say enough good about it.  If you have a wife, please take an hour tonight and watch this together.  If you have a husband, please set aside time and watch this together.

Rachel’s story is not unlike what thousands of women around the world have experienced. A diagnosis that changes a woman’s life and inevitably takes from her what we consider to be most precious.
After four and a half years of vigilantly fighting breast cancer, the 37 year old wife and mother of two was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
But for Rachel the essence of life is found in her relationship with God through Jesus. And that’s why Rachel is convinced that death is not dying.

You can find the video and other information about Rachel at

June 20 2009 | Blog | Comments Off on Death is Not Dying

A Father’s Funeral Address

Several weeks ago Terry Stauffer’s 14 year old daughter was murdered (Terry is a pastor in Alberta, Canada). The following is taken from his address at her funeral:

You can find the rest of the article here, it is well worth the read.


When Emily’s death was confirmed on Saturday night, I was shocked and bewildered. All I could pray was, “O Lord, Help! Help! Help!” As I was on my knees, a thought came to me: “If all my talk about the Gospel and God’s goodness is not true now, then it was never true.”That was a great comfort, for I know this great good news is true. I stand with my wife and family in a long line of Christians who have suffered loss yet look ahead to a “city not made with hands” and the fulfillment of God’s promise of eternal life to those who trust Christ.We will see Emily again. I said to my daughter Petra last night that this clumsy, self-conscious dad is looking forward to dancing with Emily in Heaven as we celebrate God’s glory together.

October 21 2008 | Blog | Comments Off on A Father’s Funeral Address

Maria Chapman Funeral Service

This is a touching news report on the funeral of Maria Chapman (daughter of Steven Curtis Chapman) who was recently killed in a car accident.

May 28 2008 | Blog | 1 Comment »

Sunday Morning Link Dump

I had the privlige of preaching to our congregation this last Sunday morning on Revelation 21:1-4. The following is a link dump for a lot of the stuff that I talked about, referenced, etc. You can find the sermon on our church website, it’s from 11/11/07 and is titled “The Death of Death at the Coming of Christ”.
Pictures from the Fated Dairy Visit
A look at the Greek text of Revelation 21:1-4
Short Biography of Dr. Criswell
The written out story of Dr. Criswell’s flight

November 11 2007 | Blog | Comments Off on Sunday Morning Link Dump

T – Total Inability

The title of this post may be a little bit of a surprise to some of you, because the T in TULIP is not traditionally known as “Total Inability” but rather as “Total Depravity”. In recent years there have been a number of reformed theologians who have opted for this “inability” instead of “depravity” because it seems to be a much clearer explanation of what the Bible teaches about the condition of man’s heart and his inability to respond to God.

The doctrine of “Total Inability” teaches that man is completely and totally unable to respond to God, due to the fact that man is spiritually dead. It is not as if all men are as evil as they could possibly be, but all men are equally dead. It may be best to think of this concept as a battlefield. After a major battle scores of dead bodies are to be found upon the field. Some of these bodies were simply struck by a stray bullet that hit the right place, resulting in death but no major dismemberment; others were struck by large caliber weapons resulting in major disfiguration. In the same way, not all men have been as damaged by the effects of sin, but all are equally dead.

Man’s spiritual death is to be found throughout the pages of Scripture, the following is merely a smattering of passages that teach the fact that man is spiritually dead.
Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned-
Colossians 2:13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh…
Psalm 58:3 The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray from birth, speaking lies.
Jeremiah 13:23 Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then also you can do good who are accustomed to do evil.
Romans 3:10-12 as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”

Genesis 6:5 The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

To be dead is to be unable to respond to anything. I’ve been in crematoriums, where the remains of human beings are being burned and stored. One thing is for sure in a house of the dead, they are completely unable to respond to anything. In the same way, man is totally unable to respond to God b/c man is spiritually dead.

Total Inability is the foundational doctrine upon which all of the Doctrines of Grace rest. It is because of man’s total inability to respond to God that God must be the one initiating salvation through election.

John MacArthur uses the following illustration to show the relationship between Total Inability and Unconditional Election. To deny the doctrine of election, after understanding the doctrine of Total Inability, would be like looking at a man caught in a series of rapids and totally unable to free himself and then calling out “Listen, I’ve got good news for you.” “If you can get out of there, we can help dry you off.” What the man needs is a power far greater than himself to reach in, lift him out of his desperate situation and save him.

October 22 2007 | Doctrines of Grace | Comments Off on T – Total Inability

Real Happiness

The following quote is taken from Thomas Watson’s “A Christian on Earth, Still in Heaven.” I’m posting it here because it was a tremendous blessing to me this afternoon, I trust that it will be the same for you.

“Let all the golden streams of worldly delights run into the heart of a man–yet the heart is not full. Strain out the quintessence of the creature–it turns to froth, “Vanity of vanities!” But in God is sweet satisfaction and contentment. He is a hive of sweetness, a mirror of beauty, a storehouse of riches! He is the river of pleasure, where the soul bathes with infinite delight!”

“The bird, the higher it takes its flight, the sweeter it sings. Just so, the higher the soul is raised above the world–the sweeter joy it has. How is the heart inflamed in prayer! How is it ravished in holy meditation! These joys are those honey-streams which flow out of the rock, Christ! He has those tastes of God’s love–which are the beginnings of heaven. So sweet is this kind of life, that it can drop sweetness into our troubles and afflictions–that we shall be scarcely sensible of them. It can turn the prison into a paradise; the furnace into a festival; it can sweeten death. A soul elevated by grace, can rejoice to think of dying. Death will but cut the string, and the soul, that bird of paradise, shall fly away and be at rest. Happiness is but the cream of holiness!

August 17 2007 | Blog | Comments Off on Real Happiness

EBC Youth Ministry Alumnus Killed in the Line of Duty

I was away at our church’s family camp all last week with limited access to my computer (due to ropes courses, hiking, and white water rafting), so I haven’t been able to post anything recently. While at camp I did learn of the death of Jason Kessler. Jason was a friend of mine who served as my RA during my Junior year at The Master’s College. He was also a graduate of the Student Ministries program of Emmanuel Baptist, where I am currently the Student Ministries pastor. Todd Bolen, who was Jason Kessler’s professor in Israel has written a post with more of the details and some reflections.

One of my favorite memories of Jason was from my Sophomore year of college. I was studying Greek and having a difficult time remembering all of the vocabulary, tenses, etc. I told him that I didn’t think that I was ever going to be able to remember all of this stuff. With a smile on his face, he told me about his own experiences with Greek and some of the benefits that he had received from his time spent studying the original languages. Even today when I become frustrated with my inadequacies with the original languages I am reminded of Jason and of all the benefits that I have already reaped. My thoughts and prayers go out to he and his family.

August 05 2007 | Blog | Comments Off on EBC Youth Ministry Alumnus Killed in the Line of Duty

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