Category Archives: salvation

You Can’t Lie to God

Sickening News

Just this morning I woke up to some more news about Josh Duggar, the already disgraced eldest son of the famous family: he had an Ashley Madison account.

Great. Just great.

Without surprise the sulfurous hisses of joy spewed from the pits of hell as lovers of sin and haters of Christianity took to the comment sections. It was disgusting.

But even though the world (and many in the church) may rejoice at the fall of another hypocritical conservative Christian, the following post I wrote a few years ago (and republished) for should stand as a sober warning. God sees all, knows all, and will judge all, and that goes for everyone – including politicians.

“Hell and destruction are before the LORD: how much more then the hearts of the children of men?” Proverbs 15:11

“Full-Body Scanners”

Not long ago airports around the world introduced the use of “full-body scanners.” These machines have the ability to expose what is beneath a person’s clothing, with expose being the operative word.

Airline passengers used to be subject, in extreme cases, to strip searches. When deemed necessary  a security person might ask a potential passenger to undress in order to prove no form of weaponry was present, such as a knife or hand gun. Now, with the use of this new technology, all people boarding aircraft are forced to walk through a scanner that shows a naked picture (in black and white) to security personnel.

1117-AIMAGING-TSA-screenings-airports-Patdowns_full_600Many men and women object to the use of the “full-body scanner,” and for good reason. Ordinary, law-abiding folk are being forced into virtual strip searches and they don’t like it. In some cases security personnel have actually kept the nude images, which adds to the degrading sleaziness of the whole matter. Even though “full-body scanners” may prove useful, normal people enjoy their privacy and don’t like getting naked in front of strangers.

God Sees All

Privacy is the last thing we should expect with God. As a matter of fact, even the deepest, darkest secrets we keep are fully exposed to His ever-watchful, all-seeing eye.

Anyone can avoid being exposed by a “full-body scanner” by staying away from airports. But when it comes to God, there is nowhere anyone can hide, not even hell.

Today’s proverb states that the “hell and destruction” (sheol and abaddon), the place of the dead and hell itself, are in full view of the Lord. Not even the most advanced microwave scanner can peer beyond this realm into the world of the dead, but God can see every corner of the abyss. Solomon says, “If hell is fully exposed before God, what make you think you can keep anything from Him?”

Don’t Lie to God

Sometimes people walking into airports may forget they brought a little item like a pocket knife. They try to hide it and deny they are carrying anything prohibited, but then the scanner shows the truth. What follows is not pleasant. How much more should we be honest with our Creator?

Romans 3:23 tells us that “all have sinned,” yet so many want to deny it. They think they can hide the lust, hatred, greed, and envy. They think a thick coat can cover their bitterness and betrayal. What they fail to realize is that God can see beneath the human shell and straight into the heart.

My advice? Before you take that final flight into the great beyond, admit what you are carrying, hand it over, and accept the free ticket to eternal life. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

Otherwise, the place where violators go is far worse than anything airport security can dish out.

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Filed under Christian Living, current events, Life/Death, Marriage, salvation

Freedom Isn’t Free

“It Wasn’t Free”

Whatever I want to say, I can say it.

Wherever I want to go, I can go.

However I want to worship, I can worship.

Whatever I want to write, I can write it.

These are my freedoms, my rights;

The most basic of human liberty.

But the freedom I have wasn’t free.

photo (50)

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Filed under America, salvation

I’m a Sinner

I Still Sin


It may come as a shock to some of you, but I still sin. Yes, this preacher still makes mistakes. You see, I am no better than anyone else, even though there used to be a time when I thought I was.

Years ago, when I was a really legalistic son-of-a-gun, it wasn’t uncommon for me to look down my nose at others who were “less spiritual.” Oh, I wouldn’t admit I thought I was better than anyone, because I really thought I was humble. It’s just, seriously, I never committed any of those horrible sins like adultery, murder, etc. All my sins were small, like not cleaning my room when asked, or looking too long at pictures in the J.C. Penney catalog.

But things changed. First, I found out that this self-righteous do-gooder could actually screw up – big time. Second, I found out that some of the ones I looked down on before had better excuses for their sin than I did. Third, I grew up. Forth, I found out what grace is all about.

So, I still mess up from time to time. I still sin, and that’s because I still live in unredeemed flesh. However, there are still times when I need to be reminded of how sinful my little sins are, and how great God’s grace is.

What I Deserve

Last week I lusted. Yes, this preacher – a married man and father of three – lusted. It’s not like I do it all the time, but I saw something on television that caused me to look longer than I needed to, to allow some thoughts to come into my mind that had no business there. A moment of weakness. Just being honest.

Later in the day, after a long day on a hot school bus, I took a shower. As I was washing my face, soap got into my eyes and caused them to sting. With a wince I felt a little twinge of guilt as I was reminded of the earlier sin involving my eyes. I said aloud, but to myself, “I guess I deserved that.”

Then, almost immediately, a still, small, Voice whispered into my heart, “No, what you really deserve is Hell.” In other words, it was like God was saying to me, “Anthony, is that how little you think of my Son’s sacrifice for you?” In other words, if all it took was a little soap in the eyes to pay for that mistake, why the cross?


Do you realize that even if all you and I had ever done was commit some little, private sin, Jesus would have still had to die on a cross to reconcile us with God? Do you realize even the smallest, most insignificant sin is still sin in God’s eyes? ALL sin separates us from the Father, therefore ALL sin is worthy of Hell.

But praise the Lord for God’s amazing grace! It saved a wretch like me. Through it the righteousness of Christ was imputed to me, and therefore I am now truly clean, holy in the sight of God my Father.

I’m a sinner, but I’m a saved sinner. Thank God!

Do you want to know how you can be a “saved sinner,” too? Click on the Eternal Life tab at the top of the screen. If you’d like to talk with someone about it right now, call 1-888 – Need Him.


Filed under Christian Maturity, legalism, Love of God, salvation

He Lives!

We celebrate many holidays in this world, but one stands out among the rest: Easter.

Now, I know that some of the more legalistic among us will label all the celebrations “moot” because of certain “pagan” links, like that to Ishtar and fertility rites. The unbelievers will laugh off this day with arrogant disdain. But for the majority of Christians around the world, this day is a day to rejoice in the Son of God’s victory over the grave.

We are prone to celebrate many things, like who won a game, that new promotion, or a birthday. We throw parties when political candidates squeak out a win, or when that big contract gets signed. Some will even fire thousands of AK-47 rounds into the air while shouting “Allah Akbar!” at the top of their lungs. But nothing is more worth celebrating than Jesus keeping His word and rising from the dead to secure eternal life to those who trust in Him.

Today, as I stand before a congregation, I will attempt, in the power of the Spirit, to stir the imagination, to take us back in time, to recreate a fraction of the excitement that must have been felt when those who were convinced of defeat were shocked by the greatest come-from-below victory of all time.

Today, before all those present, whether in flesh or spirit, I will celebrate victory over sin, death, and hell. The Enemy has been defeated, his tools are obsolete, for Jesus died and rose again.

He Lives!

Click on the link to listen to my favorite Resurrection Day song, “Gone!” (sung by Teddy Huffam).

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Filed under Easter, Faith, God, Preaching, salvation, worship

Pre-Salvation Counseling?

Pre-Marital Counseling

Have you ever given pre-marital advice? Have you ever sat down with a young couple, stars in their eyes, and tried to break them up? No? Then maybe you don’t know what real marriage counseling is all about.

Honestly, one of the things I try to do before I marry a couple is to break them up. OK, no, I don’t go into a counselling session with the intent on making them run out of the room crying and screaming at each other. But what I do try to do is bring to the surface issues that might cause problems down the road which will ultimately lead to major problems, even divorce. Believe me, a lot of people could have been spared a lot pain and heartache had they been asked some serious questions before they tied the knot.

So, if you want me to conduct your wedding, you must endure at least four hours of me trying to find out if you are aware of what’s ahead.

Salvation Counseling 

Much like the syrupy-sweet lovers who want to jump into marriage without even considering what comes after the honeymoon phase, many are led into believing that becoming a Christian is the answer to all their problems. Because of many one-stop, Vegas-like “wedding chapels” we call “worship centers,” scores of people have been drawn into a relationship with Jesus – but without the “pre-marital” counseling.

Reality check: Following Jesus will not be easy. As a matter of fact, it might even result in a life of pain and suffering, of hunger and want. This relationship may even cost you your life.

And when [Jesus] had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” – Mark 8:34

Oh, make no mistake about it, entering into an eternity-long relationship with Jesus is totally worth it! Just make sure you know what you’re getting into.

See the Movie

This Friday (March 20) Do You Believe? will come out in theaters. Please, take my advice, go see this movie! It may prove to be the best spiritual “marriage counseling” you’ve had in a while. Oh, and take someone with you who is lost; you won’t regret it.


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Filed under Defending Traditional Marriage, Defining Marriage, Divorce, Life Lessons, Movie review, salvation, Witnessing

Do You Believe? YES!

Last night I was privileged to see the new Pure Flix movie Do You Believe, which will be released in theaters on March 20. Wow!

Yes, I got to see it before the rest of you because I am uber-special and have connections. No, seriously, because I’m a pastor, I was invited by email to a screening. The purpose, of course, was to see the movie ourselves before we start encouraging others to buy tickets and flood the theaters.

Buy tickets and flood the theaters. It’s that good.

Seriously, Do You Believe fires on all 8 cylinders (that’s non-hybrid car talk). It is dramatic, well-produced, and unwilling to pull punches. Look at it this way, if you liked God’s Not Dead, you’re gonna love Do You Believe. On the other hand, if you thought God’s Not Dead was Christian propaganda, you’re gonna have an aneurysm before this movie is half-over. Do You Believe is all about the Cross and faith in Jesus Christ – no apologies.

If I could explain this movie to you in another way, I’d say it must have been derived from the classic book In His Steps. If you remember, those who believed in Jesus were challenged to walk “in His steps,” to live as He would if walking in their shoes. In this movie, those who truly believe are challenged to “carry the cross,” regardless the cost.

When God’s Not Dead was over, people were taking out their cell phones and texting “God’s not dead!” to all their contacts. When you see this movie, which I hope you do, the first thing you’ll probably do is stand and sing along with music playing during the closing credits. If you’re like some people I saw, you’ll sing with hands raised as you praise God. Others, like me, will stand shivering with tears in your eyes, realizing you’ve just been kicked in the gut by the Holy Spirit. The next thing you’ll do is go out and “do something” with what you believe.

After the movie was over, we took a little girl whom we took with us to the movie as a guest back to her home. There, for the first time, we got to sit and talk with the girl’s mother about the Gospel, about God’s love for us manifested on the Cross. It was like we were still in the theater, ’cause I even found myself, a preacher, using some the lines I’d just heard in the movie. So, what does that tell you?

Go see Do You Believe, and take the unbelievers with you. I guarantee you this: some will believe.


Filed under Apologetics, current events, salvation, Witnessing

My 15 Minutes


photo (40)Once the weekly community paper came out yesterday, I was famous for a moment or two. Just this morning, as I was paying for a cup of coffee at the gas station, the lady behind the counter asked, “Weren’t you in the paper?” “Yes, that was me,” I replied. But I still had to pay for the coffee.

Click HERE to read the article.

The kids on my bus were thrilled to see their bus driver in the news paper. “You’re famous!” “We’ve got a famous bus driver!” One little girl even took my copy of the article I had picked up that morning and never gave it back – she was way too excited, poor thing.

So, yes, I was on the front page of a little paper, got a friend request on Facebook from someone locally famous, and paid for my own coffee. Amazing what can happen when you write a book.

Lasting Notoriety 

But no matter how famous I become down here on this earth, fame is fleeting. Next week there might be a student, parent, or teacher who will comment on my recent notoriety, but in a few days it will be history – I’ll be non-famous again.

What matters most is that my name is not written down on the pages of some local rag, or even the New York Times best-seller list (don’t I wish), but that my name is written down in heaven (Luke 10:20).

“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is [the book] of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” – Revelation 20:12 KJV

I’ve had my 15 minutes of fame a few times over, and hardly nothing remains to show for it. On the other hand, however, my name has been written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, and that’s notoriety that will last forever – and I didn’t even do anything to deserve it.

I wonder if there’ll be coffee in heaven? If so, I bet it’ll be free ;-)



Filed under current events, Life Lessons, salvation