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What's Up with Heaven?

What can we expect to encounter in Heaven? What will we find? In a word, everything! Everything that is most precious and dear to you and me, everything that is important to Christ-followers, is currently in heaven. Everything we need or desire will be found in heaven once we pass through its magnificent gates, either by death or by being caught up with Christ at the Rapture.

'Did Jesus Teach Hell Is Real?' Apologist Explains Biblical Reality of a 'Literal Hell'

Hell is a topic many tend to avoid, yet the questions surrounding its existence, what the Bible proclaims, and what the afterlife entails are essential to ask, answer, and ponder.It’s a subject apologist Jason Jimenez of Stand Strong Ministries recently tackled on his “Challenging Conversations Podcast,” explaining the ins and outs of the “reality of hell” and detailing why many people find the notion of being separated from God for eternity “very disturbing.”

Strongly Rooted Faith Can Discern Truth in Trying Times

A leaked Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) training video instructs staff to confirm that men can get pregnant and encourages them to refer to a pre-born baby as an “embryo” or “fetus,” to a “fetal heartbeat” as “embryonic or fetal cardiac activity,” and to a “mother” as a “veteran” or “person.”When I saw the story, I then checked some other taxpayer-funded agencies for similar language. I found this statement on the National Institutes of Health website: “The term chestfeeding or bodyfeeding can be used alongside breastfeeding to be more inclusive” for “nonbinary or trans people.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website similarly includes COVID-19-related information for “pregnant and recently pregnant people” (not “women”). The website later refers to “people who are pregnant,” presumably in deference to pregnant biological women who do not identify as women.The VA training video correctly states, “Language has a profound impact on what people hear and learn.” Therein lies my point today.

How to Have Courageous Faith in Our Current Society

In 2020, January Littlejohn’sdaughter came home confused about her sexual identity after three of her close friends at school began identifying as transgender. Littlejohn, herself a licensed mental health counselor, did her best to support her daughter, opening the door to conversation and seeking out a mental health counselor. But as she relates, the real surprise came later: When school started, my daughter got into the car and said, “Mom, I had a meeting today at school, and they asked me which restroom I wanted to use.” … What we learned that the school had done was socially transitioned our daughter without our notification or consent. And then they did something particularly nefarious: They asked our daughter what name they should call her when speaking to her parents, and that was to effectively deceive parents that these gender support transition plans had ever taken place. 

Does Our Preferred Dress Code Affect Our Christian Witness?

A reporter for the New York Post attempted to gain entrance to some of New York City’s finest restaurants while wearing shorts and a hoodie, only to be turned away at the door by each establishment. The reason for his experiment: he was wearing attire that Sen. John Fetterman (D–Pa.) has made famous (or infamous) in our nation’s capital. The senator’s preferred clothing generated national headlines a few days ago when Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced that he was relaxing the Senate’s longstanding dress code requirement that its members wear a suit on the floor.

Ethics Regarding AI: What is Acceptable?

What we “should” or “shouldn’t” do with AI depends heavily on the kind of world this is and the kinds of creatures that human beings are. If, as some have argued, AI is to be accorded the same dignity as human beings, then replacing humans in entire industries and putting tens of thousands out of work is not morally problematic. If human beings are unique and exceptional, and both labor and relationships are central to our identity, the moral questions are far weightier.

How to Thrive Biblically in a Post-Christian Era

The most important step we can take in helping people come to accept Christ as their savior is to live a life that draws people to him.Maintaining such a witness doesn’t mean achieving perfection that is, ultimately, impossible on this side of heaven, but there are steps each of us can take that could help and blind spots we must address.Take social media, for example. We may like, share, and post content with little thought to how it might impact the way other people see us. The truth, however, is that our digital persona is often the primary expression of who we are for most of the people we know. After all, how many magnitudes more friends do you have on Facebook than you interact with in real life?To better understand the impact of your digital profile, ask a friend or family member to spend a few minutes going through your Facebook page, X (Twitter) feed, or other social media as if you were a stranger to them. Then, ask for an honest assessment of how they would characterize the person whose content they’d just read.

Humanity Isn't a Problem to Solve: Technology Needs a Telos

Many Christians wrote off the Pixar classic Wall-E because of its hyper-environmentalist message. However, the film’s commentary on human exceptionalism and vocation, specifically the inability of our machines to do our most important work for us, was spot-on. In the world of Wall-E,human beings have a purpose, or a telosthat cannot be reduced to maximizing comfort, safety, and convenience.In the biblical account of reality, humans exist to glorify and love God, and to serve as His special representatives and co-rulers in creation. Human inventions should help towards achieving those ends, extending our abilities, and mitigating the effects of the Fall. Wanting to replace ourselves with our devices assumes that humanity is the central problem of the world that needs to be solved.

God Wants Us to Understand Him Intellectually and Know Him Intimately

The wisest man who ever lived (apart from Christ) noted, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10). The greatest theologian in history added that in Christ “are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3).The omniscient Lord of the universe exhorts us: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lᴏʀᴅ who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth” (Jeremiah 9:23-24).God wants us to “understand” him intellectually and then to “know” him intimately.

Religious Liberty Déjà Vu

Years ago in a Breakpointcommentary, Chuck Colson described the jury selection process in the trial of Jack Kevorkian, the doctor accused of helping at least 27 of his patients kill themselves. Kevorkian’s lawyer attempted to bar anyone who said their Christian faith forbids suicide from serving on the jury, claiming that belief made them unfairly biased.Religion has been increasingly relegated to the private sphere. Christians are welcome to participate in public life only if they leave their faith at home … [but] [t]he logic of Kevorkian’s defense attorney could be applied to any criminal trial. If potential jurors can be excluded for believing that assisted suicide is immoral, what will be the next step? Will the attorneys of accused murderers be permitted to exclude jurors whose religion teaches that life is sacred?More than 25 years later, that dismal hypothetical seems less hypothetical.

How to Love Well

Christians have a unique gift for our culture today: we alone can demonstrate the kindness of Christ by offering our best service to hurting souls while sharing the good news of God’s love. But we cannot love well until we embrace the fact that we are well loved.

Married People Are Happier

If all there was to go on were sitcoms, movies, and mainstream editorials, we’d have to conclude that marriage is a direct path to misery, the “old ball and chain” that only ties us down, limits our freedom, and cramps our sexual fun. Many people now think of marriage less as “settling down” and more as “settling.” Young people are told, “You’ve got plenty of time, live a little, first,” as if life ends after the wedding.The truth about marriage, however, is that it is, statistically, the single best predictor of long-term happiness. Making this even more important to understand is that for at least the last 20 years now, Americans have been steadily getting lesshappy.

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