The Parable of the Pardoning King

By David Servant

Once upon a time, there was a great king who ruled his kingdom in truth and righteousness. But there were enemies living within his kingdom who broke his laws, and whom he discovered were plotting to overthrow his rule.

The king laughed when he heard of their plot, knowing that his enemies were no match for his armies, and because his informants knew of his enemies’ every move and intent. So, he decreed that in ten days, all of his enemies would be rounded up and executed for treason.

The Great Tragedy of Resolving Guilt with False Theology

By David Servant

I’ve noticed that one thing all false-grace teachers and their disciples hold in common, and that is a history personal of plaguing guilt, guilt which they resolved by embracing their false theology. If you listen to them long enough, you will eventually hear them say something to the effect, “I tried so hard for years to live right, and my failure tormented me. I am so glad I discovered that Jesus did it all, and my salvation doesn’t depend on my performance.” Their words are a tacit admission that they believe the gospel is a license to sin. The gospel isn’t, however, a license to sin, and anyone who is honest with the New Testament knows that.

The Goal of Discipleship: Knowledge or Obedience?

By David Servant

It is interesting to ponder the fact that, until relatively recently in Christian history, most believers have not owned a Bible. The ramifications of that fact are profound.

Of course, the early Christians did have limited access to what we call the Old Testament, as it was contained in a collection of scrolls in Jewish synagogues. So, the early Jewish Christians who had attended synagogue all their lives had heard portions of the Old Testament read many times.

The Power of Encouragement

By David Servant

I love encouragement. Who doesn’t?

And I hate discouragement. Who doesn’t?

Encouragers are like sunshine that warms you on a cold day.

Discouragers are like birds that poop on your windshield.

When I see that I have received an email from someone who is an encourager, I eagerly read their email. It is similar to the feeling you get when you open a box of chocolates. Solomon must have understood that, as he wrote, “Good news puts fat on the bones” (Prov. 15:30)!

Time to Pray Some Imprecatory Prayers? Part 2

By David Servant

Note to readers: A few weeks ago, I published a short teaching that asked the same question as the title of this article. At the end of that teaching, I asked readers for their thoughts, and some did. This article is a follow-up based, in part, on responses I received.

Who doesn’t love the story of Esther, found in a biblical book by her name? In the end, the bad guy, Haman, is hanging from the gallows he erected to execute Mordecai, and Mordecai enjoys the exaltation Haman was planning for himself. That story, annually celebrated ever since through the Jewish feast of Purim, illustrates that God is a God of justice, and that He can turn the tables on the wicked, inflicting them with what they were attempting to inflict upon the righteous.

Far-Away False Christians

By David Servant

Paul’s description of his many hardships in 2 Corinthians 11:23-27 includes a list of eight “dangers” that he faced because of his “frequent journeys”:

I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren (2 Cor. 11:26).

It is easy to see how the first seven—swelling rivers, ambushing robbers, stormy seas, foreign cities, remote wildernesses, and hostile Jews and Gentiles—could be dangers related to Paul’s frequent travels. The eighth one he lists, however—”false brethren”—is not so obvious regarding how it is related to his frequent journeys.

If You Didn’t Earn Your Salvation, How are You Going to Un-Earn it?

David Servant

I keep seeing the question contained in the title of this article on Facebook posts. It is attributed to a well-known pastor, the late Tim Keller, and is presented as a slam-dunk proof of “unconditional eternal security” (also known as “once-saved-always-saved”).

It is to be regretted that someone as eminent and intelligent as the late Tim Keller could present such a silly question as proof for a particular doctrine when both Scripture and simple logic expose its obvious flaws.

Time to Pray Some Imprecatory Prayers? Part 1

By David Servant

Have you ever felt yourself getting fed up with evil people? Even burning with an inward rage against them? But then felt bad for your “un-Christian” attitude?

In truth, you should not be so hard on yourself. God has the same feelings. In fact, He has a similar inner conflict, constantly.

Obviously, mercy and judgment are two opposites that, if held together, must be held in tension. God is both just and merciful, as revealed from the Bible’s first to last page. For that reason, He holds both attributes in tension.

When He “withholds His judgment,” that indicates He is inclined towards justice, but has decided to continue to show mercy. As James wrote, “mercy triumphs over judgment” (Jas. 2:13). On the other hand, when God’s mercy ends, His judgment—rooted in His justice—begins.

The Virtue of Seeking Glory and Honor

By David Servant

“God…will render to each person according to his deeds: to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life” (Rom. 2:5b-7).

Paul unmistakably indicates in the above-quoted passage that there is nothing wrong with seeking glory and honor for yourself. In fact, he declares that those who do are the people who will ultimately inherit eternal life. So, if you desire for God to grant you eternal life, according to Paul, the means to obtaining it is by seeking glory and honor. Read it again if you don’t believe me!

Questions for Pastors of New Testament Churches to Ponder

By David Servant

1.) When believers met during the New Testament times, what did those gatherings look like? Is there any information in the New Testament that gives us any insight into the answer to that question? If “yes,” am I leading a “New Testament church”?

2.) In the early church, was there a worship leader or a worship team or band that led worship from an elevated platform before the crowd of worshippers who were seated or standing in rows facing them? Is there any information in the New Testament that gives us any insight into the answer to that question? If “yes,” am I leading a “New Testament church”?