Welcome to Leaving LaodiceaThe Survival Manual for the Coming Underground Church
One of the most theologically packed words spoken by our Lord is found in John 10:27-30 where He says: "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My...read more
Sometimes in our lives, when we least expect it, God has a tendency to show up and interrupt what we're doing. Now we know He's sovereign in all things and is "in His heavens and does what He pleases" (Ps. 115:3), yet often we view His interruptions as an...read more
As Believers living in the Laodicean church age, we tend to re-define terms that make us feel uncomfortable. For example, when Jesus says, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15), we redefine His command to say, "Study about how...read more
One of the attributes of the early church that is so missing today among professing Believers is their fervent commitment to unity. And by unity we mean oneness, togetherness, brotherhood, family, fellowship or koinonia. The early church, with all their problems and...read more
One of the most troubling questions I get asked as a pastor is this: “Why do Christians suffer trials and tribulations?” Or, to put it another way, “Why is all this bad stuff happening to me? What did I do to deserve this?”
The easy answer is found in James 1:2-4 where it says:
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
But realizing that someday, somehow, in the sweet bye-and-bye, when all this pain and suffering and misery is over, you will become “perfect and complete” in Him often rings shallow while you are in the midst of the flames of your fiery trial. When people are suffering they need more than simple platitudes or mini-sermons or one verse, knee-jerk theology— they need truth. They need something to help them make sense of their impossible situation. They need something more than Romans 8:28. They need the long, detailed, answer to their question.
So, for those of you in the midst of trials you don’t understand and didn’t deserve, let me give you the long answer to your question.
Why Do Christians (You and Me) Suffer Trials and Tribulations?
1. To Bring God Glory
As strange as it may seen, sometimes we go through trials and hard times for no other reason than to bring God glory. Just think about what Daniel and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego had to endure for the glory of God. It was only through their trials, their fiery trials, that King Nebuchadnezzar and his subjects caught a glimpse of the Lord Jesus. And it may have been this very event that led to the king’s salvation and faith declaration:
For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom is from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand or say to Him, “What have You done?” (Daniel 4:34-35).
And one verse later the King said:
“Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down” (Daniel 4:37).
Remember, none of the glory given to God by Nebuchadnezzar would have happened unless Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego faced deadly trails for no fault of their own.
When Jesus says He is the Good Shepherd (John 10:11) what does He mean? What makes a shepherd of the sheep, maybe even a faithful shepherd, a good shepherd? What characteristics or innate virtue qualifies them to be a Good Shepherd? The answer is simple: Jesus said,...read more
Our experience may indicate otherwise, but the default setting for the Christian can be found in John 10:10 where Jesus said, "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." Did you get that? Jesus came to give us life and to give it...read more
As 2014 draws slowly to a close, I am once again reminded of our greatest need as individual Christians and as the church: Revival! "And what is revival?" you ask. According to the Evangelical Dictionary of World Missions, revival is: "the work of the Holy Spirit in...read more
Today, as I was reading the Scriptures, I found myself drawn to the 16th chapter of Leviticus, to the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, and the elaborate ceremony God established whereby Israel found atonement and forgiveness for their sins. It's a fascinating chapter...read more
What happens when God decides to interrupt your life? What happens when He offers to change your plans or to rearrange your priorities? Do we joyfully embrace His divine interruptions or do we gripe and complain and run in the opposite direction? When God offers us...read more
Something About Us
This is a collection of the many questions I have struggled with and the answers I have found regarding the relationship between authentic faith in Christ and much of what is portrayed today as Biblical Christianity. Especially with the coming darkness looming over all of us, including the church.
Come with me. It should be a wild ride!
To find out more about us and what we believe, just continue reading…