Friday, April 14, 2017

Celebrating the Resurrection of Christ: 7 Pillars of an Unshakable Christian Faith


7 Pillars of an Unshakable Christian Faith
Available on Amazon



Imagine a church in which faith in Christ was so deeply entrenched, its pastor would be spiritually fed each week by the congregation, instead of the dynamic seen today. It would be a church so biblically-grounded, so rooted in faith, and so confident of the Gift of Salvation from Christ that the pursuit of God’s Promises would be a natural condition.

7 Pillars of an Unshakable Christian Faith” speaks to the soul of every true Christian willing to follow the teachings of Christ, the path of Biblical Discipleship, and the guidance of The Holy Spirit through Scripture. Every reader will find its content informative, practical, and easy to apply in modern Christian life. 

Pillar #1: Bible Study Methods and Correct Interpretation
Pillar #2: Christ’s Commission and Biblical Discipleship
Pillar #3: Biblical History and Historical Theology
Pillar #4: Biblical Apologetics and Defending Christianity
Pillar #5: Purposeful Prayer and Biblical Fasting
Pillar #6: Spiritual Warfare and Defeating Temptation
Pillar #7: Applying Biblical Truth in Modern Christian Life

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Michael I. Kaplan presents a well-reasoned approach to the Gospel that’s easily understood, insightful, and written for a world that needs it now more than ever. 

If you have ANY doubts or unanswered questions regarding your faith – and honestly want to find what you’re seeking in Christ - open this book and begin your journey to an unshakable Christian faith.

Monday, April 10, 2017

12 Tips for Defeating Satan’s Temptations





Defeating temptation hinges upon a single choice: do you want to follow in the footsteps of Christ, or would you prefer to follow the world? After all, the temptations of Satan are enticements to coerce Christians to act against God’s Will. God and Satan both want you to make a choice and, despite their spiritual power, the ultimate power to decide is in your hands. 

Satan wants you to decide quickly and impulsively; he wants Christians to be uninformed. God wants you to decide quickly as well; however, He wants Christians to be well-informed, biblically literate and make choices based on a strong faith. 

The twelve tips listed below will help you in making the wise choice: God the Father, and His Son, Christ Jesus.

1.  Realize God doesn’t tempt Man. 
God will never tempt mankind; Satan is solely responsible for temptation in our life. God will test us, but always with a righteous purpose, and for a noble end. Satan’s goal in tempting man is to destroy him, and his relationship with God.

Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one” (James 1:13).

2.  Realize God understands temptation. 
God knows the feeling and impact of temptation; despite His omniscience, He went through temptation Himself in fully human form. The fact He was tempted by Satan, emerged victorious, and was crucified to remove the burden of your sins is proof He loves you enough to understand your pain.

For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted” (Hebrews 2:18).

3.  Realize God won’t let Satan break your limits.
God will never let any temptation you face push you beyond your capacity to deal with the situation. He knows you have limitations, and He’ll always give you an escape route. Jesus died on the Cross to remove the penalty of your sin; the last thing God wants is for you to fail in sin. Remember that everything – including temptation – is cyclical and comes in seasons. Temptations are always temporary. However, the choices we make when faced temptation are eternal.

No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).

4.  Realize you need God to fight Satan. 
Lucifer, the first cherub, has immense power and authority in the world; You’re no match for him. However, you have the power of God through your faith in Christ, and Satan is no match for God. God wants you to want Him in this fight, and He’ll step in as soon as you pray for His help. You wouldn’t bring a toothpick to a gunfight; don’t make the mistake of bringing your finite capabilities to a God fight.

But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts” (Romans 13:14).

5.  Realize God has a plan to protect you.
God is omniscient; all-powerful, all-knowing, and aware of everything, always. Satan and his fallen angels are not. God has given you access to Him, the Armor of God, and all His forces in the heavenly realm to help you in your battle with temptation. Trust the nature of the God you serve, and the righteousness of His plan to protect you.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil” (Ephesians 6:10-11).

6.  Realize Satan knows God wants to help you. 
There are no secrets in Heaven, and it’s no secret God wants to protect His children from Satan’s temptation. Satan knows this and will do anything to convince Christians that God doesn’t care; that He’s an “absentee landlord” with more important things to do than protect you. Scripture reveals Satan’s deception to be a blatant lie – shown by the fact that God gave His only begotten Son so we could have eternal life in Heaven. Don’t doubt for a second that Satan will try to subvert you. However, don’t doubt for a second that God will subvert Satan when you ask for His help.

For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15).

7.  Turn quickly to God’s Word. 
There are many passages of Scripture that speak directly to your weakness, and to the specific temptation you face. Research them, find them, write them down, and memorize them. Have a Bible with you whenever possible for this very purpose. There is no temptation Satan can direct at you that hasn’t already been defeated by God in Scripture.

Or the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age” (Titus 2:11-12).

8.  Realize victories strengthen your faith. 
Achieving victories over temptation with God’s help strengthens your faith, and your confidence in God’s willingness to help. The impacts of those victories build up over time, and degrade Satan’s ability to deceive you.

Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him” (James 1:12).

9.  Remove yourself from the source of evil. 
Once you’ve found a weakness Satan can use as a door to temptation, shut the door by removing yourself from the environment. Satan will lose a chance to tempt you, and you’ll remove the chance to tempt God by still being there.

Do not associate with a man given to anger; Or go with a hot-tempered man, or you will learn his ways and find a snare for yourself” (Proverbs 22:24-25).

10.  Surround yourself with supportive Christians.
Surround yourself with Brothers and Sisters in Christ who will strengthen your righteousness and faith. There is strength in numbers, and isolation magnifies deception.

Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10).

11.  Practice spiritual disciplines regularly. 
Spiritual disciplines are just that: discipline for your Spirit. They’re acts of devotion that strengthen faith, increase spiritual growth, and enhance the power of prayer. They show God you’re serious about having a relationship with Him; it’s experiential Christianity in action. The more time spent in prayer, studying God’s Word, and fasting, the less chance Satan has of steering you off the righteous path that leads to God’s Grace and Salvation.

All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness” (Hebrews 12:11).

12.  Keep a prayer journal and daily devotional. 
The best way to measure success and victories is to track your progress. Journals serve as written prayers, devotionals for daily study, and keep a record of your successes and failures. Over time, a journal will help you to build a strong defense against Satan’s temptations and schemes.

Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Write all the words which I have spoken to you in a book’” (Jeremiah 30:2).

Michael I. Kaplan lectures regularly to faith-based organizations on the topics of apologetics (reasoned arguments or writings in justification of theological doctrine), biblical studies and spiritual warfare.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Christians WILL NOT Defeat Anti-God Bias with Biblical Illiteracy





Christianity is under assault on many fronts in our modern society. 

A liberal bias in the media perpetuates people of faith as “ignorant bigots.” Professors in liberal universities have claimed as their mandate a responsibility to stamp faith out of the minds of their students. A politically correct culture is elevating the “separation of Church and State” to the “separation of Church and Life.” Governmental agencies, hostile to the Christian faith, are using the courts to impose regulations that try to remove religious freedom from Christian-owned businesses. 

The role of Christian Apologetics in defense of faith – supported by a solid foundation of understanding in God’s Word – seems to be obvious.

We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing
raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are
taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ;


Recent scandals in Christianity haven’t helped the image of the faith. The very public (and very memorable) fall of several televangelists – such as Jim Bakker, Oral Roberts, and Jimmy Swaggart – have seriously undermined the public’s perception of Christians. The acknowledgement of pedophilia in the Catholic Church – culminating with an apology from the Pope to affected families – cast Christianity in a very negative light. 

Despite the moral failures and external forces listed above, the faith has prevailed.  Marginally, and in spite of itself.

While Christian Apologetics may be the obvious answer to the problem, the problem - cultural bias and liberal extremism towards God - may not be as obvious as originally believed. 

Neither the external forces nor the occasional scandal explain the yearly decline in believers professing faith in Christ. Based on the statistics below, the same strategies used to create defenders of Christianity – who are knowledgeable in God’s Word, strong in their faith, and united in biblical fellowship – may solve the problem of cultural ignorance before a strong defense is needed.

Researchers at The Barna Group, a resource and research company considered to be a leading organization focused on the intersection of faith and culture, released results from several of their studies conducted in 2016. 

The results of these studies are terrifying, and explain several of the problems plaguing the Christian faith in our modern culture.

  • Fewer than half of all adults can name the four Gospels.
  • Many Christians cannot identify more than two or three of Christ’s disciples.
  • 82% of Americans believe that, “God helps those who help themselves,” is a Bible verse.
  • 60% of Americans can’t name even five of the Ten Commandments.
  • 50% of high school students thought that Sodom and Gomorrah were husband and wife.
  • Many Americans believe that the Sermon on the Mount was preached by Billy Graham.
  • 12% of adults believe that Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife.

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because
you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from
being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the
law of your God, I also will forget your children.


When the Book of Hosea was written almost 2,740 years ago, the prophet was speaking against the widespread habit of engaging in religious ceremony, without a genuine commitment of the heart to serve God. It seems that history’s unlearned lessons reappear to teach mankind what it missed the first time. 

When parents aren’t actively and intellectually engaging children in the truth of God’s Word, and churches sacrifice Bible study to entertain congregants, the result will be alarmingly predictable.

But if the watchman sees the sword coming and
does not blow the trumpet and the people are not
warned, and a sword comes and takes a person
from them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but
his blood I will require from the watchman’s hand.


We, as Christians, have the potential to do better than this, and reverse this alarming trend. More than potential, we have an obligation in light of an observable, critical need. We simply have no choice.

The majority of professing Christians, while culturally aligned with religion in their public lives, are not biblically aligned with actual faith in their private practices. This is creating a diluted, hollowed version of Christianity that's collapsing under the weight of its own mediocrity.

We, as educated Christians in Body of Christ, owe it to the generations of professing believers that follow to create a cultural environment that allows the free expression of their faith. 

The problem is rampant biblical illiteracy, destroying the integrity of the Christian faith from within. 

The answer is reading the Bible, and possessing a level of understanding in God's Word that ensures an unshakable Christian faith, with the strength to sustain its faithful believers well into the future. That responsibility starts now, and it must begin with us.


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Michael I. Kaplan lectures regularly to faith-based organizations on the topics of apologetics (reasoned arguments or writings in justification of theological doctrine), biblical studies and spiritual warfare.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Seasons and Cycles of Spiritual Warfare





The seasons and cycles of our planet are foreseeable; we understand this and plan accordingly. The same holds true for the cycles of our life. Times of abundance follow seasons of scarcity, seasons of pleasure follow times of discomfort. Christians that accept this reality plan for it and, in so doing, are prepared.

The same concept applies to spiritual warfare, and Scripture reveals this truth when believers study words carefully. Consider the Bible’s warning to Christians: “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood” (Ephesians 6:12).

When one thinks of warfare, images of intense conflict fill the mind. There’s a starting point, a fight, and a conclusion – at which point the forces separate for a period. However, Scripture doesn’t use the word fight; it uses the word “wrestle” (πάλη / PAH-lay). Spiritual warfare resembles a wrestling match more than it does a boxing match. The opponents stay in contact during periods of intense maneuver, and during times of rest.

Wrestling matches aren’t a quick fight; they’re a prolonged struggle and an ongoing battle. Christians that understand the nature of this type of battle can plan their strategy accordingly.

Spiritual warfare is also cyclical; it comes and goes with the same degree of certainty as worldly seasons. The Bible gives an account of Satan tempting Jesus during His earthly ministry. Jesus prevailed (of course), but notice how the story ends:

The King James Bible tells us, “And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season” (Luke 4:13, KJV). The New King James Bible tells us, “Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time” (Luke 4:13, NKJV). Despite a small variation in words, the message is the same, and it’s important.

In biblical terms, a season reveals two immediate realities: it’s a finite, temporary span of time, and it will return in the future. It also tells us Satan will return at “an opportune time” … for him. Satan’s opportune time will always be the worst time for us.

Christians accepting this reality will plan accordingly, and not pity themselves.  Assuredly, they will be stronger as a result of their efforts.

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Michael I. Kaplan lectures regularly to faith-based organizations on the topics of apologetics (reasoned arguments or writings in justification of theological doctrine), biblical studies and spiritual warfare.

The Biblical Basis for a Well-Reasoned Faith





A modern, secularist culture argues that faith and reason cannot coexist; they are diametrically opposed. Faith, it’s argued, is based on belief, not fact, and therefore irrational. The Bible is a collection of stories, believed because God commands it, accepted on blind faith by non-intellectual Christians.

Despite what secularists claim, does the Scripture demand unquestioned adherence to an irrational dogma, based on blind faith, apart from reason? Setting aside the assumptions of both secularism and fideism – “God said it, that settles it, and I don’t need any reason to back it up!” – the wisdom of God’s Word reveals His desire for Man to embrace faith and reason simultaneously.

The unfolding of Your words gives light;
It gives understanding to the simple.

~ Psalm 119:130 ~

God’s Word speaks definitively on understanding and the use of reason throughout Scripture, and while divine wisdom is a gift God imparts to mankind through the Holy Spirit, it’s not a license to forego the use of the Christian’s mind. Our minds – finite, fallen and prone to ungodly thoughts as they may be – remain a necessary component in the process of coming to faith in Christ, and building the mature faith that’s required to lead others to Him for their Salvation. 

A well-reasoned faith needs:

1. Knowledge of the Old Testament prophecies, and the facts surrounding Christ’s birth, earthly ministry, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension;

2. Reasoning to discern the meaning of those facts, and how they apply to the Salvation of fallen souls;

3. Confirmation of the truth of God’s Word, and agreement of the role this truth plays in Eternal Life; and,

4. Trust in God’s promise that Christ is Lord and Savior.

Combining God’s gift of reason with the discernment of the Holy Spirit allows us to boldly defend the Christian faith.

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Michael I. Kaplan lectures regularly to faith-based organizations on the topics of apologetics (reasoned arguments or writings in justification of theological doctrine), biblical studies and spiritual warfare.

Christians: Don't be Enslaved by a Sinful Past





Christians know when Christ became sin and died on the Cross, the blood of His sacrifice washed away the sins of those who profess faith in Him. When our sins are forgiven – and the slate of our past is wiped clean – we’re also given the benefit of a clean conscience. 

Scripture reveals God’s position on this to be clear: “I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, and I will not remember your sins” (Isaiah 43:25). 

Those who don’t divest themselves of the guilt of the past tend to have difficulty dealing with adversity.

“Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past. Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it?” (Isaiah 43:18-19).

During a time of testing, a Christian’s heart and mind must focus on God; prayerfully discerning His purpose, listening for His guidance, and receiving the lesson of His instruction. A guilty conscience forces one to unnecessarily focus on the past, instead of looking to the future with God. 

Believers must trust the promises of God that result from their faith: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

Believers must also accept that a clear conscience is the byproduct of genuine faith in Christ, and the forgiveness of our sins: “In view of this, I also do my best to maintain always a blameless conscience both before God and before men” (Acts 24:16). Forgiveness of sin and a cleansing of conscience aren’t separate events; they happen simultaneously.

Enslavement by the past – after a profession of faith – calls into question one’s trust in God. Faith and trust in God are requirements for spiritual growth, the very purpose of His testing.

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a
new creature; the old things passed
away; behold, new things have come.

~ 2 Corinthians 5:17 ~

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Michael I. Kaplan lectures regularly to faith-based organizations on the topics of apologetics (reasoned arguments or writings in justification of theological doctrine), biblical studies and spiritual warfare.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Christ's Great Commission: Powerful Christian Apologetics in Action





When God commands Christians to obey His Word, they listen and make an effort to submit. When the Bible tells believers to profess faith in Christ for the Gift of Eternal Salvation, they do so eagerly and rejoice. When Christ commands believers to evangelize – make disciples of all the nations – they hesitate. In many cases, they panic at thought of it. 

That response poses a problem for several reasons, not the least of which is telling God “NO” to a direct order, while being responsible for potentially consigning thousands of people to a fiery judgment in Hell in the process.

Does that claim sound overstated? It’s not. First, look at Christ’s words when He gave us The Great Commission.

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father and the
Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to
observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I
am with you always, even to the end of the age.

~ Matthew 28:19-20 ~

If one answers the Bible’s call to defend the faith, they’re obeying God’s Word. To become proficient in Apologetics – the defense of faith – one must read, study, and understand God’s Word. During this time, one develops a more intimate bond with their Savior, their faith becomes increasingly grounded and strong, and the Christian’s level of spiritual maturity increases. 

While that may be personally enriching, it in no way acts on Christ’s command, nor does it reveal the glory of God to non-believers that need to hear the truth of Salvation. Some may believe that “evangelism” isn’t their gift or calling:

And He Himself gave some to be apostles,
some prophets, some evangelists,
and some pastors and teachers;

~ Ephesians 4:11 ~

If your concept of evangelism is preaching to crowds of thousands in a football stadium, you may be correct about it not being your gift. That acknowledged, it would also be correct to state your concept of evangelism was incorrect. Sharing the Gospel is every Christian’s duty and honor. It’s a duty because God commands it; it’s an honor in that it allows Christians to glorify the God of their Salvation. 

Sharing the Gospel doesn’t have to be formal public speaking; informally sharing a testimony with friends and associates, in a one-on-one conversation, is how most Christians fulfill the Great Commission.

In some cases, a direct conversation isn’t required. For example, recall the dialogue between the teacher and your child in Chapter 04 (7 Pillars). Only this time – because the child knew basic principles of Apologetics – the outcome changes significantly. For this example, assume the same scenario, using the same verses. 

Teacher:
Do you believe God tells the truth, never lies, and never makes mistakes?

Your Child:
Yes, I do.

Teacher:
Do you believe the Bible is the inerrant, infallible, divinely-inspired Word of God?

Your Child:
Yes, I do.

Teacher:
What would happen if God made a mistake, lied, or …

Your Child:
With all due respect, I know where you’re going with this. I can prove to you no conflict exists in the Scripture and put this issue to rest quickly.

Teacher:
You think so?

Your Child:
Yes, I do. The original Greek uses the word mis-eh'-o for “hate.” It does mean that, but it also means to “love less” or “to hold in lower esteem.” It’s a translation issue based on lingual restrictions, not a contradiction as you suggest. 

Teacher:
I’m going to have to verify that myself.

Your Child:
I would encourage that. I would also respectfully suggest that a more in-depth study of the Word of God might reveal truths and insights that can’t be discovered when it’s only read to prove God doesn’t exist. You’ll also find that no contradictions exist in Scripture, the harmony of the Gospel is perfect, and the power of Christ’s message of Salvation exists in the divinely-inspired Word of God we believers call the Bible.

Teacher: [Silence]

Be strong and courageous, do not be
afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord
your God is the one who goes with
you. He will not fail you or forsake you.

~ Deuteronomy 31:6 ~

The child in this scenario just experienced three victories, the rewards of which may not be fully perceived immediately. First, a Christian that’s strong in their faith will continue in their faith. 

Second, a teacher with an agenda will be changed forever – hopefully it results in a profession of faith in Christ – but if not, the teacher will think twice before walking into another field of spiritual landmines. 

Finally, the indirect witness given to the one-hundred classmates, who just watched a Christian boldly proclaim and defend their faith, may be just the gentle nudge several classmates needed to come to Christ for Salvation.

In fact, if 5 students in this class of 100 are led to Christ, that’s wonderful. If those 5 students each lead another 5 people to Christ, that’s a blessing. If each of those students each lead another 5 people to Christ, that’s 3,750 souls saved from an eternal death. One Christian student with a knowledge of Apologetics, boldly proclaiming and defending their faith in front of 100 classmates.

Does that claim still sound overstated? It’s not, and therein lies the dilemma. The potential exists, but a lack of biblical literacy almost guarantees that scenario only plays out rarely, if ever at all. Why should we care? Because when it comes to Salvation and the Great Commission, there’s no “Plan B.”

He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but
he who does not believe will be condemned.

~ Mark 16:16 ~

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Michael I. Kaplan lectures regularly to faith-based organizations on the topics of apologetics (reasoned arguments or writings in justification of theological doctrine), biblical studies and spiritual warfare.

Obeying God's Word: Defending the Christian Faith by Example





The first obligation for any Christian is to obey God’s Word. We aren’t free to selectively decide which commands to follow and which to ignore; every word in the Bible is divinely inspired, and all hold equal weight.

In 1 Peter 3:15, God’s instructions are clear: “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.” After years of research and study, students of the Bible have discovered the correct interpretation of this Scripture: it means exactly what it says in plain language.

The Bible is the inerrant, infallible Word of God, not a menu from which items are selected based on one’s personal preference at that moment. In 1 Peter 3:15, notice the words “always” and “everyone,” default to a position of righteousness, and believe God means what He says, always, in all Ages.

For as through the one man’s disobedience the many
were made sinners, even so through the obedience
of the One the many will be made righteous
.

~ Romans 5:19 ~

Obedience has an excellent precedent in the New Testament: Christ, Our Lord and Savior. Everything He said, taught and demonstrated was attributed to His Father in heaven. Christians can’t begin to discuss Apologetics – or progressive Sanctification, or becoming more “Christ-like,” or maturity in faith – without first giving primacy to the message of obedience.

For I have not spoken on My own authority; but
the Father who sent Me gave Me a command,
what I should say and what I should speak.

~ John 12:49 ~

During Jesus’ earthly ministry, the Bible tells us He was followed by “multitudes” on several occasions. This happened because of what He did and said, not because of what He wrote or thought. Regardless of the calling in a Christian’s life, the process starts with the individual prior to extending outward. 

To acknowledge the authority of Scripture and make a profession of faith isn’t enough; Christ expects us to establish His standard to successfully glorify Him in all we do.

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man
observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes
away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who
looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful
hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does
.

~ James 1:22-25 ~

If you believe the Scriptures, the promises He makes for serving Him faithfully not only provide blessings to the doer of His Word, but to those around us as well. In defending the faith according to His Word, we obey His command and engage a world that needs His message.

When Christians walk in the faith according to His Word, the unspoken testimony, observable to everyone, gives credibility to our verbal witness. It’s been said that integrity can be defined as “doing the right thing when no one is watching.” To those who don’t know it yet, someone is always watching.

Admittedly, subjugating our human will to God isn’t easy, but Christ already told us that.

Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is
the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go
in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way
which leads to life, and there are few who find it
.

~ Matthew 7:13-14 ~

However, He did tell us it would be worth it.

Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the
Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the
Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance.
It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.

~ Colossians 3:23-24 ~

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Michael I. Kaplan lectures regularly to faith-based organizations on the topics of apologetics (reasoned arguments or writings in justification of theological doctrine), biblical studies and spiritual warfare.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Times of Trouble: Why Should I Trust God?





Christians must accept three facts as truth to trust the security of their faith at a fundamental level. First, as fallen humans created in God’s image, His purpose for mankind is to conform us to the image of Christ for His Glory. 

Next, adversity has meaning despite its mystery to us, and God’s purpose is always good: “Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right” (1 Peter 4:19). 

Finally, the tests and trials of adversity are secondary to our reaction to them.

The experience of adversity by any name – suffering, trial, testing, etc. – is a painful process that’s mysterious by nature: “Why does God let ‘X’ happen to ‘Y’?” However, all tests have purpose. If one could know the reason behind every test, it still wouldn’t diminish its impact; any student that’s studied for a final exam in school will confirm that as fact. 

The difference between many Christians, and students taking final exams, is the students knew they were going to be tested and prepared in advance.

Scripture reveals Christians have been afforded the same advance notice: “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance” (James 1:2-3). 

In the original language of the New Testament, the word “trial” (πειρασμός / pie-ras-MAHS) means “probation period,” and the word “testing” (δοκίμιον / dah-KEE-me-on) means “to test for genuineness.” God’s Word is telling us to have faith at the fundamental level, and prepare for His test. We're being refined and molded to accomplish greater things for God's glory.

The answers we give – our response to the testing – will be graded after the exam.

Having trust in the security of fundamental faith – God is good, tests have meaning, and responses matter – is a strategy that will withstand any test of adversity you encounter.

Therefore we do not lose heart, but though
our outer man is decaying, yet our inner
man is being renewed day by day.

~ 2 Corinthians 4:16 ~

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Michael I. Kaplan lectures regularly to faith-based organizations on the topics of apologetics (reasoned arguments or writings in justification of theological doctrine), biblical studies and spiritual warfare.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Christian Warrior Mindset: Spiritual Strength for Challenging Times





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Faithful Christians are under spiritual and physical assault in our modern world, and their challenges are greater than at any other time in recent history. Hostile religions, anti-faith movements and politically correct governments are literally trying to destroy Christianity at its core. God won’t let that happen; He has deployed a new generation of Christian Warriors to stand in defense of His faithful elect.

Christian Warrior Mindset: Spiritual Strength in Challenging Times,” is a powerful and inspirational book written for God’s Christian Warriors in the modern age. By the Grace and Glory of God, Christians will stand together, rise against the threats it faces and emerge victorious in its battles with the enemies of the Living God.

You will be inspired by 365 days of powerful Scripture, inspirational commentary and a personal journal that allows readers to discover and plan how they will rise to defend God’s Kingdom on earth.


If you’re led by God to stand in defense of your Christian faith, “Christian Warrior Mindset” was written at the perfect time, just for you.

Paperback: 372 pages
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1536928135
ISBN-13: 978-1536928136
Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Sharing the Gospel?! It's not MY job!





Who has the responsibility to share the Gospel? Many pastors will say it’s their ministry or outreach team. Ask the congregants, and many will say it’s their pastor or outreach team. 

While Christians delegate the evangelical mission to anyone but themselves, the Gospel isn’t shared, and no one is making disciples. When believers realize that evangelism is every Christian’s responsibility, they tend to respond in two ways: they accept the mission given to them by Christ, or they choose to invoke the list of Spiritual Gifts and absolve themselves from the responsibility altogether.

Preach the word; be ready in season and
out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort,
with great patience and instruction.

~ 2 Timothy 4:2 ~

The Holy Spirit endows Christians with spiritual gifts, the divinely-inspired abilities and talents Christians need to fulfill the mission of their faith. The New Testament gives multiple lists of these gifts (Romans, 1 Corinthians, Ephesians and 1 Peter), of which evangelism is but one. When Christians avoid sharing the Gospel by claiming “it’s not my gift,” several issues arise.

Jesus tells us evangelism is the mission statement for the Church; to invoke categories of gifts in defense is the type of legalism He preached against. Having other gifts doesn’t negate the responsibility, even if the believer lacks ability. 

Offer to preach a sermon with the message, “If giving (a spiritual gift) isn’t your gift, don’t give to the church.” The pastor’s response will confirm multiple gifts are not only possible, they’re a reality.

And He said to them, “Go into all the world and
preach the gospel to all creation. He who has
believed and has been baptized shall be saved;
but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.”

~ Mark 16:15-16 ~

What is your primary responsibility as a person professing faith in Christ? There are a variety of answers that seem obvious, but which answer gets top priority? Whether you grew up in a Christian church or recently gave your life to the Lord, the correct answer may surprise you. Just prior to Jesus’ Ascension, He gathered His disciples and gave them a tasking order that would serve as the mission statement for the early Church. 

Their mission was clear: share the Gospel and make disciples.  As Christians, sharing the Gospel of Christ is a shared responsibility for all of us.  It always has been, and it always will be.

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Michael I. Kaplan lectures regularly to faith-based organizations on the topics of apologetics (reasoned arguments or writings in justification of theological doctrine), biblical studies and spiritual warfare.

Monday, March 20, 2017

We Serve an AWESOME God ... Thank You!


To those who follow and support our work: THANK YOU!  Glory to God for making this opportunity possible.

In an effort to bring God's Word to those who've never heard it -- and to those who want to hear more of it -- we published several Bible Study eBooks in our new series, "Unshakable Christian Faith." 

In just five days since the release of this new series, 5 of the 7 e-books have been placed in the Top 7 Amazon Hot New Releases in the category, Christian Theology (Process).  We are humbled and truly grateful at the overwhelming response to the writing.

We pray for your continued support of this series -- 100% of ALL proceeds are dedicated to our Discipleship Ministry in Savannah, GA -- and we thank God for every good thing we experience.

Have a blessed week, thank you again for your support, and stay unshakable in your Christian faith!


Amazon Hot New Releases:  Christian Theology > Process

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Too Busy to Make Time for God's Word?




Modern society demands much of our daily allotted time; it seems like there’s never enough time available to do the things we plan. Is that true? There are 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week, and 43,334 minutes in the average month. We can schedule our days and make plans for the week, but we can’t predict what will happen just one minute from now. Perhaps time isn’t the issue. 

Instead, it’s how we occupy time and prioritize our lives. Scripture reveals, There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven (Ecclesiastes 3:1). That includes the study of God’s Word.

Many Christians make time to read – biographies of notable theologians, commentaries, and texts about the Bible – but don’t spend time reading the Bible itself. No book ever written about God’s Word will ever take the place of reading God’s Word itself. 

Making time to read the Bible must start at once if one is to build a strong foundation of faith. Some believers are inclined to postpone their time in God’s Words until a later date, but the Scriptures warn Christians against having that mindset: “Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away” (James 4:14). 

Time management is making the time to carry out priorities; Christians increase the urgency of this by realizing we can’t predict what will happen just one minute from now. If we spend 30-minutes each day in God’s Word, we make our faith stronger and show God we understand He is the priority. 

God sees when we understand that: “We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work” (John 9:4). 

Dedicated Christians always make time for God’s Word.  It's a hallmark of an unshakable Christian faith.

Seven times a day I praise You,
because of Your righteous ordinances.

~ Psalm 119:164 ~

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Michael I. Kaplan lectures regularly to faith-based organizations on the topics of apologetics (reasoned arguments or writings in justification of theological doctrine), biblical studies and spiritual warfare.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Are You Ready for God’s Throne of Judgment?


By:  Michael Kaplan, author of "7 Pillars of an Unshakable Christian Faith"


Humans are a finite creation; our lives in the physical world are short, and tomorrow is never a guarantee. At the end of life, we’ll shed our physical bodies and stand before the Creator of everything, the final Judge of Man. In the instant of our passing, we’ll see the face of a God so powerful, to look upon him in human form would kill us: You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live (Exodus 33:20). 

The most critical question Christians can ask themselves before this inevitable event is, “Am I ready to face God on His Throne of Judgment?” To say “yes,” without thought, is reckless.
“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13-14).
Jesus didn’t reveal this truth to atheists; He spoke these words to believers adhering to the strictest orthodox practices. Externally, their actions showed the highest level of love and commitment to God possible. Despite their outward appearance, Jesus knew their hearts: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). 

It’s terrifying to think one could live their life believing they’re going to spend eternity in Heaven, only to discover in Judgment they’re not.

Have we, as Christians, truly grasped Jesus’ mission, and do our actions and character faithfully reflect His authority as our Lord and Savior? Do we profess Christ externally in word and song, without having an obedient heart that lovingly submits to His authority? 

When we face our God in unapproachable light, will we hear, “They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work” (Titus 1:16), or will He tell us, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:23)? The answer to that question dictates eternal existence, and deserves serious and thoughtful consideration. It’s the most important answer we’ll ever give.

There are two distinct categories of people living in the physical word: those who profess Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, and those who don’t believe in Him. There are also two distinct categories of Christian in the physical world: those who subjugate their will to Him in obedience, and those who profess Him in the visible church, while leaving obedience to others.

Those in the first category hear God’s Word, believe God’s Word, and act on God’s Word: “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock” (Matthew 7:24). They will hear the words, Well done, good and faithful servant,” and enjoy the loving embrace of their merciful Lord for all eternity.

Those in the second category hear God’s Word, agree with most of it, but choose not be changed by it: “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand” (Matthew 7:26). Scripture reveals the words they’ll hear, “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” (Matthew 7:23), and their terrifying fate is certain.

Jesus describes two identical houses (Christians), built in the same location (church), facing identical storms (Judgment). The only difference between them is the part that we can’t see: the foundation (heart) on which they’re built. I hope to inspire you to build your home on a foundation of rock that can only be found in Christ, supported by an unshakable faith that’s able to withstand the trials of life, and the storm of Judgment.

Geoffrey O'Hara, a Canadian composer, said this well in his hymn, “Why call Me Lord, Lord and do not the things I say?”:
You call Me the Way and walk Me not!
You call Me the Life and live Me not!
You call Me Master and obey Me not!
If I condemn you blame Me not.
I pray the Holy Spirit leads you to an intimate relationship with Christ, and we personally meet in Heaven in God’s Gory!

Examine yourselves as to whether you are in
the faith.Test yourselves. Do you not know
yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?
- unless indeed you are disqualified.

~ 2 Corinthians 13:5 ~


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Michael I. Kaplan lectures regularly to faith-based organizations on the topics of apologetics (reasoned arguments or writings in justification of theological doctrine), biblical studies and spiritual warfare.