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





New Kindle Edition Available  |  Updated for 2017

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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.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Boldly Defending the Christian Faith in Modern Society


View TODAY on Amazon: "7 Pillars of an Unshakable Christian Faith"


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 defense of God’s Promises would be a natural condition.

There’s nothing more profitable for the development of a strong Christian faith than knowing and understanding the Word of God. Reading the Bible is the only way to know God’s Word, and studying the Bible is the only way to understand it.

It’s impossible to defend something unknown, and difficult to defend something not understood. The discipline of Apologetics dictates by necessity a grounded knowledge of the Scriptures. This process doesn’t require acceptance into Bible college; it begins in the Christian home, as early as possible.

The benefits of a strong, mature Christian faith extend well beyond the physical borders of the individual.


Discover those benefits yourself within the pages of “Boldly Defending the Christian Faith in Modern Society.” This is a great resource for Christian groups, Bible study, and discipleship ministries.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Key to God's Word: Christian Bible Study

Many Christians view reading the Bible as an intimidating endeavor; the sheer size of the text, written in a grammatical style that can be confusing at times, is enough to prevent them from making the attempt. This is typically rationalized with a question such as, “why should I read the Bible myself, when my Pastor reads it to us every Sunday?

For others, the Bible is an archaic text possessing little relevance to the moral and ethical issues confronting Christians in our modern culture. In a culture embracing varying degrees of moral relativism, the absolute standards imposed by God can appear to be “out of sync” and intolerant.

In reality, nothing could be farther from the truth, but that fact goes unnoticed when time isn’t taken to become acquainted with the text.

There are numerous reasons to study the Bible regularly, the most obvious of which is God: it’s His message, His story, His commands, His promises, and His means by which Salvation becomes available to faithful Christians who believe in Him.

That’s only the beginning … you’ll discover the rest for yourself as you read through this book.


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Know Your Roots: The Family Tree of our Christian Faith



What’s so important about studying the history of the Christian faith? The thought of spending hours learning about facts, dates, places that no longer exist and dead people doesn’t sound appealing.

What’s the value of spending time in the past, removed from a future that is difficult to manage, quoting theologians of antiquity, when much of society either won’t (or can’t) comfortably discuss their own theological doctrine? Those are valid questions, worthy of practical answers.

It isn’t Christians that have been creating, building and spreading the church for the last 2,000 years – it’s been Christ. The Christian faith revolves around His Word, accomplishing His Will, and trying to be more like Him. He’s the Father to the Christian flock, the Body of Christ, and studying the history of the evolution of our faith – Historical Theology – is akin to learning about the genealogical branches that make up our Family tree.

Brothers and sisters in Christ should know their family’s history.


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Jesus knew what He was doing when He called disciples from the margins of society, when He set the stage for Paul and Peter to argue at the Jerusalem Council in 48 AD, and when the Church was losing its way prior to the Protestant Reformation. For those who yearn for the “Golden Apostolic Age,” there wasn’t one.

Despite that, our Christian history has been amazing.


Monday, March 13, 2017

New PDF e-Book: Jesus' Method for Making Disciples

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: MAKE DISCIPLES.


Jesus' Method for Making Disciples
Modern Christianity looks much different than the early Church, even though God’s Word remains unchanged over time. Adherence to the faith is declining, apostasy in churches is increasing, and statistical data shows there’s little difference between the lifestyles of believers and non-believers. 

Most Christians will admit there’s a problem; that’s a critical first-step for finding a solution. We need to know where we are before we decide where we need to go. The difference between those two points is the solution.

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Friday, March 10, 2017

Times of Trouble Create a Stronger Christian Faith






Faith defines the Christian life; it’s the force driving our perseverance, passion, and purpose. It guides actions in the temporal world, and guarantees eternal life with Christ in Heaven. In a relationship in which God gives fallen and undeserving mankind Salvation, faith is the only thing He asks from us in return.

Indeed, it’s the only thing a finite being could offer God: “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8).

Given its position of prominence in Christian life – and the role it serves in our eternal relationship with Christ – it makes sense that God regularly tests our faith.

Yet in many cases, it’s during these times of adversity and testing when the faith of Christians is most prone to fail. Could it be possible many believers simply don’t understand the nature of their faith, or the role it plays in their relationship with the God who tests it?

Scripture reveals testing and trial should come as no surprise: “The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests hearts” (Proverbs 17:3).

If growth and change tend to be uncomfortable (and even painful) in the physical world, imagine how much more that truth applies in the spiritual realm. The Bible is clear: those who aspire to mature in their faith must realize growth results from change, and change is the result of testing.

Through difficult testing, God is shaping believers into His image of the masterpiece He wants them to be: “But now, O Lord, You are our Father, we are the clay, and You our potter; And all of us are the work of Your hand” (Isaiah 64:8).

If the testing of faith that results in spiritual growth is a divine constant, our reaction becomes the only variable in our relationship with God; and, it’s the only thing within our control.

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 ~

I pray that the Holy Spirit guides you in your studies, and brings you to a more intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. Have a blessed day.

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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 3, 2017

Fixing the Negative Image of Christian Evangelism


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



Modern Christianity looks much different than the early Church, even though God’s Word remains unchanged over time. Adherence to the faith is declining, apostasy in churches is increasing, and statistical data shows there’s little difference between the lifestyles of believers and non-believers.

Most Christians will admit there’s a problem; that’s a critical first-step for finding a solution. We need to know where we are before we decide where we need to go. The difference between those two points is the solution.

Before identifying the problems and presenting possible solutions, Christians need to address the “800-pound gorilla” in the room: evangelism. Christ’s “mission statement” to the disciples, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations,” propelled the early Church forward, and established Christianity as a global faith. The disciples had to share the Gospel of Christ with non-believers, create disciples, and teach them how to replicate their efforts.

Unfortunately, modern Christians are very uncomfortable sharing the Gospel, and that’s a problem. In many cases, it's due to the negative image associated with the word "evangelist."

Almost everyone in Western culture has experienced a case of evangelism run amok. It’s the fire-and-brimstone street pastor, blocking the way of pedestrians, while screaming in their faces, “Repent, or go to hell!” 

It’s the angry church pastor, caught on video, abusing and insulting his congregants. Regardless of what form it takes, it gives Christians a bad reputation and doesn’t reflect the true spirit of sharing the Gospel. 

Unfortunately, for every one bad example people see, there are thousands of great examples they never experience.

Not only is this type of evangelism counterproductive, it’s anti-biblical as well. The apostle Paul gave clear instructions to the Body of Christ about judging non-believers:

For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do
you not judge those who are within the church?
But those who are outside, God judges.

~1 Corinthians 5:12-13 ~

Those misguided believers that take this approach to evangelism portray Christians as self-righteous, intolerant and preachy. No rational person would find that image appealing. 

Similarly, many evangelists use a scripted greeting when engaging people in public places. Although they mean well and are typically well-mannered, talking to people as if reading from a PowerPoint slide is disingenuous, and the impersonal nature of this kind of exchange doesn’t leave a good impression. 

Once again, for every one bad example people see, there are many great examples they never experience. Leave the bad examples behind, and focus instead on creating good experiences – and Christian disciples.

Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold
of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies
behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead;

~ Philippians 3:13 ~

I pray that the Holy Spirit guides you in your studies, and brings you to a more intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.  Be Blessed.