139 results for author: Pastor Jon Hanson


A Chose Generation

What do you think of present day Israel? Does the nation have a right to exist in the present day world? I am constantly amazed that so much of the news these days is focused on a postage-stamp sized piece of land in the Middle East. Israel is currently about the size of New Jersey or about 11% of the size of North Dakota. Many people feel strongly that Israel has no right to exist a nation. Among the strongest of this group are the Islamic nations. But surprisingly, perhaps a majority of Christians also holds the view that God is finished with the Jews. They believe that the Jews disappointed God and that He has turned the promises to the ...

Sound Doctrine

What do you think of systematic theology? We started a course last week at the Northern Plains Biblical Seminary—Bible School in Systematic Theology. This course is avoided by many people because it seems too “heady” to many people. We have a discussion forum as part of the class. For the first discussion, I asked the question: Systematic theology seems like such a boring topic and besides that, it draws us into pure intellectualism. Why should I be concerned about studying this topic? One student provided a very insightful response. Paul makes many references to his protégé Timothy regarding the study of Scripture and doctrine in ...

Just As…

Are you looking for justice? There are certainly times and situations where we have all wondered when there would be justice. When someone wrongs us, we look for justice. When we see someone mistreat another person, we look for justice. But is it right for us to “look for justice.” Usually when we think of justice, we are thinking of it as a judgment of a person by a judicial process. We think of fairness and we seem to believe that life ought to be fair. But this is not how Jesus lived His life. Perhaps instead of looking for justice we should instead looked to live our lives “just as” Jesus did. Let’s consider a few verses ...

Some Love, Some Hate

How do people respond to Jesus, the Christ—the Messiah? Peter in his letter to suffering Christians about how they should live in such a time as this, instructed them about the foundations of life. Peter has reminded his readers to continually come before the throne of grace (1 Peter 2:4-5). To us, this involves our continual fellowship with Jesus, the Christ. He is the living Stone and He gives life to us so we are like living stones. Though the world rejects us, as it rejected Him, we must continue to be an influence on the world. Peter subsequently gives a poignant lesson in practical Christology (1 Peter 2:6-8). Therefore it is also ...

Pray and Study

If you take a couple of minutes to look back on your life, would you do anything differently? We have been working our way through Peter’s first epistle. Peter implored his readers in 1 Peter 2:1-3 to long for the pure milk of the Word. The take-home message in that passage was that we need to make God’s Word a part of our everyday life. Then in 1 Peter 2:4-5, we saw the need to devote ourselves to Him in every part of our lives. We need to continually come to Him. We need to fellowship with Him. We need to become the Church of Christ. But how does this happen? How does Christ become the center of our lives? I am now on vacation with ...

Living Stones

Are you ready for the practice of holiness? In his first epistle, Peter is encouraging his readers to live holy lives. We saw in 1 Peter 2:1-3 that holiness can only happen in so much as he believer is committed to feeding on the pure milk of the word. We can grow in Christ only by studying the Word of God and living according the truth it contains. Peter goes on in the next verses to provide practical steps for living a holy life. He wrote: Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual ...

Hope Motivates Character: Love

What characteristic of yours would define who you are? Another way to ask this question is, “Who are you?” So often, we define ourselves by our jobs. We respond to this question by saying what it is we do for I job…doctor, lawyer, secretary, clerk, nurse, etc. But this doesn’t answer the question. These tell others what we do not who we are. As I was growing up, I learned that my value was found it what I did. I completely believed that my value was tied into what I did. So, if my mother asked me to clean the bathroom, I made certain it sparkled. As a result, she asked me to clean more and more. At one point, while I was an impress...

Hope Motivates Character: Holiness

What is Christianity all about? I read an interesting article recently. It seems a self-proclaimed Muslim man went to Papa John’s for a pizza. He ordered a hamburger pizza, but mistakenly received a pork (sausage) pizza instead. According to Islamic Law, Muslims cannot eat pork. Regarding the event he says, “Right now inside my body there’s a parasite growing that I’ll never be able to get rid of. And I’ve actually sinned in the eyes of God, because I was told not to eat it.” The manager of the Papa John’s establishment admitted a mistake had been made in labeling the containers. He then offered the Muslim man a free pizza. ...

Understanding Our Salvation

Do you ever consider how your salvation will encourage you to labor for Christ? We were challenged during our worship service this morning to think of any miracle that had happened in our life as a direct result of prayer. Of course, we discussed those that had to do with God’s providence toward us, for example, the healing of the sick or the changed life that resulted in believer’s life. But perhaps the most seldom considered miracle in the life a person is salvation of our souls—that is, eternal salvation. Consider the discourse between Jesus and His disciples in Matthew 19:23-26 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Assuredly, I ...

True Joy

What was the most exciting and joyful day of your life? Certainly, we can answer this question in a number of different ways. And each of us may point to different exciting times in our life. For example, I could look to a major victory in sports. As a football player, I played in several exciting games. The most memorable ones were when we came from behind to win the game. Also, I could point to receiving one of my college degrees. Whether it be my first degree in Biology, my Master’s degree in botany, or my PhD in Ecology. I think my most joy came when I graduated from Moody Biblical Seminary. I have other highlights in my life. ...