• When All Things Are Made New Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2017

    As a pastor and theologian, I’ve had to think about a lot of hard questions over the years. Truth be told, however, the most difficult problem I’ve faced is the problem of suffering. We all face suffering in some way, and we all know people who’ve lived such painful lives that we wonder how they can go on. We don’t ever want to downplay or deny the pain that suffering brings. Christianity isn’t a system of Stoic denial wherein we pretend that everything is OK even when we are enduring the worst things. At the same time, we dare not … View Resource

  • The Joy of Christ Article by David Filson

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2017

    Our hearts prepare for Advent with, “Come to earth to taste our sadness, He whose glories knew no end.” We enter Passion Week somberly singing, “Man of Sorrows! What a name, for the Son of God who came.” Isaiah pens lyrics about the Suffering Servant (42:1–4; 49:1–6; 50:4–9; 52:13–53:12). He was the Man of Sorrows, with a taste for sadness—our sadness. As He weeps at Lazarus’ tomb (John 11:33–43), we see Him touched by the feeling of our infirmities (Heb. 4:15). Is this the whole picture? Is there not a deep, pulsating current beneath Christ’s willingness to enter our pain—a … View Resource

  • Sorrowful Yet Always Rejoicing Article by John Piper

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2017

    What I call “Christian Hedonism” is a way of life rooted in the conviction that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him. The implications of this conviction are all-encompassing and thrilling, including the stunning truth that all true virtue and all true worship necessarily include the pursuit of happiness in God. The reason for this is that all true virtue and all true worship must involve the intention to glorify God. This is because we were created to glorify God (Isa. 43:7), and because Paul said, “Whatever you do, do all to the glory … View Resource

  • To Enjoy Him Forever Article by Sinclair Ferguson

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2017

    While shaking hands at the church door, ministers are sometimes greeted with a spontaneous, “I really enjoyed that!”—which is immediately followed by, “Oh! I shouldn’t really say that, should I?” I usually grip tighter, hold the handshake a little longer, and say with a smile, “Doesn’t the catechism’s first question encourage us to do that? If we are to enjoy Him forever, why not begin now?” Of course, we cannot enjoy God apart from glorifying Him. And the Westminster Shorter Catechism wisely goes on to ask, “What rule hath God given to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy … View Resource

  • In Praise of Heavy Providences Article by Mike Pohlman

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2016

    Today, I’m struck anew with how contrary to the world is the Christian life. I’m thinking specifically about how the world will almost without fail define the best way forward in life as the way of ease. That is, the path of least resistance is, by definition, the right path to choose. This is not so in God’s economy. The Bible is full of reminders about how, in the call of God, things will be difficult rather than easy, complex rather than simple, strenuous rather than leisurely. Indeed, it’s for good reasons that the Bible often calls us to endure … View Resource

  • Bearing and Enduring Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2016

    Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Cor. 13:7). I want to focus on the bearing and enduring aspects of love. Those aren’t the same thing, but there is a close link between bearing and enduring because being able to bear pain is important to being able to endure. And if love is going to endure in the Christian life, love must be able to bear a certain amount of pain and disappointment. I think Paul is talking about the grace of God in the gift of love that makes it possible for … View Resource

  • Our Hope amid Suffering Article by Mez McConnell

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2016

    I have buried too many children in my ministry. I have watched helpless parents weep in torment. I have seen hopelessness face-to-face. I have seen cancer leave its calling card on ravaged bodies. I have seen dementia claim the lives of tortured souls. I have felt the destructive force of mental and physical abuse. I have seen and experienced suffering. It is a pitiless force of nature, sweeping aside all in its inexorable path. We can’t escape its grasp. We can never run fast enough. We can never shut our eyes tight enough. We know, if we live long enough, … View Resource

  • The Soft Prosperity Gospel Article by Erik Raymond

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2016

    What do you think of when you read the words prosperity gospel? Odds are that your stomach turns a bit as you think about the preachers on television who speak to very large crowds and appeal to even more people in their books. Queasiness is the reaction one should have to the brand of Christianity trumpeted by prosperity preachers. This is because the prosperity gospel is not a gospel at all but rather a damnable perversion of the true gospel. Its preachers herald a message of self-improvement that runs painfully contrary to several key biblical realities. They minimize the … View Resource

  • Blessed Are the Persecuted Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2015

    In 2004, I traveled to Iran with a delegation of Protestant Christians from the United States to meet with the vice president of the Iranian parliament. While in Iran, I preached at the Garden of Evangelism in Tehran, which was founded by the twentieth-century missionary William M. Miller. Over the following days, dozens of Iranian Christians told me stories of the many ways they had been persecuted. Many who had been converted to Christ from Islam had been disowned by their families, shunned and despised by their neighbors, or fired from their jobs. Some had been imprisoned, and one man’s … View Resource

  • A History of Persecution Article by George Grant

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2015

    The horrific ruthlessness of ISIS, the brazen cruelty of Boko Haram, the obsessive repression of the North Korean Juche, the vicious terrorism of al-Qaeda—I confess that when confronted with the persecution of my Christian brothers and sisters around the world in recent days, I am shocked. But I know I shouldn’t be. Long ago, the Apostle Paul asserted, “All those who desire to live godly lives will be persecuted” (2 Tim. 3:12). There is no way around it. Persecution is inevitable. Throughout church history, believers have suffered persecution and obscurity. They have been beaten, ridiculed, defrocked, and defamed. They … View Resource

  • Persecution around the World Article by Dave Furman

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2015

    Bashir (not his real name) frequented our church gatherings when he was in town. He is a good friend of some of our members, and his faith is a constant encouragement to me. The day after Christmas in 2010, everything changed for Bashir when the police dragged him and sixty other Christians out of their homes. Husbands and wives were separated; moms from their nursing babies. Our church helped Bashir’s wife and two children flee their country as refugees, but Bashir is still in prison. According to the latest court ruling, he will remain in jail until the end of … View Resource

  • Martyrdom Today Article by George Robinson

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2014

    Persecution. Jesus said that His followers should expect it (John 15:20; 2 Tim. 3:12) and that those who experience it are blessed (Matt. 5:10–12). In our First World society, persecution may mean mocking, slander, or alienation from friends and family. However, the church extends far beyond our circles to include dozens of countries around the world. In much of the Majority World, Christians are experiencing persecution in the form of harassment, beatings, and even martyrdom. The Risk of Belief Over the past fifteen years, my work has been primarily focused on evangelism, disciple-making, and church planting in places where those … View Resource

  • Comforting Eve Article by Eric Watkins

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2013

    There are countless places in the Bible that will comfort Christians in their trials or encourage them in their obedience through reflection on the things that are to come. Perhaps it is too common (and unhelpful) to reduce these things, the study of which is called eschatology, to “that hard-to-understand stuff at the end of the Bible.” Rather, I would like to suggest that eschatology is not simply that with which the Bible ends; it is also that with which the Bible begins, and that knowing our eschatology is extremely comforting. Let us begin with Eve. Among the women we … View Resource

  • Answering Evil Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2013

    Dr. John Gerstner, my esteemed mentor, certainly had a way of getting my attention and helping me to think more clearly. I still remember when I told him that I thought the problem of evil is irresolvable. Having noted that the best apologists and theologians in church history haven’t answered all the questions raised by the existence of evil in this world, I told him that no one would ever solve the problem on this side of eternity. He turned and rebuked me. “How do you know the problem of evil will never be solved?” he asked. “Perhaps you or … View Resource

  • Fear of Death and Disease Article by Robert Rothwell

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2013

    I see a spot we need to keep an eye on.” Cancer. It wasn’t a diagnosis that I ever expected to hear as a young man about to start a family. Immediately, my mind filled with questions: How will I tell my wife? How will she manage if I die? What will the treatment cost? Am I ready to die? There were no words in the immediate aftermath. It helped that the cancer with which I’d been diagnosed has a 95-percent cure rate, but I’d be lying if I said that eliminated my worries. A 95-percent cure rate isn’t a … View Resource