Category : News

The answer to this question will tell you what you need to know about yourself.

A few days ago I saw the intro to the season nine finale of the ABC show Modern Family the youngest cast member on the show Joe (played by Jeremy Maguire) reacted, when his mother sneezed while cutting his hair leaving him with a bad haircut; this caused him to proclaim “my hair is my identity!” The surprised and disappointed look on his face was priceless. But it brings to mind a bigger and deeper question. A question that has haunted countless people. The question is simple but daunting for many: “Who am I?”

What’s your identity?

Men, generally speaking, are notorious for going through a midlife crisis. Maybe it’s an affair, a Corvette Stingray or some other life altering decision to do something that goes against their normal course of behavior. Why do so many men (and women too) go through such struggles? The problem is not necessarily facing one’s own mortality, though that may play a role, the problem is much deeper. How you identify yourself will affect not only the decisions you make but how you cope with life’s struggles and sadness. Try this. Fill in the blank: I am a/an _______________.

What was your answer? Did you write your occupation? Did you write something related to your personality? Maybe you mentioned your role in your family. How you completed that sentence indicates where or in what you find your identity.

Why is your answer so important?

If you listed your occupation in the blank then you must ask yourself: “what happens when I’m no longer in that occupation?” What happens when the pink slip is handed to you, the company downsize dissolves your position or you simply reach the finish line and retire? For many people the result is depression and despair. You experience a feeling of loss, your sense of direction and purpose in life is gone. If your answer was a spouse or parent; what do you do if your spouse leaves you or passes away? What if, and God forbid, that you have to bury your child?

The Answer

When you place your identity in temporal things despair is never far away. Whether your identity is in your job, your car, your possessions, your conquest, your job, your family, or your hair (which, by the way, will one day turn gray or loose), the end is always around the corner and what will you do when the end arrives? The Apostle Paul, when speaking of enduring hardships, pointed to the hope we can have when persecution and peril engulfs us. His words are simple, powerful and true: “So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Cor. 4:18). If you want to avoid the identity crisis that’s around the corner, identify yourself with the only thing that is truly permanent; the eternal God who loves you so much He gave you the greatest gift you will ever hope to receive. When you trust Christ as Savior “not even death or life, angels or rulers, things present or things to come, hostile powers, height or depth, or any other created thing will have the power to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!” (Rom. 8:38-39)

There’s many paths offering satisfaction, peace, fulfillment and meaning; but if Christianity is true (and there is overwhelming evidence that it is) there’s only one way that you can go to find the life that brings ultimate meaning and purpose. Jesus said; “I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance” (John 10:10). If you choose to give your life to Christ – to identify yourself as His – you will still face struggles and sadness but your identity will stay intact as you rest in your identity as a child of God.

You can become a child of God by admitting you’re a sinner, believing Jesus was who He said He was, and placing your trust in Christ as Savior. By giving your life to Christ you will receive God’s gift of salvation (Romans 3:23, 6:23, 5:8, 10:9, 13). If you do make this decision let me know about it on FB or Twitter.

If you have enjoyed this blog please like it and share it with your friends and family.

Dr. Brady Blevins is the senior apologist at Watchman Fellowship and assistant dean of the Graduate Theology School at Arlington Baptist University. Follow him on Twitter: @bradyblevins and/or Facebook: facebook.com/brady.blevins1

Get a Signed Copy of My New Book, “What the Qur’an Really Teaches About Jesus”

I’m thrilled to announce my latest book, What the Qur’an Really Teaches About Jesus. For a limited time, I’m offering signed copies of the book. Watch this 5-minute video to learn more.

Why This Book?

In just 10 years, Islam has grown by 160% in the US. Internationally, Islam is quickly become the geopolitical issue of our generation. When it comes to Islamic terrorism, I am convinced that there is no military or political fix. Our only lasting hope for Muslims is found in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The worlds two largest religions, however, remain deeply divided over the identity of history’s most important person. Jesus himself asked the striking question, “Who do you say that I am?” (Matt. 16:15). The Qur’an affirms that Jesus was a prophet and was born of a virgin.

The Qur’an, however, denies essential biblical truth about Jesus:

  • Jesus is the Son of God
  • Jesus died on the cross
  • Jesus rose from the dead
  • Jesus is God in the flesh

My book is designed to give everything you need to start a positive gospel conversation with a Muslim friend, neighbor or coworker.

I have also included interviews with three former Muslims who became Christians. They tell incredible stories of their spiritual journeys. You will also learn the most important truths that their Christian friends shared with them and how those truths made all the difference.

UPGRADE to the Islam Debate Set: Book plus DVDs

I am asking for a donation of $25 or more* for a signed copy of my book. You may also upgrade your order to include the signed book and the DVD Debate Set including my two debates with Khalil Meek of the Muslim Legal Fund of America, PLUS the bonus DVD Understanding Islam for a donation of $45* or more. Click here to learn more or order: www.watchman.org/DebateSet.

Thank you for you prayer and financial support that makes our ministry of evangelism and apologetics possible.

*This offer ends Nov. 30, 2018. Free shipping is included (USA only). International donors are encouraged to purchase the book through Amazon.com.

Atheist Christian Book Club Interview with Bill Kluck

After the August meeting of the Atheist Christian Book Club I interviewed our co-founder, Bill Kluck, about what we have been able to accomplish over our first five months and what we can expect to learn from from the book we will discuss on September 1, 2017, Nailed.

Utah Mission Report – Great News!

Manti, Utah

Great news! We have received the remaining support needed to fund our 2017 Mission to Utah. Thank you for your prayers and donations that made this possible. Watchman staff Renae Storms and Brady Blevins are already in Utah right now leading our Week #1 team. We have already seen God move! Just watch this 74-second video report: www.watchman.org/Utah1

Salvation by Grace: Even before our training was completed, we already have a report of one salvation. There were some great gospel conversations on the plane going out. We are also hearing of fantastic spiritual discussions, opportunities to build some new friendships and share the true gospel of grace with a number of Mormons.

Prayer Request: I am asking for prayer right now! The real focus of the mission trip starts as our team joins with many other Christian missionaries in Manti, Utah, site of the Mormon Miracle Pageant. Each summer, tens of thousands of Mormons attend this is a huge outdoor drama with a cast of hundreds, powerful music, and special effects. The drama reenacts Joseph Smith’s “First Vision,” his claims to be a prophet of God, and many events written in the Book of Mormon. For about three hours leading up to the pageant, we will be starting gospel conversations with the gathering crowd.

We have 31 missionaries — our largest team ever! We have had to break up into two groups. Renae Storms, Brady Blevins, and Brian Harbeck are leading this weeks team. I will be leading week two along with Bob Stewart and Ken Taylor. Most of that team will be students from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

All of us covet your prayers. We are all there to build relationships and share the Good News not to prove our point or win arguments. I know that we will never see eternal results by trusting in our own abilities. That is why I am asking you to take just a moment to pray that the Lord will work in a mighty way in Utah these two weeks — all to HIS glory. Thank you!

Photo of Manti, Utah, by C.Maylett

Get a Free Book for Supporting Our 2017 Mission Trip

A Mormon's Unexpected Journey vol. 2

You will love this free book! As a former Mormon myself, I rarely discover a book that more clearly lays out the differences between Mormonism and biblical faith. At the same time, here is a book that goes beyond the facts to tell a story of personal transformation. As I read it, I was vividly reminded of every feeling and emotion that I experienced during my own transition from Mormonism to Christianity. Get it here: www.watchman.org/FreeBook

Here in Vol. II, Carma Naylor once again strikes that perfect balance between exposing the errors of Mormon doctrine and providing a vivid description all of the emotions and tension that resulted from her discovery. She invites her readers along for an incredibly personal journey through the desperate drama that came with losing her religion followed by unexpected joy upon discovering the grace of Christ. I know you will want this book and I would like to give you a free copy.1 Why?

31 Reasons Why Am I Giving You This Book

Our 2017 Utah Mission trip is just weeks away. We are poised to have our largest team ever (31 missionaries) and have expanded our outreach to two weeks. With time running out, however, we are still $10,372 now just $5,996 short of having the funds to cover all 31 missionaries for food, airfare, accommodations, etc. All 31 have:

  • Volunteered their time
  • Applied and completed their paperwork
  • Received an endorsement from their pastor
  • Raised at least part of their travel expenses

I want no missionary left behind! I want to see all 31 missionaries in Utah sharing the gospel. They are the 31 reasons I want to raise awareness with this free book. Would you consider helping?

I am very thankful for each of you who have already donated to help send one or more missionaries. If you have not done so yet and want to help send a missionary, here is your chance. Any tax-deductible donation above the cost of postage will help send one of our team members to the mission field.2

If you only want to cover postage, however, please don’t hesitate to claim your copy. I don’t want the cost to prevent you from enjoying your own copy of this valuable resource.

Okay, what is the catch? Here is the fine print. We do ask for a donation of at least $3.81 to help cover the postage. We do have a limit of one free book per household. This offer is valid in the USA only* and the offer ends Friday, June 30 at midnight.

Just click here to claim your copy: www.watchman.org/FreeBook.

Last year we offered Vol. I of Carma’s story and shipped hundreds of free copies. I received tons of positive feedback with many asking how they can get Vol. II. I’m pleased to announce that it is finally available. If you did not get a copy book one last year, don’t worry. Vol. II begins with a brief synopsis of part one of Carma’s story so you can catch up. You really don’t need to read her first book to fully enjoy Vol. II.

Not only will you enjoy reading Carma’s story, this book also makes a great gift to share with a Latter-day Saint to help introduce them to the biblical gospel of grace.

Do you know any Mormons — a coworker, neighbor, or family member?

Have you ever had the Mormon Missionaries knock at your door?

If you answered yes, you will want to be prepared to be a witness when the Lord give you an opportunity. This book is a great way to be “speaking the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15) to a Mormon friend.

Once again, thank you for your prayers and support. Any help you can give towards our 2017 Utah Mission Trip is greatly appreciated. Thank you for helping to make this ministry possible!

1 This offer ends 6/30/17 at midnight. * Limit one free book per household * This offer is valid in USA only. The high cost of international shipping, insurance, and customs regulations prevents us from shipping this book to other countries. We appreciate all of our international friends, prayer partners, and supporters. We suggest they order the book from Amazon.com in either Kindle or paperback: A Mormon’s Unexpected Journey, Vol. II by Carma Naylor.

2 Your donation is tax-deductible in the USA. If we are able to receive funding above and beyond the expenses of our 2017 Utah Mission trip, some of these funds may be applied to other Watchman Fellowship mission trips, educational resources, training and evangelism projects.

Utah Mission Trip: Share Jesus with Mormons – Help send us or come with us?

2017 Utah Mission Trip

We have dates set for our 2017 Utah Mission Trip. Would you like to come with us as a summer missionary or help send someone else? Learn more by watching my 3-minute video report highlighting some of the last year’s trip: www.watchman.org/UtahRept.htm.

Our 2017 Utah Mission Trip will be June 11-18. There are three ways you can participate: 1) Donate to support our team, 2) Pray for our mission team, or 3) Join the team by coming with us. Here is how it works.

DONATE: We need to raise our portion of the mission trip costs above our normal budget. Click here to designate your gift to help cover the cost of the trip or to help send one or more missionaries.

PRAY: For over 25 years, Watchman has had a team of missionaries sharing the true gospel with Mormons in Manti, Utah. The Mormons produce a huge outdoor drama, Mormon Miracle Pageant, outside of their temple in Manti. The pageant features a cast of hundreds in a major production dramatizing the story of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.

Over 70,000 Mormons attend this event annually. We join with many other Christian groups sharing in gospel conversations for hours each evening before the pageant begins. The first few days we provide training and a crash course in Mormon theology and history. We also take a tour of Temple Square in Salt Lake City (and have tons of fun).

JOIN THE TEAM: Please pray about joining us for Utah Missions 2017. We need two kinds of missionaries — those who will be sharing the gospel and team partners who will be providing the prayer support and encouragement.

Our trip is June 11-18 and the cost is $1,400 including all training, witnessing materials, tracts, lodging, meals, ground transportation, and airfare from most major US cities. If you want to provide your own transportation to Salt Lake City, the total cost is $900 for the 8 days and 7 nights.

Space is limited so if you think you might be interested, let us know right away and I’ll connect you with our mission trip coordinator, Renae Storms. She will follow up with you and provide an application, suggestions on how to best raise your personal support to help cover the costs of your trip, and more information.

Can I Say ‘Thanks’ By Giving You This Ancient Biblical Coin from the Time of Christ?

I want to thank each of you for praying for our staff and their families and for standing with us financially as we approach the end of 2016. Your faithful support literally makes possible our ministry of evangelism, apologetics, and missions. That is why I’m thrilled to tell you about a new way we can express our appreciation for your partnership.

Ancient Biblical Coin from the Time of Christ

We recently acquired a collection of 2,000-year-old biblical coins known as “widow’s mites” from a friend of our ministry who is a licensed antiquities dealer in Israel. These ancient bronze coins were minted in Judea between 135-37 BC and recently excavated just south of Jerusalem. That means, that these coins were actually in circulation in Israel during the earthy ministry of Jesus Christ.

I would like to FedEx you this ancient biblical coin. It is beautifully framed and comes with a certificate of authenticity. Just watch this short, 3-minute video to discover how you can own this rare treasure: www.watchman.org/mite.

Jesus praised a widow for her offering of two “mites”

Jesus mentioned this coin in the Gospel of Mark when He praised the faithful giving of a poor widow. When Jesus saw the widow donate two mites, he said, “this poor widow hath cast more in than all…. For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living” (Mark 12:43-44).

Would you like to own one of these ancient biblical coins?

I would like to make this ancient coin available to you as our way of saying “thank you” for your support to help us advance our ministry of evangelism, apologetics, and missions over the next 365 days. Some of you may wish to send in a gift to cover $10 a day for one year ($3,650). Others may wish to send in a donation at this time to cover $5 per day for the next year ($1,825). To receive your coin, however, we are requiring a minimum donation of only $1 per day.

That means that if you make a donation at this time of at least $365 we will ship you a framed “widow’s mite” as a token of our appreciation. That is just $1 a day for one year to help support Watchman Fellowship’s ministry of evangelism, apologetics, and missions.

Large or small – every end-of-year gift is important!

I know that $365 is a lot of money. Many of our most faithful prayer partners and supporters simply don’t have it – especially at this time of year. Please know that your donation, regardless of its size, is much-needed and greatly appreciated. If you can only afford to give $25 or even $2 right now, rest assured that you are truly a blessing to us and I believe you will be blessed as well.

That is the beauty of the Widow’s offering. It was only two “mites,” which adds up to about $2 in value in today’s US dollars.1 Jesus praised the widow not because of the size of her offering but because of the size of her sacrifice.

We can accomplish great ministry working together

As much as 40% of our annual support is donated in the month of December. That is why each December is literally a “make or break” challenge for us. The lion’s share of all of our outreach efforts, writing, printing, postage, web development, staff salaries, mission trips, evangelism, training, equipping, and everything else is funded in December.

Each year our staff and their families anxiously look forward to December trusting the Lord to supply all of our needs. I can’t tell you how many times we have been totally blown away to see how God answers our prayers and blesses – often in the most unexpected ways. Thank you for being a part of those miracles and answered prayers.

On behalf of our entire staff and their families, I want you to know how very grateful we are for your support that keeps us on the forefront of sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with those of other faiths, religions and worldviews!

www.watchman.org/donate

I know that your support means so much more than just a tax-deductible donation. Like the original “widow’s mite,” you are giving sacrificially to the Lord through the ministry of Watchman Fellowship. For this, I would like to say “thank you!”

11 Souls Saved in Utah (Watch the 3-Minute Video)

utahvideo2016

I’m excited to share this 3-minute video highlighting some of the great things that God did during our Utah Mission Trip in June 2016 — please take a minute and watch it here.

My appreciation and gratitude goes out to each of you who prayed for our 24 missionaries last month and especially to those of you who gave financially to make this mission trip possible.

You will be pleased to know that both of our summer mission trips — to Manti, Utah and to Kenya, Africa were fully-funded through the faithful giving of our ministry supporters and partner churches.

We Need Your Help in July

Unfortunately, donations to our general fund dropped significantly at the same time that our missions donations went up. This combined with our typical “summer slump” in income has left us without the funds to cover our June and July budget.

Our staff and their families depend on the generous gifts from friends like you to stay on the forefront of apologetics, evangelism, and missions. Would you consider an online donation right now help close that gap and advance the gospel through apologetics, evangelism, and missions? Your gift is much needed and greatly appreciated!

Report: Meeting with Donald Trump

donaldtrump

Here is a short video report on Tuesday, June 21st’s meeting in Times Square between evangelical Christian leaders and Donald Trump: www.watchman.org/TrumpMtg.htm.

I want to thank those of you who prayed for me and suggested great questions to ask Donald Trump. I know you are interested in what happened because my email box “blew up” with advice, encouragement, and questions. I read every email and answered scores of them but there was no way I could answer them all. Instead, I taped this report to give you some sense of what happened — the good and bad.

As I explain on the video, I was glad I went but somewhat disappointed by aspects of the event. Ben Carson helped organize the meeting and Gov. Mike Huckabee moderated the Q&A. Christian leaders in attendance included James Dobson, Jerry Falwell Jr., Jim Garlow, Franklin Graham, David Jeremiah, James Robinson, and Ronnie Floyd. The meeting was described as a conversation between evangelical Christian leaders and Donald Trump. The “conversation,” however, appeared to be very scripted. Perhaps this was unavoidable but I do wish that questions about Trump’s personal beliefs would have been allowed. They were not.

My invitation to attend this meeting was unexpected; I was, however, willing to hear what he had to say. Our next President, whoever that will be, will have some crucial decisions to make concerning Supreme Court nominees, counter terrorism, religious freedom issues, and much more. These decisions will affect us all regardless of our political affiliations. Trump was asked and answered several of these important questions.

Seasoned with Grace

Wow! I found out June 20th that this is a very volatile topic. I have never received this much response to any email. Most of the feedback I received was very positive and encouraging. I want to thank each of you who prayed for me and suggested great questions. Quite a bit of the email I received, however, was somewhat confrontational. It seems that Christians either love Donald Trump or they hate him. Apparently there is little middle ground. Some of my email suggested that I had compromised Christianity because I was willing to listen to Trump. Others seemed equally upset that I would not do “my Christian duty” and endorse Trump.

It is our Christian duty in a representative Republic to be involved in the political process. In a government “of the people,” it is one way we “render unto Caesar” what belongs to Caesar (Matt. 22:21). That said, I would suggest that we allow a place for Christian conscience and season our discussions with grace. Whatever side you may be on, I promise you that there are good Christians on the opposite side who can make passionate, articulate, and reasoned defenses for their position. Wherever we stand, we must commit ourselves to be gracious towards our Christian brothers and sisters who disagree with us. Jesus said that all will know we are His disciples because of the love that we have for each other (John 13:34-35).

At the end of the video, I will tell you which team I am on 😉 Thank you again for your prayer support! I know you will have more questions. Be sure to watch until the very end of the video to get the link to download the entire transcript of Tuesday’s meeting with Donald Trump.

Photo by Michael Vadon

I Am Traveling to Africa Because of One False Teaching. Why?

africamission

I’m excited to be going to minister in Africa for the first time and asking for your prayers. I’m making final preparations right now for ten days in Kenya training pastors in evangelism and apologetics. In addition, our team will be able to preach the gospel in several schools, villages, and churches. There is one main reason I was asked by Pastor Dave Evans of Highland Baptist Church in Moore, Oklahoma to join their Kenya team this year. It is because of one false teaching being exported from America sweeping across Africa that arguably may become the single greatest threat to African Christians. That one teaching is the Word-Faith Movement – also known as the “Health and Wealth” or “Prosperity” Gospel.

The Prosperity Gospel and African Poverty

In Africa, a continent challenged by unbelievable disease and poverty, the seductive message of the “name it and claim it” preachers can be powerfully addictive. Preachers like Benny Hinn, Creflo Dollar, Frederick K.C. Price, and Kenneth Copeland promise that if you have enough faith and “speak the word” you will receive total healing from all sickness and fabulous wealth. To guarantee these blessings, some Word-Faith preachers go so far as to claim that you must make a “seed faith” gift to their ministry to lock in a ten-fold or even 100-fold return on your initial investment.

This “health and wealth” gospel for the most part originates out of America – much of it from the Rhema Bible School founded by the late Kenneth Hagan in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. Today it is spread primarily through the major Christian TV networks – Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) and Daystar. These networks have become worldwide media giants broadcasting the prominent Word-Faith teachers 24/7 – not just throughout the US but around the world.

In Africa, this message is finding fertile ground. With minimal Bible training and little access to good Christian literature, many African Christians are virtually defenseless when it comes to discerning the Word-Faith errors. African pastors are now buying in. Perhaps this is why half of the world’s top ten richest pastors are now coming out of Africa.

Of course, not every wealthy pastor made his fortune by exploiting the flock with false promises of fabulous wealth and miraculous healing in exchange for donations. Most pastors earn their salaries honestly. God provides for the financial needs of those honest pastors and in some cases goes far beyond their needs with His financial blessings.

But what do you call it when a pastor promises a couple that their terminally ill daughter will be healed if they just have sufficient faith and make a sacrificial offering to his ministry? Who do they blame if the child does not recover? What do you say to the believer who gave everything and can’t feed her family when she didn’t get the 100-fold return she was promised? This type of exploitation may make the pastor wealthy, but in reality it is one of the most wicked kinds of heresies and most powerful forms of spiritual abuse.

This is why I believe the Word-Faith error may be the one doctrine, currently being exported from America, posing the greatest threat to African Christians. I have been asked to help African pastors recognize the error of the Prosperity Gospel and train them on how to rebuild the spiritual lives of those who have been devastated by its false promises.

Help Train African Pastors

I want to thank each of you who pray for us and help underwrite the monthly needs of our staff and their families. You have my word that I will never promise that your donations to Watchman Fellowship will guarantee you a 100-fold return, fabulous wealth, or perfect heath. I know you do not “give to get.” You stand with us because you believe in the value of our ministry and you are thankful for what God has done for you through His grace. Thank you!

I’m grateful to report that all my financial needs for the Africa Mission Trip (flight, ground transportation, hotel, and food) have already been provided through our partnership with the Pastor Dave and the Kenya team. While my trip is covered, I would love to give the pastors something more that lasts beyond my visit. I would like to be able to bring books to help each pastor begin a good theological library. Some Kenya pastors have few or no quality books to help them understand theology or apologetics. Please consider an extra gift this month to help make that possible.

Thank you again for your prayers and support!

Photo of Africa from Freeimages.com/Patty Ghillebert