finding truth matters

But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened.
Luke 24:21

Disappointed with JesusAlmost immediately after Jesus was resurrected, He joined two of his followers walking along the road to Emmaus. They were shattered. Their hopes were dashed. They had a picture of Jesus that Jesus didn’t live up to. And it seems ever since this time people- both Christ-followers and skeptics alike, have found reason to be disappointed with Jesus. They had “hoped”, we read in Luke 24:21, that Jesus would be the Redeemer of Israel, the One to deliver them from the oppression of the godless, ruthless, pagan Romans. But He didn’t. And therefore all that Moses, the Prophets and the Writings had said about Him was false. Or so they thought.

Hope is a powerful drive. It keeps a person going despite their circumstances. It promises that bad times won’t last and good times are just around the corner. We all need hope. But when it seems that hope is continually without basis it has the affect of making the heart sick (Prov. 13:12).

Just as these early Christ-followers were disappointed with Jesus, so too there are today many people who are similarly disappointed with the Christ of the Bible. They are told that God is an all-powerful, good and loving God and that He hates evil. They then experience the loss of a loved one through tragedy and then turn to this all-powerful, good and loving God with their dashed hopes and the accusation that perhaps He is neither all-powerful, nor very good, and perhaps not even that loving.

Many Christians are taught that asking questions about their beliefs is something that encourages doubt. But this is not what either Jesus or the New Testament taught. In fact, within this exchange between Christ and His followers, we find that both He and His followers asked questions. Curiously, these two Christ-followers were asking questions of Christ which expressed their disappointment in Him.

(17) And he said to them, “What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?” And they stood still, looking sad. (18) Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” (19) And he said to them, “What things?” And they said to him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, (20) and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. (21) But we had hoped that . . .
Luke 24:17-21

This amazing exchange between Jesus and His two disappointed followers did not result in Jesus rebuking them for their questions. In fact, He Himself asked questions of these followers. The fact that Jesus went on to explain to His Emmaus Road followers all the answers to their questions is quite telling: questions and Christianity are compatible – Christianity can handle scrutiny!



Jesus corrected a major flaw in the thinking of these Emmaus Road disciples. Instead of telling them to stop doubting by asking questions, He rebuked them for failing to correctly form their opinions of Him because they had not interpreted Scripture correctly.

And He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.
Luke 24:25-27

Bound to disappointed with Jesus if we misinterpret ScriptureChrist’s response to His disappointed disciples was to answer their nagging doubts and questions by helping them to correctly interpret the Scriptures. This is perhaps one of the most serious causes of disappointment with Jesus: a wrong understanding of the Scriptures. In Luke 24:25-27 Jesus interprets Scripture correctly. This should be our goal so that we too avoid unnecessary disappointment with Christ.

Biblical illiteracy is rife. There was a time in Western culture when people were very familiar with the Bible and its language. The language of the Bible once punctuated our own language. “Go the extra mile“, “Draw the short straw“, “They crucified him“, and so on. As such, it was more likely that people understood who the real Jesus was. But then something shifted in the twentieth century. With the rise of superstar TV/’Crusade’ preachers the message of Jesus in the Gospel became almost a competition to see who could present the latest revelation on how to get more ‘power’, ‘victory’ and ‘anointing’ from Jesus.

Some of these preachers have claimed they had received a special revelation that if their followers would receive and apply it, they could live above poverty, sickness and sadness and receive pseudo-pychic insight into the future [read more about this]. All this has tended to present Jesus as Someone who can be manipulated spiritually to deliver amazing benefits that would lift formerly ordinarily struggling believers to almost god-like bliss.

But this ‘gospel’ misrepresents the real Jesus and sets up another Jesus who can only disappoint.

And this disappointment is now being shared by believer and non-believer alike, thus making believers susceptible to the claims of anti-christians that Jesus is a disappointment. Whenever people believe the wrongs things about Jesus they are bound to be disappointed and conclude that Christianity is untrustworthy. But it seems that people have always been disappointed with Jesus, even when He physically ministered on the earth. I want to examine this phenomena of Jesus-disappointment and how Jesus responded to it. This examination may give those who sincerely love Jesus today the answers to give to those who see no other reason but to be disappointed with Jesus…

Correct understanding of Scripture prevents disappointment with JesusIt is imperative that we achieve a correct understanding of Jesus by correctly understanding the Scriptures. But it is absolutely imperative that we have the Lord “open our eyes” (our understanding) so that we can “see” who He really is.

And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight.
Luke 24:31

It’s not that they opened their own eyes, it’s that the Lord graciously opened their minds so that they could perceive the truth. It’s worth noting that this revelation or epiphanytook place after their questions about Christ were answered. This illustrates the point of apologetics: unanswered questions may well keep people from faith in Christ but answered questions are not a guarantee that people will put their faith in Christ.

We should be prepared to explore questions about Christ and the Scriptures. We do not need an extra-Biblical revelation to answer any of these questions. From this conversion between Christ (in Luke 24), with Cleopas and his friend, we note that Christ revealed to them that the Scriptures had their answers all along. They just hadn’t seen it. Much of our disappointment with Christ today is because we feel that He is either silent or not delivering on what we thought the Scriptures taught.

Some scurrilous Bible teachers make Jesus ‘the Genie’ and the Bible ‘the Bottle’. They almost claim that if we rub the Bible with their special revelation we can overcome debt, sickness, or undesirable circumstances. When Biblically illiterate believers find that this teaching doesn’t work in real life they are susceptible to disappointment with Jesus unless they discover that this is not what Jesus guarantees or what the Bible promises. The Bible actually teaches that believer and unbeliever alike are loved by God and provided for by God-

so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
Matthew 5:45
But we shouldn’t distort God’s love and care as being some kind of automatic forgiveness or even indifference regarding our moral failures no matter how trivial we consider them.

There are only two types of people in the world: (i) those who are morally perfect and have no need of God’s forgiveness; (ii) those who are morally imperfect and therefore have a need to be forgiven by God. There doesn’t seem to be anybody in the first category. Therefore, there are two types of people within the second category of people: (a) Those who do not realise they are morally imperfect; (b) Those who have realised they are morally imperfect and have been prompted to ask God for forgiveness.

but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8
and forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And lead us not into temptation.”
Luke 11:4

While God loves us, cares for us by providing a glorious world which we can enjoy, and grants us the many blessings we enjoy, we need to understand that this world is subjected to “futility”.

For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope.
Romans 8:20

This world is subject to futility“Futility” is frustration, disappointment, dashed expectations, sickness, pain, suffering, injustice. Rather than railing against God because this is the way the world is, the Bible speaks to the believer to trust God despite these adversities and look to Him to give you the strength to make it through. Added to this, the Scripture reveals to us that this life which subject to all kinds of futility is not all that God offers- we have the hope that for those who receive God’s offer of forgiveness and salvation there is a better life to be had beyond this one. That’s why Romans 8:20 concludes that this life is subjected to futility “in hope”.

This is why the Bible exhorts us to “endure” this life and adopt an eternal perspective.

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,
Romans 5:3

By your endurance you will gain your lives.
Luke 21:19

Thus, the most disappointing question a disillusioned person can ask might be: How can a good, loving, all-powerful, God allow suffering and evil in this world? This was in essence what the two Emmaus disciples were asking. They had built a “straw Jesus” and the real Jesus just didn’t measure up. They expressed this disappointment with various questions which seemed to be filled with all kinds of doubt. Christ didn’t rebuke them for their questions. But He did seem to express His own disappointment at their lack of trust in Him caused by their poor understanding of Scripture. Thus, He “opened the Scriptures” to them. This is the key to resolving any disappointment with Jesus. Rather than discarding Christ because He just doesn’t seem to deliver on all our selfish hopes, we should search the Scriptures and learn to trust Him despite life’s disappointments.
¶ Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
Proverbs 3:5-6

Just because you have questions about God or the Bible doesn’t mean that you are too smart or even too skeptical to be a Christian. There are sufficient and satisfying answers despite the proliferation of people trying a sell a story of disappointment with Jesus. In my book, The Most Embarrassing Verse In The Bible, I deal with one such example of these kinds of anti-Christian attacks and show that far from Jesus being found to guess the future, He accurately foretold it.

May God take your questions of disappointment and exchange them for answers of hope that enables you to trust Him and endure the inevitable hardships of life.


© February 12th 2009, Dr. Andrew Corbett, writing from Annapolis, Maryland, USA


Roman Catholicism Compared With Christianity

Any discussion about religious wars, clergy violations, or child abuse, and it won’t be long before the The Roman Catholic Church unfortunately features. But I want to have a different discussion. And unlike most of the ‘discussions’ of this nature, I’m not on a mission to attack, ridicule, or mock anyone. Rather, I want to look at what the Roman Catholic Church officially teaches and asserts and compare it with the Bible’s teaching.

I’ve been a denominational minister for over two decades, so I know that it is possible to be a part of an organisation with which you disagree on some points.  I understand that this is certainly the case with the Roman Catholic Church as there are many priests who do agree with all that their Church asserts. For the purposes of this discussion, I have chosen to take the official Catholic positions on the matters I am comparing with the Biblical data. It is my hope that my Roman Catholic audience will acknowledge that I have represented their views fairly – but it is also my hope that I can appropriately demonstrate how these core views compare with the Biblical prescriptions.

Soli Deo Gloria

The final statement in The Five Pillars of Biblical Christianity is Soli Deo Gloria – for the glory of God alone! The reason we are saved is so that we can glorify God. In one sense it is true that reason Christ died for us was to save us from our sins and the just wrath of God for our sin. But the main reason Christ died to redeem us was for the glory of God.

How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?
John 5:44

The glory that comes from God is when we give God glory. One of Christ’s last prayers was that His disciples would see His glory (John 17:24). Therefore God’s glory, His radiant magnificence, is visible and apprehendable. God’s glory is described several times in Scripture. In this sense, God’s glory is a visible reality (a noun). God’s glory is variously described as being like a cloud (Exodus 16:10), a devouring and consuming fire (Exodus 24:17), fire and smoke-like cloud (2Chronicles 7:1), and a brightly glowing cloud (Ezekiel 10:4).

Where Are The Dead?

Sitting across from me in my office was an older middle-aged man who had just read my draft commentary on the Book of Revelation. He had come from Queensland to visit friends in Tasmania and while in the neighbourhood, dropped in to see me to have chat and get a later edition of my book. He asked a lot of theoretical questions and we discussed the implications of what we discussed. Not until he returned to Queensland did I get an email regarding the chapter on the Resurrection. It was at this point that he confided in me that he was in the advanced stages of cancer and that his query was far more than theoretical.
The ancients believed that death was merely a change of location for the soul of a person. The place of the dead was called “Sheol”. When Jacob thought his son Joseph was dead: “All his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted and said, “No, I shall go down to Sheol to my son, mourning.” Thus his father wept for him.” (Gen. 37:35 ). When the judgment of God came upon Korah and his rebellion.

TULIP, The Essence of The Reformation

Jesus Christ taught that following Him was only possible through the miracle of conversion. He taught that for someone to authentically claim to be a Christian they needed a spiritual encounter that changed their heart and mind. Without such a miracle, known Biblically as ‘regeneration’, no one could merely decide to be a Christian.
It’s important to appreciate the geo-socio-politico conditions at the time of the Reformation. This was the time when John Calvin, Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli, and others dared to defend the Biblical revelation against a militant Papal Church which had previously executed similar voices (Wyclif, Tyndale, Savonarola, to name a few) for daring to defy the teaching of the Papacy. One of the central claims of the Papacy was “Universalism”, the doctrine which taught that Christ’s sacrificial death was repeated over and over through the celebration of the Mass and was effective in saving all those in communion with the Roman Catholic Church (thus, universal salvation was activated by works). Since Salvation was universal (everyone is automatically saved), the Papal Church was more concerned about administering this salvation through having people in communion with it, or alternatively, disfellowshipping (or, ex-communicating) those who it disliked. Calvin on the other hand saw that Scripture did not teach universalism, but conversely- that not everyone would be saved.

Leadership Lessons From Shackleton

Sometimes when the going gets tough, you just have to keep going. In fact, success in life – no matter how you define it – can only be achieved with endurance. Surely one of the greatest examples of endurance (if not the greatest) is the story of Ernest Shackleton and his expedition to the Antarctic on the ship: The Endurance. While we ordinary mortals may never have a death defying adventure like Shackleton and his 28 men, we are already in the midst of our own great adventure called life!

Some people want to live their lives by seeking their maximum comfort and avoiding all risks. But this is not the Believer’s lot. We are called to follow Christ- who even though He is entirely consistent in character, is somewhat unpredictable in his plans for His followers. The New Testament calls this “walking by faith” (2Corinthians 5:7). This is why for the Believer, Life is the Greatest Adventure.

When was the last time you did something for Christ that required “great faith” (Matthew 15:28)?

How Pagan Is Christianity? A response to Barna and Viola

It’s rare that a Publisher commences book with a disclaimer by virtually saying we are publishing this even though we don’t agree with it. This type of disclaimer is especially rare for a publisher such as Tyndale. After reading this book I understood why Tyndale were so apprehensive in publishing it. While this was puzzling, what I found most puzzling was that George Barna put his name to it! One can only wonder at the damage this book has done to his reputation.
A “Pagan” is someone who is either ignorant or has wilfully rejected the truth and as a result is an idolater (worships idols). This is the word that the authors have chosen to use to describe modern Christianity. It is, as they admit, an outrageous claim.

Religion and Politics Don’t Mix

This is an introduction to the theology that leads to political engagement by Christians. It explores the notion of the separation of Church and State, how this has been misapplied and re-thought of by significant Christian leaders in the 18th, 20th, and 21st centuries. I conclude with a personal experience of what I consider positive political engagement looks like. 

They say art is the thermometer of culture. In this sense, politics might be seen as the barometer of culture. And we might add that Christians should be the thermostat of culture (not the thermometer of culture). By this we mean that art in its various forms – literature, music, visual art, movies, poetry, photography, and fashion, reflect what culture finds acceptable, disturbing, desirable, praiseworthy, and even beautiful. And politics is the popular affirmation (the essence of democracy) of a set of legislative policy agendas that give direction to a culture.

The Leadership Key of King David

Success often results from being able to get along with others. Real leadership success can only be achieved by working with others. And this type of spiritual leadership is prescribed in the Bible as “partnering” with others. This is why we regard Partnering as the ‘art of leadership’.

We work together as partners who belong to God. You are God’s field, God’s building—not ours.
First Corinthians 3:9

Churches need leaders. Jesus called His original disciples to “shepherd” (not “sheep-herd”) His sheep. In John 10 Christ labors this point that his servants will lead His people as ‘shepherds’. This is not the type of leadership that domineers and exploits for personal gain. This is called despotic leadership. Rather, the type of leadership that Jesus calls for is ‘God-Partnering’ leadership: the kind of leadership heart that God has toward His people. This is why First Corinthians 3:9 says that church leaders work together with God (“labourers together with God” KJV). As leaders with God we are to treat people as if they were God’s (“God’s field/building”). If you are called to lead people within a church, whether as a senior pastor or someone helping their pastor to lead, it is important to realise that we lead with God as well as for God, and that it is His Church.

What Do Christians Really Believe? (You might be surprised!)

What is the popular perception of what Christians believe? If we are to believe what the popular media reports, Christians are known far better for what they are against than what they actually believe. Therefore, it’s not surprising that most people think that Christians are essentially homophobic, misogynists, who seek to control people through the medieval superstitious beliefs. This new uninformed perception of Christianity is perpetuated by politicians who, while claiming to be Christians, actually espouse views and values antithetical to Christianity. This was seen dramatically in both the US Presidential elections of 2008/12 and the Australian Federal election of 2013. In both campaigns major candidates claimed to be adherents of Christianity yet they ridiculed the Bible and asserted that it endorsed their particular views on issues such as marriage and sexuality, and what constituted ‘Christian’ social justice. Most recently in Australia, the Opposition Leader, Mr Bill Shorten, speaking at the Australian Christian Lobby National Conference, claimed to be a Christian yet asserted positions foreign to classic Christianity. So just what do Christians really believe?

Examining The Prosperity Gospel

“Give to my ministry” announced the Televangelist, “and Lord will cancel all your debts!” These and other claims by ‘Prosperity Preachers’ are also suspiciously linked to the size of the “seed” someone “sows” into their ministry. In more recent times this prosperity teaching has even been linked to the collapse in the sub-prime mortgage market and the eventual global economic melt-down! But if the Prosperity Gospel was only about money, we could perhaps tolerate it. But it encompasses much, much more dangerous dogma than that!

In a recent Time Magazine Online article, it questions the influence of Word of Faith preaching on the Sub-Prime Mortgage collapse. Before this article appeared though, many pastors, Bible teachers, and theologians were screaming from the roof-tops about some of the dangers of the “Prosperity Gospel”. But such roof-top screaming fades into a whimper compared to the massive media resources available to the super-preachers of the Prosperity Gospel. This “Gospel” not only baptises materialism and avarice but it denies some of the most essential Christian doctrines and replaces them with what can only be described as cultic teaching and practice. The Prosperity Gospel is also known as “Word of Faith” theology, or the “Health, Wealth, Happiness Gospel”. Its most public proponents are all televangelists who appeal to their audiences for donations- with promises of God’s miraculous financial blessing according to the amount donated. All of these preachers have testimonials from people who have given to their ministry and allegedly miraculously prospered as a result. There are some televangelists who are probably charlatans because they have discovered that Christians are gullible cash-cows. But many of these Prosperity Preachers are sincere, genuine, and nice people- its just that their theology is fatally flawed with dangerous errors!


Read articles about ethics, apologetics, philosophy, public policy discussions here

Audio Archives

Listen to or download hundreds of teaching audios. Search by categories, topics and Scripture passages.

Teaching Videos

View hundreds of teaching videos here. Invite a ‘virtual’ guest speaker by using these videos.

Free Resources

Choose from hundreds of Printable, free, and downloadable, Bible Studies, and Sermon Powerpoints/Keynotes.

Subscribe To The FTM PerspectiveseMail

Receive our regular email with updates, fresh articles, audio downloads, and special offers.

You have Successfully Subscribed!