Thursday, June 15, 2017

Teaser Questions for Jonah 1-2

What can you find out about Assyria and its capital, Nineveh, in the 700s BC?

Who would want to go and preach there? Why or why not?

How does Jonah’s commission compare with our “Great Commission?”

What is your first reaction when you think about … Jonah fleeing from God?

What would you have done? Why?

What can you find out about Tarshish? Can you locate it?

There are several fascinating ironies in Jonah 1. What ironies do you see?

About the sailors and Jonah in 1:5?

About the captain’s words to Jonah in 1:6?

About the lots being cast and the cause of the storm in 1:7?

About Jonah’s admission in 1:8-9?

About the men’s reaction to Jonah’s having fled in 1:10?

About the men’s desperate efforts to save Jonah in 1:11-13?

About the men praying to, fearing, offering sacrifice to, and paying vows to Yahweh in 1:14-16?

About the calm that resulted from Jonah’s ejection in 1:15?

About Yahweh appointing a fish to swallow Jonah in 1:17?

What do you think Jonah learned, or what should he have learned, from his encounter with the fish?

What are your thoughts about “near-death experiences?”

What would you have prayed from the belly of the fish?

Does the Bible specify that the “fish” was a “whale?”

How might you compare Jonah with the people of Nineveh?

How might you compare the fish with Jonah?

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Teaser Questions for Joel 1-2

What is your first reaction when you think about … locusts?

What does Joel mean by “the Day of the Lord?” Joel 1:15; 2:1, 11, 31; 3:14

Would a God of love ever send awful plagues? Why and when?

What was the 8th plague in Egypt? Ex 10:1-20.

What kind of dangers did locusts present in Old Testament times?

How much damage could locusts do, and in what amount of time?

What can you find out about locust swarms in more modern times?

How could locusts create a “sobering” crisis for drunkards?

How could locusts cause problems for farmers?

How could locusts stop the priests from performing their tasks?

How could locusts stop families from enjoying food and fellowship?

In addition to locusts, did God also send a drought?

Is there anything good about a plague? If so, what is it?

What supernatural lessons can we or should we learn from natural disasters?

About God?

About sin?

About judgment?

About repentance?

About ourselves?

Is every natural disaster an “act of God?” It is always His punishment?

What spiritual lessons can we learn from all natural disasters? Luke 13:1-5

What is sackcloth, and why would people wear it?

What purpose did fasting serve? Should we fast today as well?

Has a United States president ever called for a day of national humiliation, confession of sin, fasting and prayer?

What could our nation today learn and gain from such an experience?

Has the mayor of a major US city ever called for his entire city to don burlap sacks and ashes?

Monday, March 20, 2017

“Gone with the Wind” – More than Just a Movie

It was sensational. It was controversial. It was historic. In 1939 the film “Gone with the Wind” crossed a major line in the movie industry, provoking excitement and criticism. The producers also drew huge profits by doing so, as they intended. Their shocking move was immensely successful, at least from an economic point of view.

What was it? Simply this. The movie included the word “damn,” in the very famous last line. Rhett said to Scarlett, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a _____.”

Prior to the film's release, censors objected to the use of the word in the film. The word had been prohibited by the 1930 Motion Picture Production Code. Yes, prohibited! Why? Well, to those with traditional values and religious convictions, to “damn” a person was to wish that person condemned to hell. That is how the word originated. People who feared God, and believed in the reality of hell, did not use the word in polite speech. They would shudder if they heard someone else say it.

But the risk paid off. True, the producers had ridiculed current social values and offended the consciences of many. But they likely anticipated a huge payoff, and they got it. They may have figured that the initial criticism would die down, and it did. Most people would pay to see the film anyway. After all, any customers who hesitated would hear how outstanding the film was as a whole. They would justify seeing the movie – overlooking what they found offensive – and they would buy their tickets. After all, they might ask, was it really that big of a deal after all?

The more I have thought about the explosive step that those producers took, the more I have realized what is going on in our declining culture.

In my years I have seen this "Wind" strategy used effectively many times. The movie industry, a major national retail chain, or another commercial interest decides to add something questionable, objectionable, or even outright immoral. Then these events seem to follow in order:

The instigator (movie company, merchant, etc.) proudly goes public, advertising its bold new move.

Initially, many with conservative values publicly object. They may refuse to support the agenda with their money, because it genuinely violates their consciences. They are also concerned about the potential damage to society that may result.

Then those who accept or embrace the change, or see it as rather harmless, accuse the conscientious conservatives of being self-righteous or of making much ado about nothing. “They are so strict and so judgmental!”

The instigator enjoys the publicity and the profits that it has generated.

The boundary line of acceptable practice moves farther left once more.

Those who have not moved with the shifting sand are then ridiculed and marginalized as bigots or fanatics. They are treated as a tiny majority and called the “religious right;” they are defined as being off-center, on the fringe. It is they, not the instigators of the new morality, who are the extremists. How dare they say that people should not support such changes with their money or their influence? How picky and mean can people be?

Those in search of bigger profits and more customers then look for the next controversial move that they can make to repeat the cycle on a grander scale. It may be disturbing. It may hurt marriages, families, children, and friends. But it will make money for sure. And, hey, people will get over it and even reward it.

In my generation I have seen this pattern used effectively to move many boundaries. These include the growing acceptance of premarital sexual relations, the promotion of adultery, the breakup of the traditional family, the use of rude, crude, disrespectful language, the open description of private body parts and functions, the weakening role of the male in the American family, social and gender engineering, abortion, and more. I have seen high standards lowered and seemingly eliminated. I have seen movie ratings like "PG-13" slide all over the place.

I fear that I will see the "Wind" pattern again, and again, and again. I am even more concerned for the generations that follow me.

The title itself, “Gone with the Wind,” was intended to describe a culture that was becoming a thing of the past. The life that Rhett and Scarlett had known would exist no longer. Ironically enough, we must ask ourselves in this post-Christian era, “Will the God-fearing, Bible-believing, people-loving culture that we have known become … ‘gone with the wind?’”

I am alarmed. I am ashamed. How have people with solid convictions – how have I myself – allowed such intrusions to occur? Where are the defensive linemen, who will plant ourselves and say, “Enough! You are not taking one more inch of this field!”

Join me in affirming what Scripture says:

Rom 1:28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; 32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

"Gone with the Wind." It really is more than just a movie. It's a movement.

Friday, February 10, 2017

It's Easier - and Better - to Do Right

Dr. Bill Bagents is my very good friend, and he and I were colleagues and coworkers during our time working with Heritage Christian University and the Mars Hill church of Christ. I always appreciate his thoughtful writing, and I want to share this article he recently wrote.


It’s easier to do right than to wish that you had. Do you hear that statement as proverb, truism, or cliché? I lean toward truism, but the reason for that is elusive.

“It’s easier to do right than” makes a thought-provoking sentence starter. Consider these options and feel free to add your own:

It’s easier to do right than to deal with the consequences of a less noble choice. Think of lying King Saul in 1 Samuel 15 and the Amalekite in 2 Samuel 1.

It’s easier to do right than to face the guilt of letting God down. Think of David in Psalm 51 and Judas in Matthew 27.

It’s easier to do right than to try to explain why you didn’t. Think of Adam and Eve in Genesis 3 and Aaron in Exodus 32.

It’s easier to do right than to let yourself down. Think of Paul in Romans 7.

Maybe we should change the sentence starter and think further.

It’s better to do right than to miss the blessings that the right action will bring. Think of Abram vs. Lot in Genesis 13.

It’s better to do right than to let evil erode your character. Think of Cain in Genesis 4.

It’s better to do right than to give in to the status quo. Think Romans 12:1-2

It’s better to do right than to let your critics be right. Think of David and his brother in 1 Samuel 17:28-29.

It’s better to do right than to give the devil a foothold. Think of Ephesians 4:27.

It’s better to do right than to put your family in harm’s way. Think of Achan in Joshua 7.

It’s better to do right and rely on God to settle accounts. Think of Colossians 3:23-24.

It’s better to do right even if that puts your life in danger. Think of Daniel’s three friends in Daniel 3 and Daniel himself in Daniel 6.

It’s better to do right, even if it costs you your life. Think of Revelation 2:10, Hebrews 11:35-40, and John the Baptist in Matthew 14. Bluntly, it’s just always better to do right for the right reason to God’s glory, no matter what the immediate outcome.

- Bill Bagents

Friday, January 20, 2017

Books for Sale - Cory Collins

The books listed below are available for sale. The newest additions are at the bottom of the list. I still have each book included here. These books may be picked up locally or shipped by USPS Media Mail. If shipped, the exact shipping cost will be added to the prices listed below. You may save on individual shipping by ordering more than one book at the same time.

To place an order or ask a question, please post a comment below, and include your name and email address. Your comment will come to me privately, and I will reply privately to your email. Your comment, name, and email address will not be published on this page or anywhere! I promise!

The Complete Book of Bible Maps & Charts, Comfort Print Edition, 1996, pub. by Thomas Nelson
Includes reproducible maps and charts
Good condition
ISBN: 0-7852-1154-3
Retails for $25.00
Price: $8.00

The American Patriot's Bible
Like new
Retails for $44.99
Price: $18
ISBN-10: 141854891X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1418548919

Jesus and the Gospels, 2nd edition, by Craig L. Blomberg
Like new
Retails for $39.99
Price: $16
  • ISBN-10: 0805444823
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805444827

Quickverse 10 Bible Software with Concordance, Atlas, Commentaries, and More
Includes KJV Bible; Strong's Concordance; Nave's Topical Bible; Standard Bible Dictionary; Standard Bible Atlas; Standard Lesson eCommentary; McGarvey on Matthew and Mark; Four-Fold Gospel; Acts of the Apostles; Jamieson, Faussett, Brown; Thessalonians, Corinthians, Galatians, and Romans.
This is a DVD.
Price: $15

Everyone Communicates - Few Connect, by John C. Maxwell
Brand new
Retails for $25.99
Price: $10

Developing the Leader Within You, by John C. Maxwell
Like new. Two copies available.
Price: $8

The 360 Degree Leader (audio CDs and PowerPoint), by John C. Maxwell
Brand new
Price: $7

The Silencing of God: The Dismantling of America’s Christian Heritage, by Dave Miller
2008, 105 pages, hardbound
ISBN: 978-1-60063-018-7
Price: $5

A Commentary on the Minor Prophets (hardcover), by Homer Hailey
Price: $6

12 Essential Skills for Great Preaching (hardcover), by Wayne McDill, B & H Academic
ISBN: 978-0-8054-3297-8
Retail: $27.99
Price: $15

The Daily Bible in Chronological Order (paper), NIV text, notes by F. LaGard Smith
(2) copies
Price: $7 each or both for $12

The Church of Christ: A Biblical Ecclesiology for Today (paper), by Everett Ferguson
ISBN: 978-0802841896
Price: $20

Original Commentary on Acts (hardcover), by J. W. McGarvey
Price: $10

Jesus Christ Today (Hebrews commentary) (paper), by Neil Lightfoot
Price: $8

South American Handbook 2015 (paper)
ISBN: 978-1910120026
Price: $7

What’s So Amazing About Grace? (hardcover), by Philip Yancey
Price: $8

The Good Life: Seeking Purpose, Meaning, and Truth in Your Life (hardcover), by Charles Colson and Harold Fickett
Price: $5

An Introduction to the Old Testament (Hardcover) – 2004 (first edition), by Tremper Longman, Ray Dillard 
Price: $8

Happiness Is a Choice (paper), by Frank B. Minirth and Paul D. Meier
Price: $3

Genesis: An Expositional Commentary (hardcover) (Volumes 1 and 3 only), by James Montgomery Boice
Price: $15 each or both for $25

Nehemiah: Learning to Lead (hardcover), by James Montgomery Boice
Price: $8

The Sermon on the Mount, by James Montgomery Boice
Price: $10

Philippians: An Expositional Commentary, by James Montgomery Boice
Price: $8

The Minor Prophets (2 Volume Set), by James Montgomery Boice
ISBN-10: 0801066484
ISBN-13: 978-0801066481
Price: $25

The Expositor's Bible Commentary, by Frank E. Gaebelein, editor (hardback): Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel
Price: $10

The Expositor's Bible Commentary, by Frank E. Gaebelein, editor (hardback) (Volume 9): John and Acts
ISBN 0-310-36510-4
Price: $10

Hurlbut's Story of the Bible, Jesse Lyman Hurlbut
ISBN 0-310-26520-7
Price: $20

1 & 2 Kings, by Jesse C. Long, The College Press NIV Commentary
ISBN 0-89900-882-8
Price: $20

Isaiah Vol. 1, by Terry Briley, The College Press NIV Commentary
ISBN 0-89900-890-9
Price: $20

James & Jude, by Gary Holloway, The College Press NIV Commentary
ISBN 0-89900-638-8
Price: $20

Acts, by Dennis Gaertner, The College Press NIV Commentary
ISBN 0-89900-626-4
Price: $20

Knowing God, by J. I. Packer
ISBN 0-87784-770-3
Price: $5

Joy that Lasts, by Gary Smalley with Al Janssen
ISBN 0-310-46290-8
Price: $2

Living Above the Level of Mediocrity, by Charles R. Swindoll
ISBN 0-8499-0564-8
Price: $5

Use Your Head to Get Your Foot in the Door: Job Search Secrets No One Else Will Tell You, by Harvey Mackay (hardcover)
Price: $5

For Better or For Best: A Valuable Guide to Knowing, Understanding, and Loving Your Husband, by Gary Smalley
Used condition, paperback
ISBN: 0-310-44871-9
Price: $3.00

NIV College Devotional Bible
New condition, hardback
ISBN: 978-0-310-44257-8
Retails for $34.99
Price: $8.00

The NIV Study Bible, 10th Anniversary Edition, 1995, pub. by Zondervan
New condition, hardback
ISBN: 0-310-92568-1
Retails for $39.99
Price: $17.00

Halley's Bible Handbook, Deluxe Edition, Completely Revised and Expanded, 2007, pub. by Zondervan
Excellent condition, hardback
ISBN: 978-0-310-51941-6
Retails for $36.99
Price: $15.00

Eerdman's Handbook to the Bible1973
Good used condition, hardback, name stamped on side
ISBN: 0-8028-3436-1
Price: $5.00

The Maxwell Leadership Bible, Notes and Articles by John C. Maxwell, New King James Version, 2002, pub. by Nelson
Excellent condition, hardback
ISBN: 0-7180-0660-7
Retails for $34.99
Price: $10.00

The Message: The New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs, 1996, by Eugene H. Peterson
Excellent condition, hardback
ISBN: 1-57683-119-1
Price: $4.00

Winning with People, by John C. Maxwell, 2004, pub. by Nelson
Excellent condition, hardback
ISBN: 0-7852-6089-7
Retails for $24.99
Price: $8.00

Becoming a Person of Influence, by John C. Maxwell and Jim Dornan, 1997, pub. by Nelson
Attitude 101, Relationships 101, Equipping 101, Leadership 101, Mentoring 101, and Success 101
Excellent condition, hardback
ISBN: 0-7852-7100-7
Retails for $19.99
Price: $8.00

The Complete 101 Collection, by John C. Maxwell, 2009, pub. by Nelson
Excellent condition, hardback
ISBN: 978-1-4002-8060-5
Retails for $19.99
Price: $8.00

Developing the Leaders Around You, by John C. Maxwell, 1995, pub. by Nelson
Excellent condition, hardback
ISBN: 0-8407-6747-1
Retails for $17.99
Price: $6.00

Finding the Heart to Go On, by Lynn Anderson, 1991, pub. by Here's Life
Lessons from the life of King David
Used condition, with some writing on a few pages, paperback
ISBN: 0-89840-309-X
Retails for $8.99
Price: $3.00

As a Man Thinketh, by James Allen, 1991, pub. by Revell
Used condition, hardback
Price: $1.00

Monday, November 21, 2016

Are You a Christian? Are You Saved? Are You SURE?

If you died today, would you go to be with God?

Let’s ask some questions and read God’s own answers in the Bible.

Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version.

What should you hear first?

Romans 1:16 … the gospel [good news about Jesus Christ] is God’s power for salvation …

1 Corinthians 15:3-4 For what I received I passed on to you first of all: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.

Why do you need to be saved?

Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.

What is sin?

Mark 7:21-22 For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 

What will happen to unforgiven sinners?

2 Thessalonians 1:9 They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power …

Matt 13:42 … [they will] throw them into the fiery furnace.  In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

What has Jesus Christ done for you? Why?

Romans 5:6-10 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!

2 Corinthians 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

What must you do to receive God’s free gift?

You must hear this good news.

Romans 10:14  How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?

You must believe this good news.

John 8:24  I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins.

Acts 16:30-31 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”  They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”

You must be convicted of the sin in your life.

Acts 2:37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”

2 Corinthians 7:10 Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.

You must repent of (surrender and renounce) your sins.

Acts 2:38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 3:19 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.

You must confess Christ before others.

Romans 10:9-10 That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.

1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

Matthew 16:15-16 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

You must be baptized (immersed in water) for the forgiveness of your sins.

Acts 2:38 (see above).

John 3:5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”

Romans 6:3-4 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

Mark 16:15-16  He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

Acts 22:16  And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.

What happens then?

God saves you.

Titus 3:4-7 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.

You become a Christian, a disciple.

Acts 11:26 The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.

1 Peter 4:16  However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.

You become a child of God.

Romans 8:16-17 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ …

God forgives your sins.

Ephesians 4:32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

God gives you the gift of the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 3:16  Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?

God adds you to His church.

Acts 2:41, 47 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day … And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

You go on your way rejoicing.

Acts 8:39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing.

What must you do from that time forward?

You serve Him faithfully, until He comes.

1 John 1:7 If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

Acts 2:42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.

Hebrews 10:25 … not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

Revelation 2:10 Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.

What are you waiting for?

How can I help?