Author: Tyler Rollason

Being Sure in the Face of the Unknown

Have you ever pondered the significance of Jesus first revealing himself to women like Mary Magdalene? Why didn’t Jesus go straight to his disciples? Why didn’t he go straight to John, James, and Peter? Why women and why Mary Magdalene? Well, we know one thing is for sure: everything that Jesus did (and still does!) has a specific purpose behind it. It’s not like Jesus was surprised that Mary Magdalene was among the first people to visit his tomb… How about Mary Magdalene? What must have been going through her mind as she strolled up to the tomb to find Christ’s grave empty? Fear, confusion, wonder, hope? There were probably many different emotions that she was experiencing at the time. And what she must have thought when the angel said: “Don’t be afraid!  I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.  He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying.  And now, go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen …

In Light of the Gospel, Treat Others With Love

This past Sunday Shannon preached a very powerful message through the second chapter of the book of Ephesians. Some theologians and biblical scholars refer to the book of Ephesians as “the great epistle” because of its incredible “gospel depth.” In just six chapters, Paul explains the gospel of Jesus Christ and adequately explains how that same gospel should affect the life of every believer. I would personally argue that chapter 2  is the richest in content and truth. Here Paul is reminding the Church at Ephesus of their prior identity before they were “in Christ;” to show believers just how lost in sin we were and how great the grace of God is for saving us despite our wickedness. Paul begins with a clear gospel message (see verses 1-10).  In verse 1 Paul reiterates the fact that we were “dead because of [our] disobedience and [our] many sins” and in verses 2 and 3 he even goes so far to say that we were following the devil! Then Paul hits us with the gospel and explains what grace and …

A Different Perspective to Working For Peace

Peace is something that doesn’t come easy – anyone who has ever tried to work for it knows that. As Christians, we consider Jesus to be the greatest peacemaker of all time, after all, He did reconcile mankind to God (1 Timothy 2:5). In the book of Matthew, Jesus lays down some instructions for us as Christians to fight for peace as well: “God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God” (Matthew 5:9). This is one of the great statements (also known as the Beatitudes) that Jesus makes at the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount. Surely peacemaking isn’t just holding doors open and being nice to people. When Jesus says work for peace he is saying that there is much to be done and that it isn’t easy.  But what does this actually look like for us?  Jesus said, “Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! I came not to bring peace, but a sword,” (Matthew 10:34). This is an interesting statement from …

Is The Prosperity Gospel Really Gospel Truth?

Working for a college ministry, I come into contact with all sorts of students with many different beliefs. When I take a closer look at those who identify themselves as “Christian,” I begin to see many differing views about God, the Bible, and Christianity itself. One of the more alarming views I see in many Christians on the college campus is what some have coined as the Prosperity Gospel. The Prosperity Gospel essentially says that God saved Christians so that they could have abundant lives. Believers of the Prosperity Gospel often quote Jesus from John 10:10 when he said, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” On those statements alone, this belief sounds like sound theology.  But the reality is, this belief is an inaccurate view of the Gospel and shallow on multiple fronts. I could spend all day discussing this, but for the sake of this post, let’s focus on two main issues. 1. The Prosperity Gospel puts all the focus on the Christian and …

Summer Beach Project – All Glory to Him

Every summer, Campus Outreach has an event called Summer Beach Project (SBP). SBP is an 8-week discipleship program where college students from schools like West Georgia move down to Panama City Beach, Florida, get a job, live in a hotel with other college students from other universities, and grow in their walk with God together. These young men and women travel down to the beach expecting to learn more about God and grow in their understanding of the Bible. I like to say that SBP teaches college Christians the essentials they need to walk with God. They learn more about God’s character, they are trained in how to study and apply the Bible, and they are trained how to share their faith with others. I went on my first SBP four years ago and I am still reaping the benefits from it today. This past summer there were more than 350 students from more than seven universities in the Southeast. West Georgia had just over 50 students come to SBP – including a handful of …

Have You Forgotten Who You Belong To?

There is nothing like becoming a Christian. You remember the joy? The fulfillment? The purpose that came into your life? The exuberant excitement when He saved you? Working in ministry on West Georgia’s campus I see a lot of things. But one of the most common (and personally frustrating) things I see is when someone becomes a Christian, is full of passion and zeal for the Lord, but a few months later is pretty much living the same exact life. I’m not saying I’m shocked that human beings continue to sin. I’m simply observing that sometimes the zeal and passion we see in the baptistry easily fades away. I would say this is more noticeable in the new things these believers don’t do as opposed to the old things that they still do. Things like praying, reading the Bible, and sharing their faith. To me, it seems to be an identity issue; people tend to forget that their identity is in Christ. But the Bible is clear about what happens in the life of a new believer, “Therefore, if …

A Biblical Response to Trials and Suffering

One of the biggest misconceptions about the Christian life is that once you become a Christian everything will be pleasant and all one’s problems will go away. But those who have truly been walking with God for any amount of time know that this is not true.  Jesus never promised that life would become a walk in the park once you come to Him. In fact, he promises the exact opposite. In John 16:33a, Jesus says, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows…” (see also Luke 9:23-25 and Matthew 5:10-12) The Christian life is a life full of suffering. No one can escape this reality. Still, knowing what we’re in for doesn’t help us to deal with it – so what does? The rest of John 16:33 says, “But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” We must look to the cross, and see the One who suffered in our place. Jesus suffered much more than we ever will. He took on the full wrath of …

We Believe in the Church

Have you heard it said, “Oh, I’m a Christian, I’m just not a big fan of the church,” or “I love Jesus, but I’m not into church,” or “I don’t need to be in the church to be a Christian”?  Maybe family members come to mind or friend groups have said things like this before or maybe you are that person. When you really reflect on statements like these, it becomes clear how false they truly are. When someone says, “I don’t need to be in the church to be a Christian,” I sort of understand where he is coming from. In some sense it is true, my salvation has nothing to do with my church attendance. According to scripture, salvation comes by grace alone.  Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.”  Galatians 2:16 says, “Yet we know that a …

Being God’s Presence

When I became a Christian, there were a lot of feelings and emotions going on in my mind. Obviously, the most dominant feeling was thankfulness to the Lord that He had saved me from my sin, meaning I will now spend eternity with the Father in heaven. As great and wonderful as that is, the beauty of being a Christian is that not only do I get the free gift of eternal life in heaven, but I also get to use my life here on Earth for God’s kingdom. Becoming a Christian gave my life purpose; it gave my life value. And now, as born again Christians, we have the opportunity to share our faith through evangelism to invite others into this life-giving love of the Father. We now have the opportunity to be God’s presences in the lives over others. And the best news? It’s not on you or me to change people’s hearts. It is now our privilege and responsibility to share the Gospel with those around us, but we trust and lean …

How do we deal with our failures?

I am very competitive and a sore loser. I truly believed, like many of us, that failure was not an option.  My failures have always taken a toll on me, but only recently have I seen how the Lord views my failures, and ultimately how he redeems them. But before I could ever be “…glad to boast about my weaknesses…” (2 Corinthians 12:9, NLT), I had to first fully understand what the Apostle Paul said to the Church in Ephesus about salvation, specifically, that “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it (Ephesians 2:8-9, NLT). We have to understand that it is simply by God’s grace that we have been saved. The Bible has made it clear, “everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard” (Romans 3:23, NLT) and “not a single person on earth is always good and never …