Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Glimpse Of God's Holiness

Gazing into hell for 5 seconds would alter your thinking for mankind; gazing into heaven would revolutionize your thinking for the glory of God.

Man is worthy of hell. Man deserves to burn forever having his skin burning in an eternal unquenchable flame. We deserve to be tortured beyond measure for our iniquity and trespasses against a thrice Holy God.

And yet we whimper and whine when something on this earth seems tragic  and bring such an impugn on God's sovereignty and Justice. We claim God responsible for problems in our life when it is our sin nature and the repercussions of Adam's choice.

Peer into heaven and see as Isaiah saw- Holy God high and lifted up! We are an unclean people with unclean hearts and hands. Woe is me gets changed to Woe am I!
 When we confess our sinfulness then will he allow us to repent. When we repent then will he forgive and purify us. Then we will be able to go to the world and tell them as God has said.

I beg of you- get a glimpse of God's chief attribute- he is Holy!

He commands us to be Holy EVEN as he is Holy. Purify your hands and hearts ye double minded!

Monday, April 17, 2017

The Testimony Of The Tomb

I recently preached a sermon about the Testimony of the Resurrection. Do you realize that the gospel was first preached by the world? The enemies of Christ first preached the gospel?
1. At the cross the Roman centurion declared Jesus dead "truly this man was the Son of God". The soldier who pierced his side instead of breaking his legs also verified his death.
2. Pilate verified his death by giving Christ's body to Joseph and nicodemus to be buried. Also, the scribes bore witness of his death and burial by asking for guards to be posted at the tomb lest Christ's body be stolen.
3. When Christ arose - the soldiers were not killed. They were knocked down and out by the angel's presence and earthquake. Certain of the guards went and reported that Jesus had risen. They were given hush money and a bribe to claim that his body was stolen after the soldiers were "overpowered by fishermen" 🙄
Lastly there is the overwhelming proof of the Apostle Paul who had met the risen Lord enroute to persecute Christians- believers of the resurrection. He killed and incarcerated believers for his hobby. Something drastically changed and that was that he met the resurrected Lord.

I Tim 3:16 BELIEVED ON IN THE WORLD!

The most important fact of the gospel is that he rose again and the World/ lost were the first to believe it- even before the followers of Jesus.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

I Can Take You (poetry)


I Can Take You

 

 

I can take you to Bethlehem where Jesus came

I can take you to Galilee where miracles occurred

I can take you to see the man who was lame

I can take you where Jesus spoke His Words

 

I can take you to the Mount where thousands were fed

I can take you to a house in Bethany

I can take you to a cross where my Saviour once died

I can take you to the Hill of Calvary

 

But I can’t take you to the place

 Where his body now lays

For The tomb is Empty

He is living today

 

This world may mock and ridicule

And deny his Holy name

He’ll return with power and every eye will see

That very nail-scarred thorn crowned Lamb

The Son of God who was crucified for me

 

But I can’t take you to that heavenly home

Where I’ll live eternally

On Jesus Christ you must believe

And from sin you’ll be set free

Friday, April 14, 2017

Abandoning The Empty Tomb



Recently, I came across a tract from an area Independent Fundamental Baptist Church which gave a simple plan of salvation. I won’t take the time to type it word for word but in the message it gave the word “repent” but said nothing of the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. This sparked my thoughts about the last time I actually read a tract which shared the GOOD NEWS of the GOSPEL with the lost and dying world around us. I was amazed at this. What exactly have we done with the plan of salvation that would cause us to abandon the GOSPEL? I have seen my share of tracts which tell us that Jesus died on the cross for our sins; and he did! However, the gospel is not that he died for our sins and thus ends the story. The gospel is the death, burial and resurrection! We celebrate Easter with the reminder of the cross and Christ’s death. We will sing about a risen Saviour but we fail to preach this to the lost and dying world around us. The Apostle Paul said “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. (Romans 1:16)
“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:” (I Corinthians 15:1-4)

So, why is it that we have neglected, forgotten, no ABANDONED the whole gospel?
1.   Focused On A List
We are so result oriented. We live by plans or schedules. Most church tracts have a 4-5 point plan for salvation. A. Admit you are a sinner. B. You can't save yourself. C. Jesus DIED for you. D. Call upon the Lord. We have turned the gospel message into a plan for salvation. Say yes to these four steps and repeat a prayer and "poof!" You have believed the gospel.  The gospel may be contained in the plan but the plan is NOT the gospel. The gospel is the plan.
2.  Familiarity Of The Lord’s History-
A recent study in England gave a statistic that only 17% of the people asked in this poll actually believed that Christ arose.
While talking to a seasoned, mature believer I asked what importance the resurrection was. He said it was a mute point and paled in comparison to the death of Christ. "Of course he rose again but it's old hat. The resurrection was a big thing back then because it had not happened before." We have become so familiar with the facts that we lose focus of its meaning. Someone once said " the meaning of the resurrection is just to prove that Christ's death was the satisfactory payment for sin."

Another article states that only 64% of American adults actually believe that Christ literally arose.

Intellectual assent teaches us that one can have a knowledge of facts and would probably get past the first round of "Bible Jeopardy" but does not indicate one believes in this important tenant of the faith.

Scripture tells us that there were at least 3 rumors or conspiracy theories regarding the resurrected Lord:
A. His body was stolen by the disciples.
B. He arose and inhabited another body (spirit possession)
C. That he didn't actually resurrect.
His resurrection is more than history. Without his resurrection he is a lunatic. He is a liar. He is not Lord.
There has been an increase of several blogs, articles, essays, and polls published in the past decade questioning the veracity of Christ's resurrection.
http://www.epm.org/resources/2010/Feb/2/why-resurrection-so-important/


        3. Forgetfulness Of The Lord’s People
Face it. We forget the importance of the resurrection. We stress the vicariouts death of Christ and his shed blood but we conveniently breeze past his burial and resurrection because it is not important to the modern day sinner. Who doesn't know that he rose again? We do not have time to teach them if they don't know because we have to finish our plan and get on to the next house. I do not intend to say that we need to give them a 10 week long bible institute class on the doctrine of Christ before they can be given an invitation to accept and believe Christ. There is simplicity in Christ for a reason. However, we should be more mindful of the gospel. Why did Christ have to die? Why did Christ have to be buried? Why did Christ have to rise again?
Are we as believers ashamed of the gospel of Christ? Is this why we have substituted it for a plan of salvation? Does believing the gospel make it easier to believe? Many denominations teach the death burial and resurrection. Does it make them right?

The resurrection is the center focus of our faith. Without his bodily resurrection we have no hope. We are yet in our sins. We are believing in vain. His words are void. He is a liar. We have no help. We have no home. Without the resurrection we have no victory over this world and over sin. Death still has a sting and the grave is final. Heaven is a myth and we are above men most miserable.
There is no newness of life. There is no Holy Spirit. There is no comfort, joy, peace, goodness and faith. Prayers are unanswered. Love is sensual and human based.
Paul wrote that desired to know the power of his resurrection and to have fellowship with Christ's sufferings being made conformable to his death.  My friend, the resurrection is more than just a historical fact. It is more than an afterthought of his death. It is the reason why we have faith today.

The gospel in it's entirety must be preached. You can keep your plan of salvation. I don't want to tip your sacred cow but by all means remember the gospel. The plan of salvation spiritualizes and boils down the gospel but eradicates the Saviour from being the center focus.

He died for our sins. He was buried and rose again for or justification. (Romans 4)
The gospel isn't a cultural phenomenon. It is the power of God unto salvation. Let us be diligent to declare the gospel as it is to men as they are.


Friday, June 12, 2015

Great Commission

Matthew 28:16-20  Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Everytime I hear preaching on this verse it is always pointed out about God's might. Creation, miracles, healing, etc.
Whenever I hear preaching and Acts 1:8 is given I hear about how it is our command to be witnesses. I do not deny that God is mighty. I do not deny that we are to be witnesses. However, according to context and a good understanding of what the words actually mean, I began to do word studies to strengthen the impact of the commands.

First, I began to look at the events surrounding the discourse. I already knew it was Christ. I already knew he was talking to the Disciples/Apostles. So, who, what and where were already understood. But the when was fascinating. The Roman government was in full swing. They were under the AUTHORITY of Rome. Remember when Jesus was confronted by the Pharisees? They wanted to know by whose AUTHORITY he had done miracles and preached? It was all about authority. The Romans had given The Pharisees AUTHORITY in their political matters. They gave the Sanhedrin AUTHORITY over civil matters. The Priests were given AUTHORITY over the religious matters. Then came John shaking things up. Jesus echoed what John said. Even before Pilate Christ was asked by what AUTHORITY. Jesus told him that Pilate couldn't even do what he did except he was given POWER to do so. Pilate understood.

Now, we see Jesus giving POWER to his disciples. Not to heal the sick, lame, lepers or to raise the dead but to GO and TEACH and BAPTIZE and TEACH not just in Jerusalem. But into the uttermost parts of the Earth.
Did Jesus give them MIGHT or AUTHORITY? When you stop and realize the AUTHORITY that Jesus was given and the commands given to the Apostles (and so given to us), there is nothing in this world that can tell us otherwise.

Acts 1 records the words "and ye shall be witnesses UNTO ME...." I found this also fascinating. According to proper word study we find the word WITNESSES not to mean one ready to give an affidavit of an account which we saw and heard but to go beyond that and actually be MARTYRS. So, while we go out and obey they commission Christ gave we are doing so fully knowing the cost. We are to BE a witness even to the point of martyrdom. Our conduct shouldn't be the cause for martyrdom. The Christ of our message is the cause of our martyrdom. His power (authority) is the cause for our martyrdom.  How encouraging it is to know that as we go out and obey Christ that we are doing so under his authority and even if it costs us our life, we are in the right?

Great fun!!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

What Road Are You On?

There comes a time in every man's life where he must determine the end of the road he is on. Where does the path of this road take me? How will it affect my family? Is it safe for my family? Is it worth the time, sacrifice, investment, and heartache?

Jacob left a comfortable lifestyle and drove his family into the face of danger which led to forgiveness with someone who made it their goal in life to kill him. But to do that he had to distance himself from wrong relationships.

We do not need to seek the bed of roses but we do not need to choose hardship for the sake of avoiding ease. The straight and narrow does have its comfort as does the broad path. The road traveled does not indicate peace and fulfillment. Carrying a cross is vain when there is no need for the cross to be carried. There is a time of rest. A time of solace. A time of healing.

What road are you on? WHY? To what End is the road you travel?

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

But...Its Legal in Thirty Eight States!

Recently, a Dean of an Independent Fundamental Baptist College posted to his social media page an update regarding the fundraising attempts to hire a lawyer in attempts to lessen a sentence on his incarcerated son serving a long term for sexually molesting an underage girl from the Christian School where he was on staff. The son admitted guilt and the judge gave 48 years plus probation and a sex offender tag. Now, I don't understand why he received so long of a sentence for sex crimes on his first offense but the laws of this particular state had recently been stiffened to punish individuals using their office and influence over minors. Arguments were made that this individual had come back from the war and suffered from PTSD. Argument was made that this individual had been seduced as a teen. Claims were made that the father knew of the sexual advances against his son but did not handle it. This was brought to light at the sentencing hearing. Then, in his social media update, the reasoning for a lesser sentence was that another staff member of the same church/Christian School was given a lighter sentence and was released after three months. He saw that as unfair because his son only committed a crime that was LEGAL in 38 states. Furthermore, the man continues to share how his son has been a witness to the inmates and how they affectionately call him "The Bible Man." He has been able to distribute a number of Bibles and reading glasses to the inmates and also lead in a Bible study group. 
Now, I have to scratch my head in amazement over the whole situation. While I realize that a father will do what he can to help his son, the audacity to "water down" the severity of his crime and SIN is astounding. Here is where Christianity has joined themselves to the humanism of the word around us today. Compartmentalization is the phrase that I find appropriate. We can draw the lines in each part of our life and call one part mental. One part is our Spiritual. Over here is our Physical and over there is financial. NO! This is something that God's Word does not support doing. God tells us that our WHOLE body and Spirit and Mind is to be blameless before him in love. Our whole being! I do not mean to single out this one man as the antichrist but for a spiritual leader of young men and women who are being sent to colleges to be further developed and fashioned for the Lord's Service is a major catastrophe when the leaders are vile and corrupt. 
Remember Eli? Hannah dropped Samuel off at the Temple to be trained and raised for the Lord's service. Eli was the one responsible for Samuel. Eli's two sons turned out to be downright apostate. Stealing from the Lord, abusing women, oppressing those worshipping and Eli did nothing. Eli knew what was amiss and did nothing. These priests were handling sacrifices, praying, and representing the people before God. These were spiritual leaders. Yet, their lives were a cesspool of abomination before the Lord and before the people insomuch that the people ABHORRED the sacrifice and the temple. Eli confronted his sons but never dealt with the sin issue. When God spoke to Samuel, the lamp of the temple had already gone out. Even Eli was destitute of his priorities and daily responsibilities in service to the Lord. When God spoke to Samuel and called him out of his sleep; Eli did not perceive it was the Lord until the third time. God told Samuel that judgment would fall because of Eli AND his sons. When Eli heard the judgment he was apathetic towards it and said "whatever happens happens." 
This is the attitude of a father who does not respond to sin much less crime when it happens to his own. This is the attitude of the Spiritual leader who is indecisive regarding the swift and immediate discipline needed to correct and chastise his household who practice blatant sin. This is the attitude of the spiritual leader who reacts in awe at the punishment given (falling back and breaking his neck). 
As independent Baptists we pride ourselves excessively over a Bible version, standards, convictions, soul winning, dress code, music, homosexuality, and abortion but are we so blind to the sins of our own household? No. We know full well that our houses are in disarray. Our churches are shallow and proud. We all leave the assembly and retreat to the inner room where we practice abomination and idolatry and then proclaim that God doesn't see. God doesn't mind because it is legal in 38 states. Our soul winning, bible distribution and Bible stance makes us as righteous as filthy rags which do not impress the Lord and does not reach the world around us. 
"It is legal in 38 states, Lord!' Homosexual marriage is legal in several states as well. Pedophilia is being advocated for in NY as we speak. Sin is not the decision of the masses. Laodocea is here. Our churches are lukewarm and our spiritual leaders are wolves in sheep's clothing. People are leaving churches in groves. Seeking a place where they will heal no matter the cost. We have turned everyone to their own way. compartmentalization. 

Brethren, let the WORD of GOD dwell in you richly in all wisdom. The day is evil. Be sober. Pray. Stand in HIS strength