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What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
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The answer is both.Today, there are 844 million people around the world without access to clean water; 2.5 billion do not use a toilet to manage their waste. And 3.4 billion people are unreached with the gospel.The intersection of all three of these is predominately rural villages dominated by animism and other folk religions. What should be our priority as Christians? Provide communities with access to clean water and improved health, or proclaim the transforming truth of the gospel?As the leader of a Christian water organization, I’ve struggled with this dilemma for years. I firmly believe that we must serve the whole person (body and soul), and I also believe that Christ must be central to all our efforts. If we solely preach the gospel, we ignore their basic physical needs. If we only give them water, teach about hygiene, and build toilets at schools, we feel like we’ve neglected the Christian nature of our work.How can we meaningfully address people’s physical needs while fulfilling the Great Commission? Here are some guiding principles we have found helpful:First, clarify our categories.I don’t believe drilling a well, installing a pump, and teaching people to wash their hands fulfills the Great Commission. It is important work worthy of our support. It can drastically improve people’s lives. However, by itself, it isn’t what Christ commissions the church to do.I also don’t believe preaching the gospel while ignoring the crisis and hurt people are experiencing is consistent with biblical ethics. Jesus makes it clear that we have a responsibility to help the person who has been attacked by robbers and left for dead (Luke 10:25-37). To simply walk past is not consistent with the teaching of Jesus ...Continue reading...
These practices of Anna and Simeon kept them faithful in a time of seeming hopelessness.Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. (Luke 2:25)There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem. (Luke 2:36–38)Anna and Simeon lived in a time of seeming political hopelessness and division, much like our own. Nonetheless, they persisted in faith when many of their contemporaries abandoned the God of Israel. God rewarded their persistence in faith by making them among the first witnesses of the Messiah.There are many who look upon the church’s apparent infatuation with political power and indifference to corruption and wonder if there is a faithful way forward that remains connected to the great tradition and is able to speak a relevant word in the present moment. I do not pretend to have all the answers, but the testimonies of Anna and Simeon carry within them the spiritual practices necessary to wait for his second coming in hope.Anna and Simeon at the Turn of the AgesBefore the arrival of the Messiah, the faithful of Jesus’ day had every reason for cynicism. With the fleeting exception of the troubled Hasmonean rule, Israel had been passed from one foreign ruler to the next. Herod was a well-known rogue who owed his position to an equally morally bankrupt Roman hierarchy. In his day, he was most famous for ...Continue reading...
Temple Baptist Church - 10-31-2018Hebrews 2:9Introduction:A. No one has physically seen our Lord Jesus Christ since the days of the apostles. Our Lord's last appearances were post-resurrection, and with the completion of the Cannon of Scripture, He has never left the right hand of the Father in heaven.B. “But we see Jesus!” We do see Jesus through the Scriptures and our spiritual eyes of faith! And we have believed and been blessed.John 20:27-29 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. (28) And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. (29) Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.C. Unfortunately, in the good times, we do not see Jesus spiritually in our lives as we bask in the glory of peaceful lives of fulness. It is easy to become apathetic and lukewarm in these days of fulness of bread. These are “fat days,” but spiritually dangerous ones.Psalms 106:12-15 Then believed they his words; they sang his praise. (13) They soon forgat his works; they waited not for his counsel: (14) But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert. (15) And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul. (Fat bodies make for lean souls!)D. Fulness of bread and idleness of the hands also leads to sinfulness of the soul! These last days are characterized by being like the days of Noe and Lot!Ezekiel 16:49 Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. (These conditions led up to the society of Sodom in Genesis 19 that caused our Lord to destroy the cities of the plains.E. It is the valleys that we grow and in the times of testing that we “see Jesus!” We do not see Him physically, but we do see Him.1 Peter 1:7-8 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: (8) Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:F. We see Jesus despite our circumstances. We see Jesus in our circumstances!Habakkuk 3:17-19 Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: (18) Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. (19) The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.1. We See Jesus In Salvation – Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.2. We See Jesus When We Are Fearful – Mark 6:47-51 And when even was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and he alone on the land. (48) And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them. (49) But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out: (50) For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid. (51) And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered.2. We See Jesus When We Are In Need Of Grace – 1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.3. We See Jesus When We Are Troubled – Isaiah 26:3-4 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. (4) Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:4. We See Jesus When We Lack Assurance – Isaiah 32:17 And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.5. We See Jesus When We Need Guidance – James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.6. We See Jesus When We Lose Our Song – Psalms 42:7-8 Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me. (8) Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.7. We See Jesus When We Are Ready To Die – Acts 7:55-56 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, (56) And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.
Temple Baptist Church - 12-30-2018Romans 11:7-12Introduction:A. Last week, we biblically answered the question, “Hath God cast away his people?” “God forbid” was the biblical answer. God loves Israel just as He love them in Jacob's day. He loves them with an everlasting love.B. The purpose of God concerning Israel has never changed and—one day— “Israel, my glory”—will once again be gloriously restored. God's purpose always has and always will stand.C. Though a remnant is being saved, Israel—as a nation—is blind to the New Testament and the Gospel. Missionaries cannot come to Israel as church planters. They must come as students, teachers, business people, or visitor visas. Church planting missionaries have their visas rejected.D. Their eyes saw but they did not see. Isaiah 53:3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. (They saw Christ but did not see who He was. They tempted Him, they taunted Him, the tested Him, and crucified Him.)E. Their ears heard but they did not hear. Romans 10:16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?F. Israel:1. Verse 3. Killed God's Prophets. “they have killed thy prophets” Time and time again, God sent men of God to Israel and they systematically refused to hear God's voice.Luke 13:34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!Proverbs 29:1 He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.Jeremiah 17:23 But they obeyed not, neither inclined their ear, but made their neck stiff, that they might not hear, nor receive instruction.Zechariah 7:11-12 But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear. (12) Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the LORD of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the LORD of hosts.2. Verse 3. Destroyed God's Altars. “and digged down thine altars” Romans 11:9-10 And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them: (10) Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway. (Their sacrifices became ritual, not faith.) Hebrews 13:9-13 Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein. (10) We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle. (11) For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. (12) Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. (13) Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.G. Israel continually rejected the longsuffering and grace of God.H. “Unto this day” speaks of the continuance of Israel's blindness. They remained blinded to the Gospel in our day. Benjamin Netanyahu wishes us a Merry Christmas but, like the world, does not recognizes the Saviour as the Messiah.1. Israel was blinded because of National Pride. Acts 10:28 And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean. (To the Jew, Gentiles were sub-human and often called Gentile dogs. Jews do not listen to the witness of Gentile dogs. They though that they had to be right with God because they were of His people, Israel. Many people of our day believe that they are going to heaven based upon their parent's faith.)John 8:39 They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham.2. Israel was blinded because of their rejection of God's Messiah, their Propitiation. John 19:14-15 And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King! (15) But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar. (Jesus Christ is LORD of all and there is no salvation without acknowledgement and acceptance of His Person. You cannot be saved and reject the Saviour!)Isaiah 8:13-15 Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.3. Israel was blinded because of their Self-Righteousness. Romans 10:3-4 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. (4) For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. (Salvation is to everyone that believeth, not everyone that worketh! Repentance from dead works and faith toward God is the only way of salvation.)
Temple Baptist Church - 12-30-2018Luke 9:57-62Introduction:A. In our text, we find three men who had a desire to follow Christ. I believe that every born-again believer has a desire to come to Christ and be where He is but, to be His follower, one must count the cost.who said, B. The first said, ““Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.” 1. He was a man with a right desire. I have no doubt that he was serious when he made that statement. 2. Many people, when asked if they are willing to follow Christ, will say the same thing but stop when it cost them something. They intend to follow Christ as long as it costs them nothing. Great intentions do not get the work done!C. But, when our Lord said, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head,” we hear no more from this man. You see, it will cost you something to follow Christ. That is why so many begin with a right intention but never really follow Christ.D. Then, our Lord said to another man, “Follow me.” 1. Then, this individual said, “Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.” He had something that he wanted to do first. I do not think that his father had died yet because he was here listening to Jesus instead of at the “funeral home” with family. 2. I believe that what he was saying was this: allow me to stay at home until my father dies and I bury him, then I will follow you. (A.M.)E. Now, a third man says, “Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.” 1. This man makes sure that he gives his excuse for not following immediately before the Lord could say anything to him. 2. There are many people who want to follow Christ as long as they can do it on their time or stay at home to follow Him.F. Our Lord answered him with my text for this morning: “No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”G. You see, following Christ requires cost, obedience, and continuance. Many start well, but because of the cost, quit. Their intentions were good, but somewhere along the way, their heart began to turn back to the place and people that they had to leave behind.Hebrews 11:15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.H. God does not call everyone to leave home and family though, but I believe that every child of God should be willing to do so if the Lord called! 1. The servant is not greater than his Master so, as He left all for us, we should be willing to leave all for Him. 2. When God called me into the ministry, I and my family had to be willing to leave home, family, friends, job, and everything else to follow Christ. Could we have done less?I. You see, all three of these men came to where Christ was but were not willing to follow Him where ever He wanted them to go. 1. Last year is almost gone. It will be history in a couple of days and a New Year lies before us. the new Year is “history that has not yet been written.” A “tale that has not been told.” We cannot change history but we can re-write it well.a. There is nothing wrong with remembering last year. It was a good year. Some things could have been better but we are here this morning and not sitting at home.b. There is value in reflecting upon last year and changing what needs to be changed.c. There is need for repentance. Sorrow for our failures last year.d. There is need for resolve. A determination to not make the save mistakes.2. This year, we need to keep our hand on the plough! Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. (We cannot follow Christ until we put our hand to the plough! Following Christ is a life of self-denial and cross bearing.)1 John 2:12-14 I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake. (13) I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father. (14) I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.a. You young families need to “step up to the plate.” As the older generation goes on to be with the Lord, this is, for the younger generation, becoming more “your church.” Get involved! What you leave behind will be all that your children will have.b. You middle aged families need to bear the burden of the work of Christ in spiritual maturity. c. Some of us are getting older but that is not a time for quitting. We need to make some adjustments because of age but each of us are still needed to get the job done. We cannot look back! We cannot quit, we cannot retire.3. This year, we need to keep our eyes on the Point, Jesus Christ. a. Keep our eyes on Christ and “plow to the Point!” When you plow a field, looking to the side or looking back causes you to become distracted and plow a crooked furrow. b. Keep our eyes on the Bible. May it ever be our guide! The Truth shall make you free and, if you be free, you will be free indeed.c. Keep our eyes on the Old Paths wherein is the good way. If we ever let up, then the Old Paths will be gone. Just look around at the direction and condition of churches in our day. They are not even a shadow of what they used to be.Conclusion: I preach this often and I always will because following Christ is of the utmost importance. We cannot follow Christ:a. If we lose sight of Him.b. If we forget the Word of God.c. If we leave the Old Paths.
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