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Independent baptist audio sermons that are based on the kjv of the bible following the old paths of preaching god's word.
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Lester Roloff - A Pattern For Children (Pt. 2 of 2)

Lester L. Roloff was born on June 28, 1914 in Dawson, Texas. He grew up there on a cotton farm. At the age of 12, he was saved, and at the age of 18, he surrendered to the Lord's call to preach. He graduated from Baylor University and attended Southwestern Seminary for nearly three years. During this time, he pastured two part-time churches. He then pastured four full-time churches before the Lord called him, in 1951, to be a full-time evangelist.

Lester Roloff - A Pattern For Children (Pt. 1 of 2)

Lester L. Roloff was born on June 28, 1914 in Dawson, Texas. He grew up there on a cotton farm. At the age of 12, he was saved, and at the age of 18, he surrendered to the Lord's call to preach. He graduated from Baylor University and attended Southwestern Seminary for nearly three years. During this time, he pastored two part-time churches. He then pastored four full-time churches before the Lord called him, in 1951, to be a full-time evangelist.

Lester Roloff - Be Content

Lester L. Roloff was born on June 28, 1914 in Dawson, Texas. He grew up there on a cotton farm. At the age of 12, he was saved, and at the age of 18, he surrendered to the Lord's call to preach. He graduated from Baylor University and attended

Lester L. Roloff was born on June 28, 1914 in Dawson, Texas. He grew up there on a cotton farm. At the age of 12, he was saved, and at the age of 18, he surrendered to the Lord's call to preach. He graduated from Baylor University and attended

Lester Roloff - Are You A Good Brother? (Pt. 1 of 2)

Lester L. Roloff was born on June 28, 1914 in Dawson, Texas. He grew up there on a cotton farm. At the age of 12, he was saved, and at the age of 18, he surrendered to the Lord's call to preach. He graduated from Baylor University and attended

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Dear Friends,In my daily faith journey, I confess that I sometimes fall into a bad habit: I feel like I’ve “been there, done that.” More to the point, I feel a kind of “spiritual sophistication” in which most of the preaching I hear and most of the articles on faith that I read just don’t seem to measure up to my expectations. What’s worse, I sometimes find myself getting annoyed and impatient that the preaching that I’m hearing or the article I’m reading is not what I feel to be sufficiently insightful.As Matthew Westerholm has recently observed, this kind of “it takes a lot to impress me” attitude is actually a form of spiritual immaturity. He writes, “The more spiritually mature we become, the more we are easily edified.” This should be something that all Christians should strive for—a spirit of simplicity, humility, and openness as we encounter the sermons, writings, songs, films, and other forms of spiritual communication that we encounter. This kind of attitude will prepare us to be surprised and delighted by the unexpected insights given to us by the Holy Spirit.This attitude can also be carried over into every aspect of our daily lives, especially with the everyday conversations we have with others. If we strive to always be open when we encounter others, and avoid going into situations with preconceived notions about what we will or will not gain from them, we allow ourselves to be receptive to what the Lord is trying to teach us.Thank you for your prayers and for your continued support of FRC and the family.Sincerely,Dan Hart Managing Editor for Publications Family Research Council FRC ArticlesAre Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (SOCE) Effective? Are They Harmful? What the Evidence Shows – Peter SpriggCalifornia’s Effort to Ban ‘Conversion Therapy’ Failed. Here’s a Better Path We Can All Agree On. – Peter SpriggThe Problem With Judicial Nominations? The Left Doesn't Actually Want to Follow the Constitution – Peter SpriggBrown University is in Denial About Transgender Reality – Cathy RuseLawsuit Targeting Faith-Based Adoption Agencies Allowed to Proceed in Michigan – David ClossonA Bill Allowing College Campus Abortions Shows Reckless Disregard for Young Women – Patrina MosleyPlanned Parenthood’s New President Can’t Erase Its Atrocities – Patrina MosleyThe Department of Veterans Affairs Should Not Fund “Gender Alterations”The Catholic Church in Crisis: Two Takeaways – Dan Hart Religious LibertyReligious Liberty in the Public SquareChristian College Says Accrediting Agency's Proposed Guideline Change May Harm Religious Schools – Samuel Smith, The Christian PostTexas cheerleaders win a victory for freedom of religious expression – Todd Starnes, Fox News'In God We Trust' sign offended teachers, so the school district came up with a fix – Lois K. Solomon, Sun SentinelStudents Ordered to Spray Paint Over the Name of Christ on Football Field – ToddStarnes.comUpend Precedent, 11th Circuit Panel Urges in Pensacola Cross Case – Katheryn Tucker, Daily ReportHer College Told Her Not to Give Out Bible-Themed Valentines. She Isn’t Backing Down. – Troy Worden, The Daily SignalProfessor Who Defended Student’s Right To An Opinion Returns To Work After Three Years And One Major Court Battle – Ashe Schow, The Daily WireInternational Religious FreedomOfficials destroying crosses, burning bibles in China – APIndian Christians Refuse to Deny Christ Despite Persecution From Hindu Radicals – Leah MarieAnn Klett, The Christian PostNigeria: Pastor and three sons burned alive among at least 20 killed in latest Plateau massacre – World Watch MonitorU.S. and Turkey Speak About Syria and the Detained American Pastor – The Jerusalem PostChina to crack down on 'chaotic' online religious info: media – ReutersWhy Americans Should Care About the Uyghurs – Jennifer S. Bryson, Public DiscourseU.N. Is Called to Recognize Christian Genocide – Marlo Safi, National ReviewBaseless Forced Conversion Accusation Lead to Arrest of 271 Christians in India – Persecution.orgProminent Chinese pastor defiant after church closure – Channel NewsAsia LifeAbortionPro-life pregnancy centers served nearly 2 million people last year – The Boston PilotMemo to Chelsea Clinton: Freedom Does Not Require Women To Become Like Men – Ashleen Menchaca-Bagnulo, Public DiscourseIn two years, Iowa flips from ‘worse than New York State’ to pro-life – Live Action‘Gosnell’ Actress On Her Choice For Life: ‘Have Your Baby, It Will Mean Everything To You’ – The FederalistPro-Life Leaders Call for End of Taxpayer-Funded Research with Aborted Baby Parts – Caffeinated ThoughtsAdoptionI Was Adopted Through a Faith-Based Adoption Provider. LGBT Groups Want Them Shut Down. – Ryan Bomberger, The Daily SignalBioethicsA viral photo shows the problems with in vitro fertilization (IVF) – Andrew T. Walker, Ethics & Religious Liberty CommissionDear Anonymous Dad – Mary Jackson, WORLDA Gruesome Plan – Wesley J. Smith, The Weekly StandardObamacareThis 1 Move by the Trump Administration Is Boosting My Small Business – Joseph Semprevivo, The Daily Signal FamilyMarriageThe Thing We Learned About Marriage from the Cable Guy – Dave Willis with Ashley Willis, Focus on the FamilyConfessions of a Reluctant Complementarian – Rebecca McLaughlin, The Gospel CoalitionTeach Them About Marriage Before the World Does – Jani Ortlund, Desiring GodParentingClose ties with fathers help daughters overcome loneliness – Science DailyWaiting to Have a Baby Can Lead to Having Many at Once – Mollie Rappe-Brown, FuturityWelcome to the Grieving Parents Club – Leslie Froelich, HerViewFromHomeEconomics/EducationEducation Should Not Be Fearful – Matthew Anderson, CrisisHundreds of parents flood Board of Education to demand control over their kids’ sex education – Daniel Payne, The College FixParents Win: Colorado Schools End Sex Ed Program That Exposed Children to Porn – Stoyan Zaimov, The Christian PostThe College Campus’s Cult of Fragility – George Will, National ReviewWhy Small Businesses Are More Optimistic Than Ever Before – Patrick Tyrrell and Anthony B. Kim, The Daily SignalHow the Texas Model Supports Prosperous Families – Vance Ginn, Family StudiesFaith/Character/CultureThe Power of Prayer for Families – Alysse ElHage, Family StudiesHow to Ruin Your Life in Your Twenties – Jonathan Pokluda, Desiring GodPrioritizing the Value of Work in a Celebrity-Obsessed World – Naomi Schaefer Riley, Family StudiesHow to help a friend with mental illness – Amy Simpson, Ethics & Religious Liberty CommissionThe Benefit of Bad Sermons – Matthew Westerholm, Desiring GodWhy Millennials ARE Coming to Church – Steve McAlpine, The Gospel CoalitionWhat I Learned About My Sins at Sixty-Four – John Piper, Desiring GodHuman SexualityThe Heterosexual Gospel – Jackie Hill Perry, Desiring GodHow to Evangelize Your LGBT Neighbors – Rosaria Butterfield, Christianity TodayCalifornia Dem withdraws bill banning help for unwanted gay attraction – Calvin Freiburger, LifeSiteNewsThe Alarming Findings of a New Study on Transgender Teens and Suicide – Kelsey Harkness, The Daily SignalGay Rights, Hate Speech, and Hospitality – Rosaria Champagne Butterfield, Desiring GodHuman TraffickingSexual Exploitation Knows No Borders, Neither Should Our Efforts to End It – Lana Lichfield, National Center on Sexual ExploitationPornographyIs Pornography Your Therapy? – Greg Morse, Desiring GodHow Porn Is Sidelining Missionaries – Greg Handley, The Gospel CoalitionA rape pandemic has hit India, and people are blaming pornography – Jonathon Van Maren, LifeSiteNewsHow to Tell Your Fiance About Your Porn Problem – Jessica Harris, Focus on the Family
by Colin EakinIn my previous post, I introduced the topic of spiritual discernment and its appalling absence in the Church today. Despite God's explicit warning (1 Tim. 4:1) that, "in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons," many professing believers do just that. They proceed week to week exposed to noxious instruction that deftly yet decidedly unmoors them from the true Christian faith, blithely unaware of their predicament.What are these "doctrines of demons," against which the Holy Spirit expressly warns? What is this toxic teaching that jeopardizes the faith of so many? The Apostle Paul provides a framework for its understanding in his critique to the church in Corinth (2 Cor. 11:4; italics added): "For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough."That is the heart of the issue: a large swath of today's professing believers are regularly "putting up" with false teaching on Jesus, His Spirit, and His gospel, with nary a suspicion of harm, let alone any objection or pushback. They come expecting to be shown the narrow path to eternal life, when in fact they are being led down the wide road that leads to destruction (Matt. 7:13-14). For this reason, 2 Corinthians 11:4 may be the most pertinent and yet underappreciated verse in the New Testament in our day, as the categories addressed by Paul remain the three key pillars of demonic doctrine plaguing the Church two millennia hence."Another Jesus"Demonic doctrines all have at their core a faulty view of Christ. Oh, its proponents may make all the right claims about Jesus and His divinity—that He is indeed the Son of God, who died and rose again for the sins of the world. They may endorse and uphold all the confessional statements, and dutifully insist their Christology is fully orthodox. They will prominently feature the name of Jesus in their teaching, and oversee philanthropic church ministries designed and promoted as being Jesus' contemporary "hands and feet." Their Jesus welcomes all who come to Him, helps those in need, exemplifies the humility by which we are to live, brings love to the outcast and highlights mercy in response to wrongs—just as the Bible declares.But here's the rub: false teachers who bring "another Jesus" will inevitably exclude those aspects of the Bible's Jesus that don't align with their concept of who He should be. In particular, they will abridge, revise or (most likely) completely omit Jesus' instruction regarding coming judgment. They will ignore Jesus' emphatic warning to fear God, because not only can He kill, but He can also cast whom He has killed into hell (Luke 12:5). Their Jesus does not bring a sword instead of peace (Matt. 10:34), require complete abandonment of all worldly relationships and affections as the price of salvation (Luke 14:26), and promise everlasting punishment to those who do not repent and believe (Luke 13:1-5; John 3:18; 8:24; Matt. 25:46). In no way is their Jesus One who returns, " . . . in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus" (2 Thess. 1:8). In no sense would He ever supervise the eternal suffering of rebels in hell (Rev. 14:10)."A Different Spirit"When you get Jesus wrong, you inevitably get the Spirit wrong. Why is that? Because the Spirit to which Paul refers is the very Spirit of Christ, whose arrival was predicted by Jesus and timed with His Ascension (John 16:7). This is the same Spirit of Christ who inspired the perfect and inerrant Scriptures (1 Pet. 1:11). He is the Spirit who begat (Luke 1:35), led (Luke 4:1), and empowered Christ throughout His ministry (4:14). He is the very Spirit who regenerates and lives within those who repent and believe in Christ's atoning work (Ezek. 36:26-27; John 7:38-39; Rom. 8:9). And He is the Spirit who convicts the world "concerning sin and righteousness and judgment" (John 16:8).A false Christ thus yields a false spirit—the spirit of the age—and all the attendant errors that reliance upon this spirit brings, including (and perhaps most importantly) invalid interpretation of Scripture. Don't miss this: the true Spirit of Christ is He who guides the believer into all truth (John 16:13). The Bible explicitly states that God's Spirit is necessary for one to know the "deep things of God," as found in His Word (1 Cor. 2:10-13). So when a false spirit is substituted, then all bets are off when it comes to proper biblical understanding. Without the real Spirit of Christ to decode God's Word, all forms of spiritual delusion—though dressed up as faithful biblical instruction—are guaranteed to ensue. Consequently, you will find those who represent demonic doctrines marked by continual reimagining of passages to suit their purposes (the theological term for this is eisegesis, as opposed to exegesis). These false teachers will eschew expository preaching as unhelpful or even as "too easy," and will consult and rely upon their spirit of the age to ensure that none of their pronouncements ever offend popular thinking."A Different Gospel"Finally, those representing another Jesus and a different spirit will inevitably bring a different gospel. That such a false gospel can be foisted on those who have already believed and been saved astonished the Apostle Paul (Gal. 1:6-8; 3:1) and should likewise astonish us. Why? Because the true gospel is the most important message of the Bible, and is not at all veiled or obscure. Paul's definition is both pithy and frank (Rom. 1:16): " . . . the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes . . .." The true gospel is all about salvation that comes to every sinner who, by the power of God, believes. That could not be more simple or straightforward. Unfortunately, the gospel is under such tremendous assault from enemy forces today that its defense has never been more necessary—witness recent Pyromaniac posts on this subject by Phil Johnson and Hohn Cho (if you haven't time to keep up with their broadsides against the so-called "social gospel" in the latest controversy, here's a tip: when the gospel you are presented is one focused on present material conditions and earthly injustices, then you've found yourself exposed to "a different gospel").The perpetual and distinguishing mark of any false gospel is the addition of human effort. This is the common denominator in all onslaughts against the true gospel. Just last year, one influential mega-church pastor and author conceded to his congregation that, yes, the gospel involves the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the redemption of the world—he'd grant that is true. But then, he added, that wasn't all. For him, as for many, the idea that God might save those who merely repent and trust in His Son's substitutionary atoning work is just too artless, insufficiently redemptive, and, frankly, unbelievable to be everything God requires for eternal life (he contemptuously caricatured repentant faith as some sort of "minimum entrance requirement," in response to which God is obliged to let one into heaven). No, he insisted, there's more to it than that, and went on to emphasize his own "gospel" addition as what we must do for God in response to what He has done for us.But as Pastor John MacArthur has underscored throughout his teaching ministry, the one true gospel is always and only a gospel of divine accomplishment—nothing less and nothing more. Any variations adding some form of human achievement to the mix are fabricated facsimiles which ultimately derive from Satan. No matter the particulars, when human activity is presented as a necessary component of the gospel, it becomes demonic doctrine. The Apostle Paul writes (Gal. 5:4), "You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen from grace." Seek to add your own work to that which Christ has done to save you, and you are doomed. That was true when Paul wrote Galatians, and it remains true today.What's Behind Demon Doctrines?Ultimately, these assaults against God's Word—presenting another Jesus, a different Spirit, and a different gospel—are aimed at one target: undermining the truth of God's Word. Since Jesus is full of truth (John 1:14), came to bear witness to the truth (John 18:37), and in fact is the Truth (14:6), since the Spirit of Christ is the Spirit of truth (John 15:26), and since the gospel as found in God's Word is truth (John 17:17), what is clearly in the sights of Satan is truth. Truth is what matters most to God, which is why it is most assailed by His number one enemy. Why such a focused obsession? Because Satan knows if the truth of God's Word can be successfully undermined, then the only manner by which one might be saved (Rom. 10:17) can be thwarted. That has been Satan's strategy from the time his first temptation led to the first sin—"Did God really say?" (Gen. 3:1)—and it remains his modus operandi ever since.Fortunately, God has promised that His truth will endure throughout the ages. As Psalm 119:160 declares, "The sum of Your Word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever." Meanwhile, knowing the final outcome is secure, true believers are entrenched in a battle with demon forces over God's truth. We are vying against the enemy's doctrines of demons and their core depictions—another Jesus, a different spirit and a different gospel—with the Word of truth God has spoken and now illuminates to those who are His. May those who claim to be of this truth be made worthy by Him for such a task.Dr. Colin L. EakinPyromaniacDr. Eakin is a sports medicine orthopdic surgeon in the Bay Area and part time teacher at Grace Bible Fellowship Church's Stanford campus ministry. He is the author of God's Glorious Story.Acknowledgement: In preparing this article, I am indebted to the teaching of Pastor Mike Riccardi of Grace Community Church, and his sermon on 2 Corinthians 11:1-4: "The Minister's Jealously, Part 2," delivered 4/15/2018.
by Hohn ChoReader Graham and I have been having a fruitful exchange, and during it he said he was "stunned by the online reaction to a piece by Thabiti Anyabwile in The Washington Post in which Pastor Anyabwile argued that it was unwise for evangelicals to offer political support to Donald Trump." The original piece is here, and one reaction to it is here. Although the piece itself is now a couple of months old, I told Graham I'd try to offer some reasons why Anyabwile's article may have provoked the response it did. Besides, the general topic of the President's nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court will surely remain highly relevant throughout autumn, especially with debate scheduled to begin in the US Senate imminently.The title of Anyabwile's article was, "Overturning Roe v. Wade Isn't Worth Compromising with Trump, My Fellow Evangelicals." Even from the very top, questions spring to mind. Wouldn't overturning Roe v. Wade be a very good and important thing to most Bible-believing Christians, worthy of significant prayer and personal sacrifices? And if so, what does Anyabwile mean by "compromise"? Who is the target audience? Is it self-identifying evangelicals, constituting over 25 percent of America according to this poll, or only evangelicals who actually voted for President Trump, or perhaps evangelicals who currently support the President?Regardless, even with some answers forthcoming in the article, the title alone could be received as thought-provoking and even somewhat controversial, especially coming from a left-of-center secular publication like the Washington Post. I don't doubt this could have been one of Anyabwile's reasons for choosing or consenting to the title, which is certainly within his rights to do, although I hope he would then understand why some reactions to it might be similarly inflamed, especially as readers reviewed the remainder of the piece. Because to me, the article as a whole came across as a finger-wagging scold, from a presumed position of moral superiority, regarding an issue—strategy and tactics relating to political engagement—which seems the very essence of adiaphora, or "disputable matters" as they are sometimes called, of the type described in Romans 14:1ff.But if the title could be construed as somewhat controversial, Anyabwile's lede was even more so: "We are going to give an account to God for our complicit silence before the immoral policies and actions of the Trump administration. By 'we,' I mean the entire country, but I have a particular concern for pro-life evangelical Christians, because I am one."Based on reading many dozens of his articles and hundreds of his tweets over the years—some of which I have appreciated, by the way[*]—I believe Anyabwile has an unfortunate habit of using sweeping, broad-brush rhetoric that treats certain groups as monolithic, and lumps them together in ways that are often accusatory, unhelpful, and would certainly be condemned were the groups reversed. For example, he has frequently decried the 80 percent of white self-identifying evangelicals who voted for Trump, but seldom has a mention for the over 90 percent of Black self-identifying evangelicals who generally vote for the Democrats. Are they also complicit via their vote when the Democrats routinely support certain issues that are antithetical to the Bible?[**]"Complicit Silence"But let's dig into the lede itself, specifically the claim of "complicit silence." This is a common accusation, but in all seriousness, are we biblically mandated to speak up in specific situations, or perhaps even required to become social activists? In asking the question, please note that I am not claiming that certain appropriately manifested forms of speech and activism are somehow prohibited in our Christian stewardship and liberty, of course. But the argument of Anyabwile (and others) appears to be quite different, specifically that Christians have some kind of overt obligation to speak out against certain "immoral policies and actions" which are arguably perceived.Candidly, I've seen little Scriptural support for this argument. Anyabwile himself has previously cited Proverbs 31:8-9 for the proposition that "refusing to speak up for the voiceless is a sin." But that passage is in the wisdom literature of the Proverbs, which lends itself more to what courses of action in life are wise or foolish. Moreover, this particular passage is directed to a future King with the power and authority to make decrees and decisions in theocratic Israel.But despite those distinctions, let's accept for the sake of argument that Christians today are commanded to speak up for the voiceless and the destitute. How are we then to balance that command with other commands, such as the ones in 1 Thessalonians 4:11, 2 Thessalonians 3:12, 1 Timothy 2:1-2, Proverbs 24:21, and Titus 3:1-2, among others? These verses speak about living a quiet and peaceful and dignified life, minding your own business, fearing the King and not associating with those given to change, and praying for and submitting to the governing authorities rather than getting into quarrels or even worse, maligning or speaking evil of the rulers and authorities, a command that we have often seen Christians break with great regularly as it pertains to the United States Presidency! Ultimately, how are we to navigate the course of wisdom in determining this balance, when all over the Proverbs, silence is commended as wise, as in Proverbs 10:19, 11:12, 13:3, 17:27-28, 21:23, 26:17, 29:11?Even when we consider the example of Jesus, He healed everywhere he went, but He did not abolish poverty, far from it . . . He acknowledged that the poor would always be with us in Mark 14:7, and emphasized the importance of the good news for the poor in Luke 7:22, prioritizing the spiritual over the temporal. He never sought to overthrow the oppressive Romans, He did not compensate the pig owners for their dead livestock in Matthew 8:32-34, and He declined the request of the crowd to always give them bread in John 6:34. Even when unjustly persecuted, He remained silent and did not retaliate, as we see in 1 Peter 2:21-23.At the end of the day, especially when we consider the context of desperate poverty and routine oppression of the Ancient Near East, whatever obligation that we might have to speak up for the voiceless and destitute is greatest in our own personal lives, with the people who cross our paths, in our immediate proximity. As we sweep outward from there, injustice and poverty multiply exponentially. Are we somehow obligated to personally and publicly condemn every social ill and inequity, even those which we know next to nothing about, and thus have a high chance of rushing to judgment with an incorrect determination? I believe the answer is not only no, but plainly and obviously no.I simply do not see how a Christian who is committed to charity and good works and speaking up about injustice that he or she might encounter daily, who is perhaps especially mindful about the wisdom of silence and not maligning or quarrelling in political or societal matters, is somehow guilty of "complicit silence" as Anyabwile accuses. There is no command to speak publicly about perceived injustice, and there are no plain Scriptural directions as to the time, place, or manner of such speech. And to the extent that one opts to speak out publicly, in one's own stewardship and liberty, care should be taken to avoid the real danger of "virtue signaling" like the publicly praying Pharisees in Matthew 6:5.Finally, here are a few questions to consider for the person who does choose to speak up in the public sphere for the voiceless and destitute. Who is more "voiceless" than an unborn infant? (And in contrast, is any adult in a free country truly voiceless in today's era of social media?) And who is more destitute than the poor of the world who are genuinely starving to death? (And in contrast, is any able-bodied person living in a wealthy nation like the USA truly destitute?) Meanwhile, in other cases where the extent of voicelessness and destitution are at least matters subject to debate, as people who stand for truth, points of factual dispute are important for Christians to investigate and acknowledge, as Gagnon's response to Anyabwile sets forth in considerable detail.Two Other ObjectionsAnyabwile also said, "In sheer numbers, more lives are ended by legalized abortion. Christians are correct to focus energy and concern on ending the practice. But in quieter, sometimes less observable ways, the carnage mounts in racial injustice and discrimination." I'm glad he recognizes as proper the desire among many Christians to end abortion, but the rather understated way in which he does it reminds me of the old saying, "But other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?" As I said in point E of an earlier article, in the US, abortion kills nearly one million unborn babies a year, a disproportionately high percentage of which are the children of ethnic minorities. Meanwhile, more people (189 in 2016) die in the US each year of constipation, than unarmed people of all ethnicities are killed by US police, despite much ink having been spilled by Anyabwile on that specific topic.Finally, Anyabwile said, "Some Christians appear to have made a Faustian bargain for the mere price of a Supreme Court nominee. The Devil gets the better end of that deal!" Aside from the clear insult directed toward evangelical Christians who voted for President Trump—and indeed, it's hard to think of a worse accusation for a Christian than to be cozy with the Devil—the entire line of thought appears to relitigate the 2016 US election, a painful and acrimonious time for many Christians, to be sure.Rather than recap this myself, I'm going to link to three articles that I believe are among the best I've read on this topic. First, we have Kevin DeYoung from 2012, on the topic of a functional (a.k.a. pragmatic, consequentialist, utilitarian) view of voting. Second, we have Dan Doriani from 2016, on an endorsement (a.k.a. principled, deontological, purist) view of voting. And third, we have Kevin DeYoung again, from 2016, on some thoughts from a functional voter who was practically confronted with the choices before us in that Presidential election.In early-mid 2016, I personally maintained the endorsement view of voting, to an extent that, in retrospect, was overly dogmatic. Over the course of time, persuasive arguments from my friends Lance (a missionary in Europe who is routinely faced with multiple horrible electoral choices), Todd (a local pastor who I greatly respect, who took the other side of the debate), and Phil (a pastor in Omaha who summarized it all in a way that just "clicked" with me[***]) moved me more to the center, although I still find the endorsement view of voting to be best for me personally. Ultimately, with all California polls showing a blowout for Clinton in the state, Christians here perhaps had an easier decision to make than others who happened to live in battleground states.What the entire raging debate convinced me of, however, is that as I alluded to earlier, trying to bind a person's conscience on matters of adiaphora like these is a clear violation of 1 Corinthians 10:29-30, and against God's explicit moral command in Deuteronomy 12:32, and could even be pharisaical pursuant to Matthew 23:4. And so acting with contempt or judgment toward a brother or sister on these "disputable matters" is clearly sinful as Romans 14:3 describes. This remains true whether a man confidently declares that supporting Trump is the moral choice, as Wayne Grudem did, or the immoral choice, as Anyabwile did.The reality is that the moral and ethical calculus a person utilizes on a choice like this is between that person and the Lord, as Romans 14:10-13 clearly states. And perhaps we would all do better if we paid closer heed to Romans 14:19-23 and worked toward peace and edification, not causing each other to stumble, and keeping certain decisions between ourselves and God. Regardless, branding brothers and sisters who might have voted for Trump and celebrated his appointment of Kavanaugh and the prospect of overturning Roe v. Wade as making deals with the Devil, and accusing them of helping to commit a crime or do wrong (which is the very definition of complicit), falls far short of both civil discourse and the standards for Christian liberty to which Scripture clearly calls us.ConclusionSo, Graham, I hope that will help explain why quite a few Christians took exception to Anyabwile's article. And I believe it would have been just as inflammatory had the lede instead said, "We are going to give an account to God for our complicit silence before the immoral policies and actions of the [Obama] administration. By "we," I mean the entire country, but I have a particular concern for [Black] evangelical Christians, because I am one." Perhaps Anyabwile genuinely believes that; he seems to say that very thing in this tweet.If that's the case, I pray that he will have the candor and integrity of speech to say so (or similar things) from time-to-time, and in his higher-profile writings and speeches, perhaps, rather than merely in the depths of Twitter mentions, or what might be even worse based on his own apparent convictions, remaining in "complicit silence" about it. After all, to avoid the sin of partiality from James 2:9, we need to be especially mindful of displaying favoritism toward groups of which we ourselves are members. This is one reason that I often call out the sin of partiality that exists among many Asians, particular from older generations, when they object to interethnic marriages.You see, I am adamantly and ardently opposed to actual sin displayed within the Body of Christ. The problem is, so much of what many "social justice" advocates are calling or implying is sin, is really just attempted heart—and motive—reading in violation of 1 Corinthians 4:5, or the "complicit silence" variety along with other perceived sins of omission, which is for the Holy Spirit to convict.Speaking for myself, I'm far more grieved over my own many sins of commission, as well as those sins of omission which are commanded at all times, such as rejoicing, praying, giving thanks, and preaching the Word and the Gospel in season and out of season.I've already outlined why I don't believe there's an overt obligation to speak out against specific immoral policies and actions, but if there's one that burdens me more than any other, it's the immoral policy that targets the most vulnerable, the most voiceless, and the most period, and that is abortion. And I will understand if some Christians might want to disagree with me on the importance of that particular fight . . . but what I pray you will never see me do is to seek publication, to the broadest possible secular audience, of a hit piece accusing my beloved brothers and sisters of making immoral deals with the Devil, merely for failing to sufficiently prioritize my own most cherished adiaphora.Hohn's signatureNotes[*] My impression is that the convention these days is to praise up front the character and contributions of a fellow Christian whose public works one is critiquing. Although I appreciate the graciousness that I trust practitioners of this intend, it has become such a convention that I personally feel it can sometimes come across as a distraction and/or insincere. So I'll simply say that I loved Anyabwile's 2008 and 2010 messages at T4G, I've appreciated some of his writings, in particular I think he had the better argument in his back-and-forth with Doug Wilson on the topic of the South and slavery. But I strongly disagree with many of his comments and emphases more recently. I've never met the man, but I'd be glad to greet him as a brother should I ever come across his path. I do think that some have gone over-the-top in their criticisms of him, and I personally believe that taking shots at his chosen legal name is an exercise in pettifogging which reflects poorly on Christian disagreement.[**] Phil pointed this out in point #2 of his article responding to Anyabwile. Perhaps he never saw or read it, but since I mention it, I think it's important to reiterate that Phil clearly stated that he was not referring to Anyabwile as a "racist schlub" prior to the posting of his critique, which was predicated on that very (erroneous) assumption. Even though he was explicitly informed of this both on Twitter and in Phil's response, Anyabwile's critique of Phil remains posted and unedited to this day. Disagreeing strongly with an article published in the secular media, and its implications, is not uncharitable . . . but allowing a false critique to stand, even after being corrected about it? That certainly does seem uncharitable.[***] The quote was, "If both candidates are unacceptable, then so be it. I don't have to "win" to be faithful to my convictions. And you don't have to agree with me to be faithful to your convictions, thankfully. Politics involves complicated ethical decision making and it is understandable that good people will differ . . . I respect [others] who differ with me. What I do not respect is those who demonize the opposition and who paint Trump as far better than he really is. From the comments of some of my friends you would think that Trump was Saint George the dragon slayer. I know you don't take that position, but I say this just to explain myself."
Temple Baptist Church - 8-8-20182 Peter 3:14-18Introduction:A. As we end the Second Epistle of Peter, we find an admonition by the great Apostle to stand fast in the doctrine of the Scriptures. This message will be straight and without apology as I believe it to be essential to the steadfastness of the saints in these last, perilous times.2 Timothy 3:1-10 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. (2) For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, (3) Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, (4) Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; (5) Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. (6) For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, (7) Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. (8) Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. (9) But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was. (10) But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, (Moses, God's man, was sent to deliver the people of God from Egypt and these two men, Jammes and Jambres, withstood him. “So do these also resist the truth!)B. Peter wrote these two Epistles because of the difficulties that the “strangers scattered” were having.1. They wanted to know what their relationship was to the Nation of Israel now that they had been born into the Family of God.2. They also wanted to know their relationship to the Law.3. They had become infiltrated with false teachers.C. I believe that the Apostle Paul wrote the Book of Hebrews (verse 15), one of the Jewish Christian Epistles, but Peter also references his other epistles in verse 16 . He did not sign the epistle with his name because the saved Jews feared him because of the way he persecuted them before his Damascus Road conversion.2 Peter 3:15-16 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; (16) As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.1. Peter mentioned such a letter. 2 Peter 3:15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;2. Paul mention those in bonds of which he was one. Hebrews 13:3 Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.3. Paul mentioned Timothy, his son in the faith, coming to them. Paul often used Timothy and Titus to carry letters to churches while he himself was incarcerated. Hebrews 13:23 Know ye that our brother Timothy is set at liberty; with whom, if he come shortly, I will see you.4 Paul signed the Book of Hebrews with his token signature. Hebrews 13:25 Grace be with you all. Amen.2 Thessalonians 3:17-18 The salutation of Paul with mine own hand, which is the token in every epistle: so I write. (18) The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. The second epistle to the Thessalonians was written from Athens.D. We live in the last day phenomena of false teachers. Peter fought them; Paul fought them; we fight them! They are everywhere. They are on the television, radio, colleges, and churches. The “falling away” of 2 Thessalonians, chapter 2, has been in full swing for over 100 years now. I have no “axes to grind” tonight but must preach on these verses.2 Peter 2:1-3 But there were false prophets also among the people, even asthere shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. (2) And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. (3) And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. 1. These false teachers were not and are not outsiders. We do not listen to the heretics on TV or the radio. These false teachers were and are among us! This means that they have creditability and acceptance. 2. If a preacher got into this pulpit and said that there were mistakes in the King James Bible or said that this word could been translated differently or better, you would run him off. This is the way it is in most good churches. 3. But a college professor can undercut the purity of the bible and they are protected. If they did not have acceptance and protection, they would not be tolerated. When God's men preach against them, there is resistance.E. Before we dissect our text, let me bring this prophecy close to home for us all. I feel it necessary to use Peter's final admonition to “the strangers scattered,” which is prophetic of our day, to point the people back to God's Way and God's Word. Out text explains the problem and gives the solution.F. Since other churches, TV and Radio preachers have no effect upon how we believe and operate, I want to look at the one area of problem that all of us face. Now for a little history lesson to show how far the God's people have been led from the truth.1. Before the beginning of the 20th Century, the local churches were places where the Bible was the accepted as the final authority. It was all that the child of God needed for doctrinal correctness. God gave us the local church, not a college, university, or seminary.2 Timothy 3:16-17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (17) That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (The bible is all that God's people need to perfect and thoroughly furnish God's men.)2 Timothy 4:1-4 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; (2) Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. (3) For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; (4) And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (These are the days that we live in. People do not want a straight preaching, King James Bible Church. They are wanting a sermonette from a preacherette that will make them feel good about themselves, not bring conviction and repentance.)a) Paul called the church the “pillar and ground of the truth.” From the beginning, God gave the local church to the believers as a place of doctrinal grounding and fellowship. God gave the churches pastor-teachers to grind out the scriptures and feed it to the “flock of God.” 1 Timothy 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.Acts 20:26-31 Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. (27) For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. (28) Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. (29) For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. (30) Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. (31) Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.2. Before the beginning of the 20th Century, God's people did not argue over which bible to use; there was no generation gap between young and old. In the early 20th Century, this new phenomenon began to grow. a) Young preachers sat at the feet of older, settled, doctrinally correct men of God until they were grounded in the scriptures and doctrine. b) Each new generation followed the “Old Paths” that their fathers followed.Acts 2:41-42 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. (42) And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.3. In the 20th Century, instead of relying on what God chose to spiritually educate believers, religious denominations began starting seminaries for the instruction of God's men in the doctrine of their choosing. Methodists, Presbyterian, Baptist, etc. began to send their young preachers off to “college” to learn the Word of God and become sound in doctrine. Local churches were no longer deemed sufficient to do what God established it for.Ephesians 4:11-14 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; (12) For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: (13) Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: (14) That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;4. The independent Baptist Movement was no different as they certainly did not want to send their young preachers to a denominational college that was not of like precious faith, so they started their own colleges. They began to rob the local church of its young, God called men! These colleges soon became infested with liberalism and the product was young men filling pulpits who were not doctrinally sound. They in turn begat followers of like heretical beliefs. 5. In the beginning, independent Baptist Churches started their schools of higher learning under the authority of the local church, but parachurch (outside of or against - the concept of the parachurch ministry was unknown to the first century church and is therefore not mentioned in Scripture)seminaries began to arise.6.The first bible schools were seminaries that were meant to aid in the training of Christian workers and preachers, but the people began to feel the need to educate their children in Christian schools instead of secular ones. Therefore, the seminaries adapted and began to offer Liberal Arts degrees along with bible educations. 7. The Liberal Arts degrees were and are good, but their bible education is often contrary to the teachings of the local churches. Schools and colleges became places of pride and, to some degree, allegiance to the graduates. The Latin phrase “Alma Mater” means “Nourishing or Bountiful Mother.” 8. There became a gap between the pulpit of the local church and the professor in the classroom. I look back over my college years and see that I learned little or no doctrine in the classroom. I learned my doctrine by sitting under my pastors and studying the Bible. In college, I did learn things that were more “Baptist” than “Bible.” The same in my post-graduate work.9. We are independent, autonomous local churches. What other churches preach, where they stand, has no affect upon us. If they stand, praise the Lord. If they go liberal, that is their business and does not affect our church. Bible colleges, seminaries, etc. can and do affect local churches because their people attend them.10. I owe no allegiance to any school. I owe my allegiance to my local church and pastor! I want you to fully understand what I am about to say. I am a BIBLICIST before I am a Baptist. That does not mean that I am not glad to be a Baptist; it means that where the Baptist and the Bible do not agree, I stand unerringly with the inerrant, infallible Word of God!G. Now, with all of that said, let us look at our text.1. The end time existence of unlearned and unstable men. These are people who place humanistic thinking about the authoritative Word of God. These are the people who wrestle with the Word of God. These are dangerous men and God called them wicked in verse 17. a. Peter and followers were unlearned and ignorant. Ignorant means to not have been taught. Not to have knowledge pertaining to a subject; uneducated, untrained, uninformed.”Acts 4:13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.b. These men are unlearned and unstable. This means that they are not ignorant of what the bible teaches, but they do not accept the truth of its teachings and are unstable or changing. They are never satisfied with one version of the bible but go from the King James to the NASV to the ESV to the NKJV, etc. 2 Timothy 3:7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.c. They have read the same bible that you and I have read but come to a different conclusion. Whereas we take God at His Word, they do not think that the bible is completely correct. This is the exact opposite of what the bible teaches.1 Corinthians 1:26-31 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: (27) But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; (28) And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: (29) That no flesh should glory in his presence. (30) But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: (31) That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.d. Now, before anyone labels me a heretic, let me say that not all men of education and wisdom are lost or heretical! God has and can use educated people, but their education must not destroy their faith in the Bible! The Apostle Paul was among the best educated men of his time.Acts 26:24-25 And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad. (25) But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness.c. These men are unlearned in that they do not believe the bible. The bible claims to be the perfect, inspired, preserved, inerrant, infallible, living word of God. I believe it to be so, but these men deny what the bible claims. Who is right, these men or the bible.d. These men are unstable because their version of the bible is in a state of constant change. Their bible is constantly being traded for a newer updated version. Bible believers remain with the bible and do not change.2. The end time existence of men who wrest with the Bible. The word “wrest” means to twist or to fight against. Peter mentions things hard to be understood. The simplest way to understand the bible is believe what it says is right and always interpret hard scripture (will never understand everything in the bible) with easy, plain verses. Wrestlers make the bible conform to their theology instead making their theology conform to the bible.2 Corinthians 4:2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.a. The Word of God is just that: THE WORD OF GOD!1 Thessalonians 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.b. God's people believe the Bible, not wrestle with it. “So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.”Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.c. God intended for His people to be grounded in truth. God never intended for His people to be ignorant of what He said. His will is for people to get saved and sit under pastors who will teach them.Matthew 28:20 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. (To teach them all things, you must have all things.)Matthew 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. (To live by every word, you must have every word. Was our Lord so wrong as to make this statement knowing that the Word of God would one day become erroneous.)3. The end time existence of being led away. Peter mentions the possibility of being led away with the error of the wicked. Thus, falling from their steadfastness.a. We live in days of instability. Ephesians 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; (I have never seen so many people who are regular in church that are doctrinally ignorant! It matters not where they go to church and believe that every denomination is alright. I do not want to preach a doctrinal series right now, but doctrine is important.)Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.1 Timothy 4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.b. We live in days of falling away. 2 Thessalonians 2:2-3 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. (3) Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; (People who once stood with us no longer believe what we believe. We believe the Bible.)1 Timothy 4:1-2 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; (2) Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;c. We live in days of wrestling with the scriptures. Romans 3:4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged. (To wrestle is to fight with or to fight against. Why can people not just believe what the Bible says and quit trying to make it say what they want it to say. The Bible is right, and man is wrong.)
Temple Baptist Church - 3-18-2018Psalm 27:1-5Introduction: A. I want to preach for a few weeks on the importance of the local church in the lives of God's children. When our Lord ascended back to heaven, He left several things to the believers in His impending absence:1. The Holy Spirit. John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.2. The Word of God. 1 Corinthians 13:10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.3. The Local Church. Acts 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.B. These three are equally essential to the well being of the believer. I may do a series on all three before I am finished because of the apparent ignorance of most professing believers of their value.C. David was both a man of war and a man of worship. In these verses, we find his heart's desire to assemble with the people of God in worship. David loved the house of the Lord. Your local church is important in your life as a believer!Psalms 55:14 We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company.Psalms 122:1 A Song of degrees of David. I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.Hebrews 10:22-25 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. (23) Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) (24) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: (25) Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.D. Hebrews 10:25 is possibly the most quoted verse concerning church attendance and has been normally been preached as a negative. 1. Hebrews 10:25 says, “As the manner of some is.” The word manner means a custom or habitual practice. There are so many people who professed to be saved that have no desire to be faithful to the local church. 2. We have a good nucleus here at Temple. I want to encourage the “as the manner of some is” this morning to get in. I also want to encourage the faithful to stay in. Many of the unfaithful were once faithful. E. There has been a great forsaking of the assembling in the past few decades with many in America unchurched. 1. Our nation if following the same path as England and Europe: the path of godlessness which always leads to ungodliness. 2. The faithful few that make up the nucleus of the local church have become fewer in number, especially Sunday and Wednesday night crowds. Few want any time of “extra” services such as revival meetings or mission conferences.F. With many, it is a leaving your “first love” problem. This morning, I want to encourage you to love your church! Make it a major part of your life. What a privilege it is to come to church! What a blessing to be able to come to church! What a benefit to be able to come to church!What makes the local church so special:1. It Is The Place That God Loves - Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it. (Jesus Christ died for the Church! He gave His life for that which He loves. Truly, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” When you get saved, you should love what God loves!)2. It Is The Place Of Worship - Psalms 5:7 But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple. (You can and should worship anywhere but the church house is a special place. It was a place built to worship in. You can come here and sing as loud as you please; you can say “Amen” or shout “Glory to God;” you can give your tithe and offerings scripturally in God's house. What a blessing!)3. It Is The Place Of Preaching And Teach God's Word - 1 Timothy 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. (You probably know it by now, but I love this blessed old King James Bible that I hold in my hand. We can read it at home; We can study it at home; but here in the house of the Lord, men of God preach like they know what they are preaching about! I rejoice with the Apostle Paul when the Bible is heralded and the preacher lifts up his voice like a trumpet!)4. It Is The Place Where God's People Gather - Psalms 55:14 We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company.(The greatest people on earth are there! When I got saved I fell in love with a lot of things that please God but one of the greatest of all was the people of God. No, they are not perfect, but they are my brothers and sisters in Christ! We are all in the Body of Christ which is the Family of God and we love you!)5. It Is The Place Where Sinners Are Both Sought And Loved - Luke 14:23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.Matthew 9:10 And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples. (I love to see sinners come to the church house and be privileged to sit under the power of the Word of God and have an opportunity to hear the gospel and give their hearts and lives to Christ. The to watch the Lord gloriously change their lives for His glory.)6. It Is The Place Where I Pay My Tithes And Give My Offerings - Malachi 3:10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. (So many professing believers never get this! The tithe belong to the Lord and giving begins only above the tithe. What a blessing; what a thrill to be able to give to the work of the Lord. I saw this sermon title on the sign in front of Mount Zion Baptist Church one Sunday morning: “There's going to be a hold up Sunday morning.”)7. It Is God's Instrument For World Evangelism - 1 Thessalonians 1:6-8 And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost: So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God–ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing. (I love to give an offering to missions! We can help support precious families as they cover the globe preaching the same gospel that we preach. Missionaries are the greatest people in the world! There is no greater calling than that. Carrying the Word of God to a world that needs Jesus Christ and we can help go by giving! We can go on organized visitation where we can personally witness to the Lost and occasionally see one get saved!)8. It Was There That I Heard The True Gospel Preached And Was Gloriously and Eternally Saved – Luke 18:10, 13-14 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican … And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. (If it weren't for the local church, this pastor would still be lost in my sin. I got saved on a Sunday night in an independent Baptist Church. Thank God for Bob Lamb! God laid it upon his heart to come to Madisonville, Ky and start a church under an old gospel tent! Barbara and I were saved because of it! Ask me why I love the local church!!)9. It Is A Place Of Comfort And Spiritual Joy - Psalms 122:1 I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD. (The church is a refuge; a stronghold; a place of peace and tranquility; a place where we come and enjoy the things of God. It is a place of comfort to the troubled and a source of joy to those who are hurting. It is in the church that you will find encouragement and help. It is in the church that you will find that you never walk alone.)10. It Is An Encouragement Filling Station - 2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. (We can get filled up at church. We can go to put something into the service and also to get something out of it. If you do not get a blessing, then it was because you were not blessable! I know blessable is not a word but I can make one up if I wanna! If you want a blessing, you will get one. If you do not want a blessing, don't blame it on anyone or anything but yourself. You get out of a church service what you put into it.)Conclusion: The Local Church Is Just A Little Bit Of Heaven On Earth - Psalms 84:1-12 How amiable are thy tabernacles, O LORD of hosts! My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God. Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O LORD of hosts, my King, and my God. Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah. Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them. Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools. They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God. O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer: give ear, O God of Jacob. Selah. Behold, O God our shield, and look upon the face of thine anointed. For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee. (If you don't like church, don't go to heaven! A lot of people have imagined a heaven that is not the heaven of this Bible. There will be praising and singing; there will be worship like we have never experienced; it is a prepared place for a prepared people! You won't like it there because church is a little bit of heaven on earth!)
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