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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
CIA Made Remote-Controlled Dogs With Brain Surgery... (First column, 1st story, link) Advertise here
Randall Stephens's history pays attention to political and cultural flash points—without losing focus on the music itself.Every few years, it seems, what some call the “mainstream media” rediscover Christian rock. Sometimes it’s treated with reverence and respect, as in John Jeremiah Sullivan’s now-classic 2004 account of tagging along at a Christian music festival for GQ. More often, it’s treated like a sociological oddity: a strange footnote in the history of American pop, a foreign culture to be explained with an anthropologist’s rigorous eye. Just this September, The New Yorker’s Kelefa Sanneh wrote a mini-history of Christian music (“The Unlikely Endurance of Christian Rock”) that took the genre seriously, but still contained whiffs of the incredulous stance preferred by many music writers: Can you believe that band you like—take your pick from among U2, Bob Dylan. Paramore, Evanescence, Switchfoot, Sixpence None the Richer, The Killers, and the list goes on—might actually be Christian?What Sanneh’s piece got right, thankfully, was its attention to just how common Christian pop music is today—how central it is, in sometimes unrecognized ways, to American popular culture. (Though when he says this would have been hard to imagine in 1969, I’m not so sure; “Spirit in the Sky” was a hit single that year, and the previous year saw the release of perhaps the most overtly religious rock record of all time, The Electric Prunes’s Mass in F Minor.)Indeed, Christian rock has had a strange and circuitous journey back to the center of American culture. Randall J. Stephens’s The Devil’s Music: How Christians Inspired, Condemned, and Embraced Rock ‘n’ Roll describes this sometimes paradoxical path. Stephens traces the roots of ...Continue reading...
6 Characteristics of a Disciple-Making Church—Part 1 The Great Commission of Christ is to share the gospel and make disciples.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.—Matthew 28:19–20Sometimes I paraphrase it, “go, win, baptize, teach.”Yet, as clear as this commission—this mission statement of the local church—is, it is easy to become distracted.Sometimes if we honestly ask, “Are we really making disciples, or just superficial converts?” the answer may be uncomfortable.In a day of comfortable Christianity, testimonies like the Apostle Paul who was stoned and left for dead and then the very next day went on to preach in the next city (Acts 14:20–22) are unheard of. We need renewed tenacity in reaching and building people from the Word of God.Jesus spent approximately half of His three years of public ministry purposefully investing in training twelve leaders—making disciples.A disciple-making church, then, will be a Christ-centered church.What are the characteristics of a disciple-making church?1. A Christ-Centered PhilosophyFor the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.—Luke 19:10Jesus came to seek the lost. A Christ-centered church will actively, passionately, and purposefully seek to reach people with the gospel.This will not be a side goal; it will be a consuming mission from the pulpit to the pews.But it doesn't stop there. A Christ-centered church will put a priority on training disciples (2 Timothy 2:2) and teaching people to share their faith. The goal of the Great Commission has never been that the pastor and a few especially-committed Christians share the gospel. It is that every Christian would share the church's God-given mission to reach the world with the gospel.2. A Christ-Centered MotivationFor the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:—2 Corinthians 5:14If our motivations as spiritual leaders are fleshly, new disciples will not bear spiritual fruit.Motives make a difference, and ours must remain the grace of God (2 Timothy 2:1), the love of God (2 Corinthians 5:14), and the Word of God (Acts 20:32).3. A Christ-Centered ApproachMoreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand…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:—1 Corinthians 15:1, 3–4Making disciples doesn't end with making converts, but it does begin there. To lead people to Christ—not just to ourselves or to repeating a prayer—we must be committed to consistent and thorough gospel presentations.When someone then makes a profession of faith, we must nurture their faith in the Lord and help them become grounded in biblical doctrine. This is why at Lancaster Baptist Church, we make consistent follow up after salvation a strong priority.From the time a person is saved until they are a faithful, growing member of our church, the soulwinner and adult Bible class leader work together to encourage steps of obedience and growth including baptism, enrollment in an adult Bible class, attending a new members class, and enrollment in our discipleship program. The goal of all of this is to help them become grounded in their personal relationship with the Lord.A Christ-centered, disciple-making church is the New Testament pattern. But it doesn't happen accidentally. It takes leaders and members who are individually Christ-centered and committed to His Great Commission, motivated by His love, and consistent in their biblical approach to leading people to Christ.In part 2, we will look at three more characteristics of the Christ-centered church that relate to the church's culture and environment for growth.
Temple Baptist Church - 11-25-2018Isaiah 9:1-7Introduction:A. Some 740 years before the birth of Christ, God allowed the prophet Isaiah to look down the telescope of time and bring a message of hope to oppressed Israel and Judah. B. Isaiah gives the prophetic hope of the birth of a Child and the giving of a Son. The long awaited “seed of the woman,” Israel's Messiah: The Anointed One, the King, the Deliverer.C. The conditions were ripe, the stage is set, the Promise to be fulfilled.D. Thanksgiving sets the tone of the Christmas Season: thankfulness to God for His many blessings.E. A time of contemplation concerning the gift of God's Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ.F. The times in which the Messiah was born were dark times spiritually. The people “walked in darkness.” Thus, it is with the world today, in light of the Second Coming of Christ. The Light of God is being slowly turned off, the wicked riot in the day time now, the “god” of evolution is worshipped, and the Anointed One is coming.G. Verse 4: The Nation of Israel, God's Elect:1. They Carried the Burden of the Yoke of Sin. Yoke of His burden…A yoke was a tool that harnessed two animals together to pull a load. A description of the nation away from God. They were yoked to a burden they could not manage.2. They Bowed under the Tyranny of the Staff of the Flesh. Staff of His Shoulder…The staff was used by shepherds to keep the sheep in line. The reference here is to wrong leadership that has taken their freedom and liberty away.3. They Suffered under the Oppressive Rod of Satan. Rod of His oppressor…This instrument was used to beat animals and people that were out of line. Israel and Judah would suffer at the hands of their enemies.H. In verses 6-7, we see:1. We see the Cradle – “For unto us a Child is born.”2. We see The Cross – “A Son is given.”3. We see the Crown – “And the government shall be upon His shoulders.”I. Only Jesus can break the yoke, tyranny, and oppression of Satan.J. I want to look at that description of Christ in verse 6 for a few minutes.1. WONDERFUL – Marvelous or extraordinary – Exciting, surprising, astonishing, miraculous, powerful, incredible, exceeding, supernatural, admirable. Do you hear me tonight? That is our wonderful Lord Jesus Christ! Do you know my wonderful Lord?His name is Wonderful, His name is Wonderful,His name is Wonderful, Jesus my Lord;He is the mighty King, master of everything,His name is Wonderful, Jesus, my Lord.He's the great Shepherd, the Rock of all ages,Almighty God is He;Bow down before Him, love and adore Him,His name is Wonderful, Jesus, my Lord.a. He wonderfully saved my soul in 1976! What a wonderful thought that I will be in Heaven for eternity because He loves me.b. He wonderfully forgave all of my sin in 1976! Past, present, and future. I am both saved and secured through the Light of the World.c. He wonderfully changed the direction and desires of my life in 1976! What a wonderful change in my life has been wrought since Jesus came into my heart.d. His name became Wonderful to me! He is the sole reason of my praise!2. COUNSELOR – to give advice, to purpose, to devise or plan, to conspire, to manage causes in court.a. He counsels me when my heart is troubled.b. He counsels me when my faith is tried.c. He counsels me when my integrity is tempted.d. He has the remedy for all my problems! He knows all because He is the COUNSELOR! His advice is always good, His counsel is always right, and His path is always safe. He makes no mistake nor does He turn from His divine purpose. Ask and ye shall receive! Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not!e. Do you know my Counselor?3. THE MIGHTY GOD – strong, valiant, excelling, powerful, great, prevailing, authoritative, accomplished, extraordinary degree or quality in respect to size, character, importance, and consequences! That's my God! That's my Lord!a. He is mighty when I am weak.b. He is mighty when my enemy is strong!c. He is mighty when the winds and waves roll over my soul!d. He is mighty when the impossible becomes the probable.e. He is the Resource of my power!f. He can do anything at anytime, anywhere! When I have to “withstand in the evil day,” He stands with me. When I have done all and must continue to stand, He stands with and for me. That's my MIGHTY GOD! With Him, I can fear no evil. With Him, I can face tomorrow.g. Do you know my Mighty God?4. THE EVERLASTING FATHER – eternal in duration, never coming to an end, a begetter, a parent, the founder of a family, the head of the home, important, distinguished!a. As a Father, He loves me.b. As a Father, He has pity upon me.c. As a Father, He directs me.d. As a Father, He corrects me.e. As a Father, He protects me.f. As a Father, He provides for me.g. As a Father, He will never leave nor forsake me!h. Do you know my Father?5. THE PRINCE OF PEACE – of the highest rank, in the highest place, of the highest authority, He is the Sovereign, He is the Monarch, He is the Authority, He is the Son of a King, He is of royal blood, He is of great ancestry, there is no one like Him, He is of highest rank, He is the Head of the Church, He is preeminent, He is predominant.a. He brings stillness to my troubled soul.b. He brings rest in restlessness.c. He brings hope in hopelessness.d. He brings victory out of defeat.e. He is the Fairest of Ten Thousand to my soul!f. There were none before Him.g. There will be none after Him.h. He is the Manifestation of Peace.i. He is the Minister of Peace.j. He is the Master of Peace. k. Do you know Prince of Peace?Conclusion: He truly is indescribable! He is the “I AM THAT I AM!”TO THE ARCHITECT HE IS THE CHIEF CORNERSTONE.TO THE ASTRONOMER HE IS THE BRIGHT AND MORNING STAR.TO THE BUTCHER HE IS THE LAMB OF GOD WHO WAS SLAIN BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THIS WORLD.TO THE BAKER HE IS THE LIVING BREAD.TO THE CARPENTER HE IS THE MASTER BUILDER.TO THE DIPLOMAT HE IS THE PRINCE OF PEACE.TO THE DOCTOR HE IS THE GREAT PHYSICIAN.TO THE EDUCATOR HE IS THE MASTER TEACHER.TO THE ELECTRICIAN HE IS THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD.TO THE FARMER HE IS THE LORD OF THE HARVEST.TO THE FLORIST HE IS THE LILY OF THE VALLEY AND THE ROSE OF SHARON.TO THE GEOLOGIST HE IS THE ROCK OF AGES.TO THE HORTICULTURIST HE IS THE TRUE VINE.TO THE JEWELER HE IS THE PEARL OF GREAT PRICE.TO THE JUDGE HE IS THE RIGHTEOUS JUDGE.TO THE LAWYER HE IS THE CHIEF ADVOCATE.TO THE PHILOSOPHER HE IS THE WISDOM OF GOD.TO THE PUBLISHER HE IS GOOD TIDINGS OF GREAT JOY.TO THE SCULPTOR HE IS THE LIVING STONE.TO THE THEOLOGIAN HE IS AUTHOR AND FINISHER OF OUR FAITH.TO THE ZOOLOGIST HE IS THE LION OF THE TRIBE OF JUDAH.IF YOU'RE HUNGRY, HE'S THE BREAD OF LIFE.IF YOU'RE THIRSTY, HE'S THE FOUNTAIN OF LIVING WATER.IF YOU'RE BLIND, HE'S THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD.IF YOU'RE LOST, HE'S THE WAY.IF YOU'RE CONFUSED, HE'S THE TRUTH.IF YOU'RE DYING, HE'S THE LIFE.He is WONDERFUL - He is my DELIGHTHe is THE COUNSELLOR - He is my DIRECTIONHe is THE MIGHTY GOD - He is my DEITYHe is THE EVERLASTING FATHER - He is my DEFENDERHe is THE PRINCE OF PEACE- He is my DIFFERENCE
Most people who don't attend church are not making a conscious choice against it. Choosing requires awareness.Why are fewer people going to church? And what can we do about it?This may be the main topic of conversation among pastors today.For example, while scrolling through my Facebook feed last weekend, I came across multiple posts with sarcastic takes on how sad/interesting/ridiculous it is that people can get up early for a sale at Walmart or to sit on freezing seats for a sporting event, but they can’t get up for church on Sunday.Oh my.There are so many things wrong with that kind of thinking I hardly know where to start.Attendance (And Non-Attendance) Is Not A ChoiceShoppers and sports fans don’t choose to go to the store or to a game instead of going to church on Sunday.First, those acts are not mutually exclusive.Second, and most importantly, most people who don’t attend church are not making a conscious choice against it. Choosing requires awareness. And that awareness exists for fewer and fewer people every day.People aren’t deciding not to go to church on Sunday any more than they’re deciding not to drink a bowl of ketchup for breakfast. Sure, they could do it, but why would they?They haven’t rejected the idea of going to church. It simply isn’t on their list of options.They’re not lazy, they’re apathetic.Until we understand this, we will never have a chance to reach this generation for Christ.As long as we keep complaining about people not attending church services we will continue to miss actual opportunities to meet them where they are.It's Not About Church AttendanceGuilting people into church attendance won’t work.Offering them a better Sunday morning religious show won’t work.Convincing ourselves that getting people to attend church is equivalent ...Continue reading...
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