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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
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Link: https://www.ligonier.org/blog/gods-sovereignty-salvation-and-unity-trinity/Format: Web PageTopic(s): Contemporary Essays & ArticlesSovereignty of GodSovereignty of GodThe Sovereignty of GodAuthor(s)/Speaker(s): Steven J Lawson
To their credit, ABC’s Good Morning America marked Christmas morning by having in three Christian pastors to discuss the life of Christ and the Christmas message. The guests were Episcopal bishop Michael Curry (he appeared all over television), Rev. Heidi Neumark of Trinity Lutheran Church in Manhattan, and Catholic Cardinal Timothy Dolan, also based in Manhattan. (Neumark […]
Temple Baptist Church - 9-30-2018Ephesians 4:1-6Introduction: A. The most important unit on the face of the earth other than the family is the local church. It is the vehicle through which God works to:1. Evangelize the world.2. Teach new convert.3. Edify and encourage believers.4. Doctrinally ground the saints.5. Satan hates the local assembly! Satan hates the local church!B. I want to look at another great enemy of the church this morning.1. The Greatest Enemy Of The Church Is Not Satan (Though he is a great enemy)2. The Greatest Enemy Of The Church Is Not Finances (For God is not broke)3. The Greatest Enemy Of The Church Is Not Circumstances (For it rains on the just and the unjust)4. The Greatest Enemy Of The Church Is The Enemy From Within (The people who occupy the pulpits and sit upon the pews.) 5. The Enemy of Division.C. God hates division within the local church. Much is said about both the causes and results of division in the Bible. Satan has “devices” that he uses effectively against the believer and we are ignorant of them. Though I do not believe that either Satan or devils can indwell the believer, I do believe that they can greatly influence their thinking and actions.Acts 5:3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?D. I want to bring your attention to verse 3 for a minute. Let us look at the verse in reverse order.1. Peace – One of the greatest signs of a good church is that of peace. a) We have peace with God through the finished work of Christ. b) We have the peace of God through obedience to Christ. c) We have peace with each other through the love of Christ.2. Bond of peace. A bond is something in common that binds together. These go together with the first three points.a) The bond of a New Birth. We are family!b) The bond of a New Life. We are new creatures in Christ.c) The bond of a New Love. John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.3. Unity of the Spirit. Notice the capital “S.”a) As the Spirit is never divided from the Trinity.b) The Spirit never divides us from the Brotherhood.4. Keep.a) To watch or to keep an eye upon something. To watch for any sign of weakening or lessening. b) To carefully guard. To hold fast or keep from slipping.4. Endeavouring. a) Eagerness or Earnestness. Endeavouring takes desire.b) To diligently work at something. Endeavouring takes effort.E. The results of divisions within the church. 1. Division Destroys The Fellowship Of The Church. How good and how pleasant it is to come to Temple Baptist Church! People who love each other; have fun with each other; pray for each other; and are there for each other. (People sit on the pews of the church with malice and unforgiveness in their hearts destroy the fellowship of God's people.)2. Division Destroys The Commission Of The Church. What a great job this church has done for missions around the world. Probably 2-3 million dollars have gone to missions over the past 31+ years. Many souls saved around the world because of the faithfulness and faithful giving of God's people. (Missions has damaged churches because of gaining a family and then loosing a family through spiritual nonsense!)3. Division Destroys The Testimony Of The Church. We have a church that is well respected in our community. We do not have a bad name and people know what we stand for. (Church fights and splits have been detrimental to the prosperity of the church, both physically and financially.)4. Division Destroys The Posterity Of The Church. Psalms speaks of the assembly of the saints as a “nest” to raise children in. (Children both see and hear the ungodliness of the parents. It affects their spirituality and, eventually, they are lost.)5. Division Destroys The Worship Of The Church. People have different views of what true worship is. True worship is when we elevate Jesus Christ and not man. Worship must be done in the beauty of holiness. Worship must be done in both spirit and truth. (God and His Holy Spirit are grieved with this division and worship is neither holy nor acceptable.)6. Division Destroys The Evangelism Of The Church. People may come to a divided church, but the will not stay at one. People who out of God's will never win souls to Christ. (Instead of keeping our eyes upon the harvest and doing all that we can to win souls, our time is spent in bitterness and souls are lost.)7. Division Hinders The Prayers Of The Saints. One of the most important things that we do at Temple is pray. God's house is called “THE house of prayer.” We pray for so many things and have so many people on our prayer lists. Prayer must be protected. (Malice and unforgiveness are sins and when we regard iniquity in our hearts, our prayers go unheard.)Conclusion: I want to read verse 3 again.Ephesians 4:3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Christian digital broadcast television network, TBN Salsa has successfully reached millions of homes in America via TV and online streaming but now the English speaking network ran by Latinos and owned by Trinity Broadcasting Network is prepping to reach more on cable.
by Hohn ChoBen Sasse sells Runzas at a Cornhuskers game.Ben Sasse sells Runzas at a Cornhuskers game.enator Ben Sasse (R-Neb) is a solid Christian brother who was an "elder in the United Reformed Churches in North America and served on the board of trustees for Westminster Seminary California" and is currently "a member of Grace Church, a Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) congregation" located in Fremont, Nebraska. He has been outspoken about his faith and his values while avoiding a blindly loyal Republican party line and maintaining a healthy (and I believe appropriate) amount of nuance, including in this recent speech on Justice Brett Kavanaugh. And whether or not one might agree with him on everything—he has been quite plain with his concerns about President Donald Trump, for example—it has been encouraging to see a Christian brother navigating with integrity the dirty field of politics.He's just written a book entitled, "Them: Why We Hate Each Other—and How to Heal" and an adapted excerpt of it is available here. Longtime conservative columnist George Will has covered it briefly but well, with a powerful pair of paragraphs here:Loneliness in "epidemic proportions" is producing a "loneliness literature" of sociological and medical findings about the effect of loneliness on individuals' brains and bodies, and on communities. Sasse says "there is a growing consensus" that loneliness—not obesity, cancer or heart disease—is the nation's "No. 1 health crisis." "Persistent loneliness" reduces average longevity more than twice as much as does heavy drinking and more than three times as much as obesity, which often is a consequence of loneliness. Research demonstrates that loneliness is as physically dangerous as smoking 15 cigarettes a day and contributes to cognitive decline, including more rapid advance of Alzheimer's disease. Sasse says, "We're literally dying of despair," of the failure "to fill the hole millions of Americans feel in their lives."... Work, which Sasse calls "arguably the most fundamental anchor of human identity," is at the beginning of "a staggering level of cultural disruption" swifter and more radical than even America's transformation from a rural and agricultural to an urban and industrial nation. At that time, one response to social disruption was alcoholism, which begat Prohibition. Today, one reason the average American life span has declined for three consecutive years is that many more are dying of drug overdoses—one of the "diseases of despair"—annually than died during the entire Vietnam War. People "need to be needed," but McKinsey & Co. analysts calculate that, globally, 50 percent of paid activities—jobs—could be automated by currently demonstrated technologies. America's largest job category is "driver" and, with self-driving vehicles coming, two-thirds of such jobs could disappear in a decade.I've always appreciated whenever science and statistical studies confirm basic truths which have been set forth in the Word of God for millennia. The emerging data regarding loneliness are no exception. Starting from Genesis 2:18, when God declared, "It is not good for the man to be alone," the entire sweep of human history has focused on relationships, whether vertical or horizontal. And our great God has always cared deeply about those relationships, even exemplifying them perfectly in the awesome three-in-one mystery of the Trinity. In the Old Testament, we see the history of the covenant people of Israel, and their relationships both inside and outside of that group. Likewise, in the New Testament, we see the history of the covenant people of the church, and their relationships both inside and outside of that group.Outside the church, we see the imperative of evangelism, of "Go therefore" from the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20, to all nations, with the joyful truth of the Gospel and discipleship in the Word of God. In Romans 10:14-15, we read how preachers of the Gospel are to be sent to unbelievers, with even the preachers' feet being praised as beautiful. And in the second Great Commandment in Mark 12:31, we know that we are to love our neighbors even as we love our own selves. All of these verses and concepts demonstrate the critical importance of relationships with the outside world.Meanwhile, inside the church, we see the glorious beauty of the one anothers, those commands which believers can only fulfill in Christian fellowship and the corporate assembly. It's a truth reinforced by the image of the church as the Body of Christ in Romans 12:5, Ephesians 3:6, Colossians 1:24, and perhaps most extensively in 1 Corinthians 12:12-27, where we see that each member has a diverse role and function, and that only when working together as an organic whole is the Body truly operating as God has arranged and intended. Ideally, the Body of Christ ought never be a place where any member suffers chronic loneliness born from the negligence or apathy (much less hatred) of the brothers and sisters in his or her local church.And yet as an elder in a relatively large church with approximately 5,000 members and many more regular attenders, concerns like these are the ones that really tie up my stomach into knots and drive me to my knees in prayer. How many of our members struggle with loneliness and alienation? How many people "slip through the cracks" and depart, feeling uncared for and unloved? We've had a homebound ministry for as long as I can remember, and several years ago, a godly, hypercompetent man named Justin Harris greatly improved and streamlined our membership and attendance processes before becoming the senior pastor at another blessed congregation, and it's both a joy and a relief to the elders to know that our members can be contacted regularly if certain needs or challenges might be resulting in extended absences.But what about the rest of the Body of Christ, such as newer folks, or those who attend only sporadically, or perhaps even people used to participating only on the fringe? I know and understand that members themselves have a responsibility to be faithful and avail themselves of the ordinary means of grace, but what about my own role as a fellow member of the congregation and even more, as a servant-leader of my own particular local body? How can we better serve these beloved brothers and sisters, especially in a culture and age where singleness has become the norm for much longer periods of time, thus delaying or removing the traditionally and biblically normative alleviation for loneliness, specifically marriage and, Lord willing, family?I have only two suggestions in this regard. First, strive on and remain diligent in your efforts (Proverbs 13:4). Do not weary of doing good (Galatians 6:9-10), be devoted to one another with brotherly love and preferring one another in honor (Romans 12:10), even regarding one another as more important than ourselves (Philippians 2:3). And when you're tired, pray for God to supply you with strength (1 Peter 4:11), knowing that the power of Christ is perfected in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9), and that when we are weary and heavy-laden, our Savior will give us rest (Matthew 11:28).Second, and far more importantly, the Scriptural truth is that God is the only one who will never leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6). He is the one we must turn to when we are lonely and afflicted (Psalm 25:16). Even if our own parents were to forsake us, God will receive us (Psalm 27:10). And Jesus Christ is with us to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20), nothing can separate us from His love (Romans 8:35), and indeed, He is even dwelling inside of us in perfect union (Romans 8:10, Galatians 2:20)! Not only that, but He has sent His Holy Spirit to dwell inside of us (Romans 8:11, 1 Corinthians 3:16, 2 Timothy 1:14)! And as I reflect on the many missionaries and martyrs who have been imprisoned for years and even died physically all alone, I believe that conveying and reinforcing these incredible truths from the Word of God to every member of the Body of Christ can only serve to help them in the area of loneliness.When we see well-formulated scientific studies showing the gravely detrimental effects of loneliness, it offers yet another reason why I believe the increasing obsession over ethnicity in the church today is such an unfortunate distraction. Among broader societal ills, I've written previously about why I believe abortion is arguably more than 5,000 times as important of an issue as, say, police shootings of unarmed people of all ethnicities. But even within the church itself, as someone who has a righteous hatred of ethnic partiality and believes actual sin in this area ought to be confronted and purged from the visible Body as much as possible, I still have to wonder whether issues such as loneliness might be an even more dire—if perhaps less stylish—concern than ethnic partiality, just as issues relating to adultery, divorce, and pornography might be an even greater corruption of our visible Christian witness. And as I strive to shepherd the portion of God's flock that He has placed under my care, I pray that I will always strive to be sensitive enough to reach out proactively to those brothers and sisters who seem perhaps a little bit out of place, out of sorts, or even out of hope, no matter what their ethnicity might be.Hohn's signature
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