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The Abomination of Abortion - Fundamental Baptist Preaching! KJV Life, babies, and motherhood are all under attack! God's people should not be apathetic about the debate over abortion!
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

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by Phil Johnson finally had an opportunity to see the documentary "Enemies Within the Church," and as promised, here is a candid review:  The Good     You need to watch this documentary. Its central message sounds a clear and necessary alarm that today's evangelicals (leaders and lay persons alike) urgently need to hear and heed. It is a two-hour video presenting undeniable evidence that influential forces within the church have been (and still are) working hard to advance an agenda that is rooted in neo-Marxism, overlaid with identity politics, and peppered with postmodern jargon. In other words, countless Christians are being force-fed an ideology that comes from the world, not from Scripture. It is being pushed in our seminaries and churches with tactics (and a lot of financing) taken from secular left-wing sources. The worldview and values these change-agents promote are clearly influenced by radical feminism, the sexual revolution, academic elitism, socialist tenets, and critical theory. Those who traffic in these ideas don't necessarily sound overtly hostile to the authority of Scripture. Instead, they subtly undermine moral principles, vital doctrines, and the gospel itself. They subvert historic evangelical convictions by lobbying for Woke doctrines and liberal trends while relentlessly warning evangelicals that the church will lose the next generation, maybe even die, if we don't stay in step with the drift of the secular intelligentsia. This is by no means a new phenomenon. There is an easily traceable line of descent that runs from the Socinians of the 16th and 17th centuries through the Deists and Unitarians of the 18th century, the modernists of the 19th century, the liberals and pragmatists of the 20th century, and the Emergents of the 21st century. Today's Wokevangelicals are following identical lines of argument, employing similar rhetoric, and drifting in the same direction as all of those previous departures from evangelical orthodoxy. In 1887, The Sword and the Trowel (Charles Spurgeon's monthly journal) published two articles titled "The Down Grade," by Robert Schindler. A fierce polemical war ensued and lasted for several years, known as "The Downgrade Controversy." Anyone who has read about Spurgeon's final years of ministry knows of this controversy. Spurgeon himself and most who were close to him believed the stress of fighting the Downgrade hastened his death. He died less than five years after publishing Schindler's articles. Robert Schindler's (and Spurgeon's) whole point was that the path of liberal apostasy is well-worn and familiar, and it should therefore be obvious to any vigilant observer when a church, educational institution, denomination, or Christian leader starts down that path. As the title suggests, Schindler noted that it's a steep downhill path, so once any person or group takes that turnoff, it becomes nearly impossible to stop the movement downhill. Schindler was warning against the modernist influence that infected the Baptist Union in Victorian England, but his words are totally applicable to the current drift of Wokevangelicalism. Be forewarned: "Enemies Within the Church"—like those 1887 articles in The Sword and the Trowel—will be deeply controversial. Sadly, many believers will conclude that the controversial nature of the documentary basically nullifies its message. After all, aren't Christians supposed to love one another? How can we warn against the influence of fellow church members and not be guilty of divisiveness? But the New Testament is full of admonitions to be on guard against destructive influences within the church. These are wolves in sheep's clothing (Matt. 7:15)—"fierce wolves [that] will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them" (Acts 20:29-30). We are commanded to "to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 3)—especially against those who want to rewrite the faith anew for each generation. This documentary does a superb job in that task, and for that reason I commend it. The cinematography is stunning. The editing is superb. The story is told in a clear and compelling way. The message is poignant. Overall, I give the production high marks, and I hope it gains a large audience. The Bad     I should, however, mention that I have a few minor theological quibbles. The narrator (Cary Gordon) and several of the featured faces seem to be from Wesleyan backgrounds. That's not my complaint (though I'm a Calvinist). If there was any overt Arminianism in the presentation, I didn't notice it. On the whole, they did a fine job. But at times speakers mentioned points of doctrine that I thought should have been presented with greater care, or omitted completely. For example, around 47:40, one of the interviewees mentioned John 1:14, "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us." Pastor Gordon replies, "That means the Old Testament was made flesh in Jesus Christ." "Yup," says the interviewee. Pastor Gordon continues: "So if we're to vilify the Old Testament and say we don't need it anymore, we're talking about some part of Jesus." "No!" I say out loud. That's not what the apostle John is saying. The expression "the Word" throughout John 1 is a reference to Christ in his eternal glory, not the Old Testament. I share Pastor Gordon's contempt for the idea that Christians don't need the Old Testament, but it's not necessary make that point by getting sloppy with our exegesis of John's gospel. Still, that's a disagreement that doesn't materially affect my endorsement of the film. It doesn't alter or diminish the validity of the larger central message. A bigger objection of mine would be the way the documentary deals with the Ten Commandments. Here again, I agree with the point the documentary apparently wants to make, but I'm not completely satisfied with how they make it. Here's the part I agree with: Postmodern evangelicals do overemphasize the love of God and deliberately truncate what Scripture says about sin, righteousness, and judgment—to the point where most in the evangelical movement today seem to think the whole gospel message is that God is love, or that God loves you in particular. The documentary correctly points out that we have not preached the gospel at all if we don't deal with the problem of sin and call unbelievers to repentance (Acts 17:30). (I also agree that anyone who says the Ten Commandments have no relevance for Christians is an antinomian. And when you try to syncretize Wokeism with evangelicalism, antinomianism is one of the inevitable, and spiritually deadly, results.) Nevertheless, I wish the documentary had taken greater pains to make clear that the Ten Commandments are not the gospel, or even part of the gospel. They are a prelude to the gospel—a tutor that points us toward Christ and the gospel (Gal. 3:24). The gospel itself is a message about the work of Christ to liberate us from the bondage of sin and the condemnation of the law. The heart of the gospel is the doctrine of justification by faith—not the Ten Commandments. I'll mention just one other nagging complaint: I think what the documentary says about pietism vs. political activism seems to imply that these are the only two options in a fairly well-defined either/or choice for Christians. But lots of godly, biblically astute, reasonable Christians are neither pietists nor political Zealots. They recognize that churches tend to lose their focus and sometimes even cease preaching the gospel when they become immersed in unbridled political activism. The true remedy for what ails both the evangelical movement and secular culture is not something that can imposed by legislation. Nor can righteousness be achieved by Christians flexing their collective political clout. "If a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law" (Gal. 3:21). Dominionism is a corruption of the church's true agenda (Matt. 20:25-26). The disciples, not the party of the Zealots, are our role models in seeking to turn the world upside down. The Ugly     Now, if you've seen the online chatter surrounding the release of this documentary, you may be aware that there's a noisy squad of smart-alecky Zealots who began badgering a list of conservative Christian leaders who had previously spoken out against the influence of Wokeism. The Zealots demanded endorsements for this documentary almost as soon as it appeared in a downloadable format. Their nagging quickly turned to ugly public taunts and accusations. I don't believe the documentary's producers were directly involved in or keenly aware of that campaign of harrassment. In fact, Judd Saul, the project's director, responded graciously to all the noise by making sure I had a speedy opportunity to see the full documentary. I would have eventually watched it anyway and most likely posted a recommendation, but I appreciate Judd's efforts to link me up with a timely review copy. Still, those unauthorized efforts to promote the film by browbeating men in Christian leadership have prompted me to say once again that nothing undermines biblical discernment and the cause of truth more deeply and hurtfully than haughty controversialists who act like they firmly believe they are the kingpins and custodians of the cosmic war against false teaching. They seem to think the truth is best advanced by intimidation, insults, crass language, and caustic rhetoric. Passages like 1 Corinthians 13:4-7; Galatians 5:22-23; and 2 Timothy 2:24-25 have no obvious impact on their dealings with others—because as they will point out, undiscerning people misuse those texts to justify their refusal to contend for the faith. But that doesn't give spiritual warriors license to ignore those features of true Christlikeness altogether. My counsel: Beware of anyone who treats captiousness as sport. Frankly, such people actually undermine the cause of truth, and in their own way, they can be just as dangerous to the spiritual health of the church as the out-and-out Marxists. One Final Thing     Virtually all the negative pushback I have seen aimed at "Enemies Within the Church" has come from Southern Baptist sources. The Conservative Baptist Network promoted the film and announced that they would host the premier on the campus of Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary. The President of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary protested the showing and Tweeted an open letter expressing with "deep disappointment but strong conviction," a charge that the documentary contains "scandalous and scurrilous slander." What about that claim? What is the right response to those who claim the documentary is slanderous? Let me speak plainly: I don't have the time or the need to investigate and verify every individual claim made in the documentary. "Enemies Within the Church" echoes an opinion I have stated many times already, so yes I emphatically agree with the central message. Most of the claims made are either well-established facts, or they are sufficiently documented in the film itself with video records and direct quotations. Plus, the clear and persuasive testimony of multiple eyewitnesses is hard to gainsay. So the documentary raises questions that need to be answered. It points out issues that need to be addressed. It highlights problems that need to be corrected. To single out a disputed claim or two and blow the whole thing off as "slander" would be a monumental mistake. Deconstructing the critics' concerns by splitting hairs over terminology or by denying that Critical Race Theory (CRT) has infiltrated Baptist seminaries is not an adequate answer to the concerns raised in this documentary. We've all seen the videos where Baptist seminary professors do parrot rhetoric from CRT sources. The concerns raised by this film cannot be sidestepped or pushed aside. They must be answered. For the record, I didn't notice any factual claims in the documentary that struck me as questionable. Some statements were made that I would like to see thoroughly documented. For example, a critic might claim that some of the connections drawn between various people and organizations may or may not be more tenuous than the narration noted. However, it would be ludicrous for any biblically minded believer to deny that large-movement evangelicalism is speeding quickly in a bad direction; that some of the very best leaders in key evangelical institutions do not appear to be trying very hard (if at all) to reverse the drift; and that many other key leaders are aggressively promoting wokeism, identity politics, and other ideas that clearly obscure the straightforward simplicity of the gospel. Those are all legitimate—and weighty—concerns. In the 1970s, all conservative evangelicals regarded the Sojourners organization as a left-wing outlier and a threat to orthodoxy because of the socialist and radical political agenda they were pushing. Today that point of view is considered mainstream in the larger evangelical movement. Such a profound shift does raise vital questions (or should I say "serious doubts"?) about whether we are truly together for the same gospel. "Enemies Within the Church" demands a careful inquiry and answers to those questions. Phil's signature
5 Imperatives for Preachers I recall the first time a little girl asked me to sign her Bible after I had preached in the fall of 1972. Signing my autograph was easy, but I knew it was customary for preachers to put a verse beneath their names. For some reason, 2 Timothy 4:1–8, came to my mind and since then I have always used those verses with my signature. When God called me to preach, I knew I had very little to offer God, but I knew that His Word was powerful and could change lives forever. I have asked God to let my preaching be dominated with His Word, rather than my opinion, my advice, or my experiences.I love the admonition of Paul to Timothy—preach the Word! Preach means “to cry out, herald, or exhort.” Haddon W. Robinson states, “Preaching should so stir a man that he pours out the message with passion and fervor. Not all passionate pleading from a pulpit, however, possesses divine authority. When a preacher speaks as a herald, he must cry out ‘the Word.' Anything less cannot legitimately pass for Christian preaching.”Paul goes on to say in 2 Timothy 4:2,“…be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” Like a military officer, the aged apostle gives five important imperatives to young Timothy as he begins his ministry of preaching.1. ReadinessThe command to, “Be instant in season, out of season” carries the picture of a soldier on duty, ready for battle at any moment. Dr. B. Myron Cedarholm used to tell us “preacher boys” in college to always be ready, “To preach, pray, or die.” Preaching is not something we do only when we feel like it or when the audience is receptive to our message. Later in verses 3–4, Paul reminds us, “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; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” Harold T. Bryson reminds us that “the proclaimer of God's Word needs to stay with the task of preaching whether he feels like it or not…. The preacher must be faithful to preach the Word regardless of whether listeners welcome it, reject it, or ignore it.”2. ReproveThe next imperative—to “reprove”—applies to human reason. This word carries the idea of a lawyer cross-examining or questioning a witness. Refuting error or proving something wrong is a huge part of the preacher's responsibility. A few verses earlier in 2 Timothy 3:16, the Holy Spirit reminds us that the Word of God is profitable for reproof. In Titus 1:9–11 we see that a preacher must be one who is, “Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake.” Ephesians 5:11 states, “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” Bryson explains, “To reprove in preaching means to present the axioms of the Christian faith or to refute in a reasoned manner the errors marshaled against the faith.”3. RebukeIn the first century, the verb rebuke referred to moral censure. When people turn from the truth of God's Word, often the next step is into sin. As preachers, we must be willing to confront people with what the Bible says about their sin. In 1 Timothy 5:20, Paul stated, “Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.” In Titus 1:12–13, he says, “…the Cretians are always liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith.” Like Nathan of old, the preacher must be willing to expose sin and declare, “Thou art the man.” Preaching must reach the conscience of a man if change is to take place.4. ReviveThe word exhort in our passage has a double meaning, in that it means “to comfort” as well as “to urge.” Many today are hurting in despair, discouragement, and disappointment. The preacher must revive the heart of the despondent with the Word of God. But he must also urge and persuade the apathetic to action. Reviving the indifferent to obedience is needed today in this Laodicean age of “going through the motions” and “comfort zone” Christianity. The need of this hour is revival, and the preacher of God's Word must exhort God's people to awaken out of their sleep and redeem the time.5. RemainThen Paul tells the preacher that he must do all of this with, “All longsuffering and doctrine.” Preaching requires a faithful patience. The seed must be sown, then watered, cultivated, fertilized, and, in time, harvested. James uses the farmer as our example in James 5:7–8: “…behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and the latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts….” As we are faithful, God promises to give the increase. “For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it” (Isaiah 55:10–11). No other endeavor in life promises those kinds of results!Bryson again writes, “Anyone desiring to be a preacher must hear the imperative, ‘Preach the Word!' and then begin to obey the mandate. Preaching the Word is the task of a born-again believer who has received a unique call of God. When God calls anyone to expound the Bible, He bestows the gift of expounding. God gives abilities to interpret, skills to communicate, and competence for speaking. But God's gifts do not come without human cooperation. The preacher must study the Bible, learn people's needs, develop communication skills, learn sermon organization skills, and develop constantly in the many areas of the preaching task. To preach the Word means to act as if everything in preaching depends on God and to work as if everything depends on the preacher. Preaching involves a pilgrimage full of glories, challenges, discouragements, delights, failures, improvements, and possibilities.“The message of the biblical preacher is the most important message in the world. It calls for an all-out human effort coupled with the supernatural moving of the Holy Spirit, in both preparation and presentation. This involves hard work. There is no substitute.”Preaching requires a 24/7 commitment. The message cannot be separated from the messenger. Good food served with dirty hands is undesirable. The construction of our homiletics and the condition of our hearts must be in harmony.
A new Gallup survey reports that for the first time in American history, church membership nationwide has dropped below 50 percent. This past year has been a challenging one for pastors and churches. Although there are multiple factors that have contributed to decreased church attendance and membership, the Covid-19 pandemic has certainly brought them to a head. Consider these reasons that may factor into the decline: Government mandates and media: Having liberal governors and secular news media tell people for months on end that they should not to go to church has taken its toll. Some of the decrease in membership we're seeing is a result of the onerous activities of overreaching government and fear-mongering media.  Broken homes: In our church, we have many single parents who are raising their family in church. I greatly respect them and thank the Lord for their faithfulness. But across our nation, as the fabric of the family is being torn apart, one staple of life that has fallen by the wayside is church attendance. Where there used to be continuity of values passed down to children through the family, now there is strife and sometimes even a ridiculing of those values. Secular humanism in education: After more than a generation of secular humanism being taught in public schools and universities, the unavoidable result is young people believing they don't need God. In fact, as you look at the church membership poll from Gallup, you see that while the majority of Baby Boomers and older are holding strong in church affiliation, the younger generations are seeing less of a need for God or church. Retiring leaders: Many pastors are retiring, and fewer younger men are responding to God's call to ministry. The two-fold result is that more churches are left without pastors and fewer new churches are being planted. The churches without a pastor struggle to sustain meaningful gospel outreach. Meanwhile cities around our nation are expanding, but church planting efforts are not even close to keeping up. Simply put, we need more young men to surrender their lives to preach the gospel and to train for soulwinning-based ministry. This is why we continue to train laborers for Christ at West Coast Baptist College.Laodicean church: It's no surprise that unsaved people would become less interested in things of God. The real grief is that churches, like the Laodicean church of Revelation 3:14–20, are lukewarm to the Lord and to the needs around them. In fact, it may be that the real story behind the decreasing church membership is decreasing gospel outreach. If fewer churches are passionately and strategically saturating their communities with the good news of Christ's death, burial, resurrection, and offer of salvation, it stands to reason that fewer people would be trusting Christ and following the Lord in baptism and church membership.So, considering the data and these contributing factors, why do I say that local churches can flourish in 2021? 1. The World Needs the Message We HaveThink of it this way. The first three factors—government mandates, broken homes, and secular humanism—are all reasons people need the Lord more than ever. You may remember a Gallup survey in December that revealed the only group of Americans whose mental health improved during the pandemic were those who attended church frequently. It may be that the decline in membership represents churches that didn't actually preach the gospel of Jesus Christ as the only way to salvation from sin. Or it may be that churches that do preach that message have become less bold in doing so. In either case, the fact remains, Bible-believing churches still have the only message every person in this world needs. 2. The Lord Is Able to Revive His ChurchBut if the first three reasons point to a world that needs the Lord, the last two point to churches that need the Lord. Where we have become lukewarm in our zeal for Christ and sharing the gospel, we need to heed our Lord's words to the church at Laodicea and repent:And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:14–20)Could it be that fewer young people are surrendering their lives to gospel ministry because they are not exposed to a fervent faith?Could it be that when Bible-believing churches return to their first love for Christ that the young people in these churches will have a desire to invest their lives in that which will last for eternity? Could it be that our communities are full of people who would gladly respond to the message of the gospel if people from our churches would go into the community and share our faith? A Fox News article commenting on the below-majority church membership poll pointed out similar possibilities:The poll suggested that major factors in helping spiritual leaders regain some of that lost membership included “spiritual programs geared toward children and teenagers, community outreach and volunteer opportunities, and dynamic leaders were also factors in their attendance.”“A focus on some of these factors may also help local church leaders encourage people who share their faith to join their church.”3. We Live in the Perfect Moment to Declare the GospelI believe that God has allowed this past year with the Coronavirus pandemic, in part, to expose our need for Him and for His power in ministry. I also believe that there are people in every city in whose heart the Holy Spirit is already working (Acts 20:23) and who will respond to the gospel if you and I will share it.Because our world needs the gospel and because the Holy Spirit will empower Christians to witness (Acts 1:8), gospel-preaching churches can flourish regardless of the cultural religious apathy of our day. So, I encourage you, pastor, preach the gospel this Sunday. People need the Lord. There are plenty of news articles to discourage you. There are statistics to distract you. But you have a message this world needs. Lift up Christ!And I encourage you, Christian, share the gospel this week. Don't let the media tell you the world is hopeless. You and I serve a risen Savior who gives hope and renewed purpose for living. And you and I know Him and can introduce others to Him. The church can flourish if we will, in the power of the Holy Spirit, declare the gospel.____________If you would like to be encouraged in both motivation and methods for declaring the gospel in this moment of history, I invite you to join us October 3–6, 2021, for Spiritual Leadership Conference here in Lancaster, California. Our theme for this year's conference is “Declare the Gospel.” Every service and every session will be centered on Christ and the why and how to share the good news of His death, burial, and resurrection. Additionally, we have added some afternoon opportunities to connect and collaborate with every conference speaker as well as the staff of Lancaster Baptist Church. I believe this will be the most encouraging and equipping Spiritual Leadership Conference we have ever had. I hope you will join us.Â
5 Imperatives for Preachers I recall the first time a little girl asked me to sign her Bible after I had preached in the fall of 1972. Signing my autograph was easy, but I knew it was customary for preachers to put a verse beneath their names. For some reason, 2 Timothy 4:1–8, came to my mind and since then I have always used those verses with my signature. When God called me to preach, I knew I had very little to offer God, but I knew that His Word was powerful and could change lives forever. I have asked God to let my preaching be dominated with His Word, rather than my opinion, my advice, or my experiences.I love the admonition of Paul to Timothy—preach the Word! Preach means “to cry out, herald, or exhort.” Haddon W. Robinson states, “Preaching should so stir a man that he pours out the message with passion and fervor. Not all passionate pleading from a pulpit, however, possesses divine authority. When a preacher speaks as a herald, he must cry out ‘the Word.' Anything less cannot legitimately pass for Christian preaching.”Paul goes on to say in 2 Timothy 4:2,“…be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” Like a military officer, the aged apostle gives five important imperatives to young Timothy as he begins his ministry of preaching.1. ReadinessThe command to, “Be instant in season, out of season” carries the picture of a soldier on duty, ready for battle at any moment. Dr. B. Myron Cedarholm used to tell us “preacher boys” in college to always be ready, “To preach, pray, or die.” Preaching is not something we do only when we feel like it or when the audience is receptive to our message. Later in verses 3–4, Paul reminds us, “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; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” Harold T. Bryson reminds us that “the proclaimer of God's Word needs to stay with the task of preaching whether he feels like it or not…. The preacher must be faithful to preach the Word regardless of whether listeners welcome it, reject it, or ignore it.”2. ReproveThe next imperative—to “reprove”—applies to human reason. This word carries the idea of a lawyer cross-examining or questioning a witness. Refuting error or proving something wrong is a huge part of the preacher's responsibility. A few verses earlier in 2 Timothy 3:16, the Holy Spirit reminds us that the Word of God is profitable for reproof. In Titus 1:9–11 we see that a preacher must be one who is, “Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake.” Ephesians 5:11 states, “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” Bryson explains, “To reprove in preaching means to present the axioms of the Christian faith or to refute in a reasoned manner the errors marshaled against the faith.”3. RebukeIn the first century, the verb rebuke referred to moral censure. When people turn from the truth of God's Word, often the next step is into sin. As preachers, we must be willing to confront people with what the Bible says about their sin. In 1 Timothy 5:20, Paul stated, “Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.” In Titus 1:12–13, he says, “…the Cretians are always liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith.” Like Nathan of old, the preacher must be willing to expose sin and declare, “Thou art the man.” Preaching must reach the conscience of a man if change is to take place.4. ReviveThe word exhort in our passage has a double meaning, in that it means “to comfort” as well as “to urge.” Many today are hurting in despair, discouragement, and disappointment. The preacher must revive the heart of the despondent with the Word of God. But he must also urge and persuade the apathetic to action. Reviving the indifferent to obedience is needed today in this Laodicean age of “going through the motions” and “comfort zone” Christianity. The need of this hour is revival, and the preacher of God's Word must exhort God's people to awaken out of their sleep and redeem the time.5. RemainThen Paul tells the preacher that he must do all of this with, “All longsuffering and doctrine.” Preaching requires a faithful patience. The seed must be sown, then watered, cultivated, fertilized, and, in time, harvested. James uses the farmer as our example in James 5:7–8: “…behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and the latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts….” As we are faithful, God promises to give the increase. “For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it” (Isaiah 55:10–11). No other endeavor in life promises those kinds of results!Bryson again writes, “Anyone desiring to be a preacher must hear the imperative, ‘Preach the Word!' and then begin to obey the mandate. Preaching the Word is the task of a born-again believer who has received a unique call of God. When God calls anyone to expound the Bible, He bestows the gift of expounding. God gives abilities to interpret, skills to communicate, and competence for speaking. But God's gifts do not come without human cooperation. The preacher must study the Bible, learn people's needs, develop communication skills, learn sermon organization skills, and develop constantly in the many areas of the preaching task. To preach the Word means to act as if everything in preaching depends on God and to work as if everything depends on the preacher. Preaching involves a pilgrimage full of glories, challenges, discouragements, delights, failures, improvements, and possibilities.“The message of the biblical preacher is the most important message in the world. It calls for an all-out human effort coupled with the supernatural moving of the Holy Spirit, in both preparation and presentation. This involves hard work. There is no substitute.”Preaching requires a 24/7 commitment. The message cannot be separated from the messenger. Good food served with dirty hands is undesirable. The construction of our homiletics and the condition of our hearts must be in harmony.
See previous "Grace Notes" Newsletters In this edition: 3 Fresh new PowerPoint Sermons First Timer Info. from Pastor Jerry: "I love expository preaching -- letting the Word of God do the work of God.  And it's amazing how God makes the topics fit the needs of the hour for each and every person present.  And then when you talk on delicate subjects it is not you speaking but the Lord.  And the reason you dealt with it is not because of a present issue in the church but because it was the next subject in the text.  God bless you and HIS ministry thru you there!" Just released: 3/22/09 - "Captivity" - 1 Kings 12 Amazing similarities exist between Israel and America - from their founding to civil war to sinful rejection of God...to the 70 year captivity!   Click to see the Series 3/22/09 - "Construction" - Ezra / Nehemiah Anytime the people of God say let us rise up and build the devil and his forces rise up in opposition. Rebuilding Jerusalem, the Temple, and the Walls, and the coming reunification of Israel.     3/18/09 - "Good Words for Bad Days" - 2 Thessalonians 1:1-12 Bad words may be the first to come to mind when times are hard. But our text has some encouraging good words, particularly right now. Click to see the Series Stimulus Sale!  Best Deal!          The Complete Collection [save $630 for a limited time only!]   Now over 80% off!  [The Joshua Series and 2008 Topical Sermons have been added for free thru this offer, below...] DO YOU HAVE 'THE COMPLETE COLLECTION'? Special pricing good thru the end of this month...   Get it on CD ROM or by instant download alternate link if above does not work  The Complete Collection Special Offer:  All 21 Series we offer by Instant Download     +Bonus: "Ark Almighty" "Allah is NOT My God" "Middle East for Dummies"         For a limited time, only...price subject to change!                       [1600+ Files!]                "Complete  Collection"                 $149.99   [$780.00 Value!]                                The Complete CollectionEverything we offer [all 21 series] in simple download format. 1600+ Files! Includes newly released series. Price: 149.99 USD You save $630 when you order the above!  And there's free shipping / no waiting when you use Instant Download …    Or, get it by mail in about 3 days on a CD ROM here.   [Hurry --  Prices subject to change] First Timer?...Here's some Tips on getting the helps you need:    We work hard to gather the best of free resources from numerous corners of the globe, and it's our privilege to share them all for free with you simply for the furthering of the Gospel, the growth of the Kingdom, and the joy of sharing!    Please feel free to copy and paste any of Pastor Jerry's original manuscripts from the site.  You are free to use them in live services without giving credit, along with the PowerPoint visuals provided.  Our CD ROMs are available by snail mail or Instant Download as a convenience only, but your purchases help support this growing ministry.  There are many benefits to getting our resources in this way, but as always, all materials are free to copy from the site if you don't mind the work and know how to retrieve them.    Have you heard?  All of our collections are downloadable, instantly.  It’s the same CD-ROMs only without the CD.  Download straight to your hard drive on up to 3 PCs, and burn a copy to take with you if you want.  No waiting, no shipping charges, and all files and folders are organized for you with no need for conversion or re-formatting.   Prices listed good for 1 week only.  Click link below for any recent changes. Click here to see our “Instant Download” Page Official PayPal Seal Or, place your order right here, below...    [no waiting, no shipping]     "There's a few thousand of you who now subscribe to these free 'Grace Notes' ...and for every one of you there's a hundred more who use the site regularly...to God be the glory!  God has used the tool of your POSITIVE RECOMMENDATIONS over the last 4 years to make this all possible.  It's all free because of those of you who use the voting links on each sermon, and it helps spread the Word of God at the same time. Sermon Central is where many of you learned of this ministry, and they have changed their voting to the 'star system'.  [rate up to 5 stars with a click]  It's easier than before and I think better.  In 10 seconds you can make a difference in 3 simple steps:  1.) Click on the 'recommend' button under any sermon on our site  2.) The same sermon will open up in a new page on the SC site...click on the 'rate this sermon' link right below the 5 stars  3.) Click on the far right star to give the highest recommendation if you can." Bonus Sermons included only in the "Complete Collection":    Noah's Ark PowerPoint Sermon "Ark Almighty" - Hebrews 11:7 Uses "Evan Almighty" theme - GET SAVED, GET RIGHT, GET INTO CHURCH!  How parents of today can construct an ark of protection for their household.          Muslim PowerPoint Sermon"Allah is NOT My God" - Genesis 16:11-12 The real ‘Path to 911’ started with Ishmael.  A study of the differences between Christians and Muslims, Jehovah God and Allah, and Jesus Christ and Mohammed.  Islam is not just another denomination down the street.  Learn what they believe and why, and the terrorism connection in light of Bible Prophecy.     Israel PowerPoint sermon - Lebanon War "Israel & The Middle East For Dummies"  - Genesis 12:1-3; 16:1-4; Psalm 122:6 Christians of all people should not be ignorant of these things, and the signs of the 'end times' now upon us. For a limited time these sermons come as free gifts when you order our ‘Complete Collection’   Call us if you have any trouble using your credit card thru PayPal:  217-877-0009 [Note:  We cannot process orders by phone, but still may be able to help with your online order or by snail mail order.  You may need to leave a message for call back.] If you prefer, you may send a check to:                  Grace Notes 3770 N. Water St Decatur, IL   62526 [please add $5 for processing and include the email address you'd like your download link sent to, or physical address if you prefer to receive it by mail as a CD ROM]  More questions?  Call us at 217-877-0009 or Write us.     You say:  "It's amazing that this ministry is free...no one else is doing this with Sermons and PowerPoints"    We say:  Please help keep it free by honoring our system:  By design and intent, this sermon service will always be free-but this is made possible by those of you who take the brief moment required to vote for the sermons after you click on them.  You do this from the link on each sermon’s page which says… Click here to recommend this sermon ministry to others.  Help spread the Word by casting your vote...it's a proven system that keeps this ministry free! If you don’t, it’s still free…But many thanks go to those who help make it free for everyone and are helping to spread the Word in the process…you too have the “spirit of sharing” and are a great part of this ministry!  How have some received a series at no cost?    Benefits to CD-ROMs: ·         No downloading, no waiting, no confusion. ·         No cutting and pasting.  Text comes completely formatted in Microsoft Word. ·         No hassles converting PowerPoint "pps" files to "ppt". ·         Already organized in folders for easy indexing. *Remember, all sermons on the site are free to download if you don't mind the work.    Your Feedback:   “I received my CD...these sermons will be a great help to me. My situation limits how much time I can put into sermon preparation.  Grace Notes gets me started, and then the Lord helps me to make it my own.”            Pastor-USA    Welcome to many new subscribers this week, you number in the thousands…to God be the glory!  You can help broaden our influence when you forward these links to others you believe may benefit.  They can sign up at the “Grace Notes” homepage.    Those who want to say “thank you”…please, just vote for the sermons at the link on each sermon’s own page and forward these links to others…it all helps this ministry expand which in turn helps the Kingdom of God to grow…which is what it’s all about. International Users:  Don’t forget to sign the GuestMap below and show us ‘where in the world you are!’ Free Guestmap from Bravenet.com Get a custom logo like ours at Faith's Attic   Have a wonderful day, be blessed, and enjoy!       Pastor Jerry Shirley & Grace Notes Staff                See our Help Section     See previous "Grace Notes" Newsletters
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