Monday, May 28, 2012

An Unconverted Ministry

Zechariah 11:15 Then the LORD said to me, "Take again the equipment of a foolish shepherd.

George Tennant wrote a famous booklet called "On the Danger of an Unconverted Ministry" which helped to start the First Great Awakening in 1741. In it he says of the ministers of his day, They comfort people before they convince them; sow before they plow; are busy in raising a Fabrick, before they lay a Foundation. These fooling Builders do but strengthen Men's carnal security, by their soft, selfish, cowardly discources. They have not the Courage, or honesty, to thrust the Nail of Terror into sleeping souls……Poor Christians are stunted and starv'd, who are put to feed on such bare Pastures, and such dry Nurses…..O! it is ready to break their very hearts with grief, to see how lukewaarm those Pharisee—-teachers are in their public discources, while sinners are sinking into damnation, in Multitudes!

Sadly, that doesn't sound that far off in the year 2012.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Book Recommendation

The book that I recommended at the Bible study tonight is called "The Calvary Road" written by Roy Hession. It is an awesome read! You can get it free on Amazon for electronic download at...

http://www.amazon.com/The-Calvary-Road-ebook/dp/B002RKS6WK/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1338172841&sr=8-2

Friday, May 25, 2012

Laws of Virginia in 1610

Have you ever wondered why we go to church on Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday? It came about in the Virginia Colony in 1610 as a means to restore order. The law stated that "All preachers and ministers within this our colony or colonies shall, in the forts where they are resident, after divine service, duly preach every Sabbath day in the forenoon and catechise in the afternoon and weekly say the divine service twice every day and preach every Wednesday."

Do you know what failure to do so meant? The law states, "As also every man and woman shall repair in the morning to the divine service and sermons preached upon the Sabbath day in the afternoon to divine service and catechizing, upon pain for the first fault to lose their provision and allowance for the whole week following, for the second to lose the said allowance and also to be whipped, and for the third to suffer death."

Apparently, our founding fathers understood something that we've obviously forgotten.

A Gentle Reminder

1 Peter 1:12 So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have.

In lieu the choice that we have in what manner we are going to enter Heaven, Peter feels compelled to remind his readers. We all need gentle reminders of how the choices we make in this life will affect us not only in this one but also the next.

Illustration: There's much truth in saying that every man is the architect of his own fate. Your choices affect your destiny. Out of a rough block of stone one man may make a beautiful statue, and another, gravel. Both products are good and useful under certain conditions. But a statue can be immoral in conception, and gravel can be the grudging and punitive work of a criminal condemned to a rock pile. The point is, whether you are a gifted artist or a competent gravel maker, you can choose whether to use your abilities worthily or unworthily. In building a Christian life you also have the same choice.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Therefore Go!

Matthew 28:19  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

"Any religion that does not consider itself valuable enough to share with nonbelievers is fated to crumble from within." – Will McRaney

Friday, May 18, 2012

A Dog and Its Vomit

2 Peter 2:19-22 They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity--for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him.  (20)  If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning.  (21)  It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.  (22)  Of them the proverbs are true: "A dog returns to its vomit," and, "A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud."

Peter now expresses his concern about the danger of following these false teachers. He says that those who follow them are actually "worse off at the end than they were at the beginning". In other words, it is better for a person to have never known a thing in the world about Jesus than to hear some truth, hold to it, and later reject it. Greater revelation has a greater accountability. The more one knows the more God holds them accountable for.

Peter goes on to say that "it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them". Some see this passage as describing a man who has lost his salvation and there is no doubt that we all know plenty of people who appear to have done just that. However, I'm not convinced that they were ever saved to begin with.

Peter then describes them as a dogs who have returned to its own vomit and pigs who returned to the mire. So is the man who hears, tastes and sees the good things of God and turns right back into his sin.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Compelling Reminder

Peter says in 2 Peter 1:12, So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have.
 
In lieu of the choice that we have in what manner we are going to enter Heaven, Peter feels compelled to remind his readers. We all need gentile reminders of how the choices we make in this life will affect us not only in this one but also the next.

There's much truth in saying that every man is the architect of his own fate. Your choices affect your destiny. Out of a rough block of stone one man may make a beautiful statue, and another, gravel. Both products are good and useful under certain conditions. But a statue can be immoral in conception, and gravel can be the grudging and punitive work of a criminal condemned to a rock pile.

The point is, whether you are a gifted artist or a competent gravel maker, you can choose whether to use your abilities worthily or unworthily. In building a Christian life you also have the same choice.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

New Chapel Message

Just posted a new chapel message under the Audio Topical Studies called. "How to Hear God".

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Patience is Still a Virtue

The story was once told of a woman driver whose car stalled in traffic and she was unable to get it restarted. The fellow who was behind her, and thus unable to move, thought it necessary to constantly show his impatience by honking his horn every few seconds. Finally, the woman walked back to his car and said, "If you will go try to start my car, I'll stay here and honk your horn for you."

In the Image of God

Genesis 1:26 Then God said, Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness;

People are created in the image of God. That fact gives our students worth, value, and dignity. It is important that our theology of human beings filters into our teaching ministry. We must see each and every student as a distinct individual worthy of respect. Great teachers see students in this way. Great teachers come to understand that ministry goes beyond just passing on information or stimulating thought. Great teachers give their students the respect due a fellow human being. And students detect it and are changed by it.

Richards, Lawrence O.; Bredfeldt, Gary J. (1998-03-01). Creative Bible Teaching (Kindle Locations 4038-4042). Moody Publishers. Kindle Edition.

Monday, May 14, 2012

No Greater Fool

Proverbs 10:10 He who winks maliciously causes grief, and a chattering fool comes to ruin.

It has been said that there is no greater fool than a man who is a fool and doesn't know it.

Mother's Day

Exodus 20:12 Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

Did you know that the three highest attended Sundays in North America is Christmas, Easter and Mother's Day?

Did you also know that one of the lowest attended Sundays in North America is Father's Day? That's another thought for June.

Do you know the history of Mother's Day?

A HISTORY OF MOTHER'S DAY
Mother's Day, in one form or another, has been around a long time.  In Ancient Greece, a celebration honoring mothers occurred every Spring. In the Middle Ages, a custom called Mothering Sunday began when children who often left home early to learn a trade or become an apprentice, would be released from work every year on the fourth Sunday of Lent to attend church with families.  As they returned home, they often took cakes or little gifts to their mothers.  This was termed "going-a-mothering." To this day, Mother's Day in the United Kingdom is celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent.

It was in 1872 that Julia Ward Howe suggested the idea of Mother's Day in the United States.  The cause was taken up by Anna Jarvis, a pastor's daughter.   She felt the scars of the Civil War could be healed by mothers--and by honoring mothers.  She died in 1905 before her dream of establishing a holiday could be fulfilled.  But her daughter, also named Anna, took up the cause.
 
Anna had been deeply influenced by her mother, and she often recalled hearing her mother say that she hoped someone would one day establish a memorial for all mothers, living and dead. Anna had been particularly touched at twelve while listening to her mother teach a Sunday school class on the subject, "Mothers in the Bible."  Mrs. Jarvis closed the lesson with a prayer to this effect:  I hope and pray that someone, sometime, will found a memorial mother's day.  There are many days for men, but none for mothers. Anna never forgot that moment, and at their mother's  graveside service, Anna's brother Claude heard her say …"by the grace of God, you shall have that Mother's Day." Anna thus began a campaign to establish a national Mother's Day.  She and her supporters began to write a constant stream of letters to ministers, businessmen, politicians and newspaper editors.  She spent a fortune trying to attract attention to her idea, and took every opportunity to give speeches, send telegrams, or write articles promoting her cause.

On the second anniversary of her mother's death, May 12, 1907, Anna led a small tribute to her mother at Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church in Gafton, West Virginia.  She donated five hundred white carnations, her mother's favorite flower, to be worn by everyone in attendance.  On this first Mother's Day service, the pastor used the text, "Woman behold thy son: Son, behold thy mother." (John 19:26)  That same day a special service was held at the Wannamaker Auditorium in Philadelphia, which could seat no more than a third of the fifteen thousand people who showed up.
 
After that, things begin to take off.  Various states jumped on the bandwagon, officially proclaiming a Mother's Day each year, and, in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson officially established Mother's Day, a national holiday to be held on the second Sunday of May.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Sunday, May 6, 2012

What Happened to Dogmatism?

1 Timothy 1:19-20 keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith.  (20)  Among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan, so that they will be taught not to blaspheme. (NASB)

AW Tozier once said, "We have gotten accustomed to the blurred puffs of gray fog that pass for doctrine in churches and expect nothing better. From some previously unimpeachable sources are now coming vague statements consisting of a milky admixture of Scripture, science, and human sentiment that is true to none of its ingredients because each one works to cancel the others out. Little by little Christians these days are being brainwashed. One evidence is that increasing numbers of them are becoming ashamed to be found unequivocally on the side of truth. They say they believe, but their beliefs have been so diluted as to be impossible of clear definition. Moral power has always accompanied definite beliefs. Great saints have always been dogmatic. We need a return to a gentle dogmatism that smiles while it stands stubborn and firm on the Word of God that lives and abides forever."

Friday, May 4, 2012

Empty

I got this from our office manager today and thought it was a good laugh to share!

Little Emily was complaining to her mother that her stomach hurt. Her mother replied, "That's because it's empty. Maybe you should try putting something in it." The next day, the pastor was over at Emily's family's house for lunch. He mentioned having his head hurt, to which Emily immediately replied, "That's because it's empty. Maybe you should try putting something in it."

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The More Sure Word

2 Peter 2:19 says, And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.

The KJV translates this verse, We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

Peter is pointing to the fact that we do not only have his and the other apostle's word as to the truth he is speaking, but also the more sure word of prophecy and we would do well to pay attention to it.

For example, Jesus fulfilled 332 Old Testament prophecies regarding Him being the Messiah.  Statistically, it has been calculated that the probability of any one man fulfilling eight of these prophesies is one in 100,000,000,000,000,000 (10 to the 17th power). That number of silver dollars would cover the state of Texas two feet deep. Stoner says that if you consider 48 of the prophecies, the odds become one in 10 to the 157th power.