Sunday, June 16, 2013
Sunday, August 19, 2012
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Eternity is at stake...
(If the video doesn't work correctly, click HERE to get the original.)
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Thanks to J&J Bible Ministry at Truth Matters Blog, I have been introduced to a great website, I'll Be Honest.com. On this site you get real people with real testimonies about real conversions. Their purpose statement is as follows:
"I'll Be Honest is a web site that is focused on bringing Glory to God through video testimonies of Christians who have overcome the devil in their life through the Grace of God. Every single person alive battles the devil on a daily basis, and it is of great encouragement to see someone else testify to the saving power of the Grace of God. IBH is also focused on spreading the renown of Jesus Christ to the world through Open-Air Preaching and evangelism so that Christ might send revival!"
There are videos, online courses, blogs, and links on the site.
One of the videos that brought me to the site is included here. It is a young man who pulls no punches about his life and how it was transformed by the Gospel...NOT by a prayer said as an 8-year-old!
Sunday, November 09, 2008
This is a sermon from the Revival Conference 2008 in Atlanta. Pastor Paul Washer brings Ten Indictments of the American church and "nails them to the door," so to speak. It isn't your usual 30- to 40-minute "feel good" sermon. It takes time to listen.
Please do me a favor. Listen with a humble, contrite spirit. And as you listen, will you please quietly open your heart and instead of critiquing the sermon, ask God to show you where these indictments might be applicable to your life. Then in humble repentance, ask God to forgive you in the name of Jesus.
This is a sermon God could use to change the church...and I pray it would be so.
May you be blessed by the proclamation of the Word!
(If the embedded video doesn't work, click HERE to access it directly on YouTube.)
In case you didn't see it on my HomeDiscipling Dad blog, I am reposting this post-election muse here:
You might be a political junkie. You might be a hard-working dad who doesn’t have time to pay much attention. You might be a stay-at-home mom, diligently raising the next generation, barely having time to catch up with the news.
And you might be a dedicated Christian who understands the liberty upon which this nation was founded, and last week’s election results have you fearing the worst for our future and for the future of your children. It is a justifiable fear, based in facts. You are frightened. You are angry. You are bitter. You are lashing out. You read much, yet it doesn’t help but to add to the fear.
I know. I am that person.
Of all that I’ve read, though, there are three articles that stand out to me.
The first is by Dan Phillips of "Biblical Christianity" blog. Dan reflects on the wholly proper Biblical example of mourning for our country in light of what has happened. Our response shouldn’t be fear, anger, or bitterness, as much as mourning and crying to the Father for mercy.
The second is a link I found on Dan’s post to Betsy Markman’s blog, “Just Another Clay Pot.” She carries the idea of mourning and grief farther, and brings out the very important point that America is not in mortal danger because of who we have elected to office, but rather, America elected these people to office because we are in mortal danger! We are no longer a nation under God.
The third is a sermon by John MacArthur that was originally preached at one of the National Day of Prayer gatherings in the spring of 2008. (The transcript and the audio are available HERE.) In this sermon, MacArthur discusses the devolution of society when God removes His hand as illustrated in Romans 1 and shows how American culture has moved significantly down that road. He Scripturally backs up the contention found in Markman’s blog that we are no longer a nation under God.
If you read these resources, you will find they are not pleasant thoughts, for they illustrate a culture that is hurtling headlong into the abyss and anyone with a Biblically informed worldview living in this culture will see the future with trepidation. How could anyone not be concerned, especially parents who see a bleak future for their children? I know the arguments about Christians having their hope in heaven, and as a believer, my ultimate hope truly is in Jesus Christ… but I still live in this world and envision how it will be turned upside down in very short order. I am still mourning as Jeremiah did.
So what to do? What would a person who trusts his life to God in Jesus Christ actually do in this case?
Maybe we ought to get more involved in politics, fighting to take back the Republican Party from the moderates! Let’s flex our political muscles as a group!
While that’s quite appealing to me in the flesh, I know it’s not going to work, for it is like a million people attempting to bail out the ocean with teaspoons. No matter how hard they bail, the water is being replenished faster. If MacArthur is correct, God has removed His hand of protection from our country and it is only a matter of time before we lose all this country once was because our culture has already changed. Nothing we do politically will work. More confirmation of that thought comes from an eye-opening book I am reading entitled, "Idols for Destruction: The Conflict of Christian Faith and American Culture" by Herbert Schlossberg. The author does a fabulous job of showing how far our culture has drifted from the authentic Christian faith. Humanism is the rule of the day, even in most of our churches, influencing and affecting most everything we do, whether we realize it or not. Many Christians aren’t even aware how much we really don’t follow a Biblical worldview, even when we say we do! The results of this election are wholly in accordance with the humanistic cultural viewpoints Schlossberg brings out in his discussion. As our culture drifts farther and farther from the remnants of our Christian heritage, we will move closer and closer to socialism, decay, and loss of freedom. While battling in the political arena may postpone the inevitable, it will not stop it from coming, for our culture has changed to the point of demanding this change occur.
Is there any good news? In a word…Yes!
This is a wake-up call to the church, not to more and greater political involvement, but to more and greater reliance upon God and His claim on our lives. We are about to have our reliance upon the material world shattered. It will be painful, but if we will turn to God now, confess our sins, conform our lives to Scriptural principles, we can minimize that pain.
Even more importantly, though, is the church that is actually being the church expands God’s Kingdom by witnessing loudly to a culture lost in darkness. This is a church where Christians aren’t just cultural, but are Biblically informed, doctrinally sound, living lives directed by God’s laws and commandments. Puritan Samuel Bolton in his book, “The True Bounds of Christian Freedom,” wrote the following: “The Law sends us to the Gospel for our justification; the Gospel sends us to the Law to frame our way of life.”
You don’t have to look very closely to see that virtually all of us “frame our way of life” according to the culture instead of according to the Law of God.
This has to change! As people who know the Lord of all, we need to frame our lives around the Word instead of around the culture. This isn’t in order to be saved, but as a result of our salvation. We need to live in Christian community, involved with each others’ lives in love. John makes it clear in His Gospel that it is by our love for each other that people will know we are Christians. Dr. R.C. Sproul, Jr. at the Highlands Study Center says it best in their mission statement: “Simple, Separate, and Deliberate.” The Christians in their churches strive for lives that are simple. That way they have time for each other, both within the individual families and between families. They are separate in that they separate from the culture, not in a monastic fashion, but in the fashion that a life lived by Biblical principles will necessarily not follow the trends, but live in a manner that seeks the approval of the Father. This necessitates a Christian culture that is distinctly separate from the pagan culture of America. And of course, to do both of these, they must be deliberate in taking all things captive to the Word of God. This makes them a light on the hill that shines forth brightly in their little corner of the world. Imagine that being recreated all across this land! Imagine how the Kingdom would be expanded through true witness and conversions! Imagine how the culture would be impacted!
How about us? We go to our Bible Studies. We talk about being salt and light, but honestly…how’s that working for ya? Have you had many converts? Has your culture changed at all? Have you personally grown in holiness and sanctification? Salt is different than the surrounding food; light is different than darkness. If we continue to look like the culture, not only will we have no hope in changing that culture, but we will go down with them as God brings His judgment.
Let’s use these perilous times to call us back to the lives our Father would have us live: lives that are humble, repentant, growing in holiness and dependence upon our God, lives that every day reflect a new aspect of obedience to the commandments of our Lord, lives that live in Christian community and express Christian love for each other. In doing so, our Lord in heaven will be pleased, and maybe…He will show mercy to our land.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
As a person who works in one of the industries directly involved in the atrocity that was 9/11/01, today marks a day that indelibly etched in my mind.
Steve Camp posts a video that does a very nice job of remembrance, while pointing us to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ....
Since it's his video and song, rather than embed it, I will give you the link... go HERE to spend five minutes in remembrance of those who died and those who rose to the occasion.
Monday, May 26, 2008
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Thursday, April 03, 2008
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
That tells me I hit an international nerve (the hits come from all over the world) with those posts and there are lots and lots and lots of people out there who are struggling with this issue in their married relationships (if you aren't married and this is a problem, it's an easy fix: quit fornicating...for you shouldn't even be in this situation in the first place!!!).
The purpose of revisiting this topic is to guide you to a five-part series of posts by a woman that discusses the concept of a woman being sexy for her husband. I won't even begin to try to play amateur psychologist and venture a guess as to why women wouldn't want to do this...but apparently it is a problem...and if it were addressed, it would lead to a solution to part of the problem with the withholding affection issue. Part One of this series can be found HERE and links to each of the subsequent parts are found at the end.
So...to the ladies who happen by, please click over and take what she has to say to heart. For the men... it's not a bad series to read to help develop an understanding of what your wife may be feeling regarding sexual intimacy.
Regardless... the glory of God is at stake in marriages, and God expects His children to thoroughly enjoy the gift of sexual intimacy within the bounds of marriage. That we don't is an indication of our fallen nature as well as the pains that have been introduced by the lies of our culture regarding sex.
Therefore, if you are married, don't withhold! If you are single and burning with passion, get married!
Friday, February 22, 2008
Monday, December 31, 2007
From Christianity Today Online
I remember as a little child hugging my father's leg at a gas station only to realize it wasn't his leg I was hugging. I was embarrassed! It was a case of mistaken identity.
In the matter of evangelism, I'm concerned about a number of things that people take to be evangelism that aren't. And this case of mistaken identity can have consequences more serious than mere embarrassment. Let me mention five things mistaken for evangelism.Imposition
Probably the most common objection to evangelism today is, "Isn't it wrong to impose our beliefs on others?"
Some people don't practice evangelism because they feel they are imposing on others. And the way evangelism is often done, I can understand the confusion! But when you understand what the Bible presents as evangelism, it's really not a matter of imposing your beliefs.
It's important to understand that the message you are sharing is not merely an opinion but a fact. That's why sharing the gospel can't be called an imposition, any more than a pilot can impose his belief on all his passengers that the runway is here and not there.
Additionally, the truths of the gospel are not yours, in the sense that they uniquely pertain to you or your perspective or experience, or in the sense that you came up with them. When you evangelize, you are not merely saying, "This is how I like to think of God," or "This is how I see it." You're presenting the Christian gospel. You didn't invent it, and you have no authority to alter it.Personal Testimony
One of the classic testimonies was given by a blind man Jesus healed. When he was questioned after Jesus healed him, he responded, "Whether he [Jesus] is a sinner or not, I don't know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!" (John 9:25). The man disregarded the menacing threats of those more honored and respected than he in order to give this verbal witness to the power of God. It's a wonderful, powerful testimony, but it's not evangelism. There is no gospel in it. The man didn't even know who Jesus was.
An account of a changed life is wonderful and inspiring thing, but it's the gospel of Jesus Christ that explains what it's all about and how it happened.Social Action and Public Involvement
Being involved in mercy ministries may help to commend the gospel, which is why Jesus taught, "Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven" (Matt. 5:16). Displaying God's compassion and kindness by our actions is a good and appropriate thing for Christians to do. But such actions are not evangelism. They commend the gospel, but they share it with no one. To be evangelism, the gospel must be clearly communicated, whether in written or oral form.
When our eyes fall from God to humanity, social ills replace sin, horizontal problems replace the fundamental vertical problem between us and God, winning elections eclipses winning souls.Apologetics
Other people mistake apologetics for evangelism. Like the activities we've considered above, apologetics itself is a good thing. We are instructed by Peter to be ready to give a reason for the hope that we have (1 Pet. 3:15). And apologetics is doing exactly that. Apologetics is answering questions and objections people may have about God or Christ, or about the Bible or the message of the gospel.
Answering questions and defending parts of the good news may often be a part of conversations Christians have with non-Christians, and while that may have been a part of our own reading or thinking or talking as we came to Christ, such activity is not evangelism.
Apologetics can present wonderful opportunities for evangelism. Being willing to engage in conversations about where we came from or what's wrong with this world can be a significant way to introduce honest discussions about the gospel.
By far the greatest danger in apologetics is being distracted from the main message. Evangelism is not defending the virgin birth or defending the historicity of the resurrection. Apologetics is defending the faith, answering the questions others have about Christianity. It is responding to the agenda that others set. Evangelism, however, is following Christ's agenda, the news about him. Evangelism is the positive act of telling the good news about Jesus Christ and the way of salvation through him.The Results of Evangelism
Finally, one of the most common and dangerous mistakes in evangelism is to misinterpret the results of evangelism—the conversion of unbelievers—for evangelism itself, which is the simple telling of the gospel message. Who can deny that much modern evangelism has become emotionally manipulative, seeking simply to cause a momentary decision of the sinner's will, yet neglecting the biblical idea that conversion is the result of the supernatural, gracious act of God toward the sinner?
When we are involved in a program in which converts are quickly counted, decisions are more likely pressed, and evangelism is gauged by its immediately obvious effect, we are involved in undermining real evangelism and real churches.
The Christian call to evangelism is a call not simply to persuade people to make decisions but rather to proclaim to them the good news of salvation in Christ, to call them to repentance, and to give God the glory for regeneration and conversion. We don't fail in our evangelism if we faithfully tell the gospel to someone who is not converted; we fail only if we don't faithfully tell the gospel at all. Evangelism itself isn't converting people; it's telling them that they need to be converted and telling them how they can be.
From The Gospel and Personal Evangelism by Mark Dever copyright © 2007, adapted from pages 69-82. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.com.
Copyright © 2007 Christianity Today. Click for reprint information.
The Gospel and Personal Evangelism is available from ChristianBook.com and other retailers.
John G. Stackhouse Jr. addressed "What Conversion Is and Is Not" in a 2003 article.
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Friday, November 02, 2007
I know that often, people are overwhelmed with the considerable number of "good" things available in life. Just think how many opportunities your church offers. Then add in the good extracurricular activities for your children. Then add in your own personal time with God. It doesn't take very long for a person's calendar to become saturated and a person's life to become overwhelmed. And yet, the thought is that they are all "good" things and therefore shouldn't be missed.
Our church has a very good mission statement. It is broad enough to cover virtually anything that could arise at the church and yet specific enough to provide a good filter for maintaining direction. It is: "Bethlehem Baptist exists to spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ." Take some time to consider this statement. Look at how general, yet how specific it is. There is a distinct direction, yet there is broad application. The statement itself is then broken down into its parts, with each part described and discussed, to include the Scripture and Biblical principles behind it. In practice, every new idea, every new program is processed through that mission statement. If it doesn't contribute to the mission, it isn't adopted...regardless of any other merit it may have. In effect, this statement gives our elders the ability to discern opportunity from distraction.
This is what we as families need. We need a mission statement that will give us guidance and set a direction for us. If we will work to develop a statement along the lines of what BBC has as a church (broad enough to cover most aspects of life, yet specific enough to provide direction) and if we will base it on Biblical principles...we will give intentional direction to our lives and to our families. Once developed, this statement becomes a filter through which you as a family can process all opportunities in order to discern true opportunities from distractions.
A person or a family with Bible-saturated, God-centered direction is a person or a family that is intentionally building the Kingdom of God in this dark and wicked world. They are intentional. They are focused. They are bound together in common work. They are witnesses to the world. And above all, they are witnessing the love of God through Jesus Christ to their sphere of influence.
May I challenge you to sit down with your spouse and begin to hammer out a vision, a direction for your family? You will be blessed in the long term for doing so.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
That should be the life of the Christian today. If we are following closely to Jesus, we should expect to be targeted by Satan for sifting, but we should also expect that Jesus will pray for our faith not to fail. We will endure hardships of all kinds, yet those hardships will draw us closer to Christlikeness as they strip away our self-reliance. The end result is a stronger, more Christ-dependent believer who makes a bigger impact for the Kingdom of God.
This entire thought is is stark contrast to the "health, wealth, and prosperity" message being preached at so many "successful" churches today. Below are John Piper's thoughts on these sorts of messages...and he pulls no punches and even loses some of his normal eloquence in the emotion of the moment.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
The Peculiar Pilgrim writes a wonderful muse that started with a Pyromaniacs post on a concept Dan Phillips terms as the "responsibility index." I would encourage you to click over and read the Pilgrim's thoughts. If you want to read the post that started it all, you can click on the Pyro link at the beginning of this paragraph or you can click on the link in Pilgrim's post.
HERE'S Pilgrim's post...enjoy and be edified!
Saturday, October 06, 2007
So, to give you a glimpse of what I'm trying to get across, here is a YouTube video of a portion of one of Washer's sermons in which he describes the conversion of a man who has been given only three weeks to live. It is anything but what we in America have been taught about how to "lead people to Christ." There is no question the man is saved in the end...not because a human being told him he was saved based upon the repetition of a canned prayer, but because the Holy Spirit confirmed it in the man's soul!!!
May we all know a salvation like this...and it can be found if you will just humble yourself, turn from your sins (repent), and throw yourself at the mercy of God at the foot of the Cross of Jesus. Don't stop until God Himself has made it clear you have been saved, for only the Holy Spirit can truly tell a man he's been saved.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Jim Bublitz at OldTruth.com has a wonderful article/testimonial dealing with this question in real life...and how so many of our trite Christian responses just aren't correct. He ends with a YouTube video of a gentleman with a phenomenal testimony to God's grace through a lifetime of suffering. The next time you have something go wrong, think of these two gentlemen and how they place their whole life in God's hands, regardless of where it takes them. Take the time to watch and listen. You will be blessed.
You can get to it all by clicking HERE.