The Gospel

The Gospel

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Filling In the Gaps

Here is a wonderful explanation of the Gospel as given by a friend of mine...

Did I Miss Something

In all that I saw and heard in this video I seemed to have missed the "evangel"...

maybe it just wasn't there...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Making the Most of Your Sunday

Do you have children? Do you ever wonder how you can prepare yourself and your children for the time that you will spend in a Sunday service hearing the glories of the Gospel. I have three daughters and even though we diligently work at teaching them how to behave, sit, and participate in the service there are times when things don't go as we had hoped. If you have ever experienced such things you are not alone.

My cousin is a pastor at Edgewood Baptist Church in Indiana and he recently commented on how he prepares his children for the Sunday services. He reminded me that we take great care in preparing our children for school each day and we should do the same for our time together each week. I would be interested to hear your thoughts after you read this short article.

The Unavoidable Truth on Abortion

Since Rick Warren's Forum with the two presidential candidates the issue of abortion has been the focus of much of the media's attention. Denny Burk has an interesting article on the inconsistency of one of the presidential candidates. Is it a lack of memory? Is it a lack of truth? I will let you make that decision. CLICK HERE

Monday, August 18, 2008

Sharing a meal

There is something special about sharing a meal with people, especially those you care deeply about. This desire to gather around food is a God given desire that reminds us we desire to share a great supper (a marriage supper) in the comfort, protection, and presence of our King, Jesus Christ.

On Yesterday, our church shared together the Lord's Supper. Before we enjoyed the meal together, we looked into God's word to see what the Bible tells us about this special meal and why it is so different from all the rest.

Dr. Russell Moore has written that the Lord's Supper is a sign...something to point us backwards to what God has done and also point us forward to what God will ultimately do.

As we gather together, we are telling each other that share with us that we are FAMILY, united in Christ. He is our brother and God is our Father. Each one that shares with us is also our brother and sister in Christ. No matter what nation or tribe or tongue you may be; in Christ we are now family. We are also celebrating that a SACRIFICE has been made and accepted through the death of Jesus Christ on the cross for our sins. We have been reconciled to God. We proclaim that we are waiting a KINGDOM where we will join with all the saints of God through out time and with Jesus Christ our King and share in a marriage supper that will be unrivaled. We proclaim there is still something left to be done...we are awaiting the return of Christ who has said he will share that meal with us.

The next time you partake with your church I hope you will be reminded of some of these promises of God.

Do Statistics Lie?

In the much anticipated political forum with Pastor Rick Warren, John McCain and Barack Obama, one of the most interesting questions was one related to abortion.

When asked when a baby gets human rights, Obama seemed to side step the issue by saying it "was above his pay grade". He went on to add that "abortions have not gone down over the last eight years".

Unfortunately, the statistics don't back this statement up according to an article published by Kathleen Doheny of US News.

Is abortion a critical issue for men and women of faith, particularly those in the Christian Church. As Obama said, it is a moral issue. I believe it is very critical. Does life begin at conception? Does it begin at birth? Where do we find the answers to such questions. I believe we can find them in God's word.

Certainly abortion is not the only major issue for those of the church, but it is one of the most important. If we can kill (abort) un-born children who are not wanted, then there is little to stop us from using the same logic in killing the handicapped, those in comas, those who are old, those battling cancer...or (as in some countries) those children who are not male....

As a father of three, I love my three daughters. As much as I love them, God loves them even more. The Bible teaches me that they are each a special gift from God, not an inconvenience to my regular routine and schedule. They are each made in the image of God with dignity and worth as a human. They are each one also sinners from birth who are in need of a Savior to rescue them from their sins. I have a responsibility to teach them, train them, discipline them, love them and raise them in the fear and admonition of the Lord. This began as I prayed for them before my wife and I ever conceived. It continued as they were being formed in the womb and will remain until God calls them home.

If we as a church truly believe in the sanctity of human life we must seek to preserve it from the womb to the grave...and also seek to rescue those born into this world by directing them to the One who came to bring life and to bring it more abundantly.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Great Provision

God has richly blessed us through out our ministry. We have seen many joys and trials that God has used to shape us and to conform us to His Son's image.

Today, we finally moved into our new home. Over the last several days we have been trying to get all the things we owned moved in. What is interesting is that we have seen how much stuff we have...and how much stuff we don't need. But often what we do with our stuff is to hide it away so it can't be seen. Yet, it is there, even un noticed, holding us down, creating clutter and not allowing us to maximize the full potential of the space we have.

We often do the same thing with sin in our lives. We don't rid ourselves of it, we just slide it around, call it something else, hide it from view and pretend it is not there, all the while it ways us down, holds us back and gets in the way.

When we look to Christ and trust in His work for our salvation, all of our sins are laid on His cross and he bears the full weight and burden for them. We don't need to hide them, he sees them anyway. We can give them over to Him, let him cleanse us and clean us out from the inside and prepare us for greater service for His Kingdom and lives lived for His glory.

Monday, August 11, 2008

How Firm A Foundation

This past Sunday in my first "official" sermon at Bethel Baptist Church I thought that it would be appropriate to clarify the gospel. While it would be wonderful to think that ALL the people in a particular church have looked to Jesus Christ as their substitute and Savior that is not always the case.

In fact many in the church have become a "Christian" in name only, with out ever showing the fruits of such a conversion. Our Salvation is firm not based on the sincerity of the faith of an individual; the works of an individual; or even the amount of tears that are shed as one walks to the altar. The firmness and security of our salvation is rooted in the person and work of Jesus Christ as the sufficient sacrifice for sins.

When one has rested in this finished work of Jesus Christ and has set aside their feeble attempts at righteousness in their own strength and abilities we can sing and rejoice confidently that Jesus will never, no never, no never forsake us.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Racism and the Church

Is racism dead? Our experience and culture around us tells us 'no'.
Is racism dead in the church? According to a recent article in a national paper the answer is also 'no'.
It was once said that the 11:00 AM hour on Sunday mornings was the most segregated hour in the country. While statistics can be deceiving at times, the fact that this perception is still labeled onto the church is alarming.

The Bible tells us that ALL men are sinners and that God does not show partiality.
The Bible also tells us that in Christ, there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free. In God's eyes 'races' are an illusion. There are only two kinds of people...Sinners and Sinners saved by grace.

The church should certainly not be the most segregated group of people. The church should be full of all kinds of people, from all kinds of backgrounds who come together because of one commonality - faith and hope in Jesus Christ as our Redeemer, Savior, and Brother.

There is no room for racism in the Kingdom of God. Racism is a sin that needs to be nailed to the cross. Do you show partiality to those who look different than you? Or do you long for the day when men of all nations, tribes and tongues will bow at the feet of Jesus. I pray that our church will give us a small glimpse of that future reality as our pews begin to fill up with all kinds of people, sinners, coming to trust and follow Jesus.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Have It Your Way

A man in Jacksonville, FL, has demonstrated that the heart of a man is immensley wicked. Apparently not happy with the way his Subway sandwich was made, a recent customer called 911 to complain that his sandwich did not have the appropriate sauce.

We live in a culture in which we want everything when we want it, how we want it and we want it now. More than just revealing the particular pallet of this man, we see how wicked and gready people are - even about things that seem utterly pointless.

We act and respond as if we deserve to have the greatest and best all the time and when we don't get it we pitch a fit like little children. The depravity of man is great - in fact the Bible tells us we are dead in our sin.

The Bible tells us there is something we do deserve - death for the wages of our sin. In fact that is exactly what we will get - eternal seperation from God in Hell...

Or...we can look to the One who was sent by God to redeem us from our sinful state, to pay the penalty for our sin and to give us a new heart that is no longer a slave to our sinfulness but a slave to Him, walking in newness of life and pursuing His glory above our own selfish needs.

Maybe you have never called 911 for Ketchup. But we all are deeply selfish and love to pursue our own appetites. When you look to Jesus Christ your appetites will gradually be conformed to look alot like His...seeking to find our appetites filled not on what we can grasp with our hands but with all the our Father longs to bless us with through His Son Jesus Christ.

Our Family

We tend to think of our family as those who share our DNA. Henry the 8th was so consumed with DNA that he committed some atrocious acts. In the Kingdom of Christ our family is bigger than our DNA and it is closer too. We are family of orphaned, women, children,...people of all races and nationalities; who once were not a family, but now because of the blood of Jesus Christ (our brother) we now share a common ancestry. One that is bigger than bloodlines and family trees.

When I think of my family I not only think of my wife and children and my sisters and my parents; but I also think of my other sisters and brothers...

Are We Really Alone

The AP has reported an amazing discovery. It appears that the soil on Mars, while supposedly containing some traces of water, actually contains a contaminant that makes life on Mars virtually impossible.

Well there is a surprise. Just after the Catholic Church has said that life on other planets is completely compatible with the Bible it now appears that life is highly unlikely.

It would seem that it would be more useful for our time and dollars to answer some questions that actually pertain to us. I am less concerned about life on other planets than I am with life abundant and eternal. Now that gets me excited. And you don't have to be a nuclear scientist to figure out the answer to those questions. The Bible makes it quite clear through the words of Jesus Christ the answer...Knowing God and His Son Jesus Christ.

Are we really alone...absolutely not. But it is not little green guys from space that are with us but rather angelic forces, both good and evil; a Sovereign and Holy God that deserves our praise and devotion; an enemy named Satan; and a conquering King and Savior Jesus Christ.

Let's spend some time getting to know about this reality...

Just Another Manic Monday

Ministry is never routine. I would think that God does this intentionally so that we are constantly depending on Him for strength and wisdom. My firs Monday was anything but routine...

...Early hospital visit, two hour meeting (I don't like long meetings), no lunch, lots of questions, being called into substitute fast pitch soft ball duty (never seen a fast pitch before) and humbly saying sure, fouling off my first fast pitch ( was a miracle), another hospital visit and in bed around mindnight...

At least I can say that I am not bored...

Let's hope that on Tuesday the pace is not quite as fast!

The Outpost - Bible Preaching (Brooke Taylor)