Monthly Archives: August 2016
The following excerpt was copied from the “American Thinker Blog” for which I believe they clearly captured how many “Christians” and many “churches” view God’s Word today. They stated, “In America today there is a new fad called ‘Designer Christianity’. Cherry-picked Christian ideology has zero to do with God’s Word and everything to do with the moral relativism that now pervades modern philosophy. It is a pick-and-choose brand of religion where a person selects exactly what they want to believe, misinterprets and takes Scripture out of context, and then labels those who object to that sacrilege as mean-spirited, un-Jesus-like, and anti-Christian. It’s a mentality that says a personal interpretation of Scripture trumps the canon of God’s Word and anything can be justified because God is much bigger than small-minded, fundamentalist-style thinking. Rather than align with truth, designer Christians mistakenly believe that God is eager to conform to public opinion and expectations.”
But should we really be surprised? For centuries, there have been individuals and churches that have cherry-picked and chosen pet verses from Scripture to justify their behavior. Yes, even churches have been just as guilty for taking God’s Word out of context – just to push their own agenda or new fad; which has nothing to do with Christianity. We see it in the music that is sung in the congregation, fables and life stories that are taught instead of Scripture, books that are pushed behind the pulpit, and doctrines / teachings that God’s Word never endorsed – let alone trying to force God’s Word to conform to public opinion and expectation. God stated that His Word is true and every man a liar.
“God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.”
God’s Word also states that we [whether individuals or churches] are to be transformed – not conformed to this world; to be renewed in our mind.
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
God’s Word harmonizes without error – and man has a responsibility to see the harmonization in the Scriptures; and then to believe it, accept it, embrace and live it. For, if an individual or a church chooses otherwise, they will fall back and be broken.
Isaiah 28:13 states,
“But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.”
The apostle Paul stated the following to Timothy.
“I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 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.”
Paul also wrote in 1 Timothy 4:1-5,
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.”
You might choose to be a “Designer Christian” or “church”; however, it will be God who will ultimately judge you for your actions. He isn’t swayed by public opinion and expectations – [because] He is GOD.
THE BROTHERHOOD OF MAN
Parson to Person
Much ado fills media nowadays about how all of us ought to simply be forgiving and love one another for who, and whatever, each one is. After all, many proclaim, “we are all brothers in this banquet of life.”
It is not my chief joy to upset the applecart, but this simply is not true. It is the devil’s lie, and it is being bought in total by wholesale numbers not excluding many “churches.” The truth of the matter is that the brotherhood of man is real and true only “in Christ.,” and that phrase does not stop at the new birth experience, but is inclusive of submission to and activity in “the things of, the teachings of, the Anointed.”
Many today run to and fro, seeking to enlist the children of the world into the church by reducing the church to the world’s level and understanding; hence, no change is required, just a warm body being present. Has it been forgotten that the things of God are possessed by, and only through, the medium of faith, and understanding of, and submission to “the faith once delivered to the saints?”
People of the world, lost in sin, and happy to be that way have as much desire and appreciation for spiritual things as pigs have for a necklace of expensive pearls. When enlisted into the church through worldly efforts of material, social, or business perspectives, the church can only cease to be the Lord’s church. It’s candlestick removed, its blinded members and leadership exult in the great numbers and filled coffers of a religiously oriented social club. So, where is the brotherhood? It is hinged upon a philosophy of “I am O.K., you are O.K. because we love one another although diverse in understanding. Certainly, God must be happy with this arrangement, because we want Him to be.”
Let there be no misunderstanding. There is a very real brotherhood of man which some enjoy and others reject. That brotherhood exists only in Christ, and no one may solicit you into it. It is personal, and those who find it realize its treasure. Unfortunately, great numbers of people have been sought by less than biblical standards which serve to disintegrate the true brotherhood, even as water added to gravy dilutes and destroys it. The world demands the church to change to suit them, and the church runs after the world in ways that can only be described as spiritual whoredom, even as God described Israel through the prophet Ezekiel in Chapter Sixteen (it should be read).
3 The Foundation of the Church
Christ is the foundation and cornerstone of the church.
He declares Himself as the Rock on which the church is founded. “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church” (Matt. 16:18). The church was not founded on Peter, nor Peter’s confession, nor upon truth as such, but upon the immovable Rock of Ages. “Thou art Peter,” from the Greek petros, meaning a stone that can be moved, used in a metaphorical sense of Peter whom Satan threw around yet was he never crushed. The Greek word for rock on which the church was founded is petra, meaning a large and immovable rock.
The apostle Paul declares that Christ is the foundation, I Cor. 3:11 – “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Christ Jesus.” This should settle all cavil forever.
Prophecy designates Christ as the foundation of the church, Isaiah 28:16: “Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.” The apostle Peter alludes to this prophecy in his message to the Jewish Christians scattered abroad, and also applies it to Christ (I Peter 2:6). Furthermore, Christ is not only the foundation of the church; He is also its cornerstone, thus tying all the building and its foundation together.
The apostle Paul testifies that Christ is the foundation, Eph. 2:20: “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone.” Christ was the foundation of the apostles and prophets, on which foundation the church was founded. He was their foundation, and He is the church’s foundation.
Pastor support is good. Church – simple – be there.
Today’s blog post is one I wish I could put my name on. It’s as though he has read my mind, and the mind of countless other pastors, especially the first three paragraphs. Please do not pass by on this read today! By the way, there is no agenda behind sharing this post other than what my blog is all about, “From a pastor’s heart.”
I spent most of my adult life outside vocational ministry. I’m amazed at the opportunities God has given me in ministry, but in many ways I am still a newcomer. I have just over a dozen years in this career. It’s challenging in some ways, because I see things differently from some who have only done ministry, but it also gives me a unique perspective from some pastors. I sat “in the pew” far longer than I’ve stood “behind the pulpit”.
One thing my experience…
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2. The Founder Of The Church
Christ as founder of His church is proved by the following facts:
As the Shepherd Christ gathered unto himself a flock, which is said to be the church. “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32). “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock…to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood” (Acts 20:28).
Christ declared He had a church, Matthew 16:18 “…upon this rock I will build my church.” While on earth He called His company of followers “MY CHURCH.” However, the clause “will build” does not point to His founding the church, but to strengthening it, or building it up in numbers, power and usefulness. In this sense He is still building His church, and will continue doing so until He shall come again.
Christ testified that He had a kingdom while on earth, hence He was the founder of it, John 18:36: “My kingdom is not of this world,” that is, not of this world’s system to wage carnal warfare, levy taxes for support of a political government, etc. The point is: Christ established a kingdom in person while on earth. The churches are the executives of His kingdom. When the first church was founded, Christ’s kingdom came into existence on earth.
In founding the church, Christ became its headstone, Matthew 21:42: “Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, “The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes.”
The material prepared by John the Baptist (Luke 1:16, 17, 77) was used by Christ in founding His church, as David prepared the material for the construction of the temple which was built by Solomon (I Chron. 22:5).
Incidentally, since Christ used the ones whom John baptized in founding His church, this identifies His church with the baptism and teaching of John. If you were to go to a Mormon, for instance, and be baptized of him, would you not be known as a Mormon? Then, since the first disciples of Christ identified themselves with John the Baptist and were baptized by him, why were they not Baptists also? And being organized into a church by Christ, why was it not a Baptist church? The name “Baptist” came from God (Matt. 3:1). If John could wear it with honor, why cannot we? And as John was a missionary sent by God (John 1:6) and was divinely called Baptist, why was he not a missionary Baptist? That’s what we are?
This sermon by D. N. Jackson will surprise some, challenge others and there will be those that will reject it out of hand without thought or study. An honest comparison of scripture will challenge those desiring the truth of God’s Word.
THE CHURCH THAT JESUS BUILT
By D. N. Jackson
The Future of the Church
The Six “F’s” of the Church
By D. N. Jackson
(Summary of a sermon preached Sunday evening, December 31, 1961, at Calvary Baptist Church, LaVerne, Calif.)
Tonight we are here by invitation to preach a sermon on the CHURCH. I am sure you appreciate the fact that in the short time customarily allotted to a sermon it will not be possible for me to elaborate on this subject. So we must be brief and pointed.
As a basis for our message, let us note the Master’s own words: “… upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18).
We shall deal with the six “F’s” of the church after this order: 1. The founding; 2. The Founder; 3. The Foundation; 4. The Form; 5. The Fundamentals; and 6. The Future.
1. The founding of the Church
Broadly speaking, the church was founded during the personal ministry of our Lord on earth.
TESTIMONY OF CHRIST: “I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do” (John 17:4). Jesus testifies while on earth He finished the work which the Father sent Him to do. The establishment of the church being part of the work which He came to do, it stands to reason He established His church before His death.
TESTIMONY OF APOSTLE PAUL: “And God set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues” (I Cor. 12:28). These were gifts the Lord put in the New Testament churches. Mark explains when the gift of apostles was made: “And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would: and they came unto him. And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach” (Mark 3:13,14).
That was done during the personal ministy of Christ on earth. As the apostles were ordained by Christ in person and placed in the church, it stands to reason there must have been a church in existence, for you cannot put something into nothing. Incidentally, the gifts of healings, miracles, tongues and apostles were done away at the close of the New Testament canon, and this took place when John wrote the book of Revelation.
But the point is; the church must have existed while Christ was on earth, else He could not have placed apostles in it.
Specifically speaking the church came into existence during our Lord’s first year’s of ministry and before John the Baptist was imprisoned. The first disciples to follow Christ were John, Andrew, Peter, Philip and Nathanael (John 1:29-51). These were with Him at the marriage in Cana of Galilee (John 2:1). His disciples were soon increased in number (John 2:23; 3:1-7). This company was authorized by their Lord to administer baptism (John 3:22; 4:1-2), and it was called the bride of Christ (John 3:29). This company , while tarrying at Jerusalem after Christ’s ascension and before the dawn of the day of Pentecost, selected as Judas’ successor one who had companied with them “all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John” (Acts 1:21, 22).
To this company were added about three thousand converts on the first day of the Pentecostal feast (Acts 2:41). And the same company is called a church, Acts 2:47: “Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved,” that is “such as were being saved.” This proves the church was founded even before John the Baptist was imprisoned and that it had been perpetuated from that day until the day of Pentecost. This church to which the three thousand were added was the company that began in John’s day, saw the ascension of Christ, and waited at Jerusalem for the coming of the events at Pentecost (Luke 24:49-53; Acts 1:14, 15).
Next Post – The Founder of the Church.
REST FOR THE SOUL
William Andrew Dillard
Parson to Person
God provides marvelous, incomprehensible rest for the human soul for those who access it the one and only way; His way! Hebrews Chapters Three and Four speak of it in at least four angles of thought: 1) it was rejected; 2) it is presently experienced; 3) there is more of it to come; and 4) some presently come short of it.
The Hebrews, brought out of Egypt, rejected God’s rest through unbelief. This is not to say they were lost people, but they did not exercise ongoing faith in God and His way for them. Thus did they give up grace for law, and as a people never knew the great rest for the soul offered through the medium of faith in God’s Word and ways.
That rest is a current reality for those of God’s people who are submissive to Him in discipleship; who learn the blessed joys of the Word, and commit themselves to that knowledge. This is spoken of as one ceasing from his own labor, spiritually, and depending entirely on the labor of God Who has also ceased from His, because the works were finished from the foundation of the world (casting down of the cosmos). Understanding the symmetry, harmony and unity of the eternal Word is their priceless possession and ultimate possibility of rest for the soul.
Additionally, there is more of it to come as verse nine forthrightly states. When faith becomes sight and hope becomes reality, there will be total, undisturbed rest in all of the ongoing activities. Doubtless this is a reference to the coming millennial reign of Christ Jesus and the ensuing heaven age.
But the sad reality is that there are those who have believed in Jesus, but have stopped short of being a committed, learning disciple. This causes them to be uncertain in spiritual matters, and fodder for the glib, but erroneous preachments of an endless line of charlatans. Such a state of life as this is the devil’s playground, leading one from one heresy to another while all the time living in uncertainty about who they really are, and how God views them as being saved or lost.
The biblically taught reaction to this scenario is stated in 4:1. “Let us fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.” To fear is not to be always in that state, but it is motivational to receive and to share the great truths of the Word, and the hope that lies in in the heart of God’s covenant people.
Does the Bible have anything to say about how we as Christian women should dress? Should we go without makeup? Should we wear only long dresses? Should we not wear pants? Should we not wear jewelry? Can we, should we try to dress with sex appeal?
At one time, I did stop wearing makeup, pants, and yes, my dresses came down to my knees. Why? Well, I was just about 18 years old and was devoted to Christ. I now know that the women around me most likely influenced my dress because of how they dressed, old and young. But as I grew in my relationship with the Lord, I also grew in recognizing what the Bible was saying and understanding my liberty in Christ. The Apostle Paul describes my self-restricting activity as a show of will-worship which he warned against in Colossians 2:20-23. I learned that it produced in me pride and judgmentalism.
However, I do believe the…
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One thing parents often preach to their children is the importance of protecting their reputations. I am one of those and have preached that to my children many times. But recently I heard my preaching regurgitated to me by one of my sons and a glaring omission was revealed to me.
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