Tag Archives: salvation

CHURCH KINGDOM-BUILDING 


CHURCH KINGDOM-BUILDING 

William Andrew Dillard
MAY MISS THE KINGDOM BUILT
Parson to Person

Long, long ago, God forged a mighty nation of Hebrew people enslaved in Egypt. He delivered them, blessed them, and brought them to the Promised Land. Extraordinary victories, great miracles, and provisions attributable only to God’s blessings were embedded into their minds and hearts, but Judges tells the repetitious story of the propensity of men to follow the flesh instead of God. “A new generation arose that knew not God.” Sadly, men have not changed!
Fast forward! Out of the deadly fires of persecution in the Inquisition, God delivered His people by opening up the Western Hemisphere in general and America in particular for their unparalleled freedom and growth. Through famine, wars, and civil turmoil, God blessed His churches in this new land. It was then that the god of this world laid plans to inundate the nation with material things far removed from the support of its Gross National Product by printing baseless script to direct faith to Caesar. Misled churches hailed this as blessings from above.
Simply put, it is easier, and highly tempting, to follow the dictates of the flesh. Soon, churches, which flourished briefly in inflated abundance, found unwittingly that materialism had substituted God. Youth then failed to follow the faith of their fathers. Pulpits became filled with stand-up comedians and CEO’s of social clubs. Services were scaled down. Revivals ceased. God was removed from public prayers and schools. Innocent lives were butchered on demand by the millions. Churches became even more moderate, bowing to a social agenda in an ever-losing battle for the attention of the masses. 
At last, some have awakened to ask why the rolls are full, but the pews are empty? It is the continuing last state of churches whose members are detached from the spirit and mission of the church. Oh, but those roll members are indeed attached. They are attached to their detachment, and few are open to change. Churches previously offering men spiritual salvation and truth, sank in their deluded dream of individual kingdom-building, and panic of material debts. So gravitating to social programs to compete, they ultimately found themselves inadequate to compete materially in a God forsaken religious world, or able to deal properly and spiritually with a people who are minus an ear for spiritual things, not unlike the society of Lot’s day. Church-house padlocks are now becoming common. What a crazy course of history! What foolish decisions by spiritual institutions! Caring ministers and churches now cry and preach to a people firmly attached. . . to spiritual detachment! Evermore then is the cry heard: “Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus.”

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THE CHURCH GOING GENERATION


Parson to Person

William Andrew Dillard

From early days, the United States of America has been generally know by the world as a Christian nation. To be sure there were many times and episodes in its history that would bring that idea into question. Still, following the great revivals of the early 19th century, that label largely stuck, more predominately in the Southern Bible belt than in the other regions. This will draw some flack, but here me out.
A few years ago, the then president of the United States stood before a gathering of leaders from many nations and forthrightly declared that America was NOT a Christian nation. A fire storm of repudiation ensued from folks at home.
I shall refrain from the many temptations of digression that present themselves in order to advance the greater purpose in mind. Could he have been correct? I think it all depends upon what one considers a Christian to be.
To perhaps 90% of what is called the “Christian World” the definition of a Christian is one who confesses that Jesus is the Son of God. Repentance from sin and faith in Him brings eternal salvation to the spirit of the individual. But Faith in God has wrought individual salvation since Eden, and none of the Old Testament saints are biblically known as Christians. What are we to make of it all? Please think with me!
The disciples of Jesus were first called Christians at Antioch (Acts 11). They did not name themselves that, but the general populace dubbed them with that title. They were a Greek speaking people and knew exactly what they were saying and meaning. It is dedicated discipleship (followership) by which those saved people were recognized and entitled.
The disciples at Antioch were 1) saved by grace through faith; 2) baptized by the first church by immersion in water; 3) honored the Word of God by teaching the biblical landmarks that guided their life, these included the above plus eternal security of the believer, and the authority of the church to spread the gospel, and administer the ordinances Jesus put into His church . As one is dedicated to these things and grows in the Word, he will be a New Testament Christian. Did this just decimate the popular idea of Christianity? Doubtless!
When folks align themselves with a religious organization without thought or research of the Biblical model, they become a Christian in colloquial name only, and are devoid of any meaningful honesty with their Creator as it is revealed in His eternal Word. Evangelism is reduced to an invitation to “our church” and its programs rather than to the all important, individual, relationship with God both in salvation and in dedicated, acceptable service.
Maybe, just maybe that Muslim pleasing president was unwittingly right. Simply put, a nation of churchgoers does not a Christian make!

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THE COMMON DENOMINATOR PAINTS THE PICTURE


HEBREW HONEYCOMB

William Andrew Dillard
THE COMMON DENOMINATOR PAINTS THE PICTURE

Some of the most beautiful word pictures fraught with deep meaning are found in the common denominator of term usage. Are you ready to think with me a minute for a blessing?
Please consider that the spokes of a wheel are essential to its existence and usefulness. Also, the fillets of a building are essential to its standing and usefulness. Similarly, the desire (attachment) of one’s heart as in a man for a woman as a potential mate is what makes marriage happen, and work. Truly, the love that one cultivates for a person, place or thing is what gives that person, place, or thing prominence and importance in the heart and mind.
Okay, okay, I am a little impatient. Where are you going with this? Well, hang on!
The spokes of a wheel are mentioned in I Kings 7:33. The ancient Hebrew word designating “spokes” is “Chashaq.”
Furthermore, the fillets of a building, especially a portable building such as the Old Testament Tabernacle, are referred to by the word, “Chashaq.”
Moreover, the strong desire for a life mate is expressed by the same word, “Chashaq.”
Then, there is that strongest of bindings referred to as “love,” and it is also referenced as “Chashaq.”
I know, I know, you are getting the picture, but it isn’t finished just yet. So, the climax of the picture drives home a reality that lives on shouting ground. It is Isaiah 38:17, “Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.” Folks, the phrase “love to my soul,” is a translation of the Hebrew term “Chashaq.”
How important are spokes to a wheel; fillets to a building; desire to a life-mate? None of these work without them. That is just what exists in the love of God to the soul of a believer, and how important it is. An attachment has been made. God has reached out and united Himself with the soul of every believer in Christ Jesus, and one may be sure He will never let go, nor His arm be broken.
No wonder then that Jesus declared that the Father had given His people to Him, and no man could pluck them out of the Father’s hand. John 10:29. In Paul’s words, “. . . neither death, nor life nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God ,which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39.
Governmental officials have their secret service agents; Brinks has armored trucks, cities have police, but there is no security in all the universe close to equaling that of the believer in Christ Jesus, whom He has attached to Himself!

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MARCH 29 – Are You Thirsty?


MARCH 29 – Are You Thirsty?

Psalm 42:1  To the chief Musician, Maschil, for the sons of Korah. As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. 

2  My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? 

3  My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God? 

4  When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday. 

Do we have a problem with the carnal mind and body? We often have not fed our spirit. When we have been born again, too often, we are satisfied and satiated with the passages of Holy Writ that brought us to the point of repentance. There are those that are satisfied with what they have in forgiveness. They are stuck in space never to grow.

A look at the life of David reveals he was not satisfied to just be saved. He realized that salvation was just the beginning of a relationship that called for a closer walk. How can one have a closer walk with a shallow knowledge of the one we walk with? As David learned more his desire was increased to know more. As he learned, even more, his desire was to appear before God. This would be a face to face knowledge.

As David’s knowledge was deepened his desire was greatly increased. His study committed things to memory. He would remember those things and it brought forth his soul to be poured out. He expressed his deep feelings for God. Notice his statement that he went with the multitude to the house of God. They kept the Lord’s day and had a voice of joy and praise. How many of us exhibit the great desire to worship with joy and praise on the Lord’s day.

May we have this overwhelming desire to know more about our Lord.

Might we use the Holy day with joy to worship and praise our Lord.

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MARCH 10 – Are we prepared to do battle.


MARCH 10 – Are we prepared to do battle.

1Sa 17:37  David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee. 

David did not go into battle unprepared. He had faith in the deliverance that God would provide. How did David know about God’s deliverance? Many hours with the sheep and pondering the ways of God. He came prepared. His faith was only a partial preparation. We need to see the rest of his preparation. We know his weapon was a sling and he was very familiar with it. We know as he crossed the brook he took 5 smooth stones. Outwardly that was his only preparation.

He had his helmet of salvation. This had already been provided as a free gift of God. We find in Psalm 51, he cried unto the Lord to restore the JOY of THY salvation. He wore the helmet of salvation into the battle. His loins were girt about with truth. This could be what we are missing today. Minimizing some truths and emphasizing others. David knew there was one true God. We find in Davids writings much of truth that we would call doctrine. Timothy was exhorted by Paul to teach others what Paul had taught him. II Tim. 2:2. Paul did not lessen any truth. We are called to study. The Great Commission says to teach them all things. These are defensive weapons.

Our help in conflict or battle is the Lord and the shield of faith. David did not have a physical shield but the Lord went before him. It is called the shield of faith. He had faith the Lord would deliver the victory. This faith was buttressed with pray. In my mind’s eye, I can see David as darkness begins to cover the land and the sheep start bedding down. The quietness that descends and soft simmering glow of the stars as they start shining and the moon filters down with its gentle shining. David sitting and gazing at the great and grand expanse of heaven and the beauty of the mountains that were outlined. The prayers that would proceed from those youthful lips for a safe that was had. Prayers for tomorrow. The prayers that would be utter for his nation and his family. No doubt, David spent much time talking to God.

He was prepared for battle. May we as children of God become bedrock anchored in the love of God and His truth. May we drive new converts to bedrock in truth and include our youth.

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LAGNIAPPE AND CHRYSTAL WEDDING


LAGNIAPPE AND CHRYSTAL WEDDING OATS

William Andrew Dillard
Parson to Person

Lagniappe” is a French word pronounced (lan-yap) that is well known in pockets of French culture such as Louisiana. South Arkansas, Quebec, Canada, etc. It means “A little something extra” as a favor from a merchant to a customer or something thrown in for good measure. In the little community of my childhood, it was always a practice, and in some areas, it is a custom presently.
This recalls corporate practice in childhood as well. We did not purchase much at stores beyond absolute necessities, but when it came to breakfast food, washing detergents, and cow feed. four things determined choice. In breakfast cereals it was always Chrystal Wedding oats and Nabisco shredded wheat, because there was a nice crystal-like drinking glass in every box of the oats. These lined our shelves. In every box of washing detergent there was a nice, free dish cloth. These filled cabinet drawers. In cereal, I begged my parents to buy Nabisco Shredded Wheat. I hated the stuff, but there were illustrated “Straight Arrow” cards separating the wheat loafs that taught me how to build an Indian shelter out in the woods. Finally, in cow feed, every gingham type sack of 100 pounds of feed must be clean and not torn because we would be wearing it as a shirt from momma’s hands very soon.
“Lagniappe!” What a good and helpful practice it was to poor families recovering from the Great Depression. A little something extra to the primary purchase. It brings to mind, the great goodness of our Savior. He loves us so much that He died to save us, and all who call upon Him in repentance finds that gift of salvation in full power as it was at the beginning.
However, if that were not enough, it goes on and on from that initial gift. His spirit guides us and illuminates us to the marvelous truth of His Word, so that peace beyond understanding, promises that are staggering, and comprehension to the harmony, unity, and symmetry of His ingested Word renews the mind, and implants an insatiable desire to know more, and to receive their fulfillment. His gifts are “Lagniappe” forever and ever.

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CHANCES FOR ETERNAL STATUS DO NOT EXIST


 

William Andrew Dillard
Sometime ago, I witnessed to a friend who at fourscore years of age is not long for this world. I have prayed for his salvation and told him so. He reply brought shuddering to my innermost being. He said, “I have not lived a bad life. I will take my chances.” This man is under the delusion that a chance may exist when in fact there are no chances. Jesus said, “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” John 3:17-18. Jesus also said that he who comes to Him, He would in no wise cast out. So what is there to gain in a supposed chance? Where is the logic?
It is like a number of years ago, when a man was killed as he drove his car across a railroad track in front of an oncoming train. He lived long enough to answer a few questions: it went something like this.
Did the barrier arms lower? He said they did. Were the lights flashing? He said they were. Was the bell ringing? He said it was. Did the train have its headlamp on? He replied that it did. Did the engineer blow the whistle? He said he remembered hearing it. Did your brakes fail? He replied they did not. Did the throttle stick? He said it did not. Then came the inevitable question, “Why in the name of God did you try to cross the track?” His reply was, “I thought I could make it.” I THOUGHT I COULD MAKE IT??!! Why? What was there to gain? There certainly was much to lose as he found out.
There will be no one in heaven but those who have received the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. There will be no one in hell, but those who have refused to do so. Do not be a fool. Do not think you have a chance, because you don’t. Lights are flashing, bells ringing, and horns blowing, and you can’t make it! There is no chance! Open your heart to Jesus in repentance and faith. He paid the sin-debt for you. For every man, in every age, there is no other plan.

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Living a full Life


Signs this week:

Past-leave it to God,

  • There comes a time of ending.

  • A time of mourning the past is ended. – II Sam 11:27

  • Mercy given in the past – Rom 11:30

  • Forgiveness of sins given in the past. – Romans 3:25

  • There comes a time when our days are past. – Job 17:11

  • Eph 2:2, 3, 11

  • How often do we look back to refresh old hurts, defeats and disasters?

Present-Live it for God, – John 6:32-33

  • The work is given for today and not a future day. – John 4:35-38

  • Luke 11:3 – Our life is lived day by day.

  • Remember Zacchaeus? Luke 19:5 – Today, not tomorrow.

  • Luke 19:9 – Today is salvation

  • Luke 23:43 – Today some one is dying. Today some are going to heaven and others to hell.

  • What we do today can make an eternal difference in some one’s life.

  • John 9:4

Future-Entrust it to God – Matt 6:25; Matt 6:33,34

Also God is waiting for you.

  • What will it take for us to truly commit ourselves to the work of the Lord.

  • Yes the physical things need to be done.

  • Spiritual things of greater importance.

God bless you throughout the Year.

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BRING IN THE BLIND AND HALT


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A missionary physician in one of China’s hospitals cured a man of cataracts. A few weeks later, forty-eight blind men came to him from one of Chia’s far corners, each holding a rope held in the hand of the man who had been cured. he had led them in this way, walking in a chain 250 miles to the hospital, that they too might be healed. Are we among those who can say “Once I was blind, but now I see?”

 

Author Unknown

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Contend for the Faith  


 

Jude 3, 4

“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints,” Jude 3.

Jude begins this letter with the statement that he desired to write a letter concerning salvation, but something compelled him to send a warning first. Jude had to first warn the believers about the danger of false teachers among them. The salvation of the believers was not at risk, but the salvation of others was. There was also danger of the church being led astray. So, Jude instructed the believers to contend for the faith.

To contend simply means, “to compete and fight for something.” Jude was urging the people to put up a challenge to those who would seek to lead them away from God’s truths. He said that God has given this “faith” or truth once for all time. We have been given God’s Word. God has revealed to us His will and His truths. Now that we have the Scripture completed, there is no need of any additions or new revelations.

Even in our current day false teachers are trying to bring a new twist to biblical truths. There are those that seek to change the eternal truths to fit into today’s secular culture. Do not be fooled! Contend for the faith! Just as counterfeit “men of god” were creeping in and presenting false teaching in Jude’s day, they are still active in our day. Be ready to contend!

 

 

JUST A THOUGHT

What are some ways you are contending for the faith on a daily basis?

Nathan Rogers

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